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May & June 2017 Previews: Carman’s Picks

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Generation Gone #1

(W) Ales Kot, Andre Araujo (A/CA) Andre Araujo, Chris O’Halloran

Publisher: Image Comics

America, 2020. Three young hackers with nothing to lose. A secretive scientist with a plan. One final job. 
What happens when you’re poor, angry, and get superpowers you never asked for? Skins + Unbreakable = GENERATION GONE, sort of- if you also include multiple trips to the sun, weird black goo, a breakup fight inside a nuclear factory, love, hate, anger, loss…and survival. GENERATION GONE is for every kid struggling out there. It’s about what it means to be young in the USA, 2017.

Okay, the time is right. I’m ready for a new Ales Kot book. His work has always had a lot to say about current social issues (just check out the last two sentences in the solicit) so not having a book from him for a while has felt like something was missing. Very much looking forward to this one.

 

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Bottled TP

(W/A/CA) Chris Gooch

Publisher: IDW – Top Shelf

Jane is sick of her dead-end life in the suburbs, and desperate for a change. Her old friend Natalie made it out, living in Japan as a fashion model. Now, as Natalie comes back to town on business, Jane sees a way for her friend to do her a favor… whether she likes it or not.

Can’t say I know much outside of the solicit on this one, but the preview of the art looks fantastic. I will definitely be giving this a shot.

 

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Redlands #1

(W/A) Jordie Bellaire (W/A/CA) Vanesa Del Rey

Publisher: Image Comics

A brand-new horror book from the minds of Eisner Award-winner JORDIE BELLAIRE (PRETTY DEADLY, Vision, Batman) and critically acclaimed artist VANESA R. DEL REY (ZERO, Scarlet
Witch, Constantine) brings you to the sleepy, sunny town of Redlands, Florida. The police are failing to maintain control of their old-fashioned town, and a coven of killer witches plan to take everything from them. This summer, hide your bibles.

New creator-owned horror! That’s usually enough for me to give something a chance, but on top of this one sounding like the right kind of creepy for me, we’ve also got Jordie Bellaire jumping into writing. Her coloring work is excellent and I look forward to seeing her work more with another medium.

 

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Savage Town OGN

(W) Declan Shalvey, Philip Barrett (A/CA) Philip Barrett, Jordie Bellaire

Publisher: Image Comics

In Limerick City, Jimmy “Hardy” Savage is a gangster on the rise, facing trouble from all sides. With the local cops, rival gangs, his best mate, and his mammy all out to stick a knife in him, will the bollocks live long enough to get to the top? More importantly, will he pay me back for that fiver I gave him last week?
  
From the savage minds of DECLAN SHALVEY (All-Star Batman, INJECTION), PHILIP BARRETT, and JORDIE BELLAIRE (Vision, THEY’RE NOT LIKE US) comes an original Irish graphic crime novel that’ll leave you gaspin’…for a pint!

Speaking of Jordie Bellaire and branching out, here we’ve got an original graphic novel with Jordie Bellaire on colors and husband Declan Shalvey on the writing team. You may know Shalvey from his artwork on great books such as Injection and Moon Knight. Great to see him doing some writing, as well!

 

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Ghost Money #1

(W) Thierry Smolderen (A/CA) Dominique Bertail

Publisher: Lion Forge Comics

At the end of the year 2020, a team of military veterans are out to uncover a secret fortune built from the ashes of 9/11 so vast that it could disrupt the entire global economy. Their primary target is a beautiful young billionaire who crosses time zones with disconcerting ease.

The premise here sounds like it could make for a good political thriller. I’m digging the art for this cover and especially the cover for issue two. Looking up the creative team, it seems that Smolderen is an essayist and Bertail is a concept artist. That could be just the right mix for a book like this.

 

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Astro City #47

(W) Kurt Busiek (A) Mike Norton (CA) Alex Ross

Publisher: DC Comics

Meet G-Dog, possibly ASTRO CITY’s most unusual superhero ever. Half man, half dog – but who’s running the show? The answers will change a life, reveal another hero’s deepest secrets, and possibly, just possibly, save the world. Oh, who are we kidding… they’ll definitely change the world. Do you see that handsome face? Also featuring Honor Guard, with guest art by Mike Norton (Revival, Battlepug).

Look at that Ross cover. If you’re not already reading one of the greatest superhero books going, now is the time to jump on. Quick note — this is solicited as #47 even though the artwork says #46.

Hour of Devastation Complete Event Listing!

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Hour of Devastation is almost here and we have a ton of opportunities for you to join in the fun!

Here is the list of all of the Hour of Devastation events we have planned. You can click on any of the links for more information and to reserve seats for events when applicable:

If you want to know more about these events, but don’t feel like clicking on all of the links, no worries! Scroll down and you will find a description of each event type below:

Hour of Devastation Open House
[Saturday, July 1st from 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm]

This is a free event where new players are encouraged to attend free teaching sessions from 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Our resident Magic experts will provide new players with decks and teach them the game. Veteran players are encouraged to come out to enjoy casual league style play throughout the day. All participants, new and veteran, will receive special promotional cards.

After the teaching sessions are done, all players are invited to stick around and enjoy some casual league-style play from 3:00 pm until 8:00 pm!

Hour of Devastation Pre-Release Weekend Events [July 8th-9th]

Once you’ve brushed up on your skills during the Open House, it is time to get ready for our Hour of Devastation Pre-Release events!

Pre-release events are sealed format events.

For your entry fee of $30.00 you receive:

  • 4 booster packs of Hour of Devastation, 2 booster packs of Amonkhet
  • Randomized date-stamped premium promo card
  • Spindown life counter
  • A “Five Hours” activity card.
  • Insert with deck-building advice

We have two prizing formats for our pre-release events:

  • Packs for All Prizing: These tournaments last for four rounds of Swiss Play. Participants in this format win one Hour of Devastation pack for each round they score a match win. Even if a player wins no matches, they will still receive one extra pack. [Players with undefeated records will walk away with a total of 4 extra packs.]
  • Sealed Box Prizing: The number of rounds for this tournament is determined by the number of participants. 1st place receives a sealed booster box of Hour of Devastation! Extra packs are awarded to other players based on the final standings. The more players that participate, the further down the standings we are able to prize.

In addition to the extra packs of Hour of Devastation you can win at each event, we will also be awarding cool door prizes to randomly selected participants. Door prizes include, but are not limited to, promotional posters and standees from previous Magic: The Gathering sets!

Follow any of the three links below to reserve your spot in your preferred pre-release events:

Hour of Devastation Draft Weekend [July 15-16th]

Amonkhet Draft Weekend is your chance to build up your Amonkhet collection while enjoying draft format play with the local Magic community! Not only that, for each draft weekend event you participate in you will receive a special dated foil promo card!

The Draft Weekend events are:

Magic League: Hour of Devastation Season
[Tuesdays July 18th-August 8th]

Join the Fanfare Hour of Devastation League to play with other members of the Magic community and have some fun!

League play is a fun way to build up a collection of the new set and enjoy casual play.

The league will run on Tuesdays from 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm starting on July 18th through August 8th.

The Hour of Devastation League works as follows:

  • Players may join the league at any time. The league will run for a 4 week period.
  • To join the league, inform a Fanfare employee. You will then purchase 2 Hour of Devastation booster packs and 1 Amonkhet pack from which you can build a 30 card minimum deck (we provide land). In addition to the packs, you will also receive a special league card storage box, league card to track your matches, and a special promotional 4-sided die.
  • Every week, players will add a booster pack (either Amonkhet or HOD) to their pool, rebuilding as often as players would like. Players can also add a booster after three losses.
  • Matches consist of a single game. Each player gets one free mulligan at the start of the game.
  • Players will play against each other, earning Planeswalker Points and, of course, bragging rights.
  • Additional prizes will be awarded for various achievements over the course of the league.

Standard Showdown Sundays [Free Events!]

Standard Showdowns are free Standard Format tournaments where you can win special promotional Standard Showdown booster packs!

These events will be held on Sundays at 12:00 pm between July 23rd and September 10th.

[Please note: There is no Standard Showdown event on the Sunday of August 6th]

Prizing for this event comes in the form of special Standard Showdown Promotional Booster Packs! These packs include chances at mythics, full art lands, and premium cards from Standard Legal sets!

Everyone who plays receives 1 free Standard Shodown Promo Pack! You can also earn additional packs for the following:

  • Being a player who is new to Magic (playing at a Showdown as your first official event)
  • Bringing along a player who is new to Magic (bringing someone who has not played at an official event)
  • Going undefeated in the day’s tournament

This is a FREE event! Grab your deck, come out and have some fun!

Hour of Devastation Game Day [Saturday, August 5th at 10:00 am]

Bring your best Standard deck and compete to become the Game Day Champion of Fanfare. Top finishers earn special prizes, including full-art promo cards and a playmat for the winner. All participants receive a special promo card!

Game Day is a Sanctioned Standard Constructed Tournament.

The event will run Swiss rounds with a cut to the top 8 players.

The number of Swiss rounds will be based upon the number of participants.

The top 8 players will receive an extra special promo foil full art card in addition to the aforementioned participation card. 

Store credit will also be awarded based on participation.

Feb/March/April 2017 Previews: Carman’s Picks

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Roughneck

Publisher: Gallery 13

(W/A/CA) Jeff Lemire

From the New York Times-bestselling author and award-winning creator of Essex County, Descender, and The Underwater Welder comes an original graphic novel about a brother and sister who must come together after years apart to face the disturbing history that has cursed their family. Derek Ouellette’s glory days are behind him. His hockey career ended a decade earlier in a violent incident on ice, and since then he’s been living off his reputation in the remote northern community where he grew up, drinking too much and fighting anyone who crosses him. When his long-lost sister Beth shows up, on the run from an abusive boyfriend, the two escape to a secluded hunting camp in the woods. There, living off the land, they reconnect with each other, the painful secrets of their past, and their Cree heritage…and start to heal. But Beth’s ex-boyfriend is hunting them. As he circles closer, he threatens to shatter this newfound peace and pull both Derek and Beth back into the world of self-destruction they’ve fought so hard to leave behind. Touching and harrowing, this is a deeply moving and beautifully illustrated story about family, heritage, and breaking the cycle of violence.

