Neilalien : A Doctor Strange Fansite : A Comic Book Weblog  

That whole hubbub about comics and juvenile deliquency in the 50's? Maybe the lead Senator was really after the mob distributors [Permanent Damage]

Marvel "has a reputation for being quick on the legal draw" [ICv2]
Naw, say it ain't so! Too many lawsuits to blog? Legal fees affecting the bottom line? And City of Heroes anyone?- an "assault on the basic expressive rights of the fans", as Fred von Lohmann wrote on The cost of doing business in our litigious age might be going up for Marvel: victorious victim World Wrestling Entertainment wants its legal fees paid (Live by the sword, as the article says...) Marvel and pro wrestling's WWE have tangled in the legal ring a bit (and they used to be the WWF (F for Federation), but they got (panda) bear hugged by the World Wildlife Fund's WWF lawsuit), over the name "Hulk" Hogan (WWE used to pay a license fee to Marvel, Hogan has since purchased the rights from Marvel himself, so WWE now has to license the name from Hogan), and over Toy Biz action figures of wrestlers.

The first draft of Elektra was much better than what eventually got made, honest! [Motley Fool]
Actually that's probably true- it's fair to assume Hollywood Death-By-Committee destroys a lot of potential out there. The Marvel stock booster site already seems to have written off ("looking past") Fantastic Four.

Interesting overview of Ultraverse's past and future, creator ownership and compensation [Gutters]
Gerber's done better than Wolfman did with Blade. Kirby's estate gets nada for the F4 movie.

Posted 29 June 02005 - Permalink

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Veteran comic book artist Sam Kweskin has died [News From ME]
Under a pen-name Irv Wesley, he drew Doc in Marvel Premiere #5 [Neilalien's Doc Story List]. Thanks to Comic Book Marathon for the FYI.

Defenders #3 cover with Marvel's September 02005 solicits [Newsarama]

While Dr. Strange and the Sub-Mariner are trapped and tortured in his dungeons, the Dread Dormammu enters the cosmic essence of the entity called Eternity- absorbing his infinite power! The Hulk, meanwhile, enjoys a steamy romantic interlude with Umar (really! Would we kid you about a thing like that?)...while, back on Earth, the Silver Surfer- just sort of hangs around at the beach (which, come to think of it, is pretty much what he did last issue). Eisner Award-winners Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire are responsible for this don't blame us!

Hibbs v. Marvel re: restitution for late/returnable books: judge's hiccup and settlement hurdle cleared [Pulse] [Newsarama] [ICv2]

Marvel Enterprises and Fox sue Sony and Revolution Studios over upcoming X-Men-like Zoom movie and its "Zoom's Academy for the Super Gifted" [Superhero Hype] []
Does Marvel own the concept of superpowered children in school?

Where are the new ideas? It's all nostalgia, sequels, licensing [The Beat]

Critic affirms to build a reputation for himself engage works honestly and provide constructive feedback [Marc Sobel at Comic Book Galaxy]

Submit your custom superhero origins to the Superhero Origins Blog [via Johnny Bacardi]

Posted 27 June 02005 - Permalink

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The Dr. Strange Custom Covers Project
If you're as miffed as Doc uber-fan Howard Hallis that (1) Dr. Strange split his Strange Tales covers with Nick Fury, and (2) Ditko only did one cover! And Neilalien is! These covers come complete with "Also in this ish: The Human Torch!" boxes. Excelsior! :)

Also: Hallis has commissioned Frank Brunner to draw Doc, Clea, Sandman and Death fighting Cthulhu [rough sketch]

Avi Arad interview [] [via Newsarama]
A Dr. Strange movie gets a passing mention, "in the works".

Graphic novels in bookstores is for real; the chance for a "fair shake" for comics is here [The Beat]

Avengers #107: the comic so dependent on past continuity it ate itself [Brill Building]

How to launch a comic: Creator Robert Venditti walks the new sci-fi comic walk with The Surrogates [Comic Foundry]

Neilalien enjoyed Batman Begins [excellent review at Ghost In The Machine with pros and cons]

Posted 22 June 02005 - Permalink

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Defenders #1 preview; out in July [Newsarama]

The road to direct market death: Event comics pandering to tiny completist subset of lifer subset, and no genuinely new readers [Brian Hibbs Tilting At Windmills]

Gerber's fair question: Why can't Lethem just make a new character instead of using Omega The Unknown? [Ninth Art]

Graphic novels up 36% in May, singles down 4% [ICv2] [Top 300 comics in May] [Top 100 GNs (Essential Defenders at #7)]
And they say (waiting for) the trade format is killing comics.

Inside the Middle East's AK Comics and its vision of peace [Newsarama]

No Clea in the Battle of the Comic-Book Babes tournament brackets

Posted 21 June 02005 - Permalink

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"Why can't Dr. Strange support a solo series?" asks mysterious letter-writer "JMS" to Dr. Doom's Mailbag [The Hurting]
"I'll bet it's because his origin needs to be updated to bring it more in line with something you'd see in a derivative action movie..." Doom suggests it's because people would rather read Doom, natch.

"Why hasn't there been a major motion picture done on Dr. Strange?" is one of reporter's top ten comic book questions [] [via Near Mint Heroes]

Steve Gerber rants re: Marvels' revival of his creation Omega The Unknown, inequities and disrespect of the system [Lying In The Gutters] [Steve Gerber's Blog] [Omega website to come]

The University of Melbourne's Cinema Studies Program, School of Art History, Cinema, Classics & Archaeology just hosted a four-day conference on superheroes and supervillains! [Holy Men In Tights: A Superheroes Conference] [Slashdot] [via Bloggity]

This interdisciplinary conference will address the varying roles, identities, and social functions that these enduring beings serve. A diversity of approaches will be undertaken including: historical approaches; censorship codes; industry and franchise differentiation (e.g. DC vs. Marvel Comics); mythology; national and cultural specificity; gender identity and power shifts; ethnicity, class and race; diverse media formats (cinema, comics, computer games, television) and their distinctive versions of superheroes; the female superhero; serial form and the cliff hanger; the resurgence in the cult of superpowers in recent cinema; the supervillain; the super-collective; super-auteurs (e.g. Frank Miller, Alan Moore, Tezuka Osamu, Grant Morrison); superhero universes (e.g. Matrix, Star Wars); fan culture and superheroes; the science and physics of the superhero; ancient superheroes; and the 'hero' who isn't 'super'.

Retailer fears that Marvel will stop publishing and just license its intellectual property out to others [ICv2] [Part II] [via Franklin's Findings with comment] [Update: Comics also provide cash flow [ICv2]]

"I can now see why this series is so fondly remembered by its fervent fanbase" [The Low Road discovers Essential Defenders]

Old Justice League #35 panel had Blue Beetle and Booster Gold discussing Max shooting them in the head! [Rich Johnston's Twistblog]

They're talkin' the Dr. Strange Marvel Legends figure [Polite Dissent]
Did you get your two (one to stay 'mint on card', one to play with), you hopeless collector monkeys? Neilalien did! :) Galactus would give his right arm for one (joke stolen from comments).

The Red Skull is blogging about current events and that verdammt Captain America [via Postmodernbarney]

Of course Michael Jackson was found innocent. He wasn't touching the little boys. You don't need to touch them in order to rend their souls out of their bodies as sacrifices to the Dread Dormammu. How do you think he got to look the way he did? I can recognize the tell-tale signs of dark sorcery when I see it.

I heed the sweet siren-call of nostalgia! Things missed in comics, like annuals [Comics Should Be Good]

It's not mainstream vs. indy comics, it's good vs. bad comics regardless of publisher; indy comics are not the minor leagues for the Big Two [Comics Should Be Good]

A Comprehensive Index to Marvel Value Stamps! [via LinkMachineGo]

Weird Tales cover gallery 01923-01943 [via Boing Boing]

Zap! Pow! Amen! Christian comic books going forth and multiplying [Associated Press piece (using link)]

Comic Book Galaxy spiffs up website with new design, new columnists, new contests

The Annotated Flex Mentallo [via Listen To Us, We're Right]

Posted 17 June 02005 - Permalink

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Neilalien's Favorites of MoCCA 02005

Horus Horus by Johane Matte
Neilalien has enjoyed the first three Horus mini-comics for a while now, and now that the story's been recently collected, this work can take its rightful place as a Best of MoCCA. This tale of Nofret, a young girl in Ancient Egypt who is lead by voices to a small boy with the falcon head of the god Horus, is completely delightful. Matte is an excellent cartoonist, evoking all the style and fun of Bill Watterson, with the dynamism of Calvin's most treacherous sled rides. The story is packed yet breezes along. (Matte's website is a little rough right now, but will soon include an update and an online store- feel free to email her to get your copy!)
Ayn Rand from Action Philosophers #2 Action Philosophers #2 by Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey
Having studied up on what your planet pathetically considers "philosophy", Neilalien was charmed by Action Philosophers #1 (a previous Fave of MoCCA), and the long-awaited released-this-month #2 continues the love affair. This ish covers Thomas Jefferson, St. Augustine and (alert Ditko fans) Ayn Rand. Brilliantly cartooned, hilarious, irreverent, and you'll learn something too. AP #3 is slated for later this year: Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell. Also: Don't forget to check out Van Lente's Silencers one-shot with Image.
Silver and the Periodic Forces Silver and the Periodic Forces by Jerzy Drozd and Sara Turner
This is basically a big fat recommendation for the entire Make Like A Tree Comics line by Drozd and Turner, fun quality comics for all ages. Silver #1 debuted at MoCCA in full fun color; Silver is an alien sent to protect Earth from the Cadre Catastrophe: with his magic glove, he can summon warriors representing each element of the periodic table; you can check out the entire issue online. The Replacements is about a cynical art student who's mysterious new bracelet brings monsters, a robot, and a greaser named Bruce into her life, baby: #1 is in print, and they're also at GraphicSmash. The Front is a teen superhero fairy tale; it's online, Part One is in print (got it as a MoCCA Art Fest exclusive), and it has a snowman who's too damn cute with his jeans to be "abominable". All the books have a fresh clean active style and great lettering.
The Sentinels The Sentinels by Rich Bernatovech and Luciano Vecchio
These two TPBs (this work goes straight to that format, no minis/ashcans/floppies, with the accompanying challenges and rewards) have been around for a while, but this was Bernatovech's first time hustling at MoCCA. A good indie-created superhero group with an involving story and action. Neilalien found the art and dialogue a little flat, but he only bothers to nitpick what he likes, and you see improvement as these hefty TPBs move along. If you like your superheroes with good characterization, and can think outside of the fossilized corporate franchise input-from-ten-editors box, pick up The Sentinels.

Also Want To Mention/Update on Past Faves of MoCCAs

Runners Runners by Sean Wang
Neilalien uberfave Runners has a TPB coming out very shortly, collecting all five issues of the Bad Goods story arc. You have no excuse! Found out at MoCCA that the TPB includes a Neilalien quote blurb from this weblog- so no more endless tweaking of that blog post! Eek! ;)
66KMPH FYI: 66 Thousand Miles Per Hour by Michael Cavallaro has since come out with issue #2 since making last year's Best of MoCCA.

Fred Van Lente, upon seeing Neilalien's 40 lb. bag o' loot at the end of the MoCCA day: "You're hardcore!" Yep, Neilalien loves him some MoCCA Art Festival. Another great success- congratulations to everyone involved. The greatest thrill is talking with the DIY creators, animatedly discussing their work and passion, venting about the industry, huckstering their minis like Stan Lee. (And psst guys, if you're looking for an event with a great ratio of smart creative cute alternababes, this is it!) The panels were particularly strong this year, including Neal Adams' usual but essential ranting, one on comics adaptation, and a conversation between Jonathan Lethem and Dan Clowes. (The better panels selection, along with flat-out growth of the event, seemed to blunt last year's meme that MoCCA wasn't ready to be two days.) If you're curious where Neilalien's stamina for comics weblogging comes from: well, it's addiction, not stamina, and MoCCA is the drug.

Posted 14 June 02005 - Permalink

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The Last Temptation of Steve Ditko [The Hurting]

The Long, Gory Life of EC Comics [Reason] [by Franklin]

Whatever Happened To: Geof Isherwood? Hollywood [Newsarama]
He drew two years of Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme.

Glyphs: The Language of the Black Comics Community

Retailer provides peek into the world of "sold out" comics [Newsarama]

The Comic Book Drug Reference [by Polite Dissent]

The Education Of A Comics Artist: Anthology provides inspiration on how to teach, think, and talk about comics [Amazon listing] [via Egon]

Modern Arf: New series of books 'Exploring the Unholy Marriage of Art and Comics' [Modern Arf] [Amazon listing] [via Boing Boing]

Big Golden Age Blue Beetle webpage [via Near Mint Heroes]

That sweet Captain America #367 ish where Magneto bitchslaps The Red Skull [Dave's Long Box]

Posted 10 June 02005 - Permalink

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MOCCA Art Festival fever [The Beat lists some parties] [The Beat lists some panels] [Exhibitor list]
See you there this weekend, Neilalienistas!

Meanwhile, NYC might get a real Comic-Con, as opposed to one in a small Upper West Side church basement.

