Neilalien : A Doctor Strange Fansite : A Comic Book Weblog  

"Sony have been acting in some meetings as if they already own Marvel" [rumors in this week's Gutters]

Thor #156 CGC 10.0 Auction to benefit CBLDF [Newsarama]
Neilalien loves to see that anti-CGC stuff on the message boards. At least this auction is one good use for CGC. Still, it's nice to see such an old comic in astounding shape.

Owner of collectibles shop is living many a guy's dream [ (St. Louis Dispatch) via Journalista]
As Journalista notes: "My average comic customers are 35 or over. I could probably count on two hands the collectors under 20 years old."

Where are all the kids at? [ICv2]
A "well-thought-out and impassioned plea for publishers to produce comics that can be sold to young children." Quickly seconded by other retailers. And don't forget young girls!

Y: The Last Man is hot stuff [CBR]
Neilalien is enjoying this book. Great to see it succeed.

Denny O'Neil update, doing well! [O'Neil Observer MB via The Beat]

Posted 26 November 02002 - Permalink

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DocWatch: Dr. Strange in this week's Daredevil #39!
Doc testifies in the trial of Hector Ayala, the White Tiger, on the powers of the jade amulet in a one page appearance. Be sure to check out this good courtroom yarn. Thanks to Anti-Grimm on the Defenders Message Board for the heads-up.

Great Xmas idea for the comics fan in your life, if you can find it: a spinner rack with the Hey, Kids! Comics! sign on top [spotted on Steven Grant's Delphi Forum]

Excellent treatment of The Truth [Read Comics In Public]

High praise for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen [Journey Into Comics]

Those high quality Superman cartoons from the 40's are available online [Superman Through The Ages via Mark Evanier]
Egon reported that these cartoons were exhibited on the big screen in NYC this weekend [ (reg req'd)]. Missed it!

Art for Comics' Sake [Fantagraphics Publisher Gary Groth via Alan David Doane; URL suggests it's from 01997?]
Update: Pop Culture Gadabout sums up nicely.

Rembrandt, Meet Spider-Man [; via Permanent Damage, which weighs in on this story and also Creature Tech (remember that?)]

Rant: Stop buying X-Crap at crappy comic shops, you enablers [Michael Patrick Sullivan's Full Bleed column on PopImage]

Good threads that haven't died yet, so make sure you peek in again:
Why do most comic critics hate superhero comics? [ MB]
Question on comics perception [r.a.c.m.u. (Google Groups)]

Posted 24 November 02002 - Permalink

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ICv2 founder Milton Griepp himself weighs in on Collector Model v. Reader Model [ICv2]

Marvel solicitations for February include Marvel Double-Shot #4 and Dr. Strange [Comic Book Resources]
Sounds like we also get some all-class Klaus Janson work on the Iron Man story too.

Posted 22 November 02002 - Permalink

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The Journal of MODOK Studies Volume 1 [Comics Journal MB]

Stan Lee's Schulz painting has uncertain origin? [Splash; image of item]

Posted 21 November 02002 - Permalink

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Stan v. Marvel: Under the Hood [Newsarama]
Forget Spider-Man profits, Stan! You still got the Femizons!

Marvel Wishes- Series That Should Return [Pulse MB]
Of course and as usual, Dr. Strange gets some good hits on a thread like this- with some interesting creator ideas. Neilalien agrees 100% with Jen re: Marvel Comics Presents.

Marvel sops up preferred shares [Splash]

Arlen Schumer's lecture series on comic books in the 60's at CUNY wrapped up last night with Jim Steranko and Neal Adams. Neilalien had a great time with these multimedia presentations and learned some new things too. Excelsior! More!

Posted 20 November 02002 - Permalink

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Comics' Drunken Uncle: Science Fiction (Pt. 2) [Stuart Moore's A Thousand Flowers (Pt. 5)]

Posted 19 November 02002 - Permalink

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Trouble's a brewin': Peter David snags domain name [via Gutters]
Another stunt, but it could be delicious. There were digs at PAD in Marville #2? If people know this, then people must be reading it, which is troubling.

FYI: The Dr. Strange and Nightmare pieces for the HeroClix collectible miniature game

Super Like Me [Minority Report on Ninth Art]
The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, in reflecting and servicing the current mainstream nostalgic adult white male collector marketplace, is presenting comic books with a falsely homogeneous face.

Posted 18 November 02002 - Permalink

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Steve Ditko's recent birthday was his 75th [heads up from the TCJ Message Board]
Neilalien offered birthday wishes, but hadn't done the math. :( As the poster notes, in "The Year of Spider-Man," the anniversary went by quietly.

Re: Stan Lee's worldwide lawsuit news: "Comics can get publicity, isn't it time it was for the right reasons?" [good overall Rage this week including some interesting info on Free Comic Book Day 2003]

A call to action (and action ideas) re: CBLDF and the Castillo case [Journey Into Comics]

Flat Earth with the latest tidbit on how far comcis have fallen.

Posted 17 November 02002 - Permalink

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Fantastic Clea artwork by Tony Perna [for sale on Ebay]
Auction ends tomorrow.
Update: Should you desire to be a Dr. Strange scholar like Neilalien, there are other Ebay auctions which can help: near complete runs of Doc here (70's-80's series) and here (Sorcerer Supreme from the 90's). Warning to any actual hopeful scholars: Sorcerer Supreme is the far weaker of the two.

Posted 16 November 02002 - Permalink

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Stan Lee's Legacy Management

So Stan Lee woke up one morning, heard the creaking bones, and considered the legacy he's going to leave behind.

He looked into the mirror and saw the future that the present was creating for him. He saw planet-wide fame. He saw beloved characters he helped create still a part of the cultural landscape of the world. He saw "Stan Lee Presents" on a lot of schwag. He saw a million dollars a year. He saw a Marvel Comics entity that he fed so well all those years that it fed him back for years. He saw the P.T. Barnum institution of his field, of his generation. He saw many movie cameos. He saw a lot of people still high-fiving him. He saw a lot of people making sure the history doesn't incorrectly show that he alone created all those characters- but okay, nobody's perfect, history's really still kind.

But then the looking glass showed him an alternate universe. He went out with an ugly bang. He bit the hand that fed him, greedily for money he didn't need, and at an age when he didn't have much time left to enjoy it. He put that entire great legacy at risk.

And Stan regarded this alternate realm and thought, "Yeah, I want that life instead." Is he that stupid? Why would Stan Lee sue Marvel? Surely he hasn't selflessly incongruously become a champion for creator rights?

Maybe he's the ever-huckster addicted to the drug of the press hit, and this is one last hurrah to get his fix. Maybe he's just fighting for his rights. For pride and principle, he doesn't want to go out looking like a sucker. Maybe in his world, the million smackers a year feels like a condescending pat on the head. Maybe he's saying to the impetuous child, "I put you in this world, and I can take you out."

Or maybe it goes like this: Stan assessed the battlefield. There are two foxholes. Bombs are headed for both foxholes. Everyone in the foxholes is going to be killed. There's no escape. But he can choose which one he's in when it happens. He looks around and finds himself in the one with the likes of Bill Jemas, Ronald Perelman, Peter Cuneo, and Peter Paul- and is repulsed. So now, before it's too late, he's trying to get back into the other foxhole- the one with the Purple Heart winners, the one with Jack Kirby, Joe Simon and Steve Ditko inside.

There's still room for him in that foxhole. They're not really his buddies anymore- not since he left them for the other foxhole. But he could sell it- heck, he's sold ice to Eskimos. When the bombs hit, his body can be found with Hero Company, or with the brandy-sniffing generals. He's made his choice. He just needs space to dance and the time to pull it off.

Posted 15 November 02002 - Permalink

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Neilalien's Editorial Policy

Neilalien's Editorial Policy

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Stan's team outlines 'shameless scheme' [Pulse]
Stan has filed the lawsuit only with great reluctance and regret. And only because Marvel's telling him there's no Spider-Man money, no X-Men money, etc. Now we know Marvel has screwed itself with these movie deals- Stan won't be getting 10% of $800 million, for example. Maybe only 10% of $4 million. But it still sounds like he has something coming to him. And there will be better Marvel movie deals in the future.

Mark Evanier continues his good two cents about the recent Marvel lawsuits
He's also found all the Stan Lee Media Flash webisodes [at SourceForge]

Doesn't anyone remember Stan Lee Media? Stan's met karma already.

Marvel Comics isn't going to go out of business over this. But Stan's probably going to hurt the bottom line. Settling with him, paying the lawyers, distracting attention away from the positive Marvel hype machine. Much of this website's "mission" is to get more great Doc stories. Since Dr. Strange does not enjoy top-tier always-published iconic status or a stable history of good sales, we tend not to get new Doc stories unless times are good. Stan's making that more difficult. Can't be against Marvel too much- we still need that Doc trademark "serviced..." That would be the case against Stan in the tiny Neilalien Universe. Just have to remember that there would be no Dr. Strange without Lee, either.

Why do most comic critics hate superhero comics? [ MB]

Jack Looked Down and Smiled [Poplife column by Matt Fraction]

Keeping It 'Real': Chuck Austen, Andi Watson & Terry Moore talk about 'non-spandex' comics [Comic Book Resources]

There are some Quesada responses to Peter David's no-overprint retailer poll appearing online [ MB,]

Retailer to Marvel re: scant info in Previews: 'Help Us So that We Can Sell More Books' [ICv2]
Above and beyond the policy that prevents the shopowner from getting more hot books to sell (no overprint), and the policy that makes colder books more of a liability (no return), don't forget the Marvel policy that forces the shopowner to buy the books sight-unseen in the first place. What a racket.

Alan David Doane's new kitten needs a name.
Whatever you think of Doane, at least consider the poor cat. Neilalien wrote in with Ben, Benjamin or Grimmy. The Thing's a little obvious, but hey: male, orange and comics. Or maybe the G'Uranthic Guardian. :)
Update: ADD goes with Peanut Butter. That'll do. No TPB prize for Neilalien this time.

Posted 15 November 02002 - Permalink

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More: Lee seeks at least $10 million from Marvel [Newsarama]

The world is abuzz about Stan Lee suing Marvel. The story is almost all 30 of the current items on the World Famous Comics News Page. And almost all those headlines and wire reports say "Spider-Man creator..." "The creator..." "his characters..." Well, maybe the existence of other creators of Spider-Man isn't completely ruled out semantically... [; let's add BBC News as a link-rot preventative]

Stan's Spidey suit snags spotlight [Splash]
On the one hand, a commenter here has a perfectly valid point. This is all directly about a contract from the 90's between Marvel and some guy, which promises that guy 10% of profits from movies using Marvel characters. Nothing more. A simple deal. It has nothing to do with character creation and creator rights. That's getting totally lost in the discussions. But it's not just some guy! It's Stan Lee. Marvel vs. Mr. Marvel himself. Mr. Created-It-All? Neilalien's pro-Stan on this lawsuit- but we will not be denied our irony!

