Author Archives: Joshua Hall

Waldo visits Fanfare for July

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Fanfare is once again participating in Kalamazoo’s Where’s Waldo event, hosted by Bookbug? Your favorite bespectacled, stripey cartoon character will be hiding in twenty-five different local businesses, including Fanfare, for the month of July. Bookbug will have prizes for those who spot him around the town.

“Find Waldo Local in Kalamazoo!” passports list off the businesses where Waldo is hiding. You can get yours at Fanfare or any other participationg location. The first 125 Waldo seekers to get their passports stamped or signed at ten or more sites can bring their passports back to Bookbug to collect prizes. Collecting store stamps or signatures at twenty or more businesses will entitle diligent seekers to entry in a grand prize drawing on July 29th, with the top prize being a 6-volume deluxe set of Waldo books. For more information about hunting for Waldo in Kalamazoo, call Bookbug at 269-385-2847.

Join the Battle for Zendikar

Battle for Zendikar Banner

The Battle for Zendikar begins this month.  Attend our events and either aid the forces led by Gideon and Nissa or aid the unknowable Eldrazi as they consume all.

Pre-Release events are on the weekend of September 25th – 27th.  The first will be at Midnight on Friday, September 25th.  The second will be at 10:00 am on Saturday, September 26th.  The third will be at 10:00 am on Sunday, September 27th.  All of these events have limited seating and registration is recommended (details about how our new calendar handles registration click here).  Starting with Battle for Zendikar we will be using a new prizing format for our Midnight and Sunday events.  These events will last for 4 rounds.  Each player will win one Battle for Zendikar pack for each round they score a match win.  Even if you win no matches, you will win one pack.  Our Saturday event will prize out as before, based on attendance and with first place winning a Sealed Box of Battle for Zendikar.

The next Battle for Zendikar events will be the two Friday Night Magic events at 5:00 pm on Friday, October 2nd.  We will hold both a Standard Constructed event and a Booster Draft event (each player receiving 3 packs of Origins 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, October 3rd.  Registration is recommended for this event.

The final events for Battle for Zendikar will be the Standard Constructed Game Days, held on Saturday, October 24th and Sunday October 25th.  Both events will begin at 10am.

We look forward to seeing you!

MTG – Origins is Coming

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The final core set for Magic: the Gathering is right around the corner and we’ll be having a host of events where you can play with these new cards.

First up will be our Pre-Release events.  The first will be at Midnight on Friday, July 10th.  The second will be at 10:00 am on Saturday, July 11th.  The third will be at 10:00 am on Sunday, July 12th.  All of these events have limited seating and registration is recommended (details about how our new calendar handles registration are below).

The next Origins events will be the two Friday Night Magic events at 5:00 pm on Friday, July 17th.  We will hold both a Standard Constructed event and a Booster Draft event (each player receiving 3 packs of Origins with which to build a 40 card deck).  These events do not require registration.

Our last event will be a Sealed Deck, Two-Headed Giant tournament at Noon on Saturday, July 18th.  Registration is recommended for this event.

HOW TO REGISTER

Our new calendar handles registration by “selling” tickets to our events.  We have set up all of our events to have the means of payment as “pay at the door”.  In other words, you don’t have to put in credit card or Paypal information.  Merely enter a little contact information and put the selected ticket in your cart.  When you check out you will only have the option to pay at the door and will receive an email confirmation of your registration (as will we).  If you are going to be signing up for many of our events in the future, you might consider creating a login account for yourself to save the bother of filling in all of that information each time.  If you register and need to cancel, just give us a quick call or email and we’ll put your ticket back into circulation, no worries.  If you have any questions about this process, feel free to call us at 269-349-8866.

Waldo visits Fanfare for July

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Fanfare is once again participating in Kalamazoo’s Where’s Waldo event, hosted by Bookbug? Your favorite bespectacled, stripey cartoon character will be hiding in twenty-five different local businesses, including Fanfare, for the month of July. Bookbug will have prizes for those who spot him around the town.

“Find Waldo Local in Kalamazoo!” passports list off the businesses where Waldo is hiding. You can get yours at Fanfare or any other participationg location. The first 100 Waldo seekers to get their passports stamped or signed at ten or more sites can bring their passports back to Bookbug to collect prizes. Collecting store stamps or signatures at twenty or more businesses will entitle diligent seekers to entry in a grand prize drawing on July 31, with the top prize being a 6-volume deluxe set of Waldo books. For more information about hunting for Waldo in Kalamazoo, call Bookbug at 269-385-2847.

Phil’s Important Comic’s (Week of 6/17/2015)

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Sinestro #12
Written By Cullen Bunn
Art By Brad Walker

That’s right, Sinestro comes out this week. All hail the mighty yellow ring. Recently in the DCU we discovered that the Green Lantern Corps have mysteriously gone missing! Now that the Green Lanterns are M.I.A, who is there to stop Sinestro from bringing order to the universe? The universe is full of chaos, because villains have no one to fear now that Green Lanterns are gone. They will soon learn that the color they need to fear is not green, but yellow. ALL HAIL THE SINESTRO CORPS!

