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February 2019 Previews: Carman’s Picks

B.P.R.D.: The Devil You Know #15

FEB190276

April 17, 2019

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

(W) Mike Mignola, Scott Allie (A) Laurence Campbell (CA) Mike Mignola

After fifteen years of B.P.R.D. comics, the series reaches its explosive conclusion!

No, you’re crying.

 

Ascender #1

FEB190010

April 24, 2019

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Jeff Lemire (A/CA) Dustin Nguyen

“THE HAUNTED GALAXY,” Part One
Powerhouse creative team JEFF LEMIRE and DUSTIN NGUYEN launch an all-new sequel series to DESCENDER with the launch of ASCENDER!  

Set ten years after the conclusion of DESCENDER’s storyline, magic has taken the place of machinery and the rules are very different indeed… Mila, the daughter of Andy and Effie from DESCENDER, spends her days exploring the lonely wilds of the planet Sampson and trying to stay out of the clutches of the evil disciples of the all-powerful vampire witch known only as Mother. But, like her parents, Mila doesn’t like to play by the rules, and when a certain robot pal of her dad’s shows up, nothing will ever be the same! 

With all the scope and heart of the sci-fi classic DESCENDER, LEMIRE and NGUYEN reunite to take readers on an unforgettable fantasy quest!

Though some long-running series like B.P.R.D. are ending, other series are returning. Sort of, anyway. Ascender is technically a new series but is also a sequel to Lemire and Nguyen’s Descender. If you’ve not read Descender yet, you’ve got some catching up to do on one of the best books to come out in the past few years.

 

Queen of Bad Dreams #1

FEB192076

April 24, 2019

Publisher: Vault Comics

(W) Danny Lore (A/CA) Jordi Perez

When a dream entity known as a figment emerges from a dreamer’s mind, it’s Daher’s job as an IJ to track them down and make the call: reinsert the figment, or grant them agency in our world. After an especially powerful figment escapes the dreams of an even more powerful politician’s son, Daher is pulled headlong into an investigation that traces all the way back to the incident that sent dreams, even nightmares, spilling into our reality.

I keep hearing about Vault Comics knocking it out of the park with their new series and it’s time I jump on the wagon from the beginning. I’ve been hearing some great initial impressions of Queen of Bad Dreams and I’m really looking forward to checking this one out. Plus, look at this variant cover!

 

Little Girls

FEB190018

April 24, 2019

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Nicholas Aflleje (A/CA) Sarah DeLaine, Ashley Lanni

Something hunts people on the outskirts of town…

Sam and Lielet are two new friends living in Ethiopia. They’re dealing with the kind of problems that all kids have: judgmental social cliques, condescending adults, alienation… and a legendary brain-eating monster straight out of folklore. Sure, it’s not going to be easy, but all they have to do is live through it.

Showcasing a quietly unsettling plot and building tension similar to NICK DRNASO’s Sabrina and ADRIAN TOMINE’s Killing and Dying, debut creative team NICHOLAS AFLLEJE and SARAH DeLAINE construct a poignant story of otherness and mystery.

The premise paired with the setting for Little Girls certainly has a promising hook. It doesn’t sound wholly dissimilar from other pitches for new series from Image but namedropping Sabrina and Killing and Dying has me very intrigued on the pacing and tone of this one. 

 

Hot Comb

FEB191682

May 15, 2019

Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly

(W/A/CA) Ebony Flowers

Hot Comb offers a poignant glimpse into Black women’s lives and coming of age stories as seen across a crowded, ammonia-scented hair salon while ladies gossip and bond over the burn. The titular story is about a young girl’s first perm-a doomed ploy to look cool and to stop seeming “too white” in the all-black neighborhood her family has just moved to. Realizations about race, class, and the imperfections of identity swirl through Flowers’ stories, which are by turns sweet, insightful, and heartbreaking.

Drawn & Quarterly is another publisher that I’d like to start reading more regularly and I’m excited to read Hot Comb. I’d not heard of Ebony Flowers but I really enjoyed the preview on her website. Learn more about her here!

Panini’s 2018-19 NBA Player of The Day Promotion Starts March 4th!