In Tokyo, a Ghetto of Geeks [Washington Post]
Nerds have taken over and transformed an electronics retail district in Toyko, not unlike New York's Chinatown or San Francisco's gay Castro district, "born of a blend of discrimination and shared cultural cues." But what of the otaku who don't go to the Akihabara to come together, use their own slang and live in windowless buildings (they have an aversion to being seen)? Sociologists critical of nerd culture have linked it to the rise in hikikomori, one million men in their 20's and 30's who live with their parents as shut-ins, with no career ambition, and unable to cope with the real world or interact with other human beings.

Straczynski press hit includes Strange in his long line of successes [Philadelphia Daily News]

Buxom superheroes rattle Mideast mores [Albuquerque Tribune] [via WFC News]
More on Egyptian AK Comics and their new Arab superhero books. While it's easy to read Zionists vs. Palestinians in the comics, the heroes are not on any one side, don't reveal their own beliefs, and seek only to protect holy sites.

Interesting roundup/peek behind the Marvel curtain; on nostalgia's return and Jemas and Quesada ruling like Shooters [Lying In The Gutters]

Grant Morrison to adapt We3 to film [Killer Movies] [via WFC News]

Milestone: This is the 10,000,000th mainstream press article re: comics not just about men in tights/graphic novels and manga booming that Neilalien has blogged [Reuters] [via WFC News]

Posted 9 June 02005 - Permalink

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Essential Dr. Strange Vol. 1 includes "some of the best 60's Marvel had to offer" [thorough review by The Johnny Bacardi Show]

Posted 8 June 02005 - Permalink

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Be a part of the Action Philosophers Posse and get the All-Sex issue [Pulse]

Marvel month-to-month sales April 02005 [Pulse] [DC, Image, others]
Strange settling to mid-30's, "must be below expectations". Invincible up 78% year-to-year and closing in on 10K. Sleeper probably ended at 10K.

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund goes big-time, moving HQ to media-hub NYC [Newsarama]

Stan Lee also going urban, creating hip hop superhero with Vibe Magazine [ICv2]

Posted 7 June 02005 - Permalink

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Shrill Sin City-based piece about comic book geek mysogyny does possess kernel of truth [Ninth Art] [original Times of London piece by Kevin Maher, with its "the frank and masturbatory hatred of women that is fundamental to any understanding of the comic-book geek"]

Times hatchet job gets a lot wrong and over-generalismears, but the comics themselves do give it the ammo; vs. fan uproar [Not The Beastmaster]
Calls that the few high-profile female creators step up to respond to the article vs. calls to get more female creators in the biz [The Beat]

Posted 6 June 02005 - Permalink

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From the Straczynski Panel at Wizard World Philadelphia [Newsarama]

As for continuing with Dr. Strange, JMS said that he has a full workload now, and that Marvel is waiting to see how the Strange miniseries performs as a whole, and what to do with the character from the launching pad the miniseries represented. JMS added that he won't be involved with the character's immediate future.

"And when I say 'launching pad', I mean 'another nail in the coffin'."

Posted 5 June 02005 - Permalink

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The Amazing Steve Ditko [ Books reviews Marvel Visionaries; easy daily Site Pass req'd] [thanks readers!]
Once you've seen Steve Ditko's hands, it's hard to forget them.

"Dr. Strange by Lee and Ditko" graces list of 100 things loved about comics [Tony Isabella's Tips] [thanks reader!]
Also on the list: "The Passion of the Fans". Damn straight.

Posted 4 June 02005 - Permalink

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Can we recover the currently-out-of-fashion techniques that only work in comics, like thought balloons? [Permanent Damage at CBR]

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OT FYI Comic Book Bloggers: When linking to a specific column text at Comic Book Resources, use that specific column text's archive URL, not the URL of the column's general homepage.

The Permanent Damage column earns usability points for recently adding section link-anchors. Mr. Grant often writes in several large chunks, about widely varying topics, so the ability to link to just the comic book section or just the political section is a plus. But mentioning this gives Neilalien an opportunity to also mention something else that he's noticed quite a bit, in other people's weblogs over the years, which he considers a problem. And the problem's not getting better magically by itself of course, but steadily worse over time, so it's Nagging Day.