Somewhere in the middle of writing (and sometimes drawing) several stellar ongoing series, Jeff Lemire has found time to also produce this original graphic novel for Simon and Schuster’s new imprint, Gallery 13. I will always check out all things Lemire, but the description here has me sold. Lemire really knows how to capture the nuances of nuclear family and I can’t wait to see how that takes shape here.

 

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Black Monday Murders #5 and The Dying & The Dead #4

The books highlighted in these articles are almost always series premieres, but Jonathon Hickman gets a special pass. The Dying and the Dead has been on hiatus for a little over a year and a half and it’s so good to see it regularly solicited again. On top of that, we also see the second arc kick off for Black Monday Murders, a comic that may very well be my #1 of 2016. If you haven’t been reading either one of these books, jump on them now.

 

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Victor LaValle’s Destroyer #1

Publisher: Boom! Studios

(W) Victor LaValle (A) Dietrich Smith (CA) Micaela Dawn

When the last descendant of the Frankenstein family loses her only son to a police shooting, she turns to science for her own justice…putting her on a crash course with her family’s original monster and his quest to eliminate humanity. An intense, unflinching story exploring the legacies of love, loss, and vengeance placed firmly in the tense atmosphere and current events of the modern-day United States.

A story amalgamated from classic horror and modern headlines will take serious craft to pull off. I wasn’t actually familiar with Victor LaValle before hearing about Destroyer, but after looking into his work a bit, I’m definitely interested to see the direction the creators take it in.

 

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Eternal Empire #1

Publisher: Image Comics

(W/A/CA) Sarah Vaughn, Jonathon Luna

JONATHAN LUNA (ALEX + ADA, THE SWORD, Spider-Woman: Origin) and SARAH VAUGHN (ALEX + ADA, Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love, Ruined) return with ETERNAL EMPIRE, a fantasy epic!

The Eternal Empress has waged war against the countries of Saia for over one hundred years and now her sights are set on the last country standing. Within the brutal Empire’s workforce, a young woman receives strange visions that give her the courage to escape her fate…or run straight toward it.

I still haven’t read Alex + Ada, but it’s been recommended to me several times since it first published. While I’m keeping that on my reading list, I’m going to jump on Eternal Empire from the beginning this time.

 

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Bug: The Adventures of Forager #1

Publisher: DC Comics

(W) Lee Allred (A/CA) Michael Allred

An all-new Young Animal miniseries begins! Forager is just one of the Hive before he breaks out of his cocoon and finds himself in a mysterious house in an unknown realm. There he meets all kinds of strange creatures: a ghostly girl, a talking teddy bear and otherworldly weirdos that have literally jumped out of his worst nightmares. But these interdimensional oddballs are nothing compared to the evil General Electric, who is on the hunt for a reality-bending metal that could alter the fabric of life itself. To stay one step ahead of him and preserve the multiverse, Forager must travel through alternate dimensions to seek the metal and, hopefully, catch up with that cagey stuffed bear. If he does it, will he finally be able to distinguish himself as a New God?
DC’s Young Animal celebrates Jack Kirby’s centenary with this new six-issue miniseries-and who better to tackle this task than the Eisner Award-winning Allred clan! Featuring scripts by Lee Allred (BATMAN ’66), art by Michael Allred (Silver Surfer) and colors by Laura Allred (Lady Killer), BUG! is truly a family affair.
MATURE READERS

More craziness from DC’s Young Animal. I have really enjoyed the likes of Doom Patrol, Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye, and Shade the Changing Girl. Here’s hoping that Young Animal keeps that momentum for their fifth book in the lineup. Granted I’m not too worried about that because MIKE ALLRED IS DOING THE ART. If you’ve never read anything of his, go grab that X-Statix omnibus right now.

 

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Winnebago Graveyard #1

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Steve Niles (A/CA) Alison Sampson, Stéphane Paitreau, Jordie Bellaire, Aditya Bidikar

SERIES PREMIERE
An American family traveling on vacation finds themselves stranded in a small town with a sinister secret.

There’s not a whole lot to go on beyond the short solicit and cover art, but I’m in. Maybe it’s having just seen Get Out and binge-listening to most of S-Town, but there’s enough here to have me intrigued.

 

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Peter Parker: Spectacular Spider-Man #1

Publisher: Marvel Comics

(W) Chip Zdarsky (A/CA) Adam Kubert

SPIDER-MAN RETURNS TO THE FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD!
The webslinging, wallcrawling wonder returns to New York City in the all-new PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN. A companion series to the best-selling Amazing Spider-Man series, Peter Parker is going back-to-basics for big heroics in the Big Apple. Featuring adversaries old and new, be there as Spider-Man returns to his friendly neighborhood for his never ending battle against crime and the dreaed “Parker Luck”.
Rated T

I’ll say it. I’m not a big Spider-Man fan. I don’t dislike him or anything, but I’ve just never been overly interested. In the past few years, the main Peter Parker related things that really grabbed my attention were Spencer and Lieber’s Superior Foes of Spider-Man and Chip Zdarsky’s portrayal of Spider-Man in his Howard the Duck. Well, well. It looks like Applebee’s greatest friend is now getting his very own Spider-Man book. I guess it’s time to see what this spider guy is all about.

