Neilalien : A Doctor Strange Fansite : A Comic Book Weblog  

Soon-to-be new Brooklyn NY comic shop Rocketship has a blog, storefront pics
As reported, tonight is the opening reception for the "Cartoon Brooklyn" gallery show.
New central PA comic shop RIOT has a blog
Any good comic industry news means nada without new comic shops [Comics Reporter]

Webcomics Nation has launched!
What Blogger has done for weblogs, and Flickr for photo-sharing, WCN will do for online comics.

Michigan to get MoCCA-esque comic arts festival in October [SNAP!] [via Isotope]

Marvel reports 2Q 02005 results, 11% lower earnings/profit to $25.8 million, net sales almost halved [Newsarama] [ICv2]
Licensing and toys down as Spider-Man 2 and Lord Of The Rings hurtle into the past and Fantastic Four couldn't make up the difference. Publishing net sales down 4% from 2Q a year ago to $20.8 million because House of M started too late, but "the decline was partially offset by a nearly 50% increase in sales of trade paperbacks into the direct market channel" during 2Q 02005. Also part of the overall decrease: "the impact of a $10 million, one-time charge related to the settlement of litigation with Stan Lee." Marvel completed $250 million worth of share repurchases in the second quarter; rather quickly. The stock's down about 10% since the results were announced. One thing is clear: there isn't going to be a huge pile o' cash from a hit movie and its related licensing each and every financial quarter, or in the same financial quarter year to year, so it's going to be, or at least look like to short-term investors, a wild roller coaster ride.

June 02005 sales results out [Comics up 13% year-to-year; House of M boss] [Top 300 Comics] [Top 100 GNs (We3 tops)] [GNs keep surging, up 53%]
Strange #6 came in at #53, 35,842 estimated sold.

WizardWorld Atlanta con backing off and rescheduling in the face of stiff support for underdog/littleguy HeroesCon the same weekend? [Newsarama]

All-Class Klaus Janson exclusive with Marvel [Newsarama]

On SPIN Magazine's recent criticwank: critics come from completely different place as the casual entertainment fan [Brill Building]
But count Neilalien among the noncritic enjoyers of Wire's Pink Flag.

Posted 29 July 02005 - Permalink

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Steve Ditko original Mr. A illo for 01976 San Diego Comic-Con up for auction [Heritage Comics] [via Ditko-L]
Included in the auction: a 01993 handwritten letter by Ditko to art collector Charlie Roberts. It's not a terribly personal correspondence- but this still strikes Neilalien as tacky (at the very least while Ditko is alive). And incongruous, if this letter is read correctly: Apparently, in the absence of Ditko personal-request-job commodities for the art-collecting market to trade, the market will thus commoditize and trade in private Ditko letters which blow off art collectors and refuse personal request jobs.

Posted 28 July 02005 - Permalink

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Black Jack Black Jack #1

A comic book Neilalien drew in his childhood.

Included: Analysis of how it was clearly inspired by/derivative of the Amazing Spider-Man comics he was reading at the time.

Posted 25 July 02005 - Permalink

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Jim Lee draws Doctor Strange on an Isotope toilet seat Jim Lee draws Doctor Strange on an Isotope toilet seat! [Isotope Virtual Lounge] [large image] [Comic Rockstars Toilet Seat Museum]
Whenever the great Comics Pimp James Sime gets a comics pro into his San Francisco, CA Isotope comic shop to do a signing, he gets them to draw something on a toilet seat, and then he puts the toilet seat up on the wall. Jim Lee drew Dr. Strange. Excelsior! Hey, Pimp: Is the Dr. Strange costume still hanging in the store? [Update: Photo from Jim Lee signing includes costume- thanks Larry!] [Doc costume alive and well at new location]

Sub-Mariner #22: Doc and Namor reveal their love, then lose to house cat [Comic Treadmill]

Quesada signs multi-year contract renewal, takes on added role of Chief Creative Officer, Publishing [Newsarama]
Congrats to Joey. There's been so much more to blog since he became Editor In Chief.

Vague hype makes retailer's job more difficult; massive crossovers o' greed risk losing customers [Brian Hibbs Tilting At Windmills]

gURL's Comic Book Selector [via Clea's Cave]
Handy tool for teen girls to get a comic recommendation based on their tastes.

WizardWorld intent to destroy all other cons: Schedules WW Atlanta same weekend as beloved traditional HeroesCon in Charlotte [Comic Book Resources editorial]

People who once moaned that comics weren't in the big time with movies now moan that movies have taken over too much San Diego Comic-Con [Permament Damage]

Teen Titans and Justice League Unlimited cartoons lead to following conclusion: "the superhero story is alive and well as children's entertainment too, not just as the persistent pleasure of an aging generation of nostalgics" [Unqualified Offerings]

"Currently Sleeper is being prepped as either a TV series or a movie" [Gutters]

Bookslut with some great advice for clueless journalists and reviewers covering graphic novels [Book Standard] [via Comics Reporter]

MPAA bust at San Diego Comic-Con, crackdown on rampant bootlegs [Newsarama] [ICv2]

Ramones box set Weird Tales Of The Ramones from Rhino to include lots of indie comic art [TCJ Message Board] [via Brill Building]

New Manhattan 7-Eleven; Slurpee availability takes humid thirsty city by storm [New York Times]
But does the store have Marvel Comics in it yet? [Newsarama's March 02005 coverage of Marvel's return to 7-Elevens]

Posted 24 July 02005 - Permalink

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Kickass Moments In Dr. Strange History

Dr. Strange in FF #243, first panel

Dr. Strange in FF #243, second panel

Dr. Strange mindfucks Galactus. Fantastic Four #243, by John Byrne, June 01982.

