Silver Bullet Comics Update

A week after the news broke of Silver Bullet Comics’ tax sale, the owner has posted a response to much of the gossip. (I’m too tacky to resist making a comment about a pattern of delays continuing, but he does address the time frame, see below.)

He blames everything on bad programming. Those are some interesting bugs, that make sure the money is collected but can’t keep track of whether the ordered product was shipped. Although it does make sense that that’s where a developer’s priority would be. Oh, and “many orders were purged randomly from our system”. (For some reason, I’m reminded of when bad post offices get overwhelmed and just start throwing mail in dumpsters out back.)

They also had moving pains. Closing their store and moving everything into storage resulted in items getting “lost, misplaced, mislabeled, or just disappeared. … This problem is still being addressed, and solved in creative ways at times, currently.” The use of the word “creative” would make me nervous, if I’d ever given this company any money. That’s not what you want to hear from someone rumored to have had overdue taxes.

They’ve set up a brand-new email account, assistance@silverbulletcomics.com, to better “work with each and every one of you to resolve your issues”. They claim over 75,000 emails a day and spam attacks means some has gotten lost, but they’re promising to reship any order where they don’t know its status. W. Alan Davis goes on to explain his silence until now:

While I subscribed to the notion that we should just fix things and not spend time making excuses until all were satisfied — and then throw ourselves prostrate to our customers – this programming issue is not like anything we’ve ever dealt with, and does not lend itself to easily being fixed without finding where problems exist. That means that we need to ask for assistance from our customers, and accept that the public message will likely create fear of the same happening to those customers not affected. Until all is resolved, though, we will attack this as aggressively and with all resources we have at our disposal, until it is behind us.

I would be very surprised if this business could continue after all this. He ends with a response to many of the rumors circulating, including this statement:

No, we did not take prepaid comic orders in the store, and close owing anyone there any money.

Meanwhile, a competitor is claiming (link no longer available) “I know the guy that just won a court case in which SBC made him prepay for comics and then refused to pay him back when the store closed.” I’ve asked for details in order to find out who is, let’s say, mistaken.


25 Responses to “Silver Bullet Comics Update”

  1. Ssalefish Says:

    I believe the quote (“I know the guy . ..”) is from my website. I assume that civil court case information is public record in North Carolina (as well as most states). The court case was Friday October 12, 2007 and a former SBC customer won their case against the owner of SBC. The customer was made to prepay for comics (over $100 per month) and then was denied a refund for a few months.

    I’m not here to bring anyone else’s name into this. I can only assume that you could contact the Forsyth County Clerk of Court for details. I searched around online and did not see a site that reported case results nor court schedules eariler than this week.

    I really want to play nice and express that other than childish competition, I have no ill will toward the SBC team. The first time that I publically griped about them was a post on my site about the huge amount of customers that were switching to our store because the SBC staff constantly lied about new books and rarely received product before Thursday or Friday evening. I’m simply arguing for more honesty in our industry- this doesn’t stop with other stores (indirect or direct competetion)- it includes publishers, distributors, artist, & writers.

  2. Mark Says:

    As a former customer, I know that Silver Bullet never had prepaid customers in their stores of any kind. I’m not surprised to see more lies spread here. Also, considereing Alan never worked the register in the last two years the store was open, and was hardly there, this lie would not even be about the owner. Also, Silver Bullet had a couple of owners as a corporation, so continuing to try to put your lies on one guy you dont like reaks of your bias. Funny how all you have to do is provide one name to back up your lies, and in several weeks and with several opportunities, all you can do is repeat them here, with no proof. Your story is like your comic racks. Empty.
    Make mine (and everyone else) Empire.

  3. Alan Coil Says:

    Mark, you misread what you read. The customer PREpaid for comics and never got the comics or his money back.

    Prepaying is the nature of mail order. You place your order, send in a check (or credit card number), then a few weeks later they send you the comics.

    So now you owe somebody an apology for making statements and accusations based on your misinterpretation of what you read.

  4. Lee Says:

    Mark, if you want proof just Google “Silver Bullet Comics” and click on some of the links you find. Read the comments on Newsarama and the CBR forums. These complaints/accusations aren’t all coming from Mr. Ssalefish, blogs or a few news sites, they are coming from around the globe.

