Neilalien : A Doctor Strange Fansite : A Comic Book Weblog  

Nick Cage's Gold And Silver Auction Update [Pulse]

The fantasy baseball season is at an end. The Agamotto Eyes made 5th place, out of 14 teams. Not bad. We were in 1st or 2nd for most of the year, but had a Red-Sox-esque September swoon. Overall, Neilalien really liked his team and the players he received from the random draft. But some veterans had off years, and some young talent never materialized- and a gaping hole at 2B- combined for a feeble batting average and a bloated WHIP.

Posted 30 September 02002 - Permalink

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Can't link to it directly (sigh), but Bill Jemas posted on the Joe Quesada Message Board yesterday that something good's getting worked on for "many" characters in this list: Silver Surfer, Dr. Strange, Warlock, the New Warriors, or Ghost Rider. Update within 45 days. So now us Doc fans can hope for a new cool thing.

Interesting and slightly odd Mark Millar interview of CrossGen's Mark Alessi [CBR]

Marv Wolfman speaks with Kurt Busiek [on Silver Bullet Comics; Part 1, Part 2, Part 3]

Reno man pleads guilty in threat to blow up comic book store [Reno Gazette-Journal via Splash]

Cops detail superhero costume heist [Splash]

Posted 28 September 02002 - Permalink

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Congratulations to the excellent LinkMachineGo, the almost Best British Blog of 02002.

Neilalien's rooting for Floyd.

Public Domain Superheroes? [Newsarama, picked up by Slashdot, via Boing Boing]
Excellent stuff about Alan Moore's use of never- or expired-copyright characters in Tom Strong, with an interesting discussion of the public domain.

Yes, Neilalien is aware that there is an old-school Doc Strange [sample previous link here] and he's involved in the Tom Strong stories (Strong even resembles Strange a lot). Neilalien is slightly curious- but except in noting the name similarity, he has little interest in blogging about that "other" Doc.

The Slashdotting cooked Newsarama's server in record time. Will Newsarama now reconsider it's slow, bloated CGI/frames/images design? One can only hope.

"Go in expecting the equivalent of a faceful of urine..." [current Savant reviews of the U-Decide books]

More on the Marvel-Vivendi deal: Marvel raises estimates based on large up-front cash [Splash] but is it now stuck in Vivendi's mess? [Splash again]

Gray & Palmiotti talk '21Down' [Comic Book Resources]
"One of the biggest challenges facing writers in today's mainstream comic book world is finding a way to make superhero comic books seem fresh to the current crop of cynical readers." Don't know if another dark, gritty, real-worldy, postmodern, post-Watchmen, trenchcoated-loner book is the answer, but this interview kept Neilalien's interest.

New X-Men Vs... The Comics Journal [Barbelith Underground, Comics Journal MB]
Uh oh, the jocks and the nerds have been fighting again.

Comics, pros, fans and the internet [Barbelith Underground]
Interesting rant; also has an anti-Savant edge. When does Neilalien springboard from this site into the comics business? ;)

Posted 26 September 02002 - Permalink

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Letters! We get letters! Not anymore... [today's Pipeline column on CBR]
More on the sad death- yet mercy killing- of letters pages.

Quesada to appear on 60 Minutes in November? [Gutters]
If it's just a fluff piece on comics with no scandal, then surely they mean 60 Minutes II.

Why Ask Y? [Pulse Part 1; Update: Part 2, Part 3]

Scholastic Books to include comics [Pulse Part 1; Update: Part 2]

The One Million Dollar Comic [Newsarama]

Stuart Moore will start an online column [on Newsarama; Update: here's the intro column, promising some intelligent stuff]

Posted 24 September 02002 - Permalink

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Confirmed: No full Ultimatization for Marvel [Newsarama]

Millar interviews Quesada and Jemas [CBR]
Seems informational. Once again, Jemas just comes off as a jerk, this time with 'Laul Pevitz.'

DC kills letter pages [Newsarama]
Call Neilalien an old-timer, but this is not a great idea. The discussion at the link says it all. Letter pages as they stand now, usually two cheesy positive letters, are useless. Either go back to the quality of yesteryear, or do the 'modern' version as found in Powers or Savage Dragon. Internet message boards certainly do much more than a letters page could ever do in terms of speed, interaction, etc. But they don't replace them. And then there's all the junk, flame wars, etc. And which comic book message board?- Neilalien links to over 12. Do readers and creators have time to navigate and participate in them all? People like to land a letter in the comic and feel like a permanent part of it. And not everyone has the internet yet. Of course, ending the letter page doesn't mean one more story page.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay author Michael Chabon gets the rewrite of the Spider-Man sequel [Newsarama]

Posted 22 September 02002 - Permalink

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The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest... Leaders? [Pulse]
A massively powerful superhero group getting more geopolitical power in some way is not a news item, it's a horse corpse.

Doctor Strange: A Separate Reality TPB recommendation [Slushfactory]

More Aaron's list inspiration [In Sequence, follow-up]

Teresa demands: Where is Neilalien's list? Sounds like it's time to stop observing and start participating.

What does Neilalien want to buy but can't due to lack of money? CGC-mummified >9.0 grade copies of Strange Tales #110 (1st Doc appearance) and #115 (1st Doc origin). Disgusting but true!

Highly recommended: Amazing Spider-Man #44 (started for JMS, stayed for Dr. Strange's appearance, now hooked, reliving past Spidey love), The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen V2 #2, Powers #23, and Fade From Blue #3.

Also bought: Transformers G1 #5 (his contribution to the 80's nostalgia wave), Infinity Abyss #1-6 (for Doc), Marvel Mangaverse #4-6 (again for Doc, title canceled, underrated) and Fantastic Four #60 (nine cents!- won't be buying #61).

On the radar, no financial commitment yet: Y: The Last Man, the new Master of Kung Fu, etc. Too many to mention. Never enough independent small press stuff, yeah yeah. No DC though.

Was buying recently but canceled: The Defenders/Order, The Authority. Really missing: Top 10. Recently dropped: Black Panther. Waiting and waiting: Rising Stars.

Teresa calls out: Where is Neilalien's About Page? Neilalien is touched by the personal interest. Hopefully his mysterious, alien, aloof nature doesn't negatively affect anyone's enjoyment of his site or his chicken too much.

Posted 20 September 02002 - Permalink

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Marvel & Vivendi sign deal to create a Marvel Superhero online multiplayer game world like Ultima Online or Everquest [Newsarama]

Posted 19 September 02002 - Permalink

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Paul Takes The Fall? [ via Mark Evanier]
Conservative magazine runs a pro-Peter Paul cover story and rehashes the Stan Lee Media debacle. Pic inside a Brazilian prison included.

Marvel press conference today re: the black Captain America, The Truth mini-series [Newsarama]

Is now a good time to open a comic book store? [Steven Grant says yes, Amanda Fisher of The Splash Page says yes, Warren Ellis says yes (you are getting his Bad Signal emails, aren't you?)]

Mayo Kaan, man who fraudulently claimed to be the original model for Superman, died this summer [Mark Evanier again]

Posted 18 September 02002 - Permalink

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Neilalien notices that he's been quiet about, and doesn't want to be. He's not against that website or pre-ordering- how can anyone be against such a thing? It's just not something he's going to use/do personally at this time, so it's off his radar.

  1. New York City spoils: Midtown Comics and Jim Hanley's Universe are great stores that actually have the independent and marginal comics sitting on the shelf.
  2. Neilalien doesn't buy comics sight unseen. He realizes that's kinda the point and vicious circle problem- but if buying indie comics blind is the solution, then they're in trouble. Good online reviews that click with Neilalien put a book on his radar and increase the odds he'll open it in the shop, like a good cover- but they don't take him all the way to parting with his money.
  3. But Neilalien certainly can reject comics sight unseen based on online reviews. Ellis' recommendations on of what to order don't excite Neilalien all that much. There doesn't seem to be much comics-taste overlap in the non-superhero things that Neilalien and Ellis like.

Boing Boing reports that provides downloadable PDF previews. Was this always the case? Maybe it was and Neilalien missed it. Anyway, the PDFs are nice and certainly make a dent in #2 above.

Top Shelf announces long-lost Alan Moore projects, especially Lost Girls [Pulse]

Posted 17 September 02002 - Permalink

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More Denny O'Neil info [Mark Evanier]
"Fortunately, the owner of the restaurant was a fireman and he had defibrillator paddles handy. It took three tries but he jolted Denny back to life, and now our friend is in the hospital with bypass surgery planned for next week." Yikes.

Guy running for County Attorney in Bell County, KY puts out political campaign comic book [Pulse]

Hearing no news, and since it's a no-brainer that it should happen, Neilalien assumed Joe Quesada's contract was renewed- nope [Gutters]
Peter Cuneo is stepping down as President and CEO of Marvel, though [Splash] so nothing is for certain.

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly [John Byrne on retailers at]

Updates: Another blogger inspired by Aaron's list- this time a listing of comic-related toys [A Small Victory]- And another [Comicaholics Anonymous meeting in progress at BlahBlog]

Posted 16 September 02002 - Permalink

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Denny O'Neil suffered a serious heart attack last week [well-wishes on his message board; found via Alan David Doane]
Sending positive thoughts for a sound, speedy recovery. Mr. O'Neil has of course worked on Dr. Strange. Strange Tales 145-149, 167-168 according to Neilalien's most current Dr. Strange Story List.

Found! A page of original art from Marvel Comics #1 featuring Bill Everett's Sub-Mariner, believed worth more than $125,000 [Newsarama]

"What comics would I get if I had the cash?" [Aaron's list] [Update: He "inspires" another blogger to head back to the comic book shop!]

Posted 15 September 02002 - Permalink

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Welcome readers of! [Item: Clea Sucks]
Neilalien's kneejerk is to respond that Clea's done well overall as positive, competent portrayals of female comic book characters go (and she hasn't ended up in a refrigerator yet). But it's hard to argue with (ahem) that chained-to-a-wall hair-pull thing (cough) from the cover of Doctor Strange #5.

Posted 14 September 02002 - Permalink

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Interview with band Ookla The Mok [Pulse] [Official Fan Site] ["I studied under the Ancient One" lyric]
Neilalien should check these guys out.

Posted 13 September 02002 - Permalink

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Speculation is apparently growing that J. Michael Straczynski's top secret project for Marvel is Dr. Strange

This week's All The Rage rumor column has this item: "'JMS is doing a top secret project for Marvel Knights, rumoured to be Dr Strange.' Hmm, well, let's not hold our breath here... Mind you if anyone can make this title work it is JMS. It has been rumoured for a while that Strange is returning to his own title, so there may be a lot more to this. I can think of one former Dr. Strange artist who may be at a loose end but if I mention Bucky's [Mark Buckingham] name again the editor may slap me."

Neilalien's excitement is also increasing! But sadly, for his sanity, he must calm down. He always tries to calm himself down. He's seen it all before and nothing's ever come of it, most recently with all that buzz last year that Kevin Smith's secret project would be Doc (turned out to be the current Black Cat). In fact, the JMS 'secret Doc? project' stuff parallels the Smith stuff last year- a Marvel m.o.

Let's overview what we've got. Does JMS have a secret project at Marvel? Well, he just mentioned it on Usenet anyway. Does he have any interest in Dr. Strange? Absolutely. What more have we heard? This Gutters column from two months ago. Could be, wabbit. The latest Rage rumor only has a 4 out of 10 veracity level. Just speculation at this point. If true, it would be excellent!

Supposedly the above Rage item is from can anyone out there navigate that overdone-Flash, registration-required-just-to-see-the-Message-Boards, no-good-URLs, slow-loading monstrosity and find it there for Neilalien? Sites like that give him hives. Update: Neilalien bit the bullet and lurked the message boards there, which aren't bad, btw. Found several inquisitive posters, but nothing close to official.

That "Last" Fantastic Four story Stan Lee and John Romita Jr. are doing? Did you think, as Neilalien did, that it would be some kind of last FF story, like Kingdom Come or a sci-fi movie of old farts like Cocoon? No, it means that it's the last time Stan Lee will write the FF [Fantastic Four Message Board via the above Rage again]

One Year Later: JMS, Jemas on comics post-9/11 [CBR]
Straczynski has a solid, interesting rant here, which includes: "I learned my sense of right and wrong, my sense of morality, from comics... Because that's what I learned in comics: that we are stewards of one another. That we must be heroes to one another." He also talks about continuing to include the WTC in NYC images, as opposed to removing them, and his Amazing Spider-Man #36- which was nice, but... Doctor... Doom... cried...? Neilalien still can't get over it. :)

Comics Magazines: More Retarded Than Insane, Really [current Savant Essay; picked up at Savant Forum and The Comics Journal MB]
A must-read! This very funny piece covers Wizard, The Comics Journal, and Comics Buyer's Guide.

Marvel agrees to some of Hibbs' demands in legal case... without mentioning or communicating with Hibbs [CBR]
Do we all look like we just fell off the turnip truck yesterday? All class, Marvel.

New York City Comic Book Museum receives grant funding [CBR]

Diamond Book Distributors lands Image Comics [Pulse; Newsarama]

Jim Sternako to appear in NYC for 9/11 benefit [Pulse]
Check out that link's resulting discussion thread re: this Steranko rant.

Some great gems at Michael Chabon's website [An Amazing Discovery: Mr. Trimpe's Miracle; Another Escapist: Jim Steranko]

Quesada: Year 2 As EIC: Part 2 [Newsarama]
Great stuff. Surprisingly a lot about that Observer interview from April. "I don't want to see profanity with a Stan Lee quote." No comment on Ultimatization (or Ultimization, which rolls off the tongue better). Expect increased Marvel dumb stunts now that the summer con season is over?

Marvel Managaverse canceled as of #6? Well, thank you Mr. Dunn for the #4-6 storyline with some Doctor Strange.

The cover of Mystic #28 reminds Neilalien of funky Ditko dimensions.

SPX '02 sounds like it was rockin' [Newsarama]

New comic book blog found [Renaissance Man's Comick Booke Landscape]
He was reviewing a lot of comics at a good weekly clip for a while there. Hopefully he just took a month off to recover financially.

Ooh, someone got a kowgirl kiss. ;)

Posted 12 September 02002 - Permalink

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9/11 WTC Captain America image by Mike Deodato

9/11/02. Comic books, and websites about them, naturally feel frivolous today. Neilalien would say that "it puts a comic book weblog into perspective", but this website has never been out of perspective. Nor is it the forum where Neilalien gets "political". If comic books provide a little diversionary entertainment to take the edge off our new Orange-Alerted world, that's good. If this online space sustains a normalcy of life "so the terrorists don't win," that's good. If Spider-Man and Batman are still being published, then those who seek to erase American culture from the planet haven't succeeded yet, and that's good.

Neilalien wishes there were more extant, alive comic book weblogs and Dr. Strange fansites. Surely with all the news and weekly releases, the weblog format would suit the comics topic as well as tech or politics? More blogs increase the conversation about comic books, more fansites louden the voice for more Doc stories.

There's a lot of comic book news out there. Tracking it all can get overwhelming. Neilalien might have to start being a little pickier again about what non-Doc news he blogs, and keep those posts short and sweet. Reset some boundaries to prevent burnout. Although this might just be 9/11 funk. We'll see. If only there were more blogs to track more news. But better too much news than too little.

Marvel Comics should have a blog. Like the old Bullpen Bulletins, online. And they should hire and pay Neilalien to do it. :)* In the same way that, if he may flatter himself to make the comparison, Maxim Online should hire Oliver Willis to be their blogger. The Holy Grail of Weblogging: get paid for it. (* Nah. Neilalien could never do this blogging thing without absolute control- and he'd never put himself in a position of having to pimp for or defend Marvel, most of their books, their business practices, Jemas, etc.)

Revisiting 9/11/01. The Onion hasn't gotten the Congressional Medal of Honor yet, which it deserves. Shit, just when you thought nothing could be funny ever again, they really totally nailed it good.

Posted 11 September 02002 - Permalink

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The Creature Tech graphic novel. On the one hand, you have this interview with the graphic novel's creator, Doug TenNapel, with some great points about how Christians are negatively portrayed in the media, how depicting Christianity as a valid worldview is controversial, and the role comics as counter-culture can have in rectifying that situation. On the other hand, you have this "non-review" weblog entry by Alan David Doane, who quite understandably and strongly, would rather not be tricked into paying $15 for unlabeled Christian propaganda. What to think? Well, Neilalien has checked out Creature Tech. His review: The art/look was great- very Calvin-and-Hobbes. But the story felt a little thin. The above interview mentions that the book expanded from 160 pages to 208, a 25% stretching that shows. There is a heavy dose of Christianity. The gist: an atheist scientist ends up finding Creationism/Intelligent Design very convincing. It's not offensive or evangelistic. But it's enough that it isn't going to work for everyone, and people might be buying this book unknowingly and feeling switcherooed. The book isn't "labeled" as "Christian" but that's a sticky area- how to label? slip it into a back-cover blurb? what gets labeled? does Green Lantern get a "gay" label now? Apparently since these reviews (both very positive, btw) don't mention the religiousness (to the near-point of reviewer irresponsibility), one must assume that for them, the characters just happen to be Christian and the story appeals to audience-widening universal themes and debates about faith and science or something like that. But that isn't the case in Neilalien's opinion. It's religiosity and inadequate arguments- Creationism ain't science- and from a preachy, cranky, conservative, conversionary white male. (And this is supposed to be an different portrayal of Christianity?) It gets old fast, like B.C. around Easter. Just not Neilalien's cup of tea. Check it out for yourself.

Posted 10 September 02002 - Permalink

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Quesada: Year Two as EIC [Newsarama]

Marvel's Returnable List: The Fallout [Newsarama]
Remember how late the Essential Dr. Strange and Separate Reality TPB's were?

The Fuss Over Gay Characters [Journey Into Comics column at Newsarama]

Millar responds to rumors, Hibbs v. Marvel returns, more [Gutters]

Posted 9 September 02002 - Permalink

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More Art Spiegelman and 9/11 at Forward [The Paranoids Were Right interview; In the Shadow of No Towers comic; via Reverse Cowgirl and Robot Wisdom]

Posted 8 September 02002 - Permalink

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Maus creator Art Spiegelman, after staying in NYC after 9/11, realizes why the Jews stayed in Berlin after Kristallnacht [Der Zeit via Splash]

Mark Millar on how his comics have changed after 9/11 [Comic Book Resources]

Marvel accepts five years of late book returns! [Newsarama]
Wow, that's an interesting switch. Maybe that Hibbs lawsuit really did have some teeth to remind Marvel of its contractual obligations.

Reviewer of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay sees strong parallels between comic books and weblogs [Microcontent News via In Sequence]

The 1954 Senate Interim Report on Comic Books and Juvenile Deliquency is online. Be patient with the link and check it over the next couple days- it seems to often max out its GeoCities allotment.

The Books From Brazil [Newsarama]

Posted 6 September 02002 - Permalink

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Why I Won't Review Creature Tech [Alan David Doane]

Frank Cho's Liberty Meadows FAQ Page is a good read, including an interesting list of syndicate edits/censors.

More Neilalien sightings! Welcome readers of Dublog! Welcome surfers of Shiningsilence's bookmarks and Mr. Ellis' links (no, not that Mr. Ellis). Neilalien appreciates the attention.

Posted 5 September 02002 - Permalink

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Little Sister's Book & Art Emporium vs. Big Brother [Splash; Pulse]

Jim Steranko rants, wages war on comix terrorism [The Art of James Steranko via Reverse Cowgirl]

Attention Francophones: Comic Box is back [Pulse]

Superhero icon t-shirts selling big [Splash]

Marvel paying off $10 million of its debt [Newsarama]

Posted 4 September 02002 - Permalink

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Axel Alonso on Witches: "We intend to finish. The question is when." [Newsarama story about Deodato on Hulk]

MIT Apologizes, Burton Joseph Comments On Radix [Newsarama]

Dont-miss 'arch-review' of The Order [posted to Usenet (Google Groups)]

Marvel recruiting some heavy Manga creators [Pulse]

NYC: Women and Comics discussion series now at Jim Hanley's Universe [Pulse]

Posted 3 September 02002 - Permalink

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No Dr. Strange in Marvel November solicits [Comic Book Resources]
Now that Doctor Strange isn't appearing in a monthly book anymore, Neilalien must sadly restart The DocWatch. Think his next appearance will be Marvel Knights Double Shot #4.

Marvel, Ultimate stuff dominate [Top 300 for September at CBR] launches [via Newsarama]
Gotta say that Joe's one of the main reasons why Marvel dominates.

'Soothing' Winnie The Pooh is the most popular toon in Japan, beating out Mickey, Hello Kitty, Pokemon? [Guardian Unlimited via Splash]

Batman The Musical by Tim Burton? [, Playbill Online; via CBR, Splash]

Along Came A Spider [The Independent via LinkMachineGo]
LMG nails the quote: 'For the beleaguered film censors, the problem with films based on comic books is- the comic books. Comics have always been controversial, with their mix of cartoon violence, vivid villains and perverse characters; always accused of glorifying the crime or drug use that their clean-cut superheroes exist to combat.'

Posted 2 September 02002 - Permalink

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