Posted 23 July 02005 - Permalink

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Defenders #1

Dr. Strange in Defenders #1 Okay, Defenders #1 is a pretty damn good issue. Giffen, DeMatteis and Maguire bring their signature style to the team, and it's their 'A' game, complete with the great characterization, the rich dialogue and group dynamics, the storytelling and incredible facial expressions, and the humor that one would expect. This first issue is just set-up- it's always such a creator-dues-paying chore to get the non-team together in the same room (Busiek probably gave that summoning ring to Nighthawk at the end of the last Defenders series out of respect for any next creator to use!). The characteristic Defenders' weirdness (except for the Silver Surfer's hilarious appearance) is missing- will this miniseries play it relatively straight (by this creative team's standards), or will we be seeing homicidal elves and crazy mind transfers? Also, no one beyond the Big Four is more than mentioned- are any other Defenders scheduled to show up? The Editor Page says Giffen's pitch was only about The Big Four, so guess not. Not that Neilalien ever much liked the powerhouses teamed-up with the misfits anyway, but over the years one can come to appreciate how teams of Supermen need their Blue Beetles and humor-foils.

Fanboy Powers, Activate! Form of... page-by-page annotations and comments... Gaze upon how the encyclopedic knowledge of continuity, a database of forty-year-old trivia, and very set concepts of what these characters should be like, both enhances and hinders enjoyment...

Page 1:

Not the usual anomaly rue design in the window.

Doc is attacked as he sleeps. Did he forget to utter "the protective chant which keeps me safe from harm when I shut my eyes in repose" [Strange Tales #122] again? Perhaps the familiar Wong doesn't trigger it?

Page 2:

The Crimson Bands of Cyttorak- ah, the classics. Trying to get on Neilalien's good side already.

Nightmare comments that Doc doesn't talk like real people. Damn straight! First indication that we're going to get a good Doc characterization.

Funny hair on the just-woken-up Dr. Strange.

Wong/Nightmare, after Doc calls him "man-servant": "Told ya: Old habits really do die hard." Refers to Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #84, when Wong tells Doc that calling him Master is a hard habit to break.

Page 3:

Nightmare developing a sense of humor. Mixed results. Neilalien groks that after an eternity of living in human dreams, one almost would have to develop a sense of humor. But it should have been shown as a blatantly more twisted or sicker- he is called "Nightmare" after all.

Wong- is it his first name or last name? Funny. And it's subversively deliciously used to show just how much Doc and Wong are "friends". They've actually stumped Neilalien on that one. Has it ever been established in the comic record or an Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe entry if Wong is his first or last name?

Page 4:

Doc in uniform. They've chosen the Classic Ditko Icon look- no eyes in the Vishanti chest symbol, orange gloves without dots. Nice. Although Doc's shown later with black pants, which wasn't a part of that look, so what we're really getting is a new combo.

The exorcism mirror was nice touch, going back to Doc's simple occult roots. Neilalien maybe could have used something less standard/cliche than the mirror, especially so soon after the Constantine movie and its mirror-exorcisms.

Page 5 & 6:

Interaction between Doc and Nightmare. Great facial expressions. Another funny dig at Doc and Wong's working relationship; "And he can polish an amulet like nobody's business!" Again, the horror aspect of Nightmare's been drained out of him, not great, but that's this creative team's style, Doc was firm and untrusting, and trying to smother Doc in his sleep with a pillow ought to count for something. The real test will be how Doc and Dormammu interact.

Looks like Nightmare's throne has become terribly boring over the years. At least he stands up (or the throne-back disappears)- the orange with black lines is a much more fun background here.

Page 7:

Banner's not exactly his regular mousey "You wouldn't like me when I'm angry/Don't make me become that monster again, Steve!" Banner in this issue, is he? Or is that not how Banner regularly is anymore?

From panel 6, it looks like they're going with a solid white astral form (another Ditko classic). But in later panels, we see the rocky background through Doc, which makes it a transparent or translucent form. Neilalien suspects that this was a conscious artist decision- Doc's only solid white in this panel because of the camera angle, looking down on the action, we wouldn't have seen Doc so well since his whole form was in front of the brown rock background. At least they didn't blunder and include his Cloak of Levitiation in his astral form.

Page 8:

Banner comments that this must be the fortieth time Dormammu's tried to invade the Earth dimension. Ah, when comics become aware of themselves.

Bruce: "Umar? Isn't she married to Ethan Hawke?" Doc doesn't get the reference. Yes! Neilalien's ranted against the joke-cracking Doc so many times. Doc shouldn't get pop culture references. He is a busy man between worlds, esoteric, separated from humanity. Rintrah was for watching television and cracking jokes.

