Author Archives: Josh Upson

Andrew’s Top 10 Comics of 2018

As we move into 2019 we thought it would be fun to share some of the Fanfare Crew’s favorite books and games with everyone out there. Throughout the week you can check out what we loved (and share what you loved) over on our social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Fanfare Blog). Kicking things off is Andrew with his Top 10 Comic Countdown of 2018. Take it away!

Hey everyone, 2018 was a fantastic year for comics and what better way to celebrate them by doing a good old fashion top 10 list! These are my top 10 books from 2018:

10. Where We Live: Las Vegas Shooting Benefit Anthology.

On October 1st, 2017, Las Vegas suffered a horrible tragedy.  Image comics brought together some of today’s top creators to tell stories that honored the victims. 100% of the proceeds from this book go to the non-profit foundation Route 91 Strong.
 
9. Justice League Dark

This book has one of the most insane teams that I can remember. Y’all ever heard of Detective Chimp? He’s a chimpanzee with human-level intelligence that solves crimes. (He’s a detective that is a chimp. – Ed.) Not convinced yet? He also has a sword that can cut through space time! He teams up with Swamp Thing, Zatanna, Man-Bat and Wonder Woman (yes, Wonder Woman) to fight against the magical world in DC comics. 
 
8. The Weatherman

Picture this, you’re the number one weatherman on Mars, your life is good and your best friend is your dog. Sounds good, right? But then…Bam! You are accused of the worst terrorist attack in history and of course you don’t remember doing this. This is all from issue #1 of one of the best new books on the shelves!

7. Venom

Venom was personally never one of my favorite characters, until this story. Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman add some brand new elements to the origins of the symbiote and they are creepy. If you are interested in Venom after seeing the movie or if you really enjoyed Donny Cates run of Thanos, you should check this book out!

6. Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins.

Yes its gerblins, not goblins. This comic is based off of the first story arc from one of my all time favorite podcasts (The Adventure Zone). The Adventure Zone is a real play Dungeon and Dragons podcast where Griffin McElroy is the dungeon master to his two brothers and his father. It is hilarious and heart-felt and one of the best stories I have had the pleasure of hearing. They got the chance to turn their story into a comic with artist Carey Pietsch, and it is an extremely fun ride!
 
5. Gideon Falls

This story is intense so far. You have a young man who thinks he found a conspiracy in the city’s trash and new priest coming to a small town that has some dark and…interesting things happening in it. Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino bring their A game to this new ongoing book!

4. Dark Nights Metal

This book is in my top 3 greatest comic book crossover events of all time! It’s got everything, Gotham getting destroyed, evil versions of Batman from the Multiverse, and a version of Darkseid that I do not want to spoil for anyone that hasn’t read it yet.

3. East of West

You know that story about three of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse being “reborn” as children and hunting down Death? That is just one of the many story lines in this futuristic, western inspired, post apocalyptic tale! Now is the time to catch up on this book because Jonathan Hickman is almost finished with his (in my opinion) best comic to date!

2. West Coast Avengers

If you were a fan of Matt Fraction and David Aja’s run on Hawkeye, or the idea of B.R.O.D.O.K. (AKA the Bio-Robotic Organism Designed Overwhelmingly for Kissing) sounds like something you would be into. Then you need to check out Kelly Thompson and Stefano Caselli’s version of the West Coast Avengers. It is a book that makes me laugh constantly and has jumped to the top of my stack whenever a new issue drops!

1. Mister Miracle

I’m sure any of you that have talked to me in the store knew that this was coming. I am not going to say much about this book because I don’t want anything to be spoiled. Just know that not only is this my favorite comic of the year, it might be my favorite comic of all time!
 
Happy New Year, Everyone!

Fanfare Countdown to Christmas Specials

We are counting down to Christmas with some great specials! All of the specials listed below will be good while supplies last or until we close for the evening on December 24th, whichever comes first. We will be adding new deals daily, so be sure to stay up-to-date as the countdown is happening!

Day 1: Yu-Gi-Oh! Advent Calendar (Regularly $19.99)
Special Price: 40% Off ($11.99)!

Day 2: Pokemon Celestial Storm Booster Boxes & Packs (Regularly $149.99 per box/$4.29 per pack)
Special Price: $99.99 per booster box and $2.99 per pack!

Day 3: Select Graphic Novels [Fantastic Four: Season One, Siege: Embedded, and more]
Special Price: $1.00 each!

Day 4: Magic: The Gathering – Hour of Devastation Booster Packs & Boxes (Regularly $119.99 per box/$3.99 per pack)
Special Price: $89.99 per booster box and $2.99 per booster pack!

Day 5: Final Fantasy TCG Opus II & III Booster Packs & Boxes (Regularly $139.99 per box/$3.99 per pack)
Special Price: $99.99 per booster box and $2.99 per booster pack!