 

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Unsound #1

Publisher: Boom! Studios

(W) Cullen Bunn (A/CA) Jack Cole

Ashli’s first day as a nurse at Wiermont Psychiatric Hospital turns into a nightmare as a bloody riot sends her fleeing into the bowels of the hospital. Her descent takes her to a hellish world populated by lunatics and monsters, cloaked in a secret history of black magic and heinous scientific experiments.

I’m always on the lookout for a good horror book. I may be too chicken for horror games and a lot of horror movies, but books are different. Maybe it’s having more control over the material or the less immediate stimulus, but horror books hit the right spot for me. Also, the line “secret history of black magic” makes me think of Black Monday Murders which we’ve established is a very good thing.

 

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Secret Weapons #1

Publisher: Valiant Comics

(W) Eric Heisserer (A/CA) Raul Allen

Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Eric Heisserer (Arrival) joins Harvey Award-nominated artist Raúl Allén (Wrath of the Eternal Warrior) for Valiant’s next prestige format limited series, starring Livewire and an extraordinary new team of heroes! The government has dispatched Amanda McKee – the technopath codenamed Livewire – to investigate the ruins of a secret facility formerly run by Toyo Harada, the most powerful telepath on Earth and her former mentor. In his quest for world betterment at any cost, Harada sought out and activated many potential psiots like himself. Those who survived, but whose powers he deemed to have no value to his cause, were hidden away at this installation. But Livewire, having studied Harada’s greatest strengths and learned his deepest weaknesses, senses opportunity where he once saw failure. A young girl who can talk to birds… A boy who can make inanimate objects gently glow… To others, these are expensive failures. But, to Livewire, they are secret weapons…in need of a leader. Now, as a mechanized killer called Rexo seeks to draw them out, Livewire and her new team of cadets will be forced to put their powers into action…in ways they never could have imagined…

I’m still relatively new to the Valiant universe, but I’ve been really impressed with pretty much everything I’ve read. One of the biggest highlights for me was The Valiant, another event of theirs. Valiant has such a way with portraying the modern superhero, and the fact that the screenwriter for Arrival is on board certainly seals the deal for me. I’m very much looking forward to adding this one to my Valiant collection.

Unrivaled Tournaments come to Fanfare

Unrivaled logo

 

During the months of May and June Fanfare will be hosting 18 board/card game tournaments as a part of the Unrivaled Tournament Series 2017.

Unrivaled is on a path to bring the way tabletop tournaments are played to the next level. The Tournament Series 2017 starts in satellite locations, like Fanfare, where participants (aged 13+) vie for advancement to Regional Tournaments and ultimately to the Finals, which will be held in Las Vegas and will award $10,000 to the winner of each of the six games.  Integrating with oomba.com, a platform for planning, organizing and running tournaments for many types of games, Unrivaled hopes to transform how stores and other venues administer gaming events.

This year features six games:

Here is a list of all of our Unrivaled Tournament events:

King of Tokyo:  Saturday, May 13th, 10am :: Sunday, May 21st, Noon :: Saturday, June 17th, 3pm
Nevermore:  Saturday, May 13th, 3pm :: Sunday, May 28th, Noon :: Saturday, June 24th, 10am
Epic Spell Wars:  Saturday, May 27th, 10am :: Sunday, June 4th, Noon :: Saturday, June 10th, 3pm
Munchkin:  Saturday, May 27th, 3pm :: Sunday, June 11th, Noon :: Saturday, June 17th, 10am
Ascension:  Saturday, June 3rd, 10am :: Sunday, June 18th, Noon :: Saturday, June 24th 3pm
Villages & Villains:  Saturday, June 3rd, 3pm :: Saturday, June 10th, 10am :: Sunday, June 25th, Noon

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Amonkhet Events Galore!

There are so many opportunities for you to enjoy the new Magic: The Gathering expansion, Amonkhet!

First up we have a complete list of the upcoming events and following that we provide some further descriptions just in case you want more details on the individual events.

You can click on any of the links for more information. The links will also take you to the relevant pages to reserve tickets for events like the Amonkhet Pre-releases.

That’s a whole lot of Magic fun! We hope to see you at some or all of these awesome events. Read on for more information about each of the event types:

Amonkhet Open House [Saturday, April 15th from 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm]

This is a free event where new players are encouraged to attend free teaching sessions from 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Our resident Magic experts will provide new players with decks and teach them the game. Veteran players are encouraged to come out to enjoy casual league style play throughout the day. All participants, new and veteran, will receive special promotional cards.

After the teaching sessions are done, all players are invited to stick around and enjoy some casual league-style play from 3:00 pm until 8:00 pm!

Amonkhet Pre-Release Events [April 22nd-23rd]

Once you’ve brushed up on your skills during the Open House, it is time to get ready for our Amonkhet Pre-Release events!

Pre-release events are sealed format events.

