“In summary: us good, them bad.” Part two of my personal adventure follows…

The first Guilded Age print volumes were out, and comic-book store orders were in. As you may recall, Flo was more inclined than I was to lavish funds on the enterprise, sparing no expense to get an oversized, richly colored volume on durable paper.

Perhaps I should also have spared no expense when it came time to ship the books to Diamond Comics Distributors, which was then pretty much the only game in town if you wanted to get into the comics shops. In my budget-conscious thirties, I’d made a lot of use of USPS’s media-mail shipping rates. I’d come to trust it enough that I viewed insurance as an unnecessary add-on.

You can see this coming already, I’m sure. Flo would team up with Diamond rep Jay Spence to explain to me why that had been pennywise and pound-foolish.

The good news was, all the shipping labels made it to Diamond. The bad news was, 201 of the actual books did not. As Spence later told me, “It seems someone at USPS is probably just damaging shipments, cutting the labels, and then writing it off as delivered since the label made the trip. We’ve never really figured out the rhyme or reason for how USPS confirms deliveries because we have a lot of these problems when vendors use them. I’m sorry for the frustration.”

Yeah, I was sorry too!

(Continued tomorrow.)