Uncanny! Insider News

Bands! Live at Uncanny!

Bands! Live at Uncanny!

When most think of Uncanny! they think of graphic novels, games, and geek gear, but now on any given Friday night or Saturday afternoon they'll know them for bands; live local music for your listening pleasure.

 Dustin Best, Assistant Manager of the King of Prussia location had this to say about bands playing in their store, "Uncanny! has always seen the link between music, comics, and pop culture, it's a mix that works, maybe it has something to do with using the same creative energy but in different ways. It's no secret that many musicians are comic book fans so it makes sense to provide a venue for them to perform."

Uncanny! has hosted a few bands over the years, including Dorkosaurus,Cupid's Victim, Action Man, Pocket Dial, and Gangstagrass.

Recently Dorkosaurus had an incredible show at our store debuting their new singer/songwriter. We've been a fan of this band for the last three years, and their drummer Britt Meyer is a long-time comic book subscriber.

These guys are definitely worth a listen, so check out Dorkosaurus playing live Uncanny!

Come on out for our next music event!

You can stay up to date on all of the events that are happening at your favorite Uncanny! location by going here.

Uncanny! Designer Toy Show

Uncanny! Designer Toy Show

Uncanny! King of Prussia Mall has partnered with Philadelphia-based Mothership Art Gallery and Designer Toy Store to bring a one-of-a-kind art exhibition to the greater Philadelphia area. "Art is a staple of the comic book and pop culture scene; toys, statues, and other collectibles are a 3D extension of the culture. Who doesn't want to own a cool piece of art from their favorite comic book, television show, anime, or movie? This partnership just made sense and allows us to bring unique products into our shop." said Rob McFee, Manager of the Uncanny! King of Prussia location.

Alex Rivera aka "Playful Gorilla" is Manager of Mothership Art Gallery and Designer Toy Store, and also one of the world's premiere toy designers. He has over 7,000 followers on Instagram and can be seen at conventions all over the world, most recently featured at the Philadelphia Auto Show. When asked about the partnership with Uncanny! he had this to say, " We are very excited about partnering with Uncanny! Their stores are amazing! We are looking forward to bringing their community unique art that will celebrate their fandom and captivate their minds."

The show is called "Pop Cult. Insanity" and will be on display at the Uncanny! King of Prussia Mall location throughout the month of February, beginning with a "First Friday" Event on February 3rd from 6pm-9pm.


Marvel Offers Bonus Digital Comics

Marvel Offers Bonus Digital Comics

Some good news for comic book retailers and readers alike, especially now when some titles cost more than a gallon of gas and avid readers are wondering if the trip to their local comic shop is worth the fuel they are using.

Marvel announced that beginning February 1st, fans who enter the doors of their local comic retailer will now be rewarded when they purchase Marvel titles with a digital code that unlocks existing stories in the Marvel Universe they may have missed in the past.

Starting with Marvel Universe titles (excluding all-ages comics), the Marvel digital code will be upgraded to unlock two or more additional digital Marvel comics – stretching your dollars’ worth! Once again this offer is only available within your local comic shop. 

"Marvel is continuing our commitment by offering our fans the best value in comics along with honoring our cornerstone of the comic book industry – the retailers,” said David Gabriel, SVP of Sales, Marvel Publishing. "Our intent in evolving our digital code program is to offer our fans more value per dollar spent.  Replacing the free digital copy, our BONUS DIGITAL COMICS will offer fans free entry points for current on sale collected editions and, in turn, invite additional and repeat traffic into our trusted retailers.”

This news presents an excellent opportunity for new and veteran readers to expand their comic book horizons and try titles they may not have thought about reading because of cost. I wonder if DC comics will follow? Let's hope so, but for now "make mine Marvel."

Will Rogue One be any good?

Will Rogue One be any good?

By Joshua Lucas

Will Rogue One Be Any Good?

In just a few short weeks, we will be viewing the first Star Wars Story film under the new Disney era ownership of our favorite science fiction fantasy.  Rogue One will be the first non-episodic film to come out other than the Clone Wars animated movie.  The film’s production has been closely followed by Disney and the media, and it has seen many ups and downs.  Fan anticipation is high, but it remains unclear if this film, which attempts to forge into unknown territory, will be a success or not.

I’m going to use the verbiage that makes everyone nervous, but is none-the-less true.  This film is a prequel.  I know, it kind of incites a certain reaction for people, but the fact remains that we are once again being shown a story that takes place before A New Hope.  Now, the ending of this movie is supposed to run right up to ten minutes before Episode IV, but it will tackle something that was barely touched on in the original film. This is, of course, the attainment of the plans to the Death Star, which was a single line in the opening crawl of the original film.  The hope that Disney has is that this “Tarantino” type of storytelling will be met with higher praise than Episodes I, II, and III.

For my own part, I’m not convinced that the marketing department working under the Mouse has done a good enough job to hammer this point home.  I’ve personally heard far too many people asking if this will continue the story of Rey and Kylo Ren.  Hard core fans knew about this movie around the same time we learned of the title to Episode VII, but the hard-core fans make up a very small part of the movie going audience.  The financial success of this film depends upon its ability to reach a wide audience.  I’ve talked about his at great length on my YouTube channels and on social media in general, but the truth is that we as fans NEED this movie to be successful more than we need it to be good.

I made it a point to bring this up around the time that we started hearing about the dreaded re-shoots.  Now, every major blockbuster film has scheduled re-shoots built into their production, but don’t be fooled.  The re-shoots for Rogue One were a bigger deal than what happens on most movies.  I don’t want to dive down this rabbit hole right now, but just look at the schedules for the actors and the fact that the film is now scored by a different conductor.  They took a lot of time to make it more friendly to a wider audience, much to the hard-core fan’s chagrin.  When the internet erupted in protest, I told my nerdy brothers and sisters to calm down, because if the brand can sustain big profits on movies that don’t have the main characters we will be rewarded with harder edge content in the future.  As I said earlier, this is the first attempt to do such a thing under the Disney flag.  For now, it is in all our best interests to have this movie make boat loads of money.

Now, it may seem as though I’m coming down hard on Rogue One, and maybe I am to a degree, but it’s time for me to share my raw optimism about this film.  I truly believe that Rogue One has the potential to be the coolest friggin Star Wars movie OF ALL TIME! Seriously, I believe that.  The war like nature that Gareth Edwards set out to capture seems on point.  The utilization of familiar ships and soldiers in unfamiliar settings seems intriguing to no end.  The expansion of the lore around Jedi, the Force, and the Rebellion has me foaming at the mouth.  These things could add up to a movie that will make a lasting impact on my fandom and better inform the canon that I think is the best attribute of the post-George Star Wars era. I. Am. Pumped!

IMAX debuts on Television with new Marvel INHUMANS Series

IMAX debuts on Television with new Marvel INHUMANS Series
By Josh Lucas
Tuesday night Disney and Marvel made an announcement that I am still reeling from. The "Inhumans" movie, which was originally slated for a November 2018 release, will now make its debut in an unprecedented ABC television and Imax partnership. The show will be produced by Imax and have its first two episodes shot completely on Imax cameras.
Those two episodes will be released in theaters in September of next year followed by the other six episodes airing on ABC sometime after. You may want
to read this paragraph again, and in case you’re not catching on; meh is not the appropriate response.
This is crazy news that could change the MCU and the entertainment industry.
Let’s start with Imax producing a television series. Like, what!?! As far as I know, this is literally the first time they’ve ever done this. Now, they’ve had an incredible relationship with Disney over the past couple of years, but it can’t be overstated how crazy of a move this is. It shows foresight in a changing entertainment industry and trust in the Marvel brand. Plainly put, we are living in a Golden age of television and a decline of the American Cinema. Ticket sales for theaters are way down the past couple
of years and I’ve heard many insiders point to the very high quality television as a possible reason.
Let’s face it, shows like Game of Thrones, West World, and Stranger Things have production on the level with major Hollywood movies. They are also easier to purchase and able to be enjoyed from the comfort of your home. This move by Imax sets a precedent by bridging the gaps between these two industries.
Now, Imax is probably not putting up all the money for this show. I mean, I think it’s pretty clear that ABC is shouldering a lot of the production. Check out this quote from Ben Sherwood who is the co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and the President of the Disney/ABC Television Group; “This unprecedented alliance represents a bold, innovative approach to launching great TV content for a worldwide audience. It highlights Disney/ABC’s unrelenting commitment to finding new and creative ways to showcasing our very best programming and increasing global engagement and reach.” -Hollywood Reporter
Now, there’s a lot I take away from that quote, but most relevant is the fact that he calls it an alliance and that he thinks of this project to showcase their very best programing. So, Disney and ABC are clearly putting up some big cash on this one and they wouldn’t be doing that without a clearly defined outcome. They want to change the game.
Like I said, we’re living in a Golden Age of television, but it’s important to note that a lot of that stuff is either original programing or shows that don’t have a traditional network home. Disney can see the success of Game of Thrones and even their own Netflix
shows as an example. I truly believe they are trying to condense the season and put everything they have into these episodes. I expect the show to have a tight narrative with INSANE visual effects, I mean you don’t get out Imax cameras to shoot dialog scenes in a dark room.
The property itself is perfect for this kind of format. One of the big issues I had when the Inhumans movie was first announced was the lack of time we’d have with these characters.
The "Inhumans" are not widely known by the casual movie going audience, and their family and regal dynamic (which is so important to their identity) would be really hard to honestly portray in under two hours. Disney will now be able to get people into the theaters by selling this as an experience and they’ll have the time
they need to get audiences of wide ranging comic book knowledge on the same proverbial page when it comes to these characters. I’m getting a very Game of Thrones vibe (can you tell I’m a fan?). I mean,
this will be a story of a Royal family, a King and his reign, and a bloody history of battles.I’m going to be following the news about this as more and more information comes out. I’ll also be
reading and re-reading many great "Inhumans" comics as I prepare for what Marvel and Disney have in store for us. Speaking of In store, Uncanny and the good people there can help get you educated by setting you up with some great comics about the "Inhumans" and their many awesome characters. I’d also recommend checking out a video I just did on my YouTube channel about this announcement. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlIXk1zD0-Q 
Oh, and if you see me at any of the Uncanny! locations, feel free to spark up a conversation about this. I. Am. Friggin. Pumped.

Steve Dillon Remembered

Steve Dillon Remembered

Uncanny! Insider just received confirmation that world re-known comic book artist and "Preacher" co-creator Steve Dillon has passed away. The veteran comic book phenom known for his work on "Preacher", "Hellblazer", and "Punisher" has died at age 54. There are no details currently available on the cause of his death. News of his passing was all over social media this morning and was confirmed by his brother Glyn Dillon in a Twitter post shortly after 10am (eastern standard time).

Steve Dillon was an English comic book artist, from Luton, Bedfordshire, best known for his work with writer Garth Ennis on Preacher, Hellblazer, and Punisher. Dillon also created the character Dogwelder featured in Ennis's series Hitman.

Dillon began his professional career at the age of 16, drawing the title story in the first issue of Hulk Weekly for Marvel UK he would follow up later with the Nick Fury comic strip. Dillon also drew for Warrior and Doctor Who Magazine where he created the character of Abslom Daak. In 1988 Dillon started the comic magazine Deadline which ran for seven years; but it's the Garth Ennis, Steve Dillon critically acclaimed series "Preacher" that made us all fans of the artist. The series ran for 66 issues and wrapped in 2000, and though it's 16 years since the final issue went to print, it remains a sought after and top selling trade paperback. It has become a staple in every comic readers library.

Steve Dillon one of the best, you will be missed. Thank you.

Dan DiDio "The core should never change"

Dan DiDio "The core should never change"

By Rob McFee

I had the awesome opportunity to meet and speak candidly with DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio, at a recent Diamond Comics Retailers Summit in Baltimore, Maryland. 

I first have to say that meeting Dan DiDio, a name synonymous with DC Comics was a little intimidating, but after a firm handshake and a warm smile I was instantly put at ease. I first congratulated Dan on the success of DC's "Rebirth" after which like most of us who work hard for our money; he gave a big sigh said "thank you" but assured me that there was a lot of work still to be done.  What could be left to do? DC comic sales are up. The comic community has embraced "Rebirth." "DC Rebirth" issue one is up to its umteenth printing. What's left?

"Toys must go back in the toy box the way you found them"

Dan shared with me his personal goal of returning the DC characters to their former glory. He shared his frustration of going to "Con's" and fans reminiscing about the way the characters used to be in the 90's and 80's ; when the stories were good and heroes were heroes. He stated that as kids our parents always told us that "the toys must go back in the toy box the way you found them", and his goal was to do the same for the DC characters, to give them back their core values; that which makes Batman, Batman should never change regardless of the story or situations the writers put them in, their core values, their essence will always be the same. I found his words profound and hopeful.

So what does it all mean? It means that Batman will never kill, he will be dark and brooding, but he will never kill; that's not what Batman does. It means that Superman will always be a boy scout, our hope filled alien protector showing us mere mortals that with all the powers of a god, kittens still need saving from time to time. The world as we know may become a dark and scary place; society may demand that our heroes bow to the ways of these darker times, but, I will take solace in knowing that we can look to the son of Krypton for hope and know that Batman is always watching from the shadows.

Jim Lee "Meeting A Legend"

Jim Lee "Meeting A Legend"

By Rob McFee

Every comic book fan has their short list of creators they want to meet. I got a chance to meet Jim Lee no.2 of my top 5, at the Diamond Retailers Summit in Baltimore.

Jim Lee A Brief History

Jim Lee  born August 11, 1964 is a Korean American comic book artist, writer, editor, and publisher. He entered the industry in 1987 as an artist for Marvel Comics, drawing such titles as "Alpha Flight" and "The Punisher War Journal", before gaining popularity on "The Uncanny X-Men". "X-Men" No. 1, the 1991 spin-off series premiere that Lee penciled and co-wrote with Chris Claremont, remains the best-selling comic book of all time, according to Guinness Word Records.

In 1992, Lee and several other artists formed their own publishing company,Image Comics, to publish their creator-owned titles, with Lee publishing titles such as"Wild C.A.T.S."and "Gen 13" through his studio Wildstorm Productions. Eschewing the role of publisher in order to return to illustration, Lee sold Wildstorm in 1998 to DC Comics, where he continued to run it as a DC imprint until 2010, as well as illustrating successful titles set in DC's main fictional universe, such as the year-long "Batman: Hush" and "Superman: For Tomorrow"  story lines. On February 18, 2010, Jim Lee was announced as the new Co-Publisher of DC Comics with Dan DiDio, both replacing Paul Levitz.

He has received a Harvey Award, Inkpot Award and three Wizard fan Awards in recognition for his work.

Meeting the Legend

To be honest I was quite surprised to see him at the Baltimore Diamond Retailers Summit especially since the DC comics offices have moved to the west coast, but there he was,Jim Lee live and in color standing at the DC Comics booth; after doing a double take and confirming with my co-worker that it was indeed Jim Lee, we promptly made our presence known. So what do you say to someone who has changed the comic industry in so many positive ways? What do you say to someone whose inspired and continues to inspire artists to join the rank and file of comic book creators?  I don't know what you'd say, but I simply shook his hand and said "Thank you for everything; all of the hard work; the inspiration; you are truly appreciated." What happened next was awesome.

Jim politely said thank you and then we talked, like two old friends catching up after a few years apart, we spoke about the industry and how it's changed; about the future of the art form and it's impact on pop culture. He then looked at me and said I have an idea and I'll start with you. Jim took out his phone and told me to tell the world the name of my store and where it's located. He would later post this on his Instagram which has well over 250,000 followers. That kind of exposure to any comic shop is amazing and to be the first was an honor. Meeting a legend in any industry is great, discovering that they're good people makes it even better.

Luke Cage "Hero for Hire"

Luke Cage "Hero for Hire"

Luke Cage

“A hero in every sense of the word.”

By Rob McFee

Luke Cage A.k.a. Power Man, whose real name is Carl Lucas, made his debut into the superhero world in Marvel Comic’s “Heroes for Hire” issue one in 1972.

 A Brief History

In his youth the hero we know today was anything but; as a young man in Harlem Carl spent time in a gang committing crimes and fighting rival gangs; Carl Lucas was well on his way to becoming the kind of street level villain he would later fight as Luke Cage;

Being in and out of juvenile facilities for most of his young adulthood gave Carl time to reflect and see how his actions were affecting those he loved and vowed to become a better person, to become someone who gives back and not someone who takes away.

Carl found a job and turned over a new leaf and though he was out of the “life”, he remained friends with gang banger Willis Stryker who was rising star in the crime world. Carl would later regret his continued friendship with Stryker.

Stryker became a target of the mob and was badly beaten and would have been killed had it not been for Carl’s intervention. Stryker’s girlfriend broke up with him after the beating and sought solace in the arms of Carl. Stryker blaming him for the break up planted drugs he stole from crime lord Cornell Cottonmouth in Carl’s apartment and called in an anonymous tip to the authorities. Carl Lucas once again found himself on the wrong side of the law.

Incarcerated at Seagate prison Lucas found himself the target of prison guard Albert “Billy Bob” Rackham. Rackham’s sadism and brutality were legendary at Seagate and Lucas was his favorite play thing. While imprisoned at Seagate Lucas volunteered for experimental cell regeneration based on the Super Soldier experiment. Scientist Dr. Noah Burstein, immersed Lucas in an electrical field conducted by an organic chemical compound, during the procedure Dr. Noah Burstein left Lucas unattended where he was once again at the mercy of Rackham who tampered with the controls dangerously accelerating the process imbuing Lucas with steel hard skin and superhuman strength. With his new found abilities Lucas was able to escape Seagate relocate to New York City and restart his life as Luke Cage. Luke Cage went on to become New York City’s Hero for Hire; taking jobs where he used his new found abilities to do the right thing, as well as make, a living.