The Panini NBA Player of The Day Promotion Runs March 4th – April 2nd!

Starting on Monday, March 4th and running all the way through close on Tuesday, April 2nd you have the chance to open some Panini NBA cards and win cool prizes!

This year’s prizes include 2 promotional Player of the Day card packs per daily win, plus posters, top loaders, and more! The store grand prize card this years is an autographed Luke Kennard card which you can see below!

Plus, this year you can become a Daily Winner twice a day, seven days a week! That means you can win more promotional packs and more entries in the Weekly Winner raffles!

You can check out all of the details below. We hope to see you soon!

How to Play

Step 1 – You can enter by purchasing either eligible packs or boxes of 2018-19 Panini brand NBA Cards. This includes popular brands such as , Hoops, Revolution, Complete and others. There is a no-purchase-necessary option as well (ask us to see the official rules for details).

Step 2 – This year you can become a Daily Winner up to two times a day! There are two ways to become a Daily Winner:

  1. If you buy packs, then all you have to do is open those packs in front of a store employee and pull that day’s highlighted Player of The Day or one of the promotions’ wild card players. If you do, then you will receive 2 promotional POTD packs plus you will get your name on our Daily Winners list where you could win even more prizes. Each pack can only win once even if you pull multiple winning players.
  2. For each eligible sealed box you purchase you will automatically become a Daily Winner. [1 box = 1 Daily winner entry plus 2 POTD packs]

Each time you are a daily winner you earn one raffle entry towards being that week’s Weekly Winner.

Step 3 –  At the end of each week of the promotion (4 times total) we will have a random drawing from that week’s list of Daily Winners to determine our Weekly Winners. Each Weekly Winner will receive special prizes and earn a raffle entry towards becoming the store’s grand prize winner.

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 store grand prize winner will be awarded the an autographed Luke Kennard card, plus their name will be entered into the Panini national sweepstakes where they have a chance to win a prize package that includes spending a day with an NBA Player plus a $250.00 shopping spree at Fanfare!

Check out this year’s Store Grand Prize card:

January 2019 Previews: Carman’s Picks

Black Hammer 45 #1

JAN190412

Mar. 6, 2019

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

(W) Jeff Lemire, Ray Fawkes (A/CA) Matt Kindt, Sharlene Kindt

During the Golden Age of superheroes, an elite Air Force crew called the Black Hammer Squadron was formed to fight the Axis powers. With occult threats from the German side, this team must save a family of scientists from the Nazi’s, but the mysterious and dangerous Ghost Hunter is hot on their trail. From the World of Black Hammer comes a truly gripping tale of war and intrigue!

Here it is — the Lemire/Kindt dream team (having Fawkes involved is great, too!). I’ve been dying to know what this book was going to be since Jeff Lemire tweeted this last September. Though I would have evaporated into a gust of ethereal whooshing if somehow their project was Twin Peaks-related like Matt Kindt hinted in his reply to Lemire’s tweet, I think this is safer for my health. Black Hammer and its spin-offs have been some of the best comics on the stands and I can’t tell you how excited I am to have another book in that universe that sounds like 1940s B.P.R.D. with Lemire, Kindt, Kindt, and Fawkes at the helm.

 

Invisible Kingdom #1

JAN190409

Mar. 20, 2019

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

(W) G. Willow Wilson (A/CA) Christian Ward

Set in a in a far-flung star system, this new epic sci-fi monthly saga tells the tale of two women-a young religious acolyte and a hard-bitten freighter pilot-who separately uncover a vast conspiracy between the leader of the system’s dominant religion and the mega-corporation that controls society. On the run from reprisals on both sides, this unlikely pair of rebels risk plunging the world into anarchy if they reveal the truth. But when your beliefs betray you, what choice is there left?
By Hugo Award-winning writer G. Willow Wilson (Wonder Woman, Ms. Marvel) and Eisner Award-winning artist Christian Ward (Black Bolt, ODY-C).

G. Willow Wilson has been writing some of the best Big Two books in the past few years and it’s exciting to see her with a new, creator-owned book. Invisible Kingdom is the latest Berger Books title, an imprint of Dark Horse spearheaded by legendary editor Karen Berger. The story sounds rad and a great premise for some cosmic Christian Ward art.