Found Stan Lee's [opinions] on Ditko and Kirby on the Message Board, with some great bits (and a lot of the usual back-and-forth associated with the topic). The way Neilalien sees it, both Lee and Ditko created Spider-Man. 50% each. Or, 100% each. Both men were critical to the success of the character- one designed and defined the character re: the costume, the angles, the poses, the shadows- while the other one huckstered books off the shelves, and wrote those defining Peter Parker monologues and themes. Both men are deified on this website re: Doctor Strange and Spider-Man. And both men are probably difficult to work with- the working relationship was doomed, as most great ones are. Both men were critical to the success. There would be no Spider-Man without Ditko, no Marvel without Spider-Man, no Marvel without Stan Lee. There would be no one around to get screwed, and no money to get screwed out of, without Lee... The only sore- not forgotten- and for whatever reasons, who did what, who didn't do what- is that when the chips fell, people did get screwed. Lee got, grabbed, and was given so much more of the credit, and received exponentially more financial compensation than Ditko and Kirby.

Who is Steve Ditko? [ via the above link]

If you're on Warren Ellis' Bad Signal Mailing List, and surely you must be, as Neilalien is- he wrote about Stan v. Marvel today, and it's good too. (LinkMachineGo always has Neilalien's back: special thanks for the very considerate "Psst- Warren wrote you something- check your email" note from LMG.) If you want this Ellis brain slice, send Neilalien an email.

Pop Culture Gadabout is rooting for Stan
It's Korporate Karma against Marvel more than Kirby Karma against Stan. (Bill, btw- Stan will always be The Man!)

Trouble At The Top [Paul O'Brien on Ninth Art]

In other Marvel legal news, a previous Joe Simon setback in his copyright battle over Captain America has been reversed [Newsarama]

In other Stan Lee news, Stan won a Golden Panel Award for 'Best Legend of 2002' by The New York City Comic Book Museum [spotted when Neilalien was visiting WizardWorld above]
Gee, didn't catch these award results on most of the comics news websites and such. Marvel winning the Best Publisher Award and Wizard winning Best Publication must have fogged up a lot of glasses. Photos here at the Museum's website. Hey!- Arlen Schumer of the current and enjoyable CUNY multimedia lectures designed the award.

Can Steve Rude make The Comics Journal palatable? He sure can [Franklin's Findings]
The same way discussing Ditko on TCJ's Message Board makes that forum more palatable. Only there would one have to be ashamed to praise Ditko's legendary Spidey superhero work.

Time to start addressing a current lapse on this site. We know there's a Marvel Knights Double-Shot #4 coming out in February with Dr. Strange. But what hasn't been mentioned here enough is that it's by Michael T. Gilbert. And this is very exciting news for Doc fans. Start by Googling "Michael T. Gilbert" and see where the links take you. You'll find Mr. Monster. You'll find someone who is a huge Ditko fan and comic book historian (he reprinted Ditko's first story in Mr. Monster #6). Someone who has, interestingly enough, worked with other creators with Doc connections (Roy Thomas and P. Craig Russell on Elric). Someone with talent to produce some cool, creepy/horror, unusual, funny, old-school (think Spirit) type stuff. We might be getting a gem soon!

Posted 13 November 02002 - Permalink

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Make it official: Stan Lee is suing Marvel [Newsarama]
The provision from Lee's employment agreement being cited [under the Expenses/Fringe Benefits section] reads: "In addition, you shall be paid participation equal to 10% of the profits derived during your life by Marvel (including subsidiaries and affiliates) from the profits of any live action or animation television or movie (including ancillary rights) productions utilizing Marvel characters. This participation is not to be derived from the fee charged by Marvel for the licensing of the product or of the characters for merchandise or otherwise. Marvel will compute, account and pay to you your participation due, if any, on account of said profits, for the annual period ending each March 31 during your life, on an annual basis within a reasonable time after the end of each such period." Sounds tight. Maybe Marvel can wiggle out of it by saying the loot comes from licensing the characters to the movie studio? But movies are specifically mentioned. Or maybe a funky definition of "profits"? Who knows. Neilalien isn't a tricky lawyer. Go Stan!

The Fog Hollow Memorial Address [Journalista]
Excellent long essay about how Marvel got us here, and how it continues to take us further downward.

