Everything we get asked

Plus some stuff that we WISHED we got asked.



Vault of Midnight Trivia

Question:
What's up with the name? 

Answer:
Vault of Midnight is an amalgamation of Captain Midnight (an old radio serial character-turned-comic-book-character from 1938) and Vault of Horror (EC Comics, 1950). We think the name evokes a sense of the Golden Age of comic books without directly infringing on any copyrights. Probably. Also, it sounds pretty cool. 


Question:
How did Vault of Midnight happen? Who unleashed this thing on to the world? 

Answer:
In the nether reaches of time, way back in 1996, childhood best friends Curtis Sullivan and Steve Fodale actualized their long standing dream and opened a comic shop together. At the time, this was neither advisable nor financially sound; the comic book industry was in the middle of one the biggest crashes in the history of the industry. Comic Shops were dropping like flies all over the country. Sullivan and his wife Elizabeth had just given birth to their second child and Fodale was staring down the beginning of what promised to be a long and lucrative career in finance. Fortunately for the rest of us, none of these very sound reasons were enough to convince the pair not to pursue making Vault of Midnight a reality.

The partners brought unique perspectives to opening a comic shop: Sullivan, with his background as a cook and restauranteur, Fodale with his aforementioned skills in accounting and finance. The upheaval of the industry at the time combined with professional backgrounds not normally applied towards specialty retail made Vault of Midnight a unique animal in the comic book industry from its earliest days. That strange recipe set the stage for Vault of Midnight to become the lauded, growing shop that it is today.


Question:
Didn’t you guys used to be somewhere else?  

Answer:

In Ann Arbor, Vault of Midnight has moved four times. From 1996-99 we were located in a pink house on S. Ashley street; from 1999-2002 we operated out of an old gas station on N. 4th Ave. Until 2006, we were on Liberty street beneath a Chinese restaurant (that some of us still miss very much). In 2010 we moved to S. Main Street in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor.

In 2013 we opened our second location in Grand Rapids, Michigan, again in the smack-dab-middle of the downtown area on Monroe Center St. 

And on May 2nd, 2016 we opened our third shop in sunny, downtown Detroit, Michigan on Library St. 


Question:
What about the children? 

Answer:

What about them? 

Question:
Do you have comics for kids? My understanding is that comics are probably too violent and scary for my child, who is special and smarter than other children.

Answer:

We understand this concern. Some comics totally are too scary for "the children." But many, many more are completely all-age friendly! In every Vault of Midnight, we dedicate a pretty large section of shelf-space to such titles. We hand-pick the selection for our "All Ages" shelves and are confident we can find the perfect book for your kid. Ask us about it next time you're in! It's never to early to get your offspring excited about amazing art and compelling narrative. 

 

 

Book Buying

Question:
Will you buy my comics? 

Answer:
Maybe! We are currently (and usually) looking for comics from 1970s and earlier. If you'd like us to consider your collection, please send us the following info to appraisals@vaultofmidnight.com

  • The titles of your books
  • the issue numbers
  • the year they were published
  • Your contact info (email and phone number)
  • Your Vault of Midnight of choice (Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, etc)

We will get back to you as soon as we can to let you know which books on your list we are interested in taking a look at in person. Then we'll schedule an appointment to meet you and look everything over.


Question:
Well, that sounds like a lot of work. Can't I just bring my comics by the shop?

Answer:
Nope. We don't want to waste your time with books that we can't purchase. Plus we want to make sure that an appraisal and purchasing specialist is actually on hand and available to give you the attention you deserve.


Question:
How long will it take for you to look over my list?

Answer:
We always have a huge back log of lists waiting to be considered. We will try and touch base with you to let you know that your list has been received, but it may take a week or two to properly evaluate your collection and to schedule your appointment. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Appraisals

Question:
Can you appraise my books?

Answer:
Oh, heck yes we can. If you're only interested in seeing what your books are worth, we can appraise your books for you. That way, you'll be armed with the knowledge necessary to sell your books on your own and not get screwed.


Question:
How much does appraisal cost?

Answer:
The service costs $40/hour and at the end of it you will receive a detailed document that breaks down each books value, some notes of interest we found in the grading, and what we think the book will actually sell for.


Question:
That sounds sweet. How can I get my books appraised?

Answer:
Send an email to appraisals@vaultofmidnight.com with the following info:

  • How many books you'd like to get appraised
  • Any restrictions on timing (how quickly do you need your appraisal document?)
  • Your contact info

Then we'll set up an appointment for you to drop your books off at a Vault of Midnight near you.

