Neilalien : A Doctor Strange Fansite : A Comic Book Weblog  

Happy Halloween!

Posted 31 October 02004 - Permalink

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Marvel reports Q3 02004 numbers [Newsarama] [AP on Yahoo Finance] [Motley Fool]
Publishing up 15% year-to-year, $22.6 million versus $19.6 million, with 5% circulation increase. Licensing and toy sales surged on Spider-Man 2. A year-to-year profit comparison looks horrid though; only because the company's back on its feet and paying taxes now. $200 million cash and no debt by year's end. Stock was up 10% yesterday on the news. Dr. Strange not listed in the feature film line-up out to 02007.

The great potential of the "comics blogosphere" for fresh material, buzz creation and forward progress is wasted on grumpiness and the lame press-release waltz [Ringwood]

Kids comic Buzzboy, sold unapologetically as such in the real world, sells [Newsarama]

Happy October Blogiversaries to all: Johnny Bacardi (2 years); Bloggity (2 years); Thought Balloons (1 year)

The Hierarchy of Blogging [Random Acts Of Reality] [via LinkMachineGo]

Congratulations to all the Boston Red Sox fans for their incredible World Series Title and the End of the Curse. Enjoy! Now maybe you can stop yer whin... um, what Neilalien means to say is that you fans are what Loyalty and Hope are all about. :)

Posted 29 October 02004 - Permalink

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Strange #2 out today

Marvel's Spider-Man (#8), Wolverine (#9) in Forbes' list of Top Ten Earning Fictional Characters [ICv2] [Yahoo]
Mickey Mouse and Winnie The Pooh were #1 and #2. The Hulk was a near miss, in the top 15. And Forbes, your website sucks, your crappy slideshow sucks, so no traffic to you for this story. Update: Thought Balloons lists the top ten in plain text format.

Gerard Jones, author of Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book, interviewed on Talk of the Nation [audio at NPR]

The superhero and the post-superhero just might still have some new spins left; time to see lots of comics of any genre with good original ideas [Permanent Damage]

The current state of comic book covers assessed [Ninth Art]

Legendary radio DJ John Peel dies [BBC News]
Playing your favorite song Mr. Peel, Teenage Kicks by The Undertones, and Neilalien's favorite Peel Sessions CD, Stiff Little Fingers, as this post is typed.

Retailer Bill Liebowitz of Golden Apple Comics in LA, "a pioneer in the merchandising and marketing of comic books" passed away [Newsarama]

These guys are coming back in a big shocking reveal after about 20 or 30 issues, right? Right? Superhero comics have messed up how Neilalien perceives death... Condolences to the families.

Posted 27 October 02004 - Permalink

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New website alert: Tom Spurgeon's The Comics Reporter
Congrats on the launch! Neilalien is looking forward to the TCJ contributor/interviewer and co-author of Stan Lee: And the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book's extensive comics knowledge, news and opinions being linkably in play.

The time Stan Lee pitched at the Marvel summer picnic's softball game and almost got killed [Gutters]

America's only two-year cartooning program: James Sturm starts the Center for Cartoon Studies [via interview with Sturm at Newsarama]

September's Marvel month-to-month sales [Pulse] [Update: DC and other numbers]
She-Hulk finally went up! All Neilalien word-of-blog, baby. :)

It's tough to add a gay or HIV-positive 'non-issue' character to a superhero comic book and not have it be an issue [Ninth Art]

Bone's Jeff Smith wrangles a tough pickle: supportive-all-along retailers upset about books sold at conventions [Newsarama]

Posted 25 October 02004 - Permalink

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Arkansas Supreme Court Rules on Display Law In 'Clarifying' Decision [ICv2] [Newsarama]

Twelve-volume Mike-Allred-drawn Book of Mormon coming out in comic book form [KSL News]

Christian graphic novel has a tough time; Christian bias against the graphic novel []

5 Questions with Steven Grant [Newsarama]

Missed this Mark Millar interview from last week about Ultimates 2; Ultimate Defenders mentioned [Newsarama]
Lots of interesting stuff, but gotta love this quote:

Over at DC Comics, Superman was being tricked by Mister Mxyzptlk for the 1000th time that very same month and here was Gerry Conway writing stories about Harry Osborn freaking out on acid. This kind of material was being written by guys like Englehart and Gerber and all the other big writers of the '70s at Marvel and, if anything, I think The Ultimates is tame by comparison. That level of human complexity is really what Marvel is all about and what makes it different from DC...

