Store Review: Rodman Comics
318 South Ankeny Blvd
Ankeny, IA 50023
My partner and I just bought a house in Ankeny, Iowa. It’s a suburb of Des Moines (our capital city) with a population of about 50,000. I’ve been living out of state for a couple years and knew very little about Ankeny so I was pretty excited that a quick Google search confirmed that a local comic shop was nearby.
Here’s a TV spot they made!
Tucked into a strip mall on Ankeny Blvd, Rodman Comics is a small shop that has been around for about three years. Rodman’s is cluttered with comics, lining the walls from floor to ceiling and filling the center with bins and storage boxes that are sometimes stacked throughout. Figures and collectibles find space anywhere they can fit. The store is less tidy than you see in the commercial above but it has a very cozy, family-owned feel to it.
New comics line the right wall, older comics are in the center bins, and they have a couple of shelves of comics for kids near the door. Rodman’s also has a handful of board games, including lots of Magic and Heroclix, and many action figures. Collectible art and vintage comics decorate the wall behind the counter.
When I have been in and there are other customers, they were having casual and familiar conversations with staff–joking around, making sure not to release any spoilers, or offering recommendations for an old woman looking for a gift for her young grandson. Although inviting, a key thing missing is music or media playing in the background. Sometimes it can get eerily silent, and in such a small space, it can feel a bit awkward if you are the only customer and not making conversation with staff (or maybe it’s just me that’s awkward).
On my fourth visit, I introduced myself to the man I always saw working behind the counter. Very knowledgeable and friendly, he let me know about the D&D and Magic meet-ups they have weekly, expressing that they are very casual about gaming and they don’t typically see super-competitive people coming in. And they like it that way. A relaxed and friendly atmosphere with lots of nooks and crannies to explore–you are sure to find something for yourself. So, if you are in the ‘burbs of Iowa, stop by Rodman Comics for new or old comics, collectibles, original artwork, or just to chat it up with some good ol’ fashioned Midwestern hospitality.