If you go to the Technorati page for Comic Book Resources (the listings there don't have permalinks or date-groupings), you'll see that Rich Johnston's Lying in The Gutters column last week about Alan Moore got a lot of hits around the internet. But scroll over a huge chunk of those links. They go to, which is the Gutters general home page, NOT the actual column with the Alan Moore content, Which means that in a week (already, in fact), all of those links intended for the Alan Moore content-specific column are essentially dead, linkrotted, as a new column (this time replaces the old each week at that column's home URL. So please bloggers, if you're going to link to one of those great columns at Comic Book Resources (or any online column with a 'home page'), surf to the archives of that column and get/use the archive URL when pointing to a specific text. If you don't, then the interested latecomer reader has to blindly crawl CBR's archives him/herself looking for the text in question. Yes, it's extra work for you the blogger, CBR should set it up that links on the home page of CBR go to the column archive permalink URLs and not to the column homepages, or provide us with a 'This page's perma URL is' line (like Snopes does at the bottom of its pages to overcome its history with icky website frames), etc.- but in the end, your weblog will hopefully be much more useful for anyone doing internet research in the long future after that week's specific text no longer lives at the column's home URL.

Neilalien should note that while he just kinda criticized the way CBR does something, CBR gets big kudos for having the most stable and longest-lived website archives in comicdom- much longer than Newsarama or Pulse with their past breakups and server crashes. Some quick URL hacking shows that CBR's news item #2 from 02001 is still up (they're on #5,352 today). It's a shame that a site so linkrot-proof over the years is linked to in such a linkrot-prone way by weblogs.

Fanboy Rampage did this yesterday. FR links to Augie's Guide to the comic blogosphere using, but Augie's Guide won't live there next week, that's just the column's homepage. The more permanent link to the Guide, which won't be broke in a week, should be used:

In today's Quick Hits (no permalinks for the Quick Hit sections), The Comics Reporter links to the above Permanent Damage's Dead Techniques section with It's good that people are using the section link-anchors now if they want to, but they're still using the column's home page as the link. (The link should be They are not really linking to the specific column with the content they are discussing. So that link is still inaccurate in a week (maybe we'll get lucky for a while if Dead Techniques is a recurring bit staying in #section1).

And then someday, someone's going to follow an old column homepage link to a #section5 at a later time when there is no #section5 that current week... and that's when THE INTERNET EXPLODES!

Posted 1 June 02005 - Permalink

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Ah! It's June! Can you smell the excitement? MOCCA Art Festival 02005 in NYC this month
And for once, it's conveniently not on the same weekend as another Neilalien must-do, the Coney Island Mermaid Parade.

More Ditko Action Heroes Archives (Atom/Beetle/Question) hinted?! [DC Comics Ask The Editors] [thanks to Comic Book Marathon for the FYI]

Strange #6 mini-series finale tomorrow [Diamond Comics shipping this week]
Neilalien loves those three-day weekends, but then Comics Wednesday is messed up! Gettin' the shakes today... (But Kraftwerk tonight at Hammerstein will help pass the time...)

Aquaman #62: Villain casts "The Crimson Bands of... Something" [Defenders Message Board] [image]

New comics blog I Wanna Write Superhero Books promising (threatening? ;) ) "Dr. Strange: Love Stories"

Sleeper will be missed, celebrated [Johnny Bacardi Show]
Now with satisfying (Brazilian?) ending.

Great tune: The Riddler by Frank Gorshin [Recordgeek 2 MB MP3] [via Brill Building]

Augie surveys the comics blogosphere, has kind words for Neilalien [Pipeline]

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Doc uber-fan Howard Hallis mails in a huge chunk of Doc news:

The new Wizard Magazine (#165) has a lot of Doc info:
1. Pg. 8 has an Envelope Art piece with Doctor Strange.
2. Pg. 34 reveals that the Marvel version of The Illuminati, which Bendis is calling "The Secret Society", will debut in New Avengers #7. Says Bendis: "These are the secret closed-door meetings that no one ever knows about- not even their own teams. The formation of the group goes back to the Kree Skrull War and the original Secret War - massive events that required immediate response. After they were over, the big players decided to make a habit of getting together to keep each other abreast of information." Who's on the team? Doctor Strange, Black Bolt (each of whom had nothing to do with the Kree Skrull War or the original Secret War BTW), Sub Mariner, Reed Richards, Professor X, and Iron Man. Apparently they meet to discuss The Sentry.
3. Pg. 79 has an article about the new Defenders series with a 2 page spread listing the lamest Defenders called "The D-List" on pg. 80-81. Son of Satan and Valkyrie make the list, although Giffen protests about the latter. Unlike the Maxim list a few years back, Doc is fortunately not included.
Also: Doc is going to be in Marvel Team Up #11, along with The Hulk, Nova and Wolverine, according to the new Marvel Previews.

Posted 1 June 02005 - Permalink

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