Friday, November 24, 2017

BLACK FRIDAY SALE

Don't miss our 1-Day ONLY SALE happening at both our locations on Friday Nov. 24th.


Check out the details below for our deals!





SPECIAL DEALS WILL BE AVAILABLE
WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

COME EARLY TO SEE WHAT WE'VE GOT IN STORE!

SPECIAL NEW SELECTION OF GRAPHIC NOVELS FOR $6

SECRET T-SHIRT GIVE-A-WAY!
GET FREE Dr. WHO / AVATAR / DOMO T-SHIRTS 
These will go to the first 15 Customers who spend over $35 and ask for them at the register!





SHELF GRAPHIC NOVELS & MANGA
(Spine-out & boxed titles)
(Excludes out of print books and select Hot titles)
30% OFF purchases $30 - $100
35% OFF purchases $101 - $150
40% OFF purchases $151+

HOT GRAPHIC NOVELS & MANGA
(Face-out, New titles & Out-Of-Print books)
20% OFF on purchases over $30






Magic, Pokemon, D&D, Yugioh, Dice
10% OFF purchases $10 - $40
15% OFF purchases $41 - $60
20% OFF purchases $61+





Statues, Plush and Action Figures
(Excludes anime figures)
10% OFF purchases up to $30
15% OFF purchases $31 - $50
20% OFF purchases $51 - $75
25% OFF purchases $76+






Anime Figures
(Figma, Nendoroid, etc..)
10% OFF purchases $30 - $75
15% OFF purchases $76 - $110
20% OFF purchases $111+






Funko Pops
20% OFF regular and PX Funko Pop Vinyl figures when you get 3 or more.
15% OFF Chase and vaulted figures when you get 3 or more.







Comic Bins 
(Back Issues only)
20% OFF purchases $10 - $25
30% OFF purchases $26 - $50
40% OFF purchases $51 - $99
50% OFF purchases $100+


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

POSTERS (Oakville Only)
Buy 2, get the 3rd FREE.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Art books will not be on sale for Black Friday. 

We'll have our annual Art Book Day SALE coming up the week after! 

Check your emails or watch our Blog & Facebook pages for details.

Art Book Day in Toronto will be on Friday Dec 1st and Saturday Dec 2nd.

Art Book Day in Oakville will be from Monday Dec 4th to Friday Dec 8th.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Justice League - REVIEW

The big DC cinematic universe dream moment has arrived. Of course the obvious questions are... Does it live up to our long held expectations? And for sheer rivalry reasons, how does it stack up to Marvel's Avengers?

For many reasons, Justice League does not land with the same impact that the first Avengers did. This excitement has obviously been tempered by the fact that for years audiences have already been spoiled by both ensemble and standalone superhero films. One of those was 'Batman Vs. Superman' which also starred Wonder Woman in a major supporting role. So in a sense we've experienced DC's 3 biggest properties together with glimpses of others to come and adapting a major Superman event. So DC fans already got a big taste prior to the coming together of any league.

What also lowered fan expectations have been the mixed reception to many of DC's previous outings. Some were well received such as the recent Wonder Woman. Some failed critically like Suicide Squad. And then there are the mixed bag of items such as Man of Steel and Batman Vs. Superman. But on which side of the scales does Justice League balance?

As it turns out, Justice League is fairly decent entertainment, and one would sigh in relief that this didn't turn out badly. Of course... that's certainly not anything praiseworthy, and one feels inclined to give it a pass more as a matter of a course correction for the DC cinematic universe than for being anything highly remarkable.

With Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman already developed in the previous films, and DC and WB rushing to get to the ensemble route without taking the time to develope each major Justice League member with stand-alone films, the three newcomers - Aquaman, the Flash and Cyborg all get the emphasis over Batman and Wonder Woman, and of course Superman, who is deceased.


That's not to say there isn't any new development for the trinity. Superman's loss is felt throughout the world, which leaves it increasingly vulnerable in his absence. Crime is on the rise, and an alien threat also begins to slowly invade Earth, alerting Batman who had a glimpse of the future where this would occur. Batman, feeling responsible for Superman's death and therefore the fate of the world, takes it upon himself to try and collect a group of powerful heroes. Seizing the conveniently revealed collection of data he seized from Luther, he and Wonder Woman, who also shares as much screen time with Batman, head out to recruit them. Meanwhile, the alien invasion takes a major step forward as a villainous being known as Steppenwolf arrives upon Earth in search of three artifacts that when brought together could lead to the destruction of the world.

If the plot sounds similar, then you might recall it as being very much like The Avengers where Loki is likewise trying to get a hold of another fantastical object in order to open a gateway to an alien invasion of Earth. And likewise, Nick Fury is attempting to bring a team of super-powered people together to prevent this from occurring. Avengers director Joss Whedon has also stepped up to finish Justice League on behalf of director Zack Snyder's departure due to a personal family situation.

But where Justice League falls short is precisely where Avengers succeeded. With each character already having their own previous films, more attention is paid to developing their own personal situations which creates additional conflict when the team attempts to get together and which made for a more complex film.


Justice League has to spend time introducing us to 3 new major characters with glimpses of their backgrounds that are all too brief, leaving much unexplained (of course ideally to be developed in future films), and with a convenient plot device that forces them together. Well at least Aquaman and Cyborg are reluctant, whereas Batman had the Flash on board at "hello."

That's not to say we won't enjoy their presence. All three newcomers make a good impression. Aquaman, with his suave wild rock-star makeover makes him the resident bad-ass. Cyborg, lamenting his half-man half-machine condition is a brooding mistrustful pessimist. And who is likely to be the audience-favourite is the Flash, purely for comic relief, due to his talent for thinking faster than those around him making him a socially awkward fast talking witty jokester. But the Flash is also the most human element of the cast, being inexperienced at combat and naturally afraid to take on the superhuman threat they are faced with. He feels like he's being the weakest link there despite Batman being the guy without superpowers.

So each with their peculiar personalities make for great banter, and they each pull their own in a situation. However, we don't have enough time to delve deeply into their origins, or their lives, only receiving bits and pieces that are sub-plots saved for other films and don't really contribute to the overall theme of the movie we are watching. The plot of the film is pretty simple and straightforward, and points of convenience bring them together. And overall it's a competent film, and it's fun to finally see these DC heroes together. But after audiences have been spoiled by several superhero ensemble films already, Justice League fails to raise the bar or do anything to set itself apart.


Also of note is that the stakes were higher with far more spectacle in DC's own previous films. Man of Steel practically levelled Metropolis. Batman Vs. Superman had the Dark Knight facing off against Superman and had a more interesting villain in Lex Luthor and climaxed with the death of Superman. Wonder Woman had a World War to fight. In terms of scale, nothing in Justice League matches those events. Steppenwolf's plan to destroy earth pales greatly in comparison to what General Zod did in Man of Steel that it almost seem laughable. The Avengers hit with the impact that it did precisely because the scales were raised in terms of what our heroes were up against compared to their individual outings, and thus we could feel the necessity and the grandeur of them coming together to face it. Justice League, in comparison, feels like a step back. The alien invasion is much smaller fare compared to Man of Steel. And Steppenwolf is small fry compared to Doomsday, and neither is Steppenwolf any sort of intelligent or cunning mastermind compared to Lex Luthor or Aries. Heck, even the members of the Suicide Squad faced a greater threat compared to their level and had more intricacy in its story.

Thus Justice League could only be viewed as a positive in the sense that it feels like a 1st episode of many more chapters to come, and because we finally get our fill of seeing our favourite DC heroes together on screen. The film looks great, we have many wonderful pose shots, the stereoscopic 3-D conversion is also quite good, and there are many other surprises that I won't spoil and are best seen for yourselves. But one nice nod I'll point out are the return of the classic themes from both Elfman's Batman and John William's Superman woven into the background score. There are of course the expected mid and post-credits scenes for those of you planning to stick around.


Justice League is certainly nowhere near the best of the cinematic universe lot from either side of the DC/Marvel spectrum. But it's thankfully not the worst either. It's just something like a very fun better-then-mediocre movie that in many ways would've actually been much much better received way back in the day if only DC had decided to lead with this one instead of Man of Steel to kick off their cinematic universe, and then worked backwards branching out into individual films. But due to its late arrival, the competition before it, including coming from members of its own team, make it it own worst enemy.

But on the bright side, if we imagine Justice League to be the beginning of DC's phase 2, then things are looking up.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

A Silent Voice - REVIEW


The anticipated anime adaptation of Yoshitoki Oima's celebrated manga series 'A Silent Voice' finally got to play in a small number of local Canadian theatres. It's the story of a young boy and his friends who bully a deaf girl in their class. But when things go too far, forcing the girl to change schools, the tables turn with the boy himself becoming the object of bullying and ostracization.

Leading a lonely guilt-ridden life up to his high school year, he vows to make up for the little things he can before committing suicide. But in a life-changing moment he re-encounters the girl he once bullied. Attempting to apologize for his actions, this re-established relationship leads him on a journey to better himself and reform his social life. But this isn't easy given his guilt and anxiety, along with the poor reputation he's carried with him for years.

Originally published as a one-shot, the manga series finally spanned a brief seven volumes to tell a satisfying and touching story about the difficulties faced by children with disabilities as well as bullying experienced by school children. When Kyoto Animation announced that an anime film would be made there was excitement, but also a scepticism as to whether one film would be sufficient to detail a story that spans several years and features many characters all with their own complicated internal struggles.


Sadly, it does turn out that the film suffers from trying to cover too many things that would've been better served with a short 1-season TV series. Situations like the main male lead's descent into depression aren't detailed thoroughly enough and is quickly encapsulated over right from the opening minutes. The audience never gets time to relate to what he went through. The childhood sequences are also quickly run through and we get a lot of jumping back and forth through time throughout the film whereas the story would've been served best told chronologically.

Of course the shorter run-time of a film needs to adapt, and thus it's natural that material would be cut. But rather than wisely cut certain portions out, the film instead tries to accommodate as much as it can. This includes lending more time to the supporting cast, which was better fleshed out in the manga, but feels rather arbitrary in the movie. This leads to a lack of focus and at the expense of the two main leads. Thus a hypothetically better film would've placed the other characters to only smaller necessary roles to move the story forward and put the focus where it should've always been - on the boy Shoya and the deaf girl Shoko. Also while the film does attempt this to a certain extent, it should've gone even further and made the narrative be solely experienced through Shoya's eyes without ever leaving him and have had the audience follow along with him without ever cutting away.


What we've ended up with is an unsatisfying story that feels all over the place and is more like a teen drama with a mix of comedy, but with no time to really feel the weight of certain experiences and situations.

Fans of the original manga might still enjoy the film if they'd like to see the characters and many of their favourite moments animated. The film's production is very well done with some visually inspired moments. There are also many original scenes created specifically for it, including a new ending. But it isn't as memorable as the manga's. But at least the theme of 'A Silent Voice' is maintained - which is not so much to do with the physical disability to speak or hear - but rather to the way we consciously or unconsciously close our eyes and ears to people around us - how we are unable to speak and express our feelings to each other sufficiently, leading to misunderstandings, divisions and conflict - particularly failing to reach out or speak up for people suffering from anxiety or being social outcasts.

So it may still be a film worth checking out if you're curious, but the adaptation is a big missed opportunity for what could've been a classic considering the excellent source material. Perhaps we may eventually get a TV series adaptation that would better suit the story; but until then I'd rather recommend the manga over the film.