For your entry fee of $30.00 you receive:

  • 6 Amonkhet booster packs
  • Randomized date-stamped premium promo card
  • Spindown life counter
  • The Five Trials of the Gods card to complete for rewards
  • Insert with deck-building advice

We have two prizing formats for our pre-release events:

  • Packs for All Prizing: These tournaments last for four rounds of Swiss Play. Participants in this format win one Amonkhet pack for each round they score a match win. Even if a player wins no matches, they will still receive one extra pack. [Players with undefeeated records will walk away with a total of 4 extra packs.]
  • Sealed Box Prizing: The number of rounds for this tournament is determined by the number of participants. 1st place receives a sealed booster box of Amonkhet! Extra packs are awarded to other players based on the final standings. The more players that participate, the further down the standings we are able to prize.

In addition to the extra packs of Amonkhet you can win at each event, we will also be awarding cool door prizes to randomly selected participants. Door prizes include, but are not limited to, promotional posters and standees from previous Magic: The Gathering sets!

Follow any of the three links below to reserve your spot in your preferred pre-release events:

Amonkhet Draft Weekend [April 29th-30th]

Amonkhet Draft Weekend is your chance to build up your Amonkhet collection while enjoying draft format play with the local Magic community! Not only that, for each draft weekend event you participate in you will receive a special dated foil promo card!

The Draft Weekend events are:

  • Event 1: Saturday, April 29th at 4:00 pm.
    • Entry: $15.00 per player
    • Format: Booster draft tournament.
    • 3 Rounds of Swiss Play
    • Prizing includes Store Tournament Credit for top players
  • Event 2: Sunday, April 30th at 12:00 pm
    • Entry: $30.00 per 2-player team
    • Format: Two-Headed Giant Draft
      • Each team receives six packs and drafts together as teammates. This method of drafting results in packs being passed during six rounds of drafting. Participants draft in order to build their team’s card pool from which they construct two forty card minimum decks.
      • After the draft phase, teams enjoy 3 Swiss rounds of 2-Headed Giant Fun.

Magic League: Amonkhet Season

Join the Fanfare Amonkhet League to play with other members of the Magic community and have some fun!

League play is a fun way to build up a collection of the new set and enjoy casual play.

The league will run on Tuesdays from 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm starting on May 2nd and ending on May 23rd.

The Amonkhet League works as follows:

  • Players may join the league at any time. The league will run for a 4 week period.
  • To join the league, inform a Fanfare employee. You will then purchase 3 Amonkhet booster packs from which you can build a 30 card minimum deck (we provide land). In addition to the packs, you will also receive a special league card storage box and a league card to track your matches.
  • Every week, players will add a booster pack to their pool, rebuilding as often as players would like. Players can also add a booster after three losses.
  • Matches consist of a single game. Each player gets one free mulligan at the start of the game.
  • Players will play against each other, earning Planeswalker Points and, of course, bragging rights.
  • Players that participate in 10+ games will receive a special Amonkhet 4-sided die!
  • Additional prizes will be awarded for most new player referrals and at random.

Standard Showdown Sundays [Free Events!]

Standard Showdowns are free Standard Format tournaments where you can win special promotional Standard Showdown booster packs!

These events will be held on Sundays at 12:00 pm between May 7th and July 2nd.

[Please note: There is no Standard Showdown event on the Sunday of May 21st]

For these events players can win Standard Showdown Promotional Packs for the following achievements:

  • 1: Going undefeated for 3 rounds (8-16 players) or 4 rounds (16+ players)
  • 2: Having attended the previous Showdown (not available for the 1st event on May 7th)
  • 3: Being a player new to Magic Tournaments
  • 4: Bringing a player new to Magic Tournaments.

Each week up to 9 packs will be awarded with priority prizing being weighted from achievements 1 to 4 (achievement 1 being weighted the most, then 2, etc…). 

For more information about this new event click here.

This is a FREE event! Grab your deck, come out and have some fun!

Amonkhet Game Day [Saturday, May 20th at 10:00 am]

Bring your best Standard deck and compete to become the Game Day Champion of Fanfare. Top finishers earn special prizes, including full-art promo cards and a playmat for the winner. All participants receive a special promo card!

Game Day is a Sanctioned Standard Constructed Tournament.

The event will run Swiss rounds with a cut to the top 8 players.

The number of Swiss rounds will be based upon the number of participants.

The top 8 players will receive an extra special promo foil full art card in addition to the aforementioned participation card. 

Store credit will also be awarded based on participation.

Panini NBA Player of The Day 2017 Promotion


NBAPurchase 2016-17 Panini NBA products throughout March for your chance to win exclusive promotional packs, an autographed Reggie Jackson card (pictured below), and maybe even the grand prize, a day with an NBA Player along with a $250.00 shopping spree!

How to Play

Step 1 – You can enter by purchasing a pack of 2017 Panini brand NBA Cards. This includes popular brands such as Donruss, Hoops, Revolution and others. There is a no-purchase-necessary option as well (ask us to see the official rules for details).

Step 2 – To win, you must open a pack of cards you have purchased in front of a store employee. If you “pull” the highlighted Panini NBA Player of the Day or either of the Wild Cards (Kyle Irving, Kevin Durant) you are a daily winner and will receive two special promotional packs on the spot.