Day 6: Creature Forge and Relic Tokens for Magic: the Gathering (Various prices)
Special Price: 40% Off!

Day 7: Transformers TCG Autobot Starter (Regularly $14.99)
Special Price: $9.99!

Day 8: Teen Titans: Earth One Hardcovers and select Runaways Trade Paperbacks
Special Price: 75% off Regular Price!

Day 9: Star Wars Destiny: Empire At War Booster Packs
Special: Visit the store or call (269)349-8866 for details!

Day 10: Select Pokemon Gift Boxes
Special Price: 40% off! [Selection includes Pin Collection boxes, GX boxes, Premium Collections, and more!]

Day 11: Magic: The Gathering — Signature Spellbook: Jace, Explorers of Ixalan, Gift Box 2017 and Global Series Duel Decks
Special Price: 40% off!

Day 12: Marvel Masterworks & DC Archives Hardcovers
Special Price: 75% off!

Day 13: Yu-Gi-Oh! Legendary Hero Decks 3-Deck Set (Regularly $29.99)
Special Price: $14.99!

Day 14: All Regularly Priced Playmats
Special Price: 30% off!

Day 15: All Dice Masters Products
Special Price: 50% off regular price!

Day 16: Select Magic: The Gathering Commander Decks (Regularly $39.99)
Special Price: – Exquisite Invention (Now $19.99)
                         – Nature’s Vengeance (Now $19.99)

Day 17: Select DC Convergence & Marvel Fear Itself TPBS & HCs
Special Price: 75% off their regular price!

Day 18: HeroClix Fast Forces
Special Price: 40% off!

Day 19: Select Marvelman and Thief of Thieves Paperbacks & Hardcovers
Special Price: 75% off!

Day 20: Marvel Legends Action Figures
Special Price: 50% off! 

Day 21: D&D: Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica Sourcebooks and Playmats
Special Price: 20% off regular price!

Day 22: Select Statues
Special Price: 40% off!

Day 23: All Barbies & Die Cast Cars (including Hot Wheels)
Special Price: 50% off!

Day 24: All New Board Games Regularly Priced at $99.99 or Above
Special Price: 20% Off!

We will be posting new specials daily, so be sure to keep checking back here or on any of our social media pages listed below:

Halloween Comic Fest 2018 Is Here and So Are Matt’s Top Recommendations!

Happy Halloween Comic Fest 2018 Everyone! We look forward to seeing you all come in for free comics and of course to show off your cool costumes!

It is time for my top recommendations for the year…so let’s get into it!

My top book recommendation is Frankenstein by writer/artist Junji Ito.

Horror master Junji Ito blends his signature brand of terror with the classic Mary Shelley tale in this collection.  Also included in this collection are six tales of a boy named Oshikiri and the transdimensional haunted house he resides within. So, whether you are looking to revisit a classic or try something new, this volume has it all!

I can’t possibly recommend Ito’s works enough. We carry quite a bit of Ito’s work regularly, so if you are looking for some of the best horror stories to appear in the comics medium, you owe it to yourself to check it out. Fans of anime may also want to check out the Junji Ito Collection which is streaming free over at Crunchy Roll right now!

My final film recommendation for this year’s countdown is The Devil’s Candy written and directed by Sean Byrne.

Despite this film being available on physical media and Netflix for over a year, it has still flown under many people’s radars. That is a shame since this movie is an absolute modern classic.

The Devils’s Candy a young painter and his family move into a Texas home. However, this is a home with a history. A tragic murder happened years ago within the home and the house itself speaks to chosen inhabitants. Shortly after moving in, the artist finds himself blacking out only to awaken hours later to large demonic paintings he has no recollection of creating. Disturbing as that may be, the situation gets even worse as a deeply disturbed man with a connection to the house decides it is time to come home.

This movie features some of the best acting I have seen in a horror movie in quite some time. If you can handle a film that envelopes you in a deeply disturbing atmosphere and attempts to crush you with layer upon layer of dread then this one is for you.

Thanks for joining me again this year for the countdown everyone! I hope you all enjoy this Halloween season and hope to see you at Halloween Comic Fest!

 

Matt’s Countdown to Halloween Comic Fest: Tomorrow is the Big Day!

Halloween Comic Fest 2018 is tomorrow (Saturday. October 27th)!  Here are Matt’s recommendations for the day!

Today’s book recommendation is the breakout hit Ice Cream Man written by W. Maxwell Prince with art by Martin Morazzo.

Everyone loves the ice cream man right? Well…maybe not so much after you check out this horror anthology series. Each story within Ice Cream Man is a one-shot tale, connected only by the appearance of a mysterious ice cream man. Horrible things befall the recipients of his treats, but we’re not just talking about gastrointestinal distress. We’re talking about strange happenings that involve sorrow, horror, and sometimes redemption. Oh…and at least one with a weird spider.

Something this fun and creepy doesn’t come along often, so be sure to check this one out. The first volume is available now in our graphic novel section. If you dig it, then you will also want to keep your eyes and ears open for a possible television show in the future, as the book was optioned only a few issues into its run!

 

Today’s movie recommendation is Noroi The Curse directed by Kôji Shiraishi.

This is a Japanese film I came across about a decade ago and it has stayed with me ever since. This film follows a group of people documenting real life haunting who unfortunately found more than they bargained for. This film bleeds atmosphere and is hands down the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen. If you can track this one down I highly recommend it.

MATT’S COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN COMIC FEST: 3 DAYS LEFT!

Halloween Comic Fest is 3 days away! Here are Matt’s recomendations of the day to get you in the Halloween spirit!

Today’s book recomendation is Infidel written by Pornsak Pichetshote with art by Aaron Campbell & colors by José Villarrubia.

This chilling story centers around an American Muslim woman and her family living in a haunted apartment building. The twist here is that the entities that haunt the building feed from xenophobia. The book blends an examination of bigotry with the classic haunted house story. I don’t want to give too much away about this one, but in my opinion this is one of the best books of the year.

The art is especially noteworthy with haunting imagery that will make your spine tingle. It reminded my of Jock’s work in the book Wytches, but it amplifies the creepiness found there by 10 fold. The whole story is now available in a single volume available in our graphic novel section. Be sure to check it out if you like thoughtful and terrifying horror.

Today’s movie recommendation is Dagon directed by  Stuart Gordon.

Stuart Gordon is no stranger to the works of H.P. Lovecraft. He has directed numerous Lovecraft adaptations such as Reanimator, From Beyond, and Dreams in the Witch House. With Dagon, Stuart Gordon takes on adapting one of Lovecraft’s most well-known works The Shadows Over Innsmouth.

If you’re a fan of Lovecraft, you know the story: a group of friends that have been sailing wash ashore in a fishing town after something attacked their ship. They soon find out something is very “fishy” about the townsfolk and start to unravel the mystery of the cult of Dagon.

In my opinion this is the best movie adaption of an H.P. Lovecraft story that I have seen. You need to check it out.

And…while it is more of a wish than a recommendation, let’s all keep our fingers crossed that someday we will get to see a Guillermo del Toro adaptation of  Mountains of Madness!

Matt’s Countdown to Halloween Comic Fest: 4 Days Left!

Only 4 days to go until Halloween Comic Fest 2018! Here’s Matt with today’s recommendations. [Editor’s note: Due to some technical issues this post went up a day late. My apologies.]

Today we have 2 book recommendations! The first one up is Redlands written by Jordie Bellaire with art by Vanesa R. Del Rey .

Redlands tells the story of a power struggle happening in the small town of Redlands, Florida. The police are losing control of their town and rather than your typical criminal enterprise attempting to fill that vacuum, a coven of witches are the ones who look to take everything for themselves. This book weaves a tale that mixes elements of modern politics with the style of a southern gothic horror story. The writing mixed with Vanesa R. Del Rey’s stunning surreal art makes this book an experience you don’t want to miss. You can catch up on the series with Volume 1 which is available in our graphic novel section and check out new issues as they hit our shelves!

My second book reccomendation is Aliens: Dead Orbit which features the writing and art of James Stokoe.

There have been Aliens comics for almost as long as I can remember. Now, all of them haven’t been so great, but once in a while a special one comes along that transports you into that world and Dead Orbit is one of those books. The book captures the dread and claustrophobia of the first film and makes this an absolute must for fans of space horror or the Aliens films. 

Today’s movie recommendations is Tales of Halloween which features the talents of numerous directors.

This movie features a fun modern collection of stories in the classic horror anthology vein of Trick R Treat. The movie features ten stories packed with laughs, shocks and buckets of blood. This is a fun flick I recommend seeing right away to put you in the Mood for Halloween. If you want to check this one out you can find it on Blu-ray, DVD, or streaming on Netflix.

 

Matt’s Countdown to Halloween Comic Fest 2018: 5 Days To Go!

Only 5 days to go until Halloween Comic Fest 2018! With so little time left, we better get right to the recommendations!

Today’s comic recommendation is Winnebago Graveyard by Steve Niles and Alison Sampson.

Master horror writer Steve Niles (30 Days of Night) brings us this short, but chilling story.

Winnebago Graveyard brings us the story of a family on a cross country vacation in their RV. During a pit stop to a small town to pick up necessities they quickly find out that they should have stopped ANYWHERE else! Their detour sets off a downward spiral of mystery and horror that, while it may make for a memorable vacation, isn’t the sort of trip anyone is looking to have.

