Where to Find the Best Deals This Weekend



Everyone wants to get a deal.  We all take pride in showing off our shiny new things to our friends, neighbors, and other on-lookers only to say, “I only got it for…”  As a special gift to you and your family, this holiday season, I’m going to tell you where you can get the absolute best deal for any gift worth giving.  There’s one slight catch: I’m not going to reveal this nugget until the very end of this post.

Last year I wrote an article titled, Stay the Hell Home! where I observed the major retail stores in our country attempt to breeze past Thanksgiving and start the shopping season early.  I pledged not to frequent any of the stores who stayed open for Thanksgiving for the entire holiday season.  This became a personal mission of mine when a friend told me he would not be seeing his elderly grandmother for Thanksgiving because her employer, Walmart,told her she would be out of a job if she failed to report to duty.  In other words, she wasn’t asked to volunteer to come in and earn time and a half, she was being forced to work through the holiday.  This year I am dismayed to see retail stores continue this same trend and I am once again pledging to take my business elsewhere UNLESS the CEO’s and Executive Board are also working through Thanksgiving.  I have sent letters to the corporate offices of major retailers including Target, Walmart, and Best Buy informing them of my one man boycott.  While I doubt the Board of Directors will be behind the register when Macy’s opens at 6 pm tomorrow, hopefully I can inspire you to stay home.

Here are a list of facts you may want to consider before you leave your family at the dinner table:

  1. SHOP ONLINE – I realize I may be biased but my website, www.philtasticshopper.com is designed specifically to help you get the best deal.  There are specialized tools like comparative shopping and shop buddy designed to specifically save you money at your favorite stores.  Understand, I’m not trying to change what you buy, just how you buy it.  In exchange, many partner stores offer up to 50% cashback.  Money in your pocket for something you were already going to buy.
  2. You aren’t necessarily getting the best deal –  Stores have figured out how to work the average consumer up into a frenzy and then, through the power of marketing, direct your focus to the items allowing the most room for profit.  Due to the advent of social media, companies really didn’t lose any money on me ignoring the ad because some pixel addled person will line up to buy the expensive piece of plastic they really don’t need in addition to one or two games to go with it.
  3. Unless you’re waiting  outside of the store now, they are most likely out of it–  Stores tend to get limited quantities of hot items.  Unless you are one of the first people in line at the store, chances are you probably won’t be getting it.

The absolute best deal you will get this holiday season, as promised, is not found at any store or on any website no matter what time of day you look. The best deal ever is right in your home.  Once your done reading, commenting, sharing, and praising this post ( shameless yes) shut your computer or phone down and walk into the dining room.  Sit with your spouse, your children, and relatives- even if they don’t have anything in particular to say or if they’re sleeping.  I don’t remember the Christmas mornings where I spent all day burning my retinas while staring intently at a Gameboy.  As cheesy as it sounds, I remember moments like how my Grandmother’s cooking smelled, how my Mom made sure the house was meticulously decorated each year, and the time when my Dad wrapped my present in about 7 larger boxes like a Russian doll.  Instead of buying objects, make some memories.  The luster of the shiny new things will fade away in weeks but good quality family time will shine on in the recesses of our minds for years to come.  No matter how hard a corporation or store tries they can’t manufacture memories of time will spent with family.  In the end isn’t family what Thanksgiving is all about?

Philip A. Maenza aka “Philtastic Phil” is an internet entrepreneur and consumer behavior professional whose interests include art, film, music, stand up comedy, fitness, and comic books. Phil is also a dedicated community volunteer and always open to connecting with like minded optimists.  Phil wishes you and your family a very happy and safe Thanksgiving.  


A Panel To Kill

Halloween has come and gone.  The windows once adorned with pumpkins and witches are now home to Christmas Trees and Santa- yes they’re trying to skip Thanksgiving again (more to come on a future post)!   Regular readers to my blog know I’m an avid comic book reader and collector.  I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying thousands of stories featuring adventure, action, drama, comedy, and sometimes horror.  I asked a select group of comic book artists, store owners, and fans what the scariest story they’ve ever read was.  Warning, some of these posts reference stories not meant for young readers.

Here is what they said:

Ryan Henry – comic book fan and aspiring creator.

Batman vs The Red Hood !

I don’t think I have read that many but one comes to mind. There is a batman comic where he is lying beaten in an alleyway and people who may or not be there come up to and talk to him. It was scary and creepy at the same time. I don’t remember the comic name, but I think it was from the early 90s







Ilan Strasser – owner Mighty Moose Comics in Bellevue, WA

COMIC classics illustrated war of the worlds
Not to be confused with the Tom Cruise War of the Worlds

Probably the single scariest comic story I’ve ever read was the Classics Illustrated War of the Worlds comic!! Because I was young when I first read it and I was of the generation that grew up on 1950’s sci-fi movies, it seemed very possible to me that it could happen. It was scary as hell for a 10 year old!!


In the Bellevue area? Learn more about Mighty Moose Comics here!





Jan Marc Quisimbing – Comic book artist, writer, and creator 

2 favs: Batman Gothic, art by Klaus Janson and Gotham By Gaslight. Great reads that still give me chills. If you don’t own them, you should. Also Batman The Cult. Great stuff 
King of Hellbatman-the-cult-1Gotham by Gaslight

Jan Marc has created spectacular comics of his own including Pogi Boy and Big Brown Monkey.  For some of his ridiculously creative and awesome art, check his website out here.  If you are in the Sedona area, look for the Janimal around the local art scene and comic book shows.

Scott Hughes – Owner, Highlander Games and Comics in Boonton, NJ and Fat Moose Comics in Whippany, NJ 

When I think of the ‘Scariest’ Comic story, I of course try to think of some story of horror. Perhaps my favorite Eerie or Creepy book. But, when I think of the books that I loved when I was younger, the books that braved the trail of realism, it is hard for me to think of a ‘scarier’ story than Kraven’s Last Hunt. A story that single-handedly changed how Spider-Man was written. It’s haunting imagery, the fear in Mary Jane’s eyes, the desperate actions of Spider-Man, created a dark tone and realism that I had not read before in Amazing Spider-Man. The eventual ending and suicide of an iconic Spidey Villain left me with a sense of loss that, years removed, I can still feel the twangs of.


For info about Highlander Games & Comics click here

For more info on Fat Moose Comics ( my comic book store of choice and a truly great store for all things fun) click here 

“Philtastic” Phil Maenza – That’s me! 🙂

Admitting I’ve never been into horror movies or comics.  As a kid I preferred Godzilla to Jason any day of the week and as an adult I’d watch Pan’s Labyrinth or The Shining before a single episode of The Walking Dead.  I can recall two distinct comic book stories that creeped me out big time.  The first is Scott Snyder’s modern day classic Batman story: The Court of Owls.


The idea of a cultish secret society quietly occupying the dark corners of Gotham City was enough to terrify anyone including Batman himself.  It’s the first time I ever noticed the character was afraid because the master detective who was smart enough to out think criminal minds like the Riddler, Penguin, and Joker was surprised and literally stopped by the shocking finale. In the end it didn’t take a super powered homicidal maniac to scare Batman, it took a group of well off socialites in masks.

The second scariest tale I’ve read wasn’t a complete story it was one single panel.  The first time Marvel’s Ultimate Universe almost ended (not really the universe, just the quality stories (except Ultimate Spidey), the body count was high.  Seminal heroes like Daredevil, Beast, and Nightcrawler met their untimely fate- some off panel.  Although many of the deaths were shocking and unexpected the most gruesome and surprising was the beloved Wasp.    For the first time in my long history or reading comics, I made an audible gasp as I turned the page to see the longtime Avenger half-eaten by the Blob.  The villain was in turn bitten in half by Hank Pym but I’ve never forgotten Ms. Van Dyne’s fate.




What is your scariest memory from either comics or literature?  Let me know and I’ll recap some of the best ones – phil@successphil.com

Philip A. Maenza aka “Philtastic Phil” is an entrepreneur, consumer behavior professional, and lifestyle expert.  His interests include art, film, music, stand up comedy, fitness, and comic books. Phil is also a dedicated community volunteer and always open to connecting with like-minded optimists.  The Joker’s appearance during End Game came in at a close third for me.