  5. Ssalefish Says:

    Mark, no apology needed, but you are dead wrong here. I can dig up the public record of the court case if you like, but I don’t feel like I’m the one that needs defending here.

    I would also like to add that the customer who won the court case received his money and used the last of it in my store yesterday to pay for his comics. Just to clarify, he was required to prepay for comics in the store (he was a local customer), not mail order.

    Also, I love the guys at Empire- we are on friendly terms and trade overstock and customer wantlists all the time. If you want to make me look like a jerk, I could care less, but unless you work for them, please don’t drag them into this playground dispute.

    I’m not interested in a Pepsi challenge, but I can assure that my store is well stocked of comics, toys, and collectables.

    Why don’t the reporters of this site, get a hold of the public record of the court case so everyone can stop blaming me and accusing me of being wrong about what I know to be fact? It was Friday October 12th, 2007 in Winston Salem Civil/Small claims court: XXXXXX vs. Silver Bullet, LLC (or Inc).

  6. Jenny G Says:

    Mark-

    I was one of the former SBC, Inc. co-owners and I can assure you that while Alan may not have been at the store when you shopped, he came in and worked the register every week.

    I left the company in Dec. 2006, so I won’t comment on anything that happened in 2007 when this whole mess started.

  7. Ssalefish Says:

    Thanks, “Jenny G”, there’s a little more for “Mark” to process.

    Meanwhile, I’m hooked up to this lie detector, but all the lights are solid green . . . and I’ve been talking into it for HOURS.

  8. Story Followup LinkBlogging » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] Silver Bullet Comics situation continues to fester, with locals talking about a purported small claims court judgment [...]

  9. Silver Bullet Comics: The Court Files » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] shopping from him until more problems are shown to be resolved, but some people were using my site to propagate rumors about him that have no basis in [...]

  10. Rapture Says:

    Geez…Let it die already. Your sick obsession of bad mouthing a former comic shop is just getting pathetic.

  11. bizarro Says:

    another slew of mass emails is going out again from screwed customers of Silver Bullet’ online store. When will they get satisfaction? Do you plan to still blame ssalefish for the legitimate complaints of people who were ripped off?

  12. Johanna Says:

    Details, please? I’m confused by what you’re saying about customers sending mass email?

    I blamed ssalefish for spreading gossip about a competitor about legal action that apparently never happened; I never said people weren’t being ripped off as well.

  13. ssalefish Says:

    Let it go Indiana, I mean let it go, Johanna. Rember, this is ME posting!

    If anyone has a problem with SBC just cal their store, it has been open for several months in Kernersville, NC. That’s what I would do if I had a problem with ANY bussiness establishment.

    I mass email is going to be deleted, but phone calls are harder to dodge.

  14. Eric Says:

    I pre-purchased 5 comics last April and never received them. I’ve emailed a half a dozen times with no response. I just tried calling the store and it says the number is disconnected. Not only am I out the money but probably can’t get the comics I wanted…at least not at the original price.

  15. clixtruth Says:

    Silver Bullet has reopened in Kernersville, NC (336) 992-4263. If I were you, I would call there do get an answer.

  16. Gwen H. Says:

    Just thought I would put this in more recent Blog area so it would get seen by more to give them more shopping options (and because the experience with selfish comics left such a sour aftertaste) …………….Sad to see that so many of you had such poor luck with SBC, but thought I would put in a word here for someone other than selfish comics Whoops ssalefish comics, there is also a very good comic store in Lewisville by the name of Classic Comics, Tim is the owner there and not as selfish as some, there is also a wonderful comic store in Winston Salem(ssalefish is NOT the only store in winston) by the name of Empire comics, at least at these 2 you won’t be called a traitor for shopping other stores and you won’t be told you can’t purchase but one copy of a comic that there a several of on the shelves, and that you didn’t want to take all of!! (by the way the comics at Empire and Classic are generally MUCH more reasonable), but anyway just my .02¢ sorry if it’s off topic….

  17. clixtruth Says:

    SSalefish Comics is the only store in Winston Salem. Period.

    No store is perfect, but they’ve got everything you could ever need.