 

Assassin Nation #1

JAN190122

Mar. 13, 2019

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Kyle Starks (A/CA) Erica Henderson

SERIES PREMIERE! Hot off her breakout success at Marvel, two-time Eisner award winner ERICA HENDERSON (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Jughead) teams up with KYLE STARKS (writer of sales beast Rick and Morty) for a hilarious twist on the hitman trope that will have readers laughing in the aisles over ASSASSIN NATION.
The World’s Former Greatest Hitman hires the 20 best assassins in the world to be his bodyguards. These mean-as-hell hired guns and murderers must work together to keep the new crime boss safe while attempting to solve the mystery of who’s trying to off him.
With the same laugh-until-you-cry spirit of action-comedies like Hot Fuzz, Tropic Thunder, and Deadpool, ASSASSIN NATION is the bombastic, side-splitting murder-fest you’ve been waiting for.

Wistful Stan, F*** Tarkington, Smuch Walker, Desert Regal, and Dave are just some of the assassin names that will appear in this book.

 

Exo HC

JAN191943

Jan. 23, 2019

Publisher: Humanoids Inc

(W) Jerry Frissen (A/CA) Philippe Scoffoni

A hard sci-fi story about the intersection of spatial exploration and earthy invasion. Near future. NASA is confident it finally discovered an exoplanet likely to accommodate life. Located 4 light-years from earth, Darwin II creates a lot of questions and is scheduled for imminent exploration by a space probe. At the same very moment, an orbital space station is struck by a missile shot from the moon, killing several astronauts. Coincidence or conspiracy?

Humanoids is a company that I’d mostly known for publishing The Incal, the renowed series by Jodorowsky and Moebius. That changed a few months ago when they announced their hiring of John Cassaday as their Chief Creative Officer and Mark Waid as their Director of Creative Development. Since then, I’ve certainly had my eye out for their books and Exo looks like a great (see creepy, sci-fi) place to dip my toes in. 

 

Daredevil #1 & Spider-Man: Life Story #1 (of 6)

DEC180841 & JAN190927

Feb. 6, 2019 & Mar. 20, 2019

Publisher: Marvel Comics

(W/A) Chip Zdarsky (A) Marco Checchetto (CA) Julian Totino Tedesco // (W/CA) Chip Zdarsky (A) Mark Bagley

CLASSIFIED

//

In 1962, in AMAZING FANTASY #15, 15-year-old Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider and became the Amazing Spider-Man! Fifty-seven years have passed in the real world since that event – so what would have happened if the same amount of time passed for Peter as well?
A special high-end limited series that’s a part of the celebration of Marvel’s 80th anniversary, SPIDER-MAN: LIFE STORY combines the talents of Chip Zdarsky (SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN, MARVEL 2-IN-ONE) and Mark Bagley (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN) to tell the entire history of Spider-Man from beginning to end, set against the key events of the decades through which he lived!
In this first oversized issue, when Flash Thompson is drafted to serve during the Vietnam War, Spidey must weigh the question of where his responsibility truly lies!

Listen, I’m sure y’all know about Daredevil by now since Chip Zdarsky HISSELF made this promotional video for Fanfare. I should clarify that by “know about it,” I mean that you know it’s a book called Daredevil and that the solicitation just says “CLASSIFIED.” Zdarsky’s other newly-announced Marvel endeavor is Spider-Man: Life Story — a miniseries swinging readers through the history of the classic character, decade by decade. After Ed Piskor’s slick X-Men: Grand Design, it’s cool to see Marvel doing another one of these retrospectives. 

 

Little Bird #1 (of 5)

JAN190099

Mar. 13, 2019

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Darcy Van Poelgeest (A/CA) Ian Bertram

MINISERIES PREMIERE! 
Director/screenwriter DARCY VAN POELGEEST boasts a long list of awards and accolades for his storytelling prowess and brings the same writing finesse to IAN BERTRAM’s breathtakingly detailed artwork in the gorgeous, hyper-detailed miniseries LITTLE BIRD.
With the same limitless scope as a new EAST OF WEST or SAGA and the drama and surrealism of Akira, LITTLE BIRD follows a young resistance fighter who battles against an oppressive American Empire and searches for her own identity in a world on fire.