Steve Niles is such a fun writer when he is doing horror and Alison Sampson’s art pops right off the page. This is one comic you don’t want to overlook this year, so be sure to check it out next time you stop in the store! 

Today’s film recommendation is the 2018 modern classic Hereditary by writer/director Ari Aster.

Now what kind of a list would this be if I didn’t talk about 2018’s biggest horror film?

This movie is absolutely fantastic. The visual direction is stunning and surprisingly so when you take into account that this is Ari Aster’s directorial debut for a full length film.

The story of Hereditary revolves the loss of a family’s matriarch. Upon her passing, strange things start happening to the family, particularly the grandchildren. The story itself is a well researched and unsettling tale of a family tormented by an unknown presence (ala the Babadook) while at the same time playing out as a family drama centered on exploring feelings of loss and grief. Toni Collette delivers an amazing performance with an emotional weight that draws you in and the supernatural elements of the film will keep you on the edge of your seat.

While the film isn’t perfect, it does deliver an incredibly creepy experience with amazing directing. It is currently available on DVD and Blu-ray. Also, sneaking in an extra recommendation here, if you like Heriditary you may want to check out Pyewacket on Hulu. 

Matt’s Countdown to Halloween Comic Fest 2018: 6 Days Left

It’s Fanfare’s own connoisseur of all things creepy Matt here! We only have 6 days until Halloween Comic Fest is here and I am counting down with comic and movie recommendations to keep the season spooky. 

Today’s movie recommendation is the 2017 Paco Plaza vilm Verónica.

Verónica is a teen living with her mother and two younger siblings in Madrid. Veronica awakens a presence one day when she hosts a seance while attending her Catholic school. What follows is a tale of possession and demonic force which, on paper, looks like it treads on familiar grounds. However, the execution of the movie is so well done it overcomes the common genre tropes and gives the movie an original feel. This movie establishes an atmosphere of dread heightened by amazing visuals that you don’t want to overlook. A subtitled version of the film is currently available for you to check out on Netflix.

Matt’s Countdown to HCF 2018: 7 Days to Go!

There’s a chill in the air. Leaves are blowing on the howling wind. Something…is coming. That something is Halloween Comic Fest 2018! On Saturday, October 27th we will be giving away tons of free Halloween comics and if you stop by in costume, we will feature you on our social media pages! 

The thing is…we can’t wait until then for the fun to start. So Matt, Fanfare’s own connoisseur of all things creepy, is counting down to HCF with daily horror comic and movie recommendations! Let’s kick off the 2018 countdown! 

 
Oh, you’re still here? I haven’t scared you away quite yet? Well then I guess I owe you a movie recommendation. 
 
My first movie recommendation is the Netflix Original Movie: The Ritual.

Six months after the death of their friend, a group of college classmates reunite to honor his passing with a memorial hike along the Kungleden in northern Sweden. During the hike, an injury occurs that causes the group to take an ill-fated shortcut. What follows is atmospheric horror filled with occult rituals and a stalking creature that will haunt your dreams. Check out the secrets of The Ritual…if you dare!
 
Well, that’s it for the first day of the countdown. Be sure to check in tomorrow to see what other fiendish delights we have in store!

Panini NBA Player of the Day 2018

The Panini NBA Player of the Day Promotion runs Monday, March 5th  through April 3rd!

The prizes this year are amazing. Winners have chances at:

  • Special Player of the Day Promotional Card Packs [Click here for a preview of this year’s set]
  • A Signed Henry Ellenson (Detroit Pistons) Photo 
  • Store grand prize: A numbered Andre Drummond autograph card plus entry into Panini’s national sweepstakes where you could win a day with an NBA player and a $250.00 shopping spree at Fanfare

How to Play

Step 1 – You can enter by purchasing a pack of 2017-18 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 any of the Wild Cards (Damian Lillard, Kyrie 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 may only be 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 kit provided by Panini. Weekly winners will then be put into a raffle to win the store’s grand prize, an autographed Andre Drummond card.

Step 4 – At the conclusion of the 30-day promotion, we will randomly select one of the four weekly winners as the store grand prize winner. The winner will be awarded the grand prize, an autographed Andre Drummond card, and entered into the Panini national sweepstakes where they have a chance to spend a day with an NBA player and a $250.00 shopping spree at Fanfare!

Step 5 – After we have selected our grand prize winner, we will then do a drawing for our runner-up prize, an autographed photo of Detroit Piston Henry Ellenson! All of our daily winners, with the exception of our grand prize winner, will be entered in this drawing!

Here is a look at both our grand prize and our runner-up prize:

 

First up, the grand prize (an autographed Andre Drummon card):

 

And our awesome runner-up prize, an autographed picture from Detroit Piston Henry Ellenson: