Neilalien : A Doctor Strange Fansite : A Comic Book Weblog  

Doc by Glenn Fabry in Thor: Vikings #2 Doctor Strange in Thor: Vikings #2
Neilalien was so excited about Doc in Amazing Spider-Man this week he damn plum forgot to even buy Thor: Vikings #2, so back to the shop he went. Doc enters the story only on the last page, but as reported on this website, all previews say that he plays a big role in the mini-series from here on out, so if you're a Neilalienista you've already bought this. Looks like Glenn Fabry is running with the Bathrobe Doc (without distinctive Cloak of Levitation cowl) by Romita Jr. in his Amazing Spider-Man appearance from a while back. Curiosity is high to see (a) a Garth Ennis-written Doc, (b) how the Sorcerer Supreme will help the Thunder God, and (c) how Doc's going to get bloodied, which surely will happen in this brutal gorefest, no?

Big thanks and No-Prizes to all of you who emailed wondering where the heck Neilalien's write-up of this Doc appearance was, including Pop Culture Gadabout and Forager 23.

Alan David Doane interviews Tom Spurgeon [that Stan Lee bio book site (MP3 format exists)]
Neilalien's downloaded it but hasn't listened to it yet.

Jack Kirby is missed [Mark Evanier]

Trapped In The Android's Dungeon [Forager 23]
A Little Less Conversation [Ninth Art]
A little recent burst of the bad-comic-book-shop meme.

Australia debates silly ban on superhero costumes at day care centers [Altona Laverton Mail via today's The Beat at Pulse]
At this printing none of the links on today's Beat are working, but it's good readin' so check it out.

Posted 29 August 02003 - Permalink

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Dormammu by John Romita Jr. in Amazing Spider-Man #498 Doctor Strange, Mindless Ones, Dormammu in JMS Amazing Spider-Man story arc starting today with #498

How about that! Neilalien had no idea. Sometimes he misses big glaring things. But it's not like Marvel does descriptions of their books ahead of time anymore, do they? Certainly there is nothing on the Marvel website about this. What a fantastic surprise for the Neilalienistas while waiting in line at the comic book shop and thumbing through the pull list (ASM, Sleeper #8 (gets better and better) and Smax #1 (which has a great Ancient One and Wong as a travel service- where has Neilalien seen those eyes before!?- and The Question and Rorschach chatting- alas, Top 10 is missed)).

It's a good book, as expected from JMS. Romita Jr. shines with a splash of Times Square overrun with Mindless Ones, lots of limbs and action (some of it cramped on purpose), and a Dormammu at the end who actually looks Dread-worthy. And for once, no other member of the Marvel Universe comes off as more competent than Doc when it comes to matters of magic, which just makes this issue all the sweeter. Take that Reed Richards!

One very unfortunate nitpick is that the book mentions more than once that the Mindless Ones are from the Faltine Dimension- which is so extremely wrong. Perhaps Neilalien's mind is hermetically sealed in a mayonnaise jar of fanboy continuity. It's not like the Marvel Universe isn't full of screw-ups and retcons and reinterpretations. The Orb and Eye of Agamotto have been five or so different things over the last thirty years- Stan Lee didn't care, and neither should we. But... Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme #22 says that the Mindless Ones are from a universe neighboring the Dark Dimension that isn't named, that's annexed into the Dark Dimension. The problem is- it just can't be the Faltine. The Faltinian Realm doesn't border the Dark Dimension, and it's not a part of it now via annexation. But most importantly, Dormammu is Faltinian. There's no matter in the Faltinian Universe, just energy. That's why Dormammu left the darn place- he and Umar "craved matter" and the rest of the energy beings there found that disgusting and kicked them out. No matter there means no Mindless Ones from there! The only saving grace here is that Doc isn't the one who says it, Mr. Fantastic and The Thing say it, and Doc wasn't around at the time- so maybe he can correct them later... Oh JMS couldn't you have just said the Mindless Ones were going back to the Dark Dimension? You had to be fancy...

The gun is placed on the mantle early, i.e. Peter wonders what his nature really is, is it really heroic. And it is Spider-Man's book. So we all know who's going to save the day. Let's hope it's with Doc's competent help.

Jack Kirby Heroes Thrive in Comic Books and Film [New York Times]
Link via Mark Evanier, who wonders about Stan Lee going unmentioned in this article and if the pendulum has swung to overcompensation levels.
Kirby Slideshow [New York Times]

Evanier also quickie positive reviews Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book [News From Me]
Sounds like the verdicts are finally in and it is good (except for a couple expected "minor value judgments").

Steven Grant on CrossGen's Mark Alessi, freelancing, CBLDF, and whoops, one more positive dirt-free verdict on the Stan Lee book [Permanent Damage]

Attentiondeficitdisorderly is following-up on his manga formatting essay
And also tracking four interesting responses, including Marvel's failed attempt at magazine compendia on newsstands, bookstore dollars are a fool's errand for comics, and comics needing a bigger tent than superheroes and alt-disconnect.

The Magic of Comics! While Batman Turns 64, a Fan Goes Back to 9 [New York Times] [via Attentiondeficitdisorderly, who's got media coverage of comics all figured out]
Here's another dumb eye-roller about comics, while we're at it: The Graphic Truth [Guardian Unlimited via LinkMachineGo]
Completing the trifecta: Rant about mainstream media coverage of the Canadian National Comic Expo [Jay's Daze]
Is it any wonder comics are perceived as they are? The perception of comics is Obstacle Numero Uno.

Robot Wisdom will be glad to know that Attentiondeficitdisorderly finds his blogging format so readable. :) Neilalien does add dates, permalinks and commentary every so often though, unlike RW.

Annotated 1602 #1 by Jess Nevins [Fourth Rail]

Tippi Blevins gets Cursed [Pulse]
Neilalien has weaknesses for several themes. Ancient Egypt is one. Pirates are another.

Retailers feeling great about Free Comic Book Day [ICv2] [Newsarama]

Persepolis graphic novel strong at over 35,000 sold [ICv2]

Posted 27 August 02003 - Permalink

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Must Read: Cat Yronwode's Steve Ditko Book [Comics Commentary reprints from Ditko-L]

Neilalien thanks fellow palindromic blogger Tangognat for the linky love

Praise for Stan Lee's dialogue contribution [Johnny Bacardi]

Marvel Hires New Licensing Czar to oversee Marvel's "principal source of profit": the core licensing and merchandising division [ICv2]

Larosa and Riggs respond to CrossGen [Pulse]

Big must-read: Manga-formatted comics remove unnecessary obstacles to readership [Attentiondeficitdisorderly]

Neilalien loves that comics/opera/musicals/superheroes discussion [Leibman Theory]

Carol Lay takes on the Castillo case [ via Scott McCloud]

Deafening 1602 silence? [Unqualified Offerings]
Because it's Gaiman, people are more patient with a setting-of-the-table first issue.

Review of Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book [Breakdowns]
Mr. Allen is a fan of The Man. "Those looking for dirt will be disappointed." Maybe this book will be worth a read after all. Breakdowns also covers 1602 and A Sort of Homecoming (by My Uncle Jeff's Hurd and Camello)

Our nihilistic relativistic culture no longer permits the unironic celebration of the hero [Forager 23]

Writing for Children & Adults: Art Spiegelman and Neil Gaiman will be at the 92nd Street Y 21 September $25 [92nd Street Y via Egon]

Comic books finding their way onto CD [MyInKy via WFC News]

Critical Mass [Ninth Art]
Fans attack creators personally. Creators want to hear only the positive. Childish comics industry stagnates.
Related: Chuck Austen's 'Last Rant, er, Interview' at Pulse

Three reasons why comics have lost their shine [Barbelith MB]
Reason #2: The internet. Too many previews, reviews, negative opinions, exposure behind the curtain. The backlash against the information age truly begins.

Another last word on Earth/Universe/Paradise X: it's all Marvel Universe Easter Eggs [Barbelith MB]

Posted 24 August 02003 - Permalink

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Lying In The Gutters is reporting that Jen Contino of Pulse and Sequential Tart is in surgery this week, so best wishes go out to her.

Positive vibes also going out to Mrs. Sean T. Collins, in hospital.

Condolences to Firda of Weblog Wannabe, who has lost her mom.

The Stax Report: Special Dr. Strange Edition [FilmForce]
Neilalien missed this excellent analysis from June of potential Doc movie story and casting ideas. Jim Caviezel as Doc isn't a new idea, but it looks like a good one.

Tom Spurgeon: Documenting Stan Lee [Silver Bullet Comic Books]
Jordan Raphael Interview [Comic Book Galaxy]
Interviews with the writers of Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book are coming in. Neilalien doesn't smell a hatchet job too much anymore (others still do)- maybe the scent of a cheap shot or two- but judging a book without/before reading it is plain dumb, and Neilalien will be the first to tell you that a "warts and all" look at Stan Lee is going to have a few juicy warts.

Blake Bell has started a new Yahoo Group discussing Ditko and Kirby [announced on's MBs]

Fuck Texas: Dubya's native state deems comics a children's medium [Las Vegas City Life via Bookslut]

CrossGen releases statement on finances in response to freelancer complaints and rumors of financial instability [Pulse]
Mark Waid responds:

If this isn't the least professional, smarmiest statement I've ever heard come from anyone in this industry, it's certainly up there. Extra points for covering your asses by merely IMPLYING that the freelancers who have been forced to complain in public about not being paid are somehow lazy, unprofessional troublemakers.

Storing some relevant links: [Gutters] [Broken Frontier MB]

Retailers Vote on Free Comic Book Day [ICv2]
Shall it coincide with the Hellboy movie, Spider-Man 2, or keep it to the same May weekend every year?
Update: Spider-Man 2's a problem since it's July 4th weekend?

What's a graphic novel?; fun character revamps; anonymous letter re: growing dissastisfaction with pro-porn industry-sacred-cow CBLDF? [Permanent Damage]
Related: Huge defense of CBLDF by Neil Gaiman [via Franklin's Findings]

David Goyer (who can now add Freddy Vs. Jason to his writing credits) on Comic Book Movies [FilmForce via WFC News]

Supreme: Story of The Year is reviewed [Ninth Art]
Where Alan Moore continued his deconstruction of the superhero.

Are superheroes hampering US comics? [Sequential Tart MB]

Posted 20 August 02003 - Permalink

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Well, that Blackout of 02003 was fun... Thanks for all the emails of concern. An exhausting four-hour eight-mile walk home from work was involved- and a lot of darkness and sweltering heat- but Neilalien didn't get caught on the subway or in an elevator, and he can't really say that things ever got high on the Ordeal-o-meter, and New Yorkers are the best, so all's well that ends well. Serves Neilalien right for tapping into your antiquated power systems to steal the energy necessary to run the orbital base.

Post-Blackout exhaustion (and Neilalien's feeble brain when it comes to your planet's legal system in general) (and probably admittedly some depressed shut-down at the thought that the CBLDF might have screwed up) means you get lazyman blogging about the Jesus Castillo case for now.

In the end, we still face the core facts: an adult sold a product labelled for adults to a fellow adult. The seller was convicted of a crime for his role in that voluntary transaction. The state's representative attempted to prejudice the jury pool by invoking phantom "children" who played no role whatsoever in the exchange that took place in that shop on that day. The defendant may have lost his case because his legal counsel was not up to snuff. I'm still appalled.

Didactic Ditko [Franklin's Findings]
Ditko's Mr. A vs. Green Lantern/Green Arrow: preachier, or wordier?
Update: A Ditko Answer [Forager 23]
Unqualified Offerings collects links to all the responses to his Question Question, including Johnny Bacardi with preach ratings!

An online community for trading graphic novels and trade paperbacks [Sequential Swap] [via Alan David Doane]

The comics industry is not the comics industry [John Barber at Talk About Comics]
Don't be a sub-ghetto of a ghetto.

The Dick Van Dyke Show comic books from Gold Key
Hilarious. You won't find these priceless treasures in any price guide...

Archie Meets The Punisher Annotations [via Flat Earth]

At what age did you outgrow superheroes? [The Comics Journal Message Board]
Don't let this thread's location or title (with loaded snob term) fool you. Lots of great stuff here about superheroes giving good 10% and the 90% crap rule applying to narrow alt comix too.


[T]o say that "the real world should be left to comics about the real world" is to deny the effective communicative properties of genre, which would lead to a pretty boring "real world" indeed.

Posted 16 August 02003 - Permalink

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The status of JMS' Dr. Strange? "Wait and see" [big thanks to Attentiondeficitdisorderly for the news]

Comics and opera (and "highly exaggerated characters and situations") [Eve Tushnet via Attentiondeficitdisorderly]

Must-Read of the Year Candidate: The 25 Comics I Like Best: #22: The Dr. Strange stories in Strange Tales by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee [Forager 23 via Eve Tushnet]
Great praise, great stuff about superhero comics, Steve Ditko, and Stan Lee as librettist.

The Savage Critic aka Brian Hibbs reviewing Silver Surfer #1 [Comix Experience via loyal Neilalienista emailer]

SILVER SURFER #1: There are two comics that Everyone Wants, but No One Will Buy - comics that get multiple requests nearly every week from Civilians, but when they actually pick one up, it doesn't EVEN COME CLOSE to what they remember. Those comics are the Surfer and Dr. Strange. Even when you hand them old original Surfers or Strange, what they're looking for is the issue they read in Lucien's library, if you follow me. All of those people will really and truly despise this comic. The Surfer ain't in it, and even when he is, he's not "The Silver Surfer"; on the other hand, if you can get past that, this didn't suck. The storytelling is nice enough, the writing is solid... it just shouldn't be called "Silver Surfer". I didn't feel my time had been wasted, but I can't see but half of the audience coming back by #3... A solid OK

Posted 13 August 02003 - Permalink

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Marvel profit soars on licensing; stock up 15% today; publishing up 9% (but totals only one-third of licensing); overhead also up due to legal disputes [Newsarama]
Toys were down, ad sales up. And Marvel's cash was larger than its debt as of 31 July. Yikes!

Mark Millar Interview by Alan David Doane [Comic Book Galaxy]

Posted 12 August 02003 - Permalink

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Young Ancient One Epic book confirmed again, by Joey Q at WizardWorld [Newsarama]
A three-issue miniseries set in medieval Tibet following the early life of the Ancient One, the future mentor of Dr. Strange by Rob Worley and Andy Kuhn.

Rick Veitch Answers The Question [Pulse]
New six-issue miniseries for The Question written by Rick Veitch with art by Tommy Lee Edwards announced at WizardWorld [Newsarama]

Interesting "The Question's been eclipsed by his own knockoff, Watchmen's Rorschach" stuff too.

Franklin wants a Ditko-era Question, and wonders about putting him in the Superman orbit.

Pros respond to Castillo case [Pulse]

Future Comics ceases monthly books, goes to trades [ICv2] [Pulse]

JLA/Avengers #1 Preview [Pulse]
Neilalien's looking forward to this one, but seeing Eternity with no Doc, it just hurts.

Fred Hembeck takes on Lois Lane #29 [via Bloggity]

Posted 11 August 02003 - Permalink

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Supreme Court refuses to hear Castillo case [Comic Book Legal Defense Fund] [Newsarama] [Pulse] [ICv2]
Sad and disgusting. A loss for us all.

The Doctor Strange Marvel Masterworks is back in stores [Diamond Comics Shipping List for today]
In full color. If you want it, you no longer have to bid usually over $80 on Ebay for it (unless you still want the first edition, you collector-monkey).
Update: You collector-monkeys have written in to make sure Neilalien specifically mentions that there are two versions of Doc's Masterworks out- one of them a 500 limited edition with the old "Vol. 23" purple cover with fancy gold border for $5 more. Knock yourselves out! :)

Vile!: All those recent DC rumors were planted by Marvel to undermine DC's real WizardWorld announcements [Lying In The Gutters at CBR]
Update: Alan David Doane says there's still more space dust to blow off this book (to kinda paraphrase the Simpsons aliens).

Ex-Exec of Stan Lee Media Sentenced [ via WFC News; use laexaminer/laexaminer]
Former Executive Vice President Stephen M. Gordon gets 6 1/2 years. You're next, Peter Paul.

Marvel Appeal for Jury Denied In Sony 'Spider-Man' Dispute [ICv2]

Supreme Power #1 breaks 100K [Newsarama]
Bring that mojo* to Doctor Strange, JMS you da man! (*Relatively good mojo for the current pathetic state of the industry, that is.)

Obituary for another comic book shop []

Villains & Victors, known for the wooden stand-up of the X-Men's Gambit which stood outside the door, will close... Only about 15 steady customers come around any more.

Comics retailer to run for California governor! [ICv2]

Posted 6 August 02003 - Permalink

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J. Michael Straczynski talks Dr. Strange [Pulse]

The funny thing about Strange is that if you look at the Matrix, there's nothing Neo does that Doc Strange doesn't do, minus the incantations and magical gestures. So why is Neo a pop culture icon and not Strange? As they say, presentation is everything. Strange was born at a time when magicians were very Las Vegas-y, with the costumes and the capes and the grand gestures. He, too, was frozen in that mode, and since the world has moved on from that image, Strange became kind of campy. Change that form of presentation, and you'll get something more modern and more cool.
I'm going to take him back to the beginning, and re-construct him from the ground up. I'm changing nothing, but at the same time I'm changing everything. I want to get to the man behind the magic, as with Spidey we got to the man behind the spider. It'll be a re-telling of his origin, with all the important parts and pieces there, but with the lens shifted just a few degrees to one side and contemporized. When Marvel saw the outline, they loved it, and said they'd wait until I was ready to write it, and they'd wait as long as necessary. Happily, I'm now ready to write it.
For my money, nobody beat Steve Ditko. The way in which he realized and visualized Strange, the world he lived in, the magic, the spells, the other dimensions, was so right, so utterly...well....Strange...that it defined the character for me in many ways. Still does.
We haven't picked an artist yet, I think they want to have the first couple of issues in first. Sara (Samm) Barnes, a co-producer and writer on Jeremiah, is going to be writing with me on this, because she's a very strong character writer and it would be great to have someone on this who *isn't* a long term comics fan, who can look at this from a more mainstream point of view. I want that aspect, the mainstreaming of the character, to be one of the building blocks for this.

Sounds awesome. But, gotta say it: the old fanboy inside Neilalien is loyal to the classics and very weary of origin retellings and rehashings. Why can't we just get a new adventure using this new interpretation of the character?

Joey Q's Marvel Editor-in-Chief contract extended [Newsarama] [Pulse] [ICv2]
Well deserved. Axel Alonso promoted. No sign of Jemas.

Judge throws out Stan Lee Media's lawsuit against Merrill Lynch [San Jose Mercury News via Journalista]
Merrill Lynch was a victim, not a co-conspirator? Yeah, right.

Eve Tushnet also takes a shot at that silly Austin Chronicle piece, with interesting stuff about Marvels
Bookslut and Attentiondeficitdisorderly help circle the wagons.

Vince Colletta's (alleged) farewell, stands up for Jim Shooter [Comics Commentary]

Marvel Editor- You are the droppings of the creative world...

Michael Tierney of The Comic Book Store in Little Rock, Arkansas on the new Arkansas display law [ICv2]

CrossGen-sponsored comics news site pimps again for El Cazador [Pulse]
Oh, Neilalien's just being coy today. It's not like General Motors is going to sponsor Pulse, eh? Anyway, he doesn't mind the book's press- he is big-time waiting for this realistic pirate book!

Short Shrift [Ninth Art]
Where are the shorts, the one-shots, the back-up stories, the comics equivalent of McSweeney's?

Big Sunny D begs to differ re: the recent Ellis praise [via Attentiondeficitdisorderly]

Posted 1 August 02003 - Permalink

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