The Legacy

“Luke Cage Hero for Hire” ran for 13 issues from 1972-1973. In 1974 the comic book became “Luke Cage Power Man” and ran for 33 issues ending in 1978. Cage would continue his adventures in the perfect team up book we all loved “Power Man and Iron Fist” this title ran for 76 issues between 1978-1986. In 1992 Luke Cage returned for 20 issues in a self-titled comic “Cage” this time minus the chain belt and signature tiara. The series wrapped in 1993.  Over the next 14 years Luke Cage AKA Power Man would appear in a few miniseries and be a featured character in “Alias” and “The New Avengers” both written by Brian Michael Bendis. Some, myself included believe it was Bendis who took Cage from comic book obscurity and made him once again as relevant as Tony Isabella did in his “Hero for Hire” heyday. Luke Cage and best friend Danny Rand made a triumphant comic book return in 2016 with “Power Man and Iron Fist” currently up to 10 issues and going strong.  Luke Cage has a new title premiering at your local comic shop October 5th it’s titled “Cage” with art by Genndy Tartakovsky of Cartoon Network “Samurai Jack” fame.  Cage’s popularity has only increased with his role in the Netflix series “Jessica Jones” portrayed by Mike Colter and now with a solo Netflix series of his own; premiering September 30th along with the much anticipated “Defenders” series on the horizon; I believe Luke Cage will be a staple and a fan favorite for a long time to come.

 Michael Colter "Luke Cage" Netflix Series


Scott Snyder "The Fans Choice"

Scott Snyder "The Fans Choice"

A Brief History

Scott Snyder began his comic book writing career in 2009 with Marvel comics writing a Human Torch one shot as part of Marvel's 70th anniversary celebration, he followed up in April of 2010 with the four issue mini-series Iron Man: Noir, but it would be the creator-owned series American Vampire published by Vertigo, where we would get a taste of the true talent of the wordsmith. American Vampire won the 2011 Eisner Award for Best New Series, as well as, the 2011 Harvey Award for Best New Series. Snyder would also pen the 10 issue series The Wake with Vertigo as well.

Snyder kept busy as a writer on the independent front writing the 7 issue series Severed ; the 6 issue series Wytches  and the upcoming 3 book series A.D. After Death (releasing 11/23/16)f or Image comics.

Snyder found a home at DC comics where he would write for characters like, Swamp Thing and Superman, but it would be his run on Batman that would make him the man that people line up at comic book conventions to see.














How do you write the character that has everything?

Batman aka Bruce Wayne is a character designed to be the ultimate human; money, influence, intelligence and second to none when it comes to hand to hand combat. I know you've heard and more than likely have had the discussions of "Who would win in a fight?" the answer is always Batman (with time to prepare). So how do you write a character that has prepared a contingency plan for everything. Seriously have you read War Games? 

Do you know what Batman can do to the Justice League?

How on earth do you write a story with a character whose only limitations are his code and his overwhelming sense of justice? The answer is you hire Scott Snyder and tell him to go "H.A.M." on a story that will break our beloved Dark Knight and rebuild him into  a hero of the ages. Batman: The Court of Owls the first in Snyder's saga challenges the hero on every level and will leave him beaten, and broken both physically and mentally; but what doesn't kill you,makes you a better Batman. Snyder was able to breath new life into DC's iconic character. His stories entice and challenge the reader to believe in the hero even if you don't agree with his methods. Snyder's Batman runs 52 issues (not including annuals) and is a must read for the Batman fan. Snyder's latest DC project is All Star Batman currently only 3 issues in but they are 3 of the best issues of Batman I've ever read.

I had a chance to speak briefly with Scott Snyder at the Baltimore Retailers Summit shortly after the release of All Star Batman #1.  I had an opportunity to observe his interactions with other retailers, who like myself are fans of his work. He was gracious and gave everyone a chance to have their moment. How often do you get a chance to tell someone their hard work is appreciated?  We spoke about him coming to our Uncanny! King of Prussia location and he gave me a sneak peak at issue #2 of All Star Batman, we exchanged emails took a photo and I was on my way. Scott Snyder is honestly a nice guy who get's it. Will Batman fans buy the comic just because of the character? Most likely, but why not give them a great story in return for their hard earned dollars, that's what makes Scott Snyder the fans choice. 

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