Posted 22 October 02004 - Permalink

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Essential Tomb Of Dracula Vol. 3 includes the Ditko story from Tomb of Dracula Magazine #2 [many thanks to Progressive Ruin]

Benjamin Franklin's seduction of Clea found disturbing [] [via The Hurting]
It was part of Steve Englehart's rudely interrupted saga of America's occult history.

Kitty2karen sez Kirby and Wood did manly guy comics for guys, but "Ditko I can sort of get into" [Talk To My Face]
Also provided: dating advice for fanboys.

Clea's Cave seconds Neilalien's Back Issue #6 'must-buy' status
Check out that funkamagickosexy banner image at Clea's Cave.

ComiX-Fan has interviewed Rick Veitch and Tommy Lee Edwards re: The Question [via WFC News]

Ebayer purging his collection of John Byrne's work after reading Byrne's comments that there was no choice nor nothing heroic in how Christopher Reeve responded to his paralysis [Ebay auction] [via]

Marvel and DC superheroes compared [Basement Tapes]

DC has icons. Marvel has characters. And there's a huge difference...
Rape, murder... that's just too heavy; give me Pete working three jobs to buy Aunt May her pills and I'm there. Either Icons or characters, these things remain reactions against the darkness to me.

Posted 21 October 02004 - Permalink

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Strange #1 at #24 in September sales [Pulse] [ICv2]
Because of the higher $3.50 cover price, its money rank was #13. About 60,000 issues have sold in the direct market.

Comics and Graphic Novels Up 7% year-to-year in September [ICv2]
Good news: The strength came from below, the smaller sellers, not the heavy top of the list. But sales slipped compared to August re: seasonal softness.

Isaac Perlmutter named CEO of Marvel [Comic Book Resources] [Newsarama] [Pulse] [Yahoo Biz]
His stock in the company continues its rise. He obviously controlled much already.

Compensation Concerns With Marvel? [Motley Fool]
The usually glowing (4,700 characters means 4,700 movies!) wonders about conflicts of interest at Marvel's top with all the pay and ownership schemes.

Rick Veitch interviewed anew about The Question [Pulse]
Veitch seems excited by his ideas, and he should be, and they seem like really neat ideas- but since it's still the urban-shaman nutjob, YMMV Ditko fans.

Brian Hibbs gives an incredible glimpse into his monthly ordering [Tilting At Windmills]

Michigan 'harmful to minors' display case concludes, dismissed; Judge clarifies, defangs law [Newsarama]

Shock and death are devalued currency in comics; Vertigo no longer the only creator-owned game in town [Ninth Art]

More anecdotes about Vince Colletta; inker cleared out Kirby and Colan backgrounds [Comics Journal Message Board] [via Comics Commentary]

Green Arrow sidekick to be HIV-positive [Miami Herald (AP) via Thought Balloons] [CBR interview with writer Judd Winick]
Winick was the writer of the Green Lantern gay supporting character from a while back, too. Updates: [various fan reactions tracked at Fanboy Rampage] [looks like something a little too snarky happened at Fanboy Rampage over this (via Comics Commentary)]

If the 'obsessed living-at-home wanking fanboy' didn't exist, the artsnobs would have to invent him [Motime]
If they haven't already.

Irv Novick has passed away; basically worked in comics from 01939 on [Mark Evanier remembers]

Tragicomic strips; big new Chris Ware monograph [] [via Egon]

The Chicago-based Raeburn, author of "Chris Ware" and publisher of The Imp, a short-lived zine about comics, claims it's pretentious to describe Ware as a "designer" or "artist" instead of a "cartoonist"... "If we hesitate to call someone as talented as Chris a mere cartoonist, it's because unlike other media once thought vulgar -- like film, or the novel -- comic strips have steadily grown worse since their invention," Raeburn said via telephone from a vacation cabin near Bennington, Vt. "Newspaper cartoonists of the 1920s and '30s, like Windsor McCay or George Herriman, were real craftsmen -- and they were also experimentalists. Compare their work to popular strips today, like 'Dilbert' or 'Boondocks,' and you'll see there's been a near-catastrophic decline in quality." And how does Raeburn feel about the trendy term "graphic novel"? "That's pretentious, too," he said. "Instead, let's call them 'comic books'."

See you at the Cramps show tonight at Irving Plaza, Neilalienistas!

Posted 18 October 02004 - Permalink

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Preview: Cover of Marvel Team-Up #3 featuring Dr. Strange at CBR [more preview stuff for Kirkman's new series]

FYI: Essential Tomb Of Dracula Vol. 2 has the classic Doc crossover, includes Doctor Strange #14 [Silver Bullet Comics review]

FYI: Back Issue #6 a big must-buy for Doc fans [TwoMorrows Publishing]

Stan Lee's POW! Entertainment making three movies for the Sci-Fi Channel [PR Newswire] [via Franklin's Findings]

Big Joe Quesada interview; four years as Editor In Chief [Newsarama]

Catering to the hardcore fan is killing the industry [Ninth Art]

Retailers just love explaining to parents that Spider-Man comics might have inappropriate content in them like Gwen-fucking Goblins [Postmodernbarney]

Teens these days are on hyperdrive; the current decompressed storytelling in comics is too slow to keep their attention [Basement Tapes]
Just one of many interesting observations here.

Do you read comics in public? [Pulse]

Christopher Reeve dead at 52 [Comic Book Resources] [Mark Evanier]
He played Superman in the movies, and then in real life.

Posted 12 October 02004 - Permalink

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When did Marvel jump the shark? [TCJ Message Board]
Don't just pick the big event that let you down or sucked the most (Heroes Reborn, Secret Wars, etc.). Via Motime, who has a neat text/answer himself there- with the embalming re: Busiek and Ross' Marvels- which he should expand upon and post in a more-permanent less-linkrot-prone location (hint hint)!- don't leave us in 'dynamic stasis' (or maybe, please do). Tom Spurgeon also adds a full range of potential shark-jump moments that came up while writing Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book, from Ditko and Kirby leaving, DC guy Jim Shooter killing the Marvelness, Dazzler #1 hello direct market, etc. When they started caring more about clones than continuity...

Update: "Face Front! Clap Your Hands, You're on the Winning Team!" [Rolling Stone article on Marvel Comics 01971] [via the above TCJ MB thread w/assist from LinkMachineGo]
Marie Severin on comic fans:

"Gee," she said, "they're so uninteresting, that why they're fans. If they were interesting they wouldn't be fans. I mean, is a hospital ward interesting? The fans buy the books, but they don't support comics. Comics are supported by many other normal little children, but the fans are the ones who are hung up on it. I think fans are very lonely." She says the fans are arrogant now. They don't gasp and ooh and ahh anymore. The new breed of fans just want to lean over your shoulder and tell you what you're doing wrong.

Love this line:

"People who read Doctor Strange thought people at Marvel must be heads," says Roy (Thomas), "because they had had similar experiences high on mushrooms. But Stan's pretty straight, and I am too, pretty square, not to the point of being completely ignorant of such things, but obviously I don't use hallucinogens, nor do I think any artists do. Probably if they didn't they wouldn't do any work at all... With some of these people, this particular segment of their minds is already released. Like Kirby's way-out worlds, or Steve Ditko, they're already turned on..."

Posted 9 October 02004 - Permalink

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For the true collector: Child's Ben Cooper Dr. Strange Halloween costume from 01978 [Ebay; no info re: if a box in good condition is part of this auction though]
Fun! But what kind of lameness is it when a character's Halloween costume isn't the actual costume, but a picture of the character? No blue shirt, no red cape/cowl- just a big drawing and logo of Doc on bright reflective yellow to let people know who the hell the kid's supposed to be. It's like walking around with a sign taped to your chest that reads "Abraham Lincoln" instead of actually wearing a black beard and top hat.

70's Dr. Strange Halloween costume for kids

Redux: Superhero Halloween costumes [Retrocrush]
Aquaman's got a Green Lantern mask here, methinks.

70's Dr. Strange Halloween costume for kids

Update: Doc uber-fan and collector Howard Hallis emailed with a pic of the second of the two Garbage Bag Ben Cooper costumes.

Posted 8 October 02004 - Permalink

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Six-page preview of Strange #2 [Pulse]
Comes with a fluffy review of the series so far.

Posted 7 October 02004 - Permalink

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Avengers #503 preview pages have lots of Dr. Strange [Pulse]

Hawk & Dove Genesis: The Creators Speak [from Comic Book Artist Magazine] [Titans Tower]
Lots of Ditko stuff here. Via Polite Dissent, who's pressing on with great stuff re: H&D #5 and #6.

Feds talk of deal vs. Senator Hillary Clinton [AP story on]
The Bush Administration is trying to get the cooperation of Peter Paul to get at Clinton. "The document also said a $366,000 donation to the gala was incorrectly listed as coming from the company Paul co-founded, Stan Lee Media, when it really came from Paul personally."

An Open Letter to J. Michael Straczynski [Comics 101 on Movie Poop Shoot]
JMS, what have you done? If it's not Strange #1, now you've gone and made Gwen a slut with The Green Goblin. Us fanboys ain't happy. There had better be good finales on these puppies! More: [Howling Curmudgeons] [via Motime with more] [Amazing Spider-Man #512 remixed by The Hurting at PopCultureShock]

Artist Cliff Chiang talks Human Target [Comic Book Resources]

Mark Millar talks Wanted, rape, having no shame writing superheroes [5Q w/Alan David Doane]

David Yurkovich talks Less Than Heroes [Forces of Good]

Neat as-an-online-comic SPX coverage [USA Today]

A meme with staying power: Earth X good, Universe X started okay but faded, Paradise X stunk; too many spin-off issues; the whole damn thing cost too much [Bendis Message Board] [via the aged Fanboy Rampage]

The Sim/Gaiman Project
An archive of the letters Sim sent to people who requested a free comic via Neil Gaiman's Journal. [via Tangognat's Pips (we loves the palindromes) and Tomb of Horrors]

With the now bursting popularity of "linkblogging" (with so many weblogs and different types, people will naturally overdefine and overcategorize), daily links, remaindered links, side-column link-lists like on MemeMachineGo, miniblogs, pips, etc., it appears that Neilalien's style of weblogging (modeled after the classic Robot Wisdom) has really caught on! Five years ahead of the curve, baby! :) But alas, some people wouldn't be caught dead doing what Neilalien does, at least not for their main content, this style is really judged only for 'side content' now. Just as linkblogging is all the rage, some people are just so apologetic and ashamed if that's the 'only' content they provide on a given day to their teeming audience yearning to read their extensive nothing-new opinion on this or that. In some circles, 'linkblogging' is the dirty rhymo-opposite lesser parasitic creature to 'thinkblogging'. Apparently what Neilalien considers his primary content format- lovingly efficiently filtered easy-to-read make-up-your-own-mind brevity-shows-respect-for-the-audience don't-waste-your-lifetime public-bookmark links- is what many would consider for extraneous throw-away side links shameful no-time-too-lazy-to-write aggregator RSS feed-dumps on their own smarty-pants long-essay-filled blogs. Maybe Neilalien's just being churlishly defensive of how he blogs, but he's amused by all these posts that start with something like, "Sorry, I only have links today..."- then why even subject the audience to any content/format you're not proud of/don't believe in yourself? Or he must be jealous of those who can write those long texts! But that's okay, he knows you just skim all those essays (wink). So a shout-out thanks to the ever-growing humbling honoring numbers of Neilalienistas out there who find value on this website, the noble few who find that this website "works" for them. It takes diff'rent strokes and blogging styles to move the world.

Posted 6 October 02004 - Permalink

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Oni Press strives to redefine the comics mainstream to be more in line with the actual mainstream [Newsarama]
Check 'em out if you're looking to fill that chasm between superheroes and autobiographical. Neilalien can definitely recommend most of Queen & Country if you like the spy stuff.

90% of autobio stuff sucks too; we push the cafeteria-food/one-airplane-seat-fits-all bland stuff for the world-at-large showcase instead of the really good stuff [Ninth Art]
Equal Time: Autobio stuff gets ripped new ones all the time; what's the columnist's idea of the really good stuff then?; if a few good publishers are surviving financially now, what's the problem? []

Memo to Robert Kirkman from Neilalien, a big fan: There's 'striking when the iron is hot', and then there's 'taking on so many gigs that you become 'Late Guy'' [Newsarama]
And we want more Invincibles and Walking Deads, and not so many Youngblood: Captain America 2099s.

When nerdish boys dreamed up new comic-book heroes: A review of Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book by Gerard Jones [Washington Times]

A Tribute to the Comic Book Guy [alt-nerd.obsessive] [via LinkMachineGo]

Posted 5 October 02004 - Permalink

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Friday Catblogging, but relevant: The story of a cat named Ditko [Adam Cadre from May 02002] [funny 'tale of the tape' Ditko vs. Crango]
Ditko the Cat is half-black and half-white, with no grey, like Mr. A's calling card, of course.

Strange #1 medically dissected [Polite Dissent]

August 02004 month-to-month sales analyses at Pulse [Marvel] [DC, others]
"If it's not Superman, people don't care much, apparently."

Five reasons to preorder Invincible [Newsarama]

The latest attempt to answer the question, "What is a superhero?" [Howling Curmudgeons] [via Motime]

The Incredibles looks like a riot [Yahoo Movies site, trailer]

Jewish teens to explore identity in classes; "Spider-Man: Jewish Hero" []

Posted 1 October 02004 - Permalink

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