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Robin Son of Batman #1
Written and Drawn By Patrick Gleason

This last year we have seen Damian find his role as the son of Batman, die at the hands of a clone of himself, be brought back to life with the power of a chaos stone, and receive and lose powers comparable to Superman. How can one kid, even the son of Bruce Wayne, handle all of this? In this new series we will see Damian struggle and hopefully deal with all these issues. Plus now he has a giant pet bat. Where did that come from? I can’t wait to pick up this first issue to find out all of this and more.

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Thors #1
Written Jason Arron
Art By Chris Sprouse 

Doom may be God in Battleworld, but his powers have some limitations. While he may have ultimate power, he lacks the ability to be everywhere at once. To aid him in keeping order, he has created a police force of Thors. That’s right Thors! As this cop drama unfolds we will be introduced to not only Thors that we know but new ones as well. Can you image being pulled over for a speeding ticket and Thor walks up to your car?

Jason Aaron has already proven his ability to write Thor by delivering two amazing Thor books and I look forward to reading what he has in store for this title.

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Old Man Logan #2
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Andrea Sorrentino

I don’t know what it is about Logan being an old man that has gotten me so excited. Maybe it’s because I never imagined him getting older due to his healing power, or maybe it’s the idea of seeing him outlive us all. Whatever the case may be, the first issue was amazing and I have high hopes for the second one.

At the end of the last issue we saw Logan climbing a border wall, willingly breaking the laws of Battleworld. What awaits him on the other side of the wall? Why is he daring to cross his region’s border? Hopefully we will find out the answers as Old Man Logan continues.

Phil’s Important Comics (Week of 6/7/2015)

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Spider-Gwen #5
Written by Jason Latour
Art by Robbi Rodriguez
Spider-Gwen has been one of my favorite Marvel books for a while now. The book explores a universe where it was Peter Parker rather than Gwen Stacy who faced a tragic demise and follows Gwen on her adventures as a web-slinging superhero. Exploring this new world is exciting as we are introduced to brand new characters along with some familiar faces in unfamiliar roles.

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Inferno #2
Written by Dennis Hopeless
Art by Javi Garron
The first issue of Inferno introduced us to a world where Magick is lost to Limbo and Hell has come to Battleworld. This version of the X-Men are no longer fighting only the demons of prejudice but instead are battling literal demons that threaten to take over their area of Battleworld. The last issue left off with the X-men being captured by these infernal forces. Hopefully, in this issue, we will see the X-Men prevail.

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Batman #41
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Greg Capullo and Danny Miki
This is the first issue that takes place after the death of Batman. It will be interesting to see what happens when someone other than Bruce Wayne picks up the mantle of Batman. How will the city of Gotham react, let alone all of Bruce’s allies? Will they rally behind this new Bat or will they revolt? I cannot wait to pick up this issue to see what happens!

Phil’s Important Comics (Week of 6/1/15)

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Secret Wars #3

This series has been amazing from the start. If you haven’t picked up the first two issues I highly recommend it. Hickman has been crafting this event since he started writing Avengers. His story culminates with the Marvel Universe, and all other universes, destroyed.  All that is left is Battleworld, a new world stitched together out of these doomed universes. Secret Wars takes us on an interesting journey, describing how the bits and pieces of the various Marvel Universes get along in this new status quo.

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Giant-Size Little Marvel #1

This series is written and drawn by Skottie Young. ‘Nuff Said! Seriously though, as you already know or will know from my future posts, I’m a huge Skottie Young fan, so when I saw this was written and drawn by him I knew I was going to pick it up. Skottie tells the story of his kid version of the Marvel Universe and their day-to-day lives. What’s more fun than seeing kid versions of your favorite Marvel superheroes?

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Future Imperfect #1

Future Imperfect is the continuation of a Marvel two-part story from 1992. We see an older Hulk who has become the ultimate villain, the Maestro. For me any story that shows the Hulk as something more than a big bumbling idiot, I’m game to read it. Throw in the fact he is a genius villain, please just pull me the entire series. The Hulk is the strongest, so why not make him the smartest and the most evil super genius ever? I’m curious to see how he fits into the Battleworld.

Age of Ultron

Based on the 2013 Marvel Crossover Storyline, The Age of Ultron Organized Play event puts you into the events of this epic story.  Rid the world of Avengers and wipe out humanity.  Help the Avengers travel into the past and stop Hank Pym from creating Ultron.  Travel to the future to stop Ultron from concurring the world.

The Marvel HeroClix: Age of Ultron is a four-month storyline Organized Play event that introduces a new resource (The Avengers Round Table) to help players new and old alike fight against (or for) Ultron and his army of robots.