 

Events

Question:
I want to have an event at Vault of Midnight!

Answer:

Ok, well, that's not really a question. Nevertheless, Vault of Midnight does host events! Shoot us a line at events@vaultofmidnight.com with the following info:

  • What type of event you're looking to organize
  • The dates and times you'd like to have reserved
  • how many people you're expecting
  • Any other info that you think we should know about

Question:
How much does renting out your event space cost?

Answer:
It really depends on the type of event. Will you need Vault of Midnight staff to help out? Are you playing live music? Contact us at events@vaultofmidnight.com and we'll give you a proper quote.


Question:
What if I wanted to rent out the retail space? Like the main floor of the shop?

Answer:
Like for a wedding or something?

Question:
Yeah, maybe! I dunno!

Answer:
It all depends on what you're doing with the space! Shoot us an email at the aforementioned events@vaultofmidnight.com and we can discuss it.


Question:
Cool! Can I have an event at the Grand Rapids or Detroit store?

Answer:
Neither Vault of Midnight Detroit or Grand Rapids have an event space proper, but we do work with local venues, restaurants, and bars to throw and facilitate events. Shoot us a line at events@vaultofmidnight.com and we'll see what we can do.


Question:
Will Vault of Midnight be a part of my event? That will be hosted elsewhere?

Answer:
We might be able to do that! Our staff has been known to travel and help with board game and comic book related stuff, from time to time. Again, shoot us a line at events@vaultofmidnight.com and we'll see what we can do.

 

Donations & Sponsorship

 

Question:
Can Vault of Midnight sponsor/donate to my cause/charity/event?

Answer:
Please send all donation and sponsorship requests to sponsorships@vaultofmidnight.com. Send us some info about your organization and any applicable sponsorship packages.

 

Questions That You need never Ask us in person

Question (asked only to our female staff):
So, do you read comics then? 

Answer:
Yes, man. Come on. 

Comics do not come with a gender litmus test. Women read comics. And it is a safe bet that ANYBODY that works in a comic shop with a website this nice probably has had a chance to READ the things they are surrounded by EVERY DAY. This question is unnecessary and condescending! So you can skip it the next time you're in.

Comics are for everyone! They are for ALL people! Even beings that don't read! Comics are for them too! 


Question:
Where's Sheldon? 

Answer:
Sheldon Cooper is a character from the popular television show The Big Bang Theory. He does not exist in reality and therefore cannot currently be found at any Vault of Midnight location. It is not out of the question that Jim Parsons, the actor portraying Sheldon, will stop by or has visited in one of our locations, but if he has he hasn't announced himself and we were cool about it when we saw him. We understand that our comic shops are large and beautiful and look as if they belong on the set of a carefully manicured, world famous television show. But as a point of continuity and clarity: the character Sheldon doesn't work at a comic shop; he is a patron of the comic shop featured on The Big Bang Theory. 

Please note the above before asking this question at any Vault of Midnight and please note also that you are not funny for thinking of this question; we are asked this at least once a day and have been since the show first aired in 2007. 


Question:
What's your most expensive comic book? 

Answer:
Our most frequently asked question! The answer is: why do you care? We are living through a comic book renaissance! An entire medium is being reborn before our very eyes! Never in history have comic books been so good, so rich in content and character; never have we had such a wealth of talent putting out new stories; never in the history of comic books have there been more books for more kinds of people from every conceivable walk of life. We are on a precipice overlooking what will surely be remembered as the beginning of a new, glorious age in graphic storytelling. 

Our medium has to mature beyond the speculation-based character that it was granted in the 1990s, a period when the only time comic books made headlines was for huge sale quantities or expensive single issue purchases. Now comic book creators are dominating the New York Times bestseller lists; they are winning Macarthur Genius Awards; comic books can be found in libraries and schools across the country and are changing lives as a consequence. 

It's not your fault that you want to know what is the most expensive comic book we have. That's most people's relationship to comic books; hearing about expensive ones. But if it looks like we die inside when you ask us that question, it's because we know that the medium is about a lot more than that now, and that if you give us a chance we can find you a comic book that will change how you see the whole world. You should give us that chance. 

But I'm sure we have a Green Lantern book kicking around that costs $150 or so. I dunno. Let's say it's that one.

 

 

Still Need Help?

 

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