  18. Johanna Says:

    Hey, clixtruth, I’d find that a much more believable recommendation if you weren’t posting with a ssalefish email address. You’re obviously not an objective source.

  19. clixtruth Says:

    Now, there’s great journalism- in your leave a commnet space “mail (will not be published)”, but I guess the rules don’t apply when its a mean ole guy who devotes his LIFE to comic books.

    Gee, sorry if I wanted to defend my name against a “customer” who bought 20 copies of Buffy 1 just 2 days apart and then got mad when I wouldn’t sell them all my Sinsestro Corp Wars Tie-ins (6 or 7 copies of the same hot at the moment book) that I had driven to Charlotte to buy at cover price just so some of my customers could get this hot book. How’s that for selfish?

    Johanna, I don’t think you’re an objective source on anything and that is incredibly obvious by reading the rest of your site.

  20. Johanna Says:

    I didn’t publish your email. I just pointed out that you were not, as you were pretending to be, a random commenter, because I try not to let people lie to my readers in comments.

    If you’d have given your side under your own name, in an honest fashion, I’d have thought a lot more of you. Insult me and the site all you want – I think my readers have seen you trying to mislead them to benefit your business enough times by now to now what to think.

  21. clixtruth Says:

    okay, fine, I didn’t really mean to insult you or your site- for a blog it is quite nice and brings up some interesting concepts.

    I had communicated with you under that screen name before when we were tracking down court records.

    I am a comic fan and I have opinions that are often ignored because I own a store. That’s the only reason why I used another name. Its similar to watching Batman last week- I more or less had a private screening on the release night so that I didn’t have to feel like I was “working”, which could have been the case if I had seen it with an audience. It may even be similar to a superhero having a secret identity.

    Sorry for the rambling.

    I’m not even sure why I posted, I don’t want to start a broken record- I’m just trying to defend myself.

    I really meant no offense.

    Do I think I’m being treated fairly? No, not at all, but that’s not the point of your site and you can do with it as you please.

    There are a lot of things in this thread that are unfair towards me and I just get pounded for replying. Maybe that’s an issue for further discussion in the comics industry. Let’s face, the fans are not used to other people standing up to their lashings- whether they be artists, writers, editors, journalists, or retailers.

    Forgive me for standing up for myself.

    Sure, this is an awkward apology, but I think you and all the other people that seem to hate me know what I’m getting at. I have an awkward sense of humor, I want my store to be the best, I want to make money, I want to enjoy my work, I want comics to have a future, I have rules, and I don’t like to take S**&& online from a customer who buys multiple copies of books at my store just to re-sell them to the next shop over because they didn’t order enough Buffy #1’s or Sinestro Corps War tie-ins.

    I’ll just get back to work and keep my nose where it belongs- in my store, which is the only comic shop in my hometown of Winston Salem, NC. It’s more frightening than boastful, but when I started my store I was the third store in town. Now, I’m the only one.

    Johanna, take care and keep up the great work on your site.

  22. John stuart Says:

    If you’d have given your side under your own name,I am a comic fan and I have opinions that are often ignored because I own a store.

  23. BARK Says:

    DOES ANY ONE KNOW IF ALAN DAVIS STILL HAS A STORE OR ONLINE STORE.. NEED TO GET IN TOUCH WITH HIM .

  24. clixtruth Says:

    Hmmmm anyone see Fox 8 news today! It listing the top BBB complaints in North Carolina, Silver Bullet was number 6 and what do you know- didn’t sent goods that were prepaid.

    Copied from FOX8 website: 6. Silver Bullet Comics – Kernersville, NC – Both a bricks and mortar as well as an online store, this company has a pattern of complaints concerning failure to provide the product ordered, and pre-paid for, by the customer. Customers also indicate lack of response from the company to their frequent voice mail messages, emails and forum messages left on the company’s own website. Silver Bullet Comics has 5 unanswered complaints from 2008 and 36 total complaints in the last 36 months. BBB Grade: F

    Full story here: http://www.myfox8.com/wghp-story-bbb-bad-businesses-090213,0,1280810.story

  25. Alan Coil Says:

    Aw, give it a rest, willya?

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