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The Wednesday Waffle Episode One: The Waffle Rebooted.

Click here to see this week's rack.

Click here to see last week's rack.

Hello! Since setting up this website (which is either the third or forth incarnation of destinationvenus.co.uk) we've written/filmed forty seven Wednesday Waffles and One Hundred and Eleven Daily Waffles.

And now, as we emerge from lockdown, blinking in the light of a new dawn, we're "pulling a Marvel" and rebooting the Wednesday Waffle from #1. The Wednesday Waffle was originally intended to be a place for us to ponder and pontificate, and it will sometimes still be that. But it will not also be a place to share news of the shop and news from the wider world of comics.

Essentially, we're doing this because we learned a lot about communicating with customers from the Daily Waffle, and so we're tweaking the format, which makes re-starting the numbering seem sensible.

So. Welcome to the New Waffle! Here is the News for this week:

THIS WEEK'S DELIVERY IS LATE - AND IT WASN'T DIAMOND UK'S FAULT...

...we reckon it probably was Diamond US's though. Essentially this week's shipment hit the UK a day late, which means retailers are getting it a day late - which is to say that it should be arriving at some point this morning, if you're reading on the day this publishes. Fortunately it's a small delivery this week, so there should be no problem having everything sorted and in standing order boxes by the time we open at 4pm.

Speaking of which...

DESTINATION VENUS IS OPEN TODAY, WEDNESDAY 15TH JULY BETWEEN 4pm AND 6pm

So, if you're in town in the late afternoon, swing by and see us. We note that masks are not compulsory in shops just yet, but if you can wear one, we would appreciate it.

NEW INVOICING/DELIVERY SYSTEM FOR STANDING ORDER CUSTOMERS BEGINS THIS WEEK

We are open only for limited hours, and we don't expect you to drop everything and come sprinting down to see us in the brief window of opening that we're currently offering. For this reason, deliveries will continue for the forseeable future.

It has also become clear that we need a system to make sure that you, our valued, regular customers, know what we're holding for you. So, here's our solution.

When our delivery arrives - normally on a Tuesday - we will sort out the new issues into the appropriate standing order boxes. We will then send an invoice via email to each of our regular customers detailing everything we're currently holding for them. This means that every week you'll get an update showing you exactly what we've got for you. Hopefully this means that if we've missed something it'll be spotted quickly

THIS IS THE IMPORTANT BIT:

The invoice will have a "Payment Due" date on it. This is because the system we use at the shop demands that we add one. We'll usually make the "Payment Due" date the following Thursday, and we want to be clear that you are free to ignore it. We prefer to think of these invoices as statements of account, not demands for payment.

If you do pay the weekly invoice before the Thursday Due Date, we will deliver your comics within Harrogate and Knaresborough on the Thursday. If you choose not to do so, we'll hang on to your comics until you come in to collect them. If we don't hear from you for more than six weeks, we'll get in touch just to make sure everything is OK.

Every Tuesday, any "outstanding" invoices will be cancelled and replaced with a new invoice detailing any new comics that arrive in the new delivery and the whole weekly cycle starts again.

I hope that makes sense, but if you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Also, to make this work we'll need your email address, so we'll be double checking them with you as and when we see you.

Oh, and of course the delivery being a day late this week has royally messed up all of this timing, so it's invoices won't go out this week until later this afternoon (Wednesday 15th July) and deliveries this week will be on Friday.

DESTINATION VENUS LAUNCHES YOUTUBE CHANNEL

All the way through lockdown the Waffles and What's on the Rack videos were recorded using my personal YouTube channel. We have now set up a dedicated Destination Venus channel to host these - and other video content - in the future. Do feel free to go over and subscribe.

GOOD NEWS ON GLOBAL COMICS SALES

As a shop, we've been in comics retail for fifteen years. As an individual I've been hanging around comics in a sort of semi-professional manner for twenty, and just hanging around for more than thirty. In that time there has been a pretty consistent message about the future of comics.

"There isn't one."

In the early nineties, as I wrote a dissertation on the history of comics for my degree I had a textbook that predicted that "It seems unlikely that 2000ad will survive to see the year it is named after". In the early 2000s a friend commented, only half in jest that "in thirty years time the last comics fan will die, and be cremated on a pyre made up of his collection because nobody else will want it. And now of course we have the ever present "Comics are too political/woke/left wing/right wing/PC - readers are abandoning them in droves because the publishers aren't giving us what we want!"

And in all of that time, I've been buying and reading my comics, secure in the knowledge that comics are cool, and that they're not going anywhere.

Well, now it is reported by CBR that I was right. I mean, they don't actually mention me in the headline or nuffin, but hey. Comics sales -which is to say the combined sales of all graphic narrative in all formats - were massively up in 2019.

The trend has shifted - the chunkier graphic novel / trade paperback format has grown as interest in the traditional "floppy", sales of which have been declining for decades, has continued to wane - something that anecdotally I can confirm. But comics are comics, whether they're thin, folded and stapled, or thick with a proper spine.

Of course, all of this is based upon data from "the before times". Lockdown has done us no good at all and it's too early to tell what kind of effect COVID-19 and its associated troubles will have on demand. But so long as demand is there, we will endeavour to be here to supply it.

Read more HERE over on CBR.

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