CrossGen offers a money-back guarantee on Crux #22 [Pulse]
But if you truly want "risk-free," nothing beats reading it in the store. Shouldn't there probably be a "CrossGen is a sponsor of Pulse" disclosure with this press release, er, news?

The National Association of Comics Art Educators now has a message board. [via The Comics Journal MB]

Advice for Marvel: Take that movie money and invest in some risks with non-superhero, non-work-for-hire [Max of Salgood Sam]

Want to know why Neilalien doesn't make the big bucks (if it isn't painfully obvious just by reading him)? Take this Marvel Marketing Communications Manager topic. Not even a blogworthy topic to Neilalien, initially. And then, while he's blissfully linking to Gutters' report that Rosemann's still there for a little while longer until another replacement is found and to Michael Doran leaving Newsarama- insider rumors unbeknownst to him are zipping, and is putting what is now totally obvious all together with, "Enjoy the job at Marvel, Mike." And sure enough, Doran is the new Marketing Communications Manager at Marvel [Newsarama, Pulse]
"It's been in Newsarama and everything." Indeed. Congratulations to Mike.

Tonight is installment #3 of 4 of Superheroes In The 60's: Comics & Counterculture lecture series at CUNY by the caped Arlen Schumer. Jack King Kirby will be covered. See you there.

Mr. Ten Per Cent: Stan Lee takes on the Marvel men [Guardian Unlimited via WFC News]
Is this headline saying that Stan's a ten-percenter who takes on men? What?

Alan David Doane fisks this week's Pipeline column.

If you're into weblogs and aware of warblogs, you know what Fisking is. But for the purely comics folks here who might not know, "Fisking" is basically a line-by-line insertion of one's own comments into a text for the purpose of utterly ripping that text to shreds. As with everything in this world, there is some awesome Fisking as an artform of blistering logical analysis, wit and a personal drubbing- but mostly there is a lot of bad Fisking (which usually plays out as over-reductionism, building straw men or just an unfunny personal attack). It's named after a journalist named Fisk, who wrote an article that ended up the first Fiskee. Not that there's anything fundamentally new about this form of criticism- you see something like it all the time on message boards when people carve up the posts of others to respond point-by-point- but it feels like a new thing and a weblog-specific thing. How often has a newspaper devoted space to indulge the belligerent and questionable tactic of printing someone's column entirely interspersed sentence-by-sentence within a reprint of another writer's opposing column, with personal attacks on the writer? [For more info, and to show that all this stuff is old in internet terms and open to debate and definition, see John Quiggin here, and scroll down too.]

Neilalien's comment is not about the content of this fisking. (Blogger's archiving is acting up for ADD right now. It starts off well- face it, De Blieck wrote some "duh" type stuff- but it quickly goes off the tracks and gets ugly.) What Neilalien wants to say is that he fears there will be more fisking in comicdom's future. It's not about tsk-tsking Doane for not playing nice, or poo-pooing all Fisking as inherently bad. We need better comic books, and better in the weblogs, opinion columns, message boards and news stories about them. Sharp vocal criticism is probably necessary to get that better content- Neilalien tries to do it. But he also eternally hopes for increased civility and inclusiveness in the community too. By definition, fisking is mean, and hard to do well. The current comic book community- with its flaccid product, and its balkanization, vitriol, burgeoning numbers of weblogs, weak journalism and oversaturation of lame opinion columns (pretty much the same situation as the realm of politics)- is ripe for the Fisking phenomenon. Ripe! Hopefully Fisking won't become the latest new weapon with which we immolate ourselves.

Posted 12 November 02002 - Permalink

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The National Comic Book, Art, Toy & Sci-Fi Expo here in NYC was great fun yesterday. Once again, much to Neilalien's frustration, classic Doc artist Gene Colan was mentioned in a con's promotional materials, but he no-showed. Will Neilalien ever meet him? But he did meet legends Dick Ayers and Julie Schwartz. Robert Vaughn still looks great. All-class Klaus Janson was there, doing sketches for MoCCA donations again- didn't get a chance to thank him again for the rocking Doc sketch from when last we met. There were some small/indy books/people there, but it didn't look like a lot- especially now that Neilalien's been spoiled by the greatness of the MoCCA Art Festival experience.

On the collecting side, Neilalien finally found one critical, long-sought item! Happy day. A near-mint copy of Doctor Strange #180. High grades of this baby have proved very difficult to locate, given its cover- the white background is easily soiled, and/or the deep dark inks in Eternity are usually faded. Of course, it was the High Grade Comics guy who got Neilalien's money once again.

On the "complete Dr. Strange encyclopedia of knowledge" side, $2 had to be unfortunately sacrificed for a reading copy of the putrid Marvel Fanfare #21. First, at base it is an anti-dynamically written and drawn Hulk-vs.-Thing battle. Second, it's mostly from the Thing's perspective, and damn, his ever-lovin' blue-eyed language style for an entire book has got ta be as annoyin' as Aunt Petunia's singin', if ya get da drift. Third, the cover is awful. And fourth- and regular Neilalien fans will know this is Pet Peeve Uno- Doctor Strange gets knocked out! No superhero in the history of superhero comics has lost consciousness more than Dr. Strange. It's a travesty. In this issue, the villain Xandu (Doc and Spidey have fought him on multiple occasions) mind-controls Wong to sneak up on Doc in combat and hit him over the head with a vase. Hello? Sorcerer Supreme, people. Where is Doc's mystical awareness and protective shielding against this slow-moving zombie from behind? You've got to be kidding. Of course we don't want an omnipotent Doc- there would be no stories that way. And many a yarn, especially team-ups, will require Doc to be taken out of the main action for a little while. That's all perfectly fine. But please, writers- please do it in a way that doesn't make Doc look like a weak jackass. Take this situation, for example. You don't have the villain force Wong to smack Doc with a stick. Given Doc's powers, that makes no sense and should never work. Instead, you have the villain force Wong to walk into the middle of the combat and get in the way. Then, while Doc is holding back or distracted, the villain takes advantage of the opening and Mists-of-Morpheus Doc into a short nap. Or distract Doc by motivating him to save a mind-controlled Wong who's slicing his own wrists open or jumping out a high-story window. See how much more sense that makes, rather than giving Earth's most powerful mage the fragility of Aunt May? Sigh.

Meanwhile, get out your "End of the World" placards: Battle of the Planets/Thundercats crossover!? [Pulse]

Posted 10 November 02002 - Permalink

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Yesterday Mark Evanier posted more Marvel lawsuit news and insights here and here.

Retailer comments are still showing up at ICv2. Maybe making key books a little returnable is a compromise?

Steven Grant on Marvel and 60 Minutes II [Permanent Damage]
Neilalien agrees that seeing Stan Lee as the victim, or the poster boy for creator rights, was off. This website may elevate Stan to godhood, and he should get even more from the movies- but a $1 million annual salary buys a lot of jewel-encrusted bath tubs while Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby get/got the shaft. Grant makes a good point that being consistently for creator rights means being for Stan now, even if he's been the enemy in other situations.
But in the end, Grant saw what he wanted as he watched 60 Minutes, and bends over backwards with glee to report his findings. You gotta be pretty far up your own ivory tower to claim that a piece on booming Marvel superhero movies makes a great case that superheroes are culturally irrelevant.

Marvel's lack of communications? [Pulse]
Didn't feel blogworthy until a poster in the discussion crystalized it: "Tomorrow is Bill Rosemann's last day and his replacement just left the company."

Odd. Neilalien's orbiting mind-control lasers report he's getting not-insignifcant referrer traffic from two sites, but he sees no link to him on those sites. How can there be referrals without links? Must be that wacky inter-nut. Or clever referrer log spam. Hmmm. Turns out those two sites are indeed about comics. Yay! So maybe someone is consistently and logically going from their site to here after all? So let's link to them.

First is Pop Culture Gadabout, which impresses Neilalien immediately with elegant design, intelligent writing, one post that includes OK Go, the Cars, the Shoes, and They Might Be Giants (all great bands- there are also Bowie and Replacements refs to be found on the site)- and hallelujah, one post questioning Journalista's ridiculous "Children's" section of links (where Marvel and DC have been placed).

The second is Ninth Panel. Ten posts since July is pretty deadish. Hopefully Brad will follow his "I must blog more" mantra.

Ranking the five greatest comic-book superheroes [by Franklin Harris]
Dr. Strange is not on this list.
However, Doctor Doom and Doctor Strange: Triumph and Torment is on this list of Top 50 Favorite Comics.

Posted 8 November 02002 - Permalink

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Lots to blog today. Let's get on it:

News! Marvel Chairman Emeritus Stan Lee might sue Marvel Comics if it doesn't pay him 10% of company profits earned from movies and television programs, including ancillary rights, that use the company's characters [Yahoo Financial News via Mark Evanier]
Source: A Form 10-Q filed Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission by Marvel. Some lawyer out there must have seen the 60 Minutes II piece and thought Stan had a case. Wow! Could this be big? Stan's already getting a $1 million annual salary, but there's an employment agreement from 1998 that might be funky.
More: Newsarama, Pulse. SEC filing.

Neilalien missed this: Evanier also weighed in on 60 Minutes II and Ditko's absence with a theory similar to Neilalien's.

Dr. Strange art by Tom Mandrake [ via Defenders Message Board]

Conan in Calhoun: Comic book editor decides on super heroes' next moves [ (Times and Democrat in South Carolina) via Journalista]
An update on what Roy Thomas (and also former Dr. Strange writer) has been doing since he semi-retired.

FVSU professor searching for vintage black comic strips [ (Macon Telegraph) via Journalista]

That's The End! Speaking with Jim Starlin [Pulse]

Steve Ditko was covered in this week's episode of Superheroes In The 60's: Comics & Counterculture lecture series at CUNY by the caped Arlen Schumer, and it was great. Ditko is a god around this website already, and this presentation/celebration only affirmed that. Very abridged list of notable items:

  1. Ditko's history on horror titles made him particularly suited for creating and doing the creepy, shadowy original versions of Dr. Strange and Spider-Man. Neilalien already knew that many Doc items had precedents in Ditko's horror work, such as spirit forms, doorways to other dimensions, etc. but he didn't realize how many. If you'd like to see some examples, start surfing the Ditko links in Neilalien's nav column.
  2. Neilalien already knew that there was a strong Dr. Strange/psychedelia link, but he didn't realize how strong it was, or how many rock music festival posters from the 60's featured Doc. There was an awesome poster for a Youngbloods show in the presentation- but Neilalien cannot even find an image of it online to show you, never mind where to buy one. Help anybody?
  3. Did you know that the Eisner's Spirit in the 40's had a very anomaly-rue-esque window in his cemetery home? You can see it here in this image from The Spirit Portfolio. Cool.

Review of Amazing Spider-Man #46. JMS and Romita continue their strong run. Again, Dr. Strange makes only a minor appearance, and again, he warns Spidey of mystically-oriented danger without really helping him do anything about it- which is all very disappointing for Doc fans- but unfortunately typical. But what little there is of Doc is great. JMS has captured Spidey's humor, so it follows that he's also captured that old-time Doc-Spidey comedy team perfectly: Doc: "I am a Sorcerer Supreme. If I so desired, I could cause your true name to appear above you in twelve foot tall neon letters. And your shoe size, social security number and inseam. But I have no interest in any of those things." Spider-Man: "Not even the inseam?" Neilalien is coming around to enjoy JMS' fresh spider-totem angle. Didn't really buy it at first with the whole "Morlun's punched Spidey stronger than anyone else has" drama, but the new Spider Wasp villainess has big potential. (Unfortunately, since she has been created already knowing the Peter Parker secret identity, and is possibly threatening to reveal it, she'll probably get axed quickly.) While Romita's done well in his own right, he's also recaptured Ditko's original sleek, shadowy, angular Spider-Man, and he's also done well with repeating images and other story-telling tricks for JMS' more deliberate (i.e. slowish) pacing and humor-timing. Overall, the magic is back for Amazing Spider-Man in the comics. One art complaint is that there's been a little too much green in the book- and in this issue Peter's dreamscape was green too. Let's see a little more color. A related nitpick is that the Spider-Wasp in her initial form looked pretty boring- the all black with shardy tentacles and big white eyes actually reminded Neilalien of Venom, and a creator wouldn't intend to do that.

Neilalien Spotting: Many thanks to Insolvent Republic of Blogistan for the blogroll link!

Don't forget that this weekend is the National Comic Book, Art, Toy & Sci-Fi Expo here in NYC! Neilalien will be there looking for Dr. Strange bargains.

Posted 7 November 02002 - Permalink

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Comic Book Legal Defense Fund To Appeal Castillo Decision To The U.S. Supreme Court [CBLDF via Newsarama]

Comic Relief: Formerly denigrated art form getting new respect from academics [Bangor Daily News via Egon]

EBay isn't the only show in town [Pmpknface's LiveJournal]
A nice intro to comic book online auction houses. has redesigned [via Newsarama]

Tonight is installment #2 of Superheroes In The 60's: Comics & Counterculture lecture series at CUNY by the caped Arlen Schumer. Steve Ditko and Dr. Strange will be covered tonight. Neilalien can't wait!

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Ignorance is the New Intelligence [Alan David Doane]

A great, blistering rant. But...

ADD has a problem with those people who populistically mock a passionate champion of comics like The Comics Journal and marginalize intelligent comics voices. Unfortunately for his point, the real problem is that those people could never marginalize The Comics Journal as much as it has marginalized itself- proudly, happily and pretentiously- but to the detriment of its noble greater mission. Another thing ADD seems to miss is how his defense of intelligent voices is totally undermined by his vitriol.

"You catch more flies with honey." That's a great critique of The Comics Journal in a nutshell, and why it hasn't lived up to its great potential. People have stopped listening to its vitriol- and to the vitriol of its defenders even less.

Update: Related thread on CBR.

Update: New blog found- and with yet another post online taking Alan David Doane to task for his "How dare anyone mock the TCJ?" line [Franklin's Findings]
"Like those at The Comics Journal, Doane conflates elitism and intelligence and assumes people (like me) dislike TCJ for the latter rather than the former... The problem with TCJ is that its elitism trumps its intelligence."

Posted 5 November 02002 - Permalink

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More Dr. Strange in Amazing Spider-Man #46! Yes!

Get your First Look here. Although the "take out word for it" editorial box is really a downer. Doc fans want to actually see the damn mini-series!

Happy Birthday to Steve Ditko tomorrow.

Arrgh! Neilalien knew it. Two days after he says he'll be blogging less Transformers because he's getting bored and he's only interested in G1, Newsarama reports two new G1 mini-series and the possibility of a G1 ongoing series.
Update: The Transformers: Armada Happy Meal [X-Entertainment via Fark]
"Cyclonus makes the rookie mistake of not being able to conceal his head in vehicle mode..."

Speculating on 60 Minutes and the lack of Steve Ditko. Neilalien was thinking last night that perhaps the CBS piece never mentions Ditko because Ditko is a recluse, and journalists punish people who don't give interviews, who don't play with them by their rules. It still doesn't excuse Stan from not mentioning, "Steve Ditko and I..." Not that Stan has any control over the final product, either.

Posted 1 November 02002 - Permalink

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