You can also become an automatic daily winner by purchasing a box of any eligible product.

Each time you are a daily winner you earn one raffle entry towards being that week’s “weekly winner”.

You can become a daily winner once a day and up to seven days a week.

Step 3 – Four times during the promotion we will randomly select one of the daily winners as a weekly prize winner and award a prize package from a prize kit provided by Panini. Weekly winners will then be put into a raffle to win the store’s grand prize, an autographed Reggie Jackson card.

Step 4 – At the conclusion of the 32-day promotion, we will randomly select one of the four weekly winners as the Panini NBA Player of the Month winner. The winner will be awarded the grand prize (an autographed Reggie Jackson card) and additional prizes from the prize kit.

Step 5 – The store grand prize winner will also be entered into the national sweepstakes with a chance to spend a day with an NBA player and a $250.00 shopping spree!

Store Grand Prize:
Reggie Card

January 2017 Previews: Carman’s Picks

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Grass Kings #1

Publisher: Boom! Studios

(W/A/CA) Matt Kindt (A/CA) Tyler Jenkins

From The New York Times bestselling writer Matt Kindt (Mind MGMT) and Peter Panzerfaust artist Tyler Jenkins comes a rural mystery series chronicling the tragic lives of the Grass Kings, three brothers and rulers of a trailer park kingdom, a fiefdom of the hopeless and lost, of the desperate poor seeking a promised land.

Eldest brother Robert leads a grief-stricken life, having lost his daughter to a tragic accident, followed by his wife disappearing one morning never to return.
When an enigmatic young woman named Maria flees to their community in search of safe haven, Robert takes her in. Will his decision lead to ruin and retribution dooming the Kingdom?
Perfect for fans of True Detective Season One or Scalped.

Oversized, prestige format first issue featuring 30 pages of story!

The panels shown for Grass Kings in the new Previews look great. I’ll always give a Kindt book a shot, but there is a lot to be excited for, here. I’ve not read Peter Panzerfaust, but Tyler Jenkins’ art seems like it will fit the tone of this book really well. It’s not uncommon for solicits to recommend books for “fans of ______” to draw people in, even if it can be a stretch. However, from the little I’ve seen of Grass Kings, I’ve got faith that Kindt and Jenkins can evoke that feeling of eerie, rural depravity as seen in the like of True Detective season one (how great is it that they have to specify that it’s just season one of True Detective?). Also, as much as I love the artistic work of Matt and Sharon Kindt, it will be neat to see someone else do watercolors for one of their books. 

 

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Royal City #1

Publisher: Image Comics

(W/A/CA) Jeff Lemire

DOUBLE-SIZED DEBUT ISSUE! NEW ONGOING SERIES written and illustrated by JEFF LEMIRE (DESCENDER, A.D., Sweet Tooth). ROYAL CITY charts the lives, loves, and losses of a troubled family and a vanishing town across three decades. Patrick Pike, a fading literary star who reluctantly returns to the once-thriving factory town where he grew up, is quickly drawn back into the dramas of his two adult siblings, his overbearing mother, and his brow-beaten father, all of whom are still haunted by different versions of his youngest brother, Tommy, who drowned decades ago. ROYAL CITY is a return to the literary and thematic territory of LEMIRE’s breakthrough graphic novel Essex County and is his most ambitious, and most personal, project to date.

Admittedly, the often melancholy themes of Jeff Lemire books like Essex County and Underwater Welder are not for everyone. Some folks turn to comics for a fantastical escape from reality, and that’s totally fine. Others don’t mind steeping themselves in the sometimes depressing, slice of life books that can remind us both of how grim reality can be, as well as how comics can be such a cathartic medium. While I enjoy lots of different books, I definitely fit into that latter group and I’m very much looking forward to what Lemire has in store with Royal City.

 

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The Wild Storm #1

Publisher: DC Comics

(W) Warren Ellis (A/CA) Jon Davis-Hunt

A troubled woman, barred by her employer from continuing her research, walks miserably through New York City. It takes her a moment to notice that everybody else is looking up. A man has been thrown from the upper floor of the Halo skyscraper.

And that woman-Angela Spica, sick from the transhuman implants she’s buried in her own body-is the only person who can save him.

What she doesn’t know is that the act of saving that one man will tip over a vast and secret house of cards that encloses the entire world, if not the inner solar system. This is how the Wild Storm begins, and it may destroy covert power structures, secret space programs and even all of human history.

New York Times best-selling writer Warren Ellis (TRANSMETROPOLITAN, RED, PLANETARY) returns to DC to curate Jim Lee’s WildStorm world, with this debut issue resetting the WildStorm universe with new iterations of Grifter, Voodoo, the Engineer, Jenny Sparks and others.

“I couldn’t be more excited to see these characters that are so near and dear to me reintroduced under the guiding hand of Warren Ellis. WildStorm represents an incredibly fun and exciting period in my career, and I can’t wait to see what Warren and Jon have in store for fans in February.”-Jim Lee, DC Comics Co-Publisher
RATED T+

This is cheating a little bit as it’s actually The Wild Storm #2 that’s in the newest issue of Previews, but I missed the first one last month. I’ve been really impressed with the recent launch of DC’s Young Animal imprint, and with Warren Ellis at the helm, I’m on board for The Wild Storm (the reboot of 90s imprint Wildstorm). Plus, now I’ve got extra motivation to finish that copy of The Planetary Omnibus sitting on my shelf!

 

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American Gods: Shadows #1

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

(W) Neil Gaiman (A) P. Craig Russell (CA) Glenn Fabry

NEIL GAIMAN! P. CRAIG RUSSELL! SCOTT HAMPTON! Shadow Moon just got out of jail, only to discover his wife is dead. Defeated, broke, and uncertain as to where to go from here, he meets the mysterious Mr. Wednesday, who employs him to serve as his bodyguard – thrusting Shadow into a deadly world of the supernatural, where ghosts of the past come back from the dead, and a brewing war between old and new gods hits a boiling point. The Hugo, Bram Stoker, Locus, World Fantasy, and Nebula award-winning novel and upcoming Starz television series by Neil Gaiman is adapted as a comic series for the first time!

Here’s another literary universe I’ve been neglecting for too long. Yes, I’ve been recommended American Gods a good handful of times, and I think this is the kick in the butt I need to finally read that book. Call me a bad comics reader, but I have to confess that I’ve yet to read any Neil Gaiman. Yeah, yeah I know. I’ll read Sandman one day.

 

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Underwinter #1

Publisher: Image Comics

(W/A/CA) Ray Fawkes

SERIES PREMIERE! “SYMPHONY,” Part One-Critically acclaimed creator RAY FAWKES launches his new monthly horror series: UNDERWINTER, twisted portraits of our dark world, beginning with the perverse, topical SYMPHONY – a beautifully painted tale of music and cruelty in the modern age.

There’s not much to go on from the solicitation, but I enjoyed Gotham by Midnight – a DC horror book also written by Ray Fawkes. This one is perfect for fans of Se7en and Mozart in the Jungle season two!

That’s a callback joke, y’all.

 

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Afar TP

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Leila Del Duca (A/CA) Kit Seaton

In a fantastical post-industrial desert, fifteen-year-old Boetema suddenly develops the ability to astral project to other planets while she sleeps. When she accidentally gets a young man hurt on a planet light-years away, she must figure out a way to project back to save him. On her own world, Boetema’s two parents have temporarily left her and her thirteen-year-old brother, Inotu, to make a living as salt shepherds. Left to their own devices, the two siblings must flee across a dangerous desert when Inotu gets into trouble with a threatening cyborg bodyguard. As Boetema visits amazing planets and encounters vibrant cultures, she must confront her mistakes and learn to trust in Inotu as she navigates her newfound abilities.

You could probably make a book from each sentence in this solicitation, but I’m interested to see it all thrown together in one volume. Plus, I’ve got trust in the team behind Shutter to make some strange and compelling science fiction. 

Aether Revolt Events

The Aether Revolution is upon us!

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The second installment of the Kaladesh block is almost here and we hope you come and enjoy the fun with us!

Pre-Release events are on the weekend of January 14th-15th and for this release we are going to be giving out door prizes! We will randomly choose attendees during each event who will receive Standard Showdown packs in addition to their event winnings.  

Door prizes aren’t the only new thing we are adding to our pre-release events. If you prefer to play in the 4-round packs-for-all matches we have good news. We have changed our packs-for-all prizing so that you have a chance to win not just 4 new packs of Aether Revolt, but instead you have a chance to win 5 brand new packs based on how you do. To learn more about this prizing structure, click on the links for either our Midnight event on Friday (technically Saturday, January 14th at 12:01 am), or on the link for our event at 10:00 am on Sunday, January 15th.  If you prefer to play in the longer event for a chance to win a full sealed box of Aether Revolt, you will probably want to reserve your seat in our Saturday event that takes place at 10:00 am.

The full schedule of pre-release events is as follows: the first event will be at Midnight on Friday, January 13th (technically 12:01 am the 14th).  The second will be at 10:00 am on Saturday, January 14th.  The third will be at 10:00 am on Sunday, January 15th.  All of these events have limited seating and registration is recommended (details about how our new calendar handles registration click here).

The next Aether Revolt events will be the two Friday Night Magic events at 5:00 pm on Friday, January 20th.  We will hold both a Standard Constructed event and a Booster Draft event (each player receiving 3 packs of Kaladesh with which to build a 40 card deck).  These events do not require registration.

Our third type of event will be a Sealed Deck, Two-Headed Giant tournament at Noon on Saturday, January 21st.
This event does not require registration.

The final event for Aether Revolt will be the Standard Constructed Game Day, held on Saturday, February 11th.
This event does not require registration.

We look forward to seeing you!

September & October 2016 Previews: Carman’s Picks

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Locke & Key: Small World

Publisher: IDW Publishing

(W) Joe Hill (A) Jay Fotos (A/CA) Gabriel Rodriguez

Three years after wrapping up their award-winning, best-selling Locke & Key saga, the team that built Keyhouse returns to Lovecraft, Massachusetts with a new tale of terror and suspense! An impossible birthday gift for two little girls unexpectedly throws open a door to a monster on eight legs!
•   You never thought it’d happen but… the Eisner-winning series returns to unlock a special tale from Keyhouse’s sordid past!
•   All-new 24-page story by series creators Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez, and Jay Fotos!
•   Variant cover by “Behind You” creator Brian Coldrick, Mouse Guard’s David Petersen, Wraith’s Charles Paul Wilson III, and an incentive Small World Key photo cover from Skelton Crew Studios, too!

Locke & Key is one of my all time favorite series, and I can’t wait to revisit the world that Hill and Rodriguez created together. If you’ve got any interest in a horror/fantasy-tinged tale of loss and coming of age (and written by Stephen King’s son, to boot), definitely check out Locke & Key

 

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A.D. After Death: Book One

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Scott Snyder (A/CA) Jeff Lemire

What if we found a cure for death?
Two of comics’ most acclaimed creators, SCOTT SNYDER (WYTCHES, Batman, American Vampire) and JEFF LEMIRE (DESCENDER, Moon Knight, Sweet Tooth) unite to create a three-part epic like no other, set in a future where a genetic cure for death has been found. Years after the discovery, one man starts to question everything, leading him on a mind-bending journey that will bring him face-to-face with his past and his own mortality. A unique combination of comics, prose, and illustration, A.D.: AFTER DEATH will be serialized monthly as three oversized prestige format books written by SNYDER and fully painted by LEMIRE.

What an exciting team up! Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a time Jeff Lemire did the art for a story that he didn’t write himself, aside from covers and panels here and there. The mix of mediums for this sounds like it could do some really cools things, as well. I’m a fan of both of these creators and I can’t wait to see what they can do together.

 

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Ether #1

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

(W) Matt Kindt (A/CA) David Rubin

A science-minded adventurer gets mixed up in the mysteries of a fantasy world in this charming new adventure from an award-winning creative team. Boone Dias is an interdimensional explorer, a scientist from Earth who has stumbled into great responsibility. He’s got an explanation for everything, so of course the Ether’s magical residents turn to him to solve their toughest crimes. But maybe keeping the real and the abstract separate is too big a job for just one man.

This is a book by Matt Kindt that has the adjective “interdimensional” in the description. Of course that’s going to get me to buy it. If you’ve not read Kindt before, pick up his current ongoing deep sea murder mystery Dept. H or a volume of the cerebral MIND MGMT.

 

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Frontier #1

Publisher: Image Comics

(W/A/CA) Jonathon Hickman

SERIES PREMIERE

“TRANQUILITY”
Double-sized first issue!
The planets have aligned, and the prodigal son has returned! For the first time in eight years, JONATHAN HICKMAN (EAST OF WEST, BLACK MONDAY MURDERS, Secret Wars, Avengers) is both writing and drawing a new comic series: FRONTIER.

It’s like Star Trek, but super depressing.

Seriously. Not a joke. The final frontier…is a total bummer.

Each issue contains galaxy-expanding bonus content like star maps, breakdowns of alien races, interstellar factions, and detailed spaceship schematics. FRONTIER is a brand new science fiction story about utopia lost, and how we might just gain it back.

This edition of Previews has been heavy on creators that are an automatic buy for me, and Jonathon Hickman is certainly one of them. I’ve been a fan of his writing for quite some time and now I’m excited to see some of his art, as well. Nightly News is an earlier work of his that was both written and drawn by him, and I think it’s time I check that one off of the backlog. Also, I’m not sure how many of us there are out there, but you can count me among the group of people who would get excited for a book described as “like Star Trek, but super depressing.”

Panini NFL Player of The Day Promotion 2016


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We are happy to be a participating store in Panini’s NFL Player of the Day Promotion. What is the Player of the Day Promotion? Well, it is your chance to win special promotional packs of Panini brand football cards and a chance for you to win our store’s grand prize, an autographed card of  Taylor Decker (pictured below)!

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How to Play

Step 1 – You can enter by purchasing a pack of 2016 Panini brand NFL Cards. This includes popular brands  such as Score, Certified, Prestige and others. There is a no-purchase-necessary option as well (ask us to see the official rules for details).

Step 2 – To win, you must open a pack of cards you have purchased in front of a store employee. If you “pull” the highlighted Panini NFL Player of the Day or either of the Wild Cards (Andrew Luck or Dez Bryant) you are a daily winner and will receive two promotional packs on the spot. You can also become an automatic daily winner by purchasing a box of any eligible product. For each daily win you also will earn one raffle entry to be that week’s weekly prize winner. You may win once a day and up to seven days a week.

Step 3 – Four times during the promotion we will randomly select one of the daily winners as a weekly prize winner and award a prize package from a prize kit provided by Panini. Weekly winners will then be put into a raffle to win the store’s grand prize, an autographed Taylor Decker card.

Step 4 – At the conclusion of the 32-day promotion, we will randomly select one of the four weekly winners as the Panini NFL Player of the Month winner. The winner will be awarded the grand prize (an autographed Taylor Decker card) and additional prizes from the prize kit.

Step 5 – The grand prize winner will also be entered into the national sweepstakes with a chance to spend a day with an NFL player!