Register to play on our event calendar now to reserve your spot!

The Age of Ultron Begins on June 27th & June 29th, 2015!

Phil’s Quick Look at the June Previews

Looking through the June issue of Previews, I came across a couple of things that piqued my interest. With Previews being so large I’d like to point out a couple of things that you may have looked over.

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How to Pass as a Human

Written by Nic Kelman and drawn by Pericles Junior.  This graphic novel is everything  a newly-formed android would need to pass as a human.  At a whopping 200 pages, it comes complete with schematics, graphics and other useful information to blend in with humans.  The idea of a graphic novel that helps understand humans from the android’s point of view is very interesting.  Just imagine what silicon-based lifeforms would draw or write to explain human anatomy.

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John Flood

Written by Justin Jordan and drawn by Jorge Coelho.  This miniseries follows John Flood who, due to the result of a government experiment, no longer needs to sleep.  An unseen side effect is that he sees patterns that no one else sees, he’s just not sure if what he sees is real or just a waking dream.  I’ve always been a fan of mysteries and I’m excited to see what stories Justin Jordan will be able to weave with a character like John Flood.

It Was Twenty Years Ago, Today (give or take a few years)

Scrye #1 Cover

What you are about to read is a verbatim re-typing of my contribution to the Four Corners: Regional Retail Advisor Reports article in Scrye Magazine #1, from June of 1994 (although I’d have written this sometime in early May).  I’d have changed names to protect the innocent but the only name is mine and I’m far from innocent in this event.  I’ve made every effort to maintain formatting but have added hyperlinks (which didn’t exist back then and besides, this was a print magazine).  While typing this into this post I noticed LOTS of grammatical errors, primarily involving extra commas.  Feel free to comment in any way but bear in mind that I’ve matured a bit since then.  Also of note is that I include our store information as it was then and so most of this information has changed (including that they have our phone number dead wrong).

Joshua Hall
FANFARE COMICS & CARDS
4403 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo
MI  49008
(616) 349-9966

Help!  My Colossus of Sardia is napping in the begonias!

Hello from Kalamazoo, Michigan.  The latest news here on Collectible Card Games is that there is still only one:  Magic: The Gathering.  This will not likely be the case when next I write.  However, for now, Magic is the only game in town.  Ultimately, I would not be upset if it were always the only game of its type, but it is apparent that a virtual flood is coming and so, since variety if the spice of life, I will be there watching and playing all of them.

The Collector’s Market

Actually, there does not seem to be much of a Collector’s market in Michigan.  From all of the people I have talked to, even as far away as Ann Arbor and Traverse City, very few people here seem to be buying the cards for purely collectible purposes.  We do have a dozen or so customers who put sets together, but they are the exception, not the rule.  If the card is not worth playing with, it does not sell well as a single and it does not matter whether it is an Alpha, Beta or whatever.  We seem to have a strong Player’s Market… Pure and simple.

For this reason, my store has put all of the Alpha run away.  Unless someone ask for them specifically, they are not out for sale.  This move was made in the anticipation that eventually the Alphas will become a treasure, even here, and when that happens we want to have something to offer.  The selection, when I compare it to the quickly depleted selection in our Revised Singles, is still quite good.  Hopefully we will eventually gain some collectors, but for now I am willing to be patient.

Revised Edition

My store has sold Sports Cards for years, in packs and as singles.  When Magic was released, it was an easy step to sell singles of these as well.  We have had singles available for Magic for as long as we have been selling the packs.  In fact, there were times when singles were all we had.  I am happy to say that this is not the case any longer.  We keep a binder with nine-pocket pages numbered to keep track of the singles on our price list.  We only keep up to five of any card in a pocket, at any time.  I place the extras aside.  I then take all of these excess cards and make up Spell Packs.  They usually contain between 12 and 24 spells, with no duplication in any pack.  The packs are usually common cards, but there are occasionally uncommon cards mixed in.  The price per card usually works out to be between 10 and 20 cents.  These Spell Packs sell really well for us and keep us from having to keep track of back-up for the singles binder.  The extra Land cards are treated in the same way, but are not a random selection.  I bundle them either as ten of the same type of Land, or as two each of the five types of Land.  I sell these for $1.75, at a steady pace.

The Fanfare Magic League

At the time of writing this article, the Fanfare Magic League has met twice.  On each occasion, the event (which is held on Sunday) has drummed up much interest in the game.  It is easy to see that twenty people, all crammed into the front of the store and all playing the same game, might turn some heads.  We have nine teams of three players each, in the League.  Each player must play doubles against each team twice.  We are going to be awarding trophies for the top finishers and expect the league to last most of the way through Summer.  The store team, Terror Inc., is currently in Second Place (although we are ineligible for the prizes) and I am ranked Seventh.

I am excited about the arrival of Legends and look forward to writing about all of the amazing developments.  See you in Issue #2.