All in all, we’ve only got about a one line description of the story in Little Bird, but sometimes less is more.The preview for this book looks cool and it’s always fun to take a chance on an Image #1.

Josh’s 2018 List

Welcome to the first annual J-Up Awards! During this year’s ceremony we will be celebrating some of Josh’s favorite comics of 2018. So, let’s crack some envelopes and get to it!

Best New Publisher of 2018: Ahoy Comics

Ahoy Comics entered the world this year and comics is all the richer for it. The publisher’s slogan “Expect More” is exemplified in their comic book magazine format. Their titles (which include High Heaven, Wrong Earth, Captain Ginger, and the sleeper hit Edgar Allen Poe’s Snifter of Terror) feature not only ongoing comic stories, but the books themselves feature material like creative prose short stories, essays, and back-up comics in each and every issue.

Now, all of that wouldn’t mean anything if the stories weren’t good. But here’s the thing, so much of what they have put out is great! Wrong Earth has been telling an excellent story wherein a Batman 66 style superhero finds himself in a grim-dark 90’s universe (and vice versa) with amazing art from Jamal Igle. Grant Morrison’s back-up prose stories have been great throughout the line’s launch. High Heaven, which focuses on a man named David Weathers who is in heaven…but hates it, is equal parts hilarious and sad. Captain Ginger features cats in space! And…well, we sold out of Edgar Allen Poe’s Snifter of Terror so quickly that I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I hear its great.

I hope Ahoy keeps the momentum in 2019 and that more publishers aim to cram as much creativity and energy into their books as Ahoy has managed to do in 2018. They set the bar high.

Best Series Featuring a Green-Themed Hero [Marvel]: The Immortal Hulk by Al Ewing and Joe Bennett

In this newest iteration of the Hulk, Ewing cleverly revisits the original dynamic between Bruce Banner and his angrier side: night time is the Hulk’s time. That’s right, rather than the Hulk coming out whenever Banner gets angry, the Hulk comes out at night. Oh, and the Hulk cannot die (though Banner can). Oh…and if this sounds like a premise for a horror movie, that is because this series has reinvigorated the Hulk concept by introducing aspects of the horror genre to his story. I cannot say enough about this book, Al Ewing is Marvel’s most underrated writer and the work he is doing with Bennett by his side is incredible.

Best Series Featuring a Green-Themed Hero [DC]: The Green Lantern by Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp

Okay, so I am a mark for anything Grant Morrison, but this book really caught me off guard with just how much I am loving it. This book was pitched as being, essentially, Hal Jordan: Space Cop, and it delivers on that front. We get to see some inner workings of the Corps with trappings of a police procedural.  

At the same time this is still an extremely weird and fun superhero book. Liam Sharp’s art is incredibly detailed and fully immerses you in the alien locales the book visits. The alien designs are wild…we’re talking creatures whose heads are erupting volcanoes, we’re talking a Green Lantern who is a sentient flu, and so much more that you need to see. His style almost makes this feel like a 2001 AD story but with enough visual connective tissue to ground it in the DCU. I find it to be a unique and rewarding aesthetic.

Morrison’s scripts have been filled with humor, adventure, and a sinister plot that I cannot wait to see more of in 2019. If you want to get weird with the GL Corps, look no further.

Best Dairy Based Crossover: Milk Wars by a murderer’s row of creators.

This Young Animal/DCU crossover felt like it was custom made for me. Doom Patrol team up with members of the JLA to take down a Superman analog known as Milkman Man who was born of nothing and now threatens the multiverse due to his employment by an evil corporation who are looking to homogenize the multiverse? Yeah. SIGN.ME.UP.

But wait, there’s more! All of the Young Animal books get a chance to crossover. We’re talking Cave Carson teaming up with Swamp Thing to battle evil Funko Pops, Shade the Changing Girl vs. a twisted version of Wonder Woman, and Mother Panic vs. Father Bruce Banner in a fight to free the citizens of Gotham City.  

Oh, and Frank Quitely did the covers. So. So. Good.

This event was bizarre, fun, and creative in the way that only comics can be and that is why I love it so much. The event stands on its own, but if you are a Doom Patrol fan, I would suggest reading all of Vol. 1 and 2 before you dig in as there are some slight spoilers for that series in the pages of Milk Wars. That said, more comics events should be this ambitious and fun in my opinion.

Best Horror Barn Mind Trip Of The Year: Gideon Falls by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino

Jeff Lemire is one of the best writers currently working in contemporary comics. So, when he announced that his project Gideon Falls was a “character-based meditation on obsession, mental-illness, and faith” inspired  by works such as David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, I was already sold on checking out the book.

What he and Andrea Sorrentino have delivered is even better than I could have imagined. The story focuses on two main protagonists: Father Wilfred and Norton. Father Wilfred is a priest who has arrived in the rural town of Gideon Falls to take over their local parish, though his faith may be waning. Norton is a man living in a city who suffers from some undefined mental illness. Their lives are connected, in ways we are still discovering, by The Black Barn, a mysterious building whose appearance leaves in its wake terror, madness, and confusion.

As always, Lemire’s character work here is phenomenal. The emotions of all the characters are realistic and their doubts, motivations, and confusion aren’t merely understandable in a clinical sort of way, but felt by the reader as well.

Sorrentino’s storytelling and art in this series is masterful. Conversations and quieter moments are given weight by his choice of character focus. To illustrate the effects of The Black Barn, Sorrentino employs layouts that twist the reader’s perspective in an effect mirroring the twisted perspective of the story’s characters. This book is a master class on visual storytelling.

Best Diced-Based Debut: Die by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans

I love Kieron Gillen. His knack for examining and deconstructing the pop culture he loves has drawn me in since he and Jamie McKelvie first brought out Phonogram. His most recent book, Die, explores another one of his obsessions, role-playing games. The first issue was excellent and it has me passionately excited to see where this story goes in 2019.

Imagine the old Dungeons and Dragons cartoon: a bunch of kids disappear into the world of D&D and become the characters they played. They have adventures and probably return to the real world unscathed. Well…what if they didn’t?

What if, instead, some horrible things changed while they were in that world. What if they leave scarred, emotionally and ,in some cases, physically? What would that do to a person? What would that do to a person decades later when they are forced to look back at that world and their actions? Welcome to Die.

Stephanie Hans is the artist on this book and she delivers a world that is just as lush and simultaneously drab as you hope for from a book that has famously been pitched as “Goth Jumanji.” Right now there is only 1 issue of this book out, but as they rediscover this fantasy world I cannot wait to see Hans’ imagination on the page.

What really draws me to this book is in part the promissory note that Gillen has given us in both the backmatter of issue #1 and in interviews surrounding its release. He has promised the book will deliver a Planteray-esque examination of the elements that gave birth to the modern conception of fantasy and RPG gaming. Given that Planetary (by Warren Ellis and John Cassaday) is one of my all-time favorite books, due in large part to its examination of  genres found in serialized storytelling, this technique as applied to fantasy and RPGS has me very intrigued.

At its emotional core, Gillen has noted the book is in part a metaphor for an adult looking back at their teenage fantasies and aspirations and realizing they have fallen short, in part or whole, on realizing those dreams. While potentially depressing, this type of emotional exploration in the medium of comics seems powerful in the hands of Gillen and Hans, and I, for one, am along for the ride.  

Best Series Featuring an Escape Artist/God: Mister Miracle by Tom King and Mitch Gerads

This book…what is there to say that hasn’t been said?

King and Gerads really created a masterpiece with this miniseries. While it started in 2017, it was 2018 that saw the resolution of this story that utilized the fantastical world of the New Gods to explore such real world issues as depression, parenthood, and the seemingly eternal work/personal life balance that many of us face.

The story finds Mister Miracle thrust into a war between Apokolips and New Genesis in the world of the New Gods. It also finds him trying to figure out how to rearrange his apartment here on Earth. This juxtaposition between the fantastic and mundane is unlike maybe any other story I have seen in comics, and it works to make the emotional beats hit for me as a reader. Gerads use of the nine-panel grid is a nice formalistic nod to the classic Kirby stories that came before, and his art in general is amazing.

In lesser hands, the story could have easily become grim and dark to the point of morbidity, but King and Gerads find just the right amount of humor to ease the tension found within the plot. Whether it is Scott Free’s seemingly endless superhero T-shirt collection, or the perfectly pictured moments of companionship we see between Scott and Barda, the dark never quite overshadows all of the light within the story.

I know this book has appeared on both Liz and Andrew’s lists, so I don’t feel the need to go on and on about it, but as a fan of the New Gods and a fan of comics aptly tackling real world issues, be they political or, in this case, personal, I really loved this series.

Oops. That music means it is time for me to wrap up these awards! Thanks to everyone for coming out this year. You can find your gift bag under your chair.

Liz’s List: Best of 2018


Hey everyone! I hope 2018 treated you well.  There were a lot of awesome, colorful, inspiring releases this year. So many, in fact, that I can’t possibly put them in any ranked order. Instead, below is an unranked list of comics and board games that brightened my year. If you haven’t given them

Comics:

New World by Ales Kot & Tradd & Heather Moore

A little bit 1984, a little bit Romeo and Juliet, and a lot of dystopian fun, New World follows two lovers from opposite worlds as they learn about each other and the dictatorship overseeing them. Artists Tradd and Heather Moore bring vibrant colors and dynamic, full page spreads to the table, fleshing out writer Ales Kot’s characters beautifully. The Moore team made this book my favorite title of the year. I think their art is just so unique and eye catching. If you’re looking for a feast for your eyes, look no further than New World!

A Walk Through Hell: by Garh Ennis & Goran Sudzuka

I am by no means a Garth Ennis fan. In fact, I can’t name a single book by Ennis that I’ve ever enjoyed, with the exception of A Walk Through Hell. Two haggard cops at the end of their careers are called on to recover some of their teammates from an investigation gone awry. What starts out as a supposedly routine recon mission turns into a never-ending nightmare of inexplicable horror, both mental and physical. The pair witness things that make them question both reality  and each other. Waiting week after week for the next issue of this book to come out was agonizing. Ennis fills the pages with slow-burning dread, and the payoff is worth it. This book was so good that I’m rethinking my opinion of Ennis (tentatively).

Flavor by Joseph Keatinge & Wook Jin Clark

In a world where cooking is a revered skill, ingredients can spark war, and chefs reign supreme, a student unearths a mystery that will change everything she knows. Unlicensed and newly in charge of her parents’ restaurant, Xoo faces immense pressure and responsibility from the world around her to be a top chef. I can’t say more about this story, since it revolves heavily on mystery, but I can’t recommend it enough. The world building is very Miyazaki inspired, and the colors and story mesh together into an epic. Unique to the comic, in the back of every issue is an interview with someone in the culinary industry, showcasing their work and their relationship with food. This book is a unique treasure that I can’t recommend enough!

Die by Kieron Gillen & Stephanie Hans

Kieron Gillen describes his new title as ‘Goth Jumanji.’ If that explanation doesn’t describe to you why this book is fantastic then I can’t help you.

Games:

The Tea Dragon Society Game:

Based off of the book by the same name, the goal of this game is to take care of a dragon, season by season. Each dragon has unique needs, likes and dislikes, and requires special care and companionship to survive the sweltering summertime and chilly winter. This game is comprised of drafting and “buying” cards to take care of your dragon each season for four seasons. I found the game both quick and actually relaxing. It was fun and simple to learn, and is a great game to play while grabbing coffee (or tea!) with a friend.

Azul/Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra

Have you played Azul? No? Why the heck not?? I love this game SO MUCH. In Azul, players take turns drafting colored tiles onto their player board. Once drafting has ended, scoring beings. Players can earn points based on different tile patterns they have created, and how many tiles they have drafted. Wasted tiles can hurt a player’s score. The player with the most points at the end wins. Azul came out in 2017, but Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra was released shortly before Christmas, introducing stained glass pieces and double sided boards. This game is fun and extremely aesthetically pleasing, and I’ll look for any chance or excuse to play it.

Thanks for reading my list of favorites, I hope you have a great 2019!

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!