Page 11 & 12:

The underwater lighting effect on Namor here is fantastic.

Interesting angle using Namor's past invasions of the surface world to show that he, as do The Defenders, have a different moral imperative about getting the heavy lifting done.

Giganto is an Atlantean monster, a huge whale with legs, first seen and summoned by Namor in Fantastic Four #4 [Marvel Universe Appendix Giganto page].

Page 13:

Okay, that's a damn kick-ass Dormammu. The interviews have Giffen saying that Maguire's is the best Dormammu, Ditko included. Hmmm. It's better than the early, shrouded-in-mystery, head-cloud Dormy. It's not better than the Ditko one with the big black head shards. Honestly, Neilalien's favorite is still the creepy sock-puppet head by John Romita Jr. in JMS' Amazing Spider-Man. Neilalien smells a The Many Faces of Dormammu page to build...

Are those other Faltinians in the smaller panel (the small floating flaming heads that look like Dormammu)? Dormammu and Umar shouldn't be shown getting along with other Faltinians, since their energy-racial brethren are disgusted by the two's obsession with matter. [See Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #22, the back-up story "Legends of the Dark Dimension" for more on little Faltinian heads and Dormammu's origin.] Unless something's changed. Or the heads might just be projections of Dormammu's power in some way to keep the troops in line- like the way he administered the sleep potion with the spiky headed thing to the Mindless Ones in Strange Tales #140, "The Pincers of Power".

Good use of different speech balloons throughout. Nightmare gets a squiggly-line border, Dormammu gets a double squiggly line border and red background, Umar gets a slightly redder font color. Neilalien's a little disappointed that Doc's spell didn't get a funky speech balloon font or change as he's been getting in recent years since the Flight of Bones miniseries.

Page 14:

Funny interaction between Umar and Dormammu. Even Dormy has some good facial expressions here- this miniseries is going to be a real artist's textbook on what can be done with just two shapes for eyes and one shape for a mouth. Neilalien thought Umar as Morticia Adams was perfect. We'll have to see where it goes with Dormammu- maybe a little too whiny and sad-sacky here (he's been too whiny for a long time before this mini came along).

From what we know, Dormammu and Umar don't really officially have both a mother and father (two genitors, two genders) [again, referring to Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #22, the back-up story "Legends of the Dark Dimension" and Dormammu's origin]. Faltinians seem be genderless and reproduce like anemone, budding. A Faltinian named Sinifer budded both Dormammu and Umar. But since they need to have a certain combination of energies to give birth, maybe there were two in the clan that primarily combined to be their "parents".

Page 16:

New window design- Neilalien's liking the mystical, changing feature. The interior of the Sanctum changes around, so why not the exterior?

The curtains in Doc's study match the trim on the Cloak of Levitation. Artists love little symmetries like that. Wong's clothes had a trim similar to the Cloak of Levitation in last year's Daredevil #65.

Wow, the Cauldron of the Cosmos. Where'd that come from? According to the Leader's Lair, it's from The Defenders #15.

Again, it's good that Namor didn't get the Finding Nemo joke. Great pause panel before Namor admits it.

Page 17:

Doc's library background includes a ladder for books on high shelves. That better be for Wong- Doc don't need no ladder!

Page 17 & 18:

Namor and Hulk/Banner arguing. This is the stuff that Neilalien, like Dr. Strange, finds pretty tiring. It can't be so over-the-top that the reader starts to question why the team even exists.

Page 19:

After training the eye for the previous 18 pages on tiny panels (many pages with 12)- a big panel should really count. Don't know if a Hulk transformation counts. (Dormammu's first appearance counts.) Bruce is already green on page 18. Maybe it would have been better if the big panel was used to have the Hulk and Namor start massively punching each other. In any event, the Hulk's transformation thunder is totally stolen by an unfortunate ad placement of a huge Hulk the page before! Arrgh! &%#$ing ads!

Page 20:

Doc: "Whoops. What I mean to say is, ah, Shades of the Seraphim!" Cute. It's all an act!

The Mindless Ones look great here. They remind Neilalien of some panels in Strange Tales #134, "If Earth Be My Battleground" with all the Mindless Ones piled up against the barrier, arms lifted high so Ditko could draw a throng of hands.

Usually Neilalien wouldn't tolerate a Doc making such a dumb mistake as teleporting Hulk behind the barrier (and how did he manage to get anything through the barrier?). Maybe Dormammu worked the telportation on purpose, to separate Hulk from his army. But we'll see where it goes- The Hulk vs. The Mindless Ones might be entertaining.

Don't care how strong he is- they better not show Hulk breaking down a mystical barrier that Dormammu himself has erected and the legion of Mindless Ones can't themselves break down.

Page 21:

Silver Surfer fans probably aren't going to like a spacey (no pun intended) Surfer who's discovered Long Beach. "They, too, ride the board!" Neilalien thought it was hilarious, but he empathizes with the fans, having experienced many incompetent and joke Doctor Stranges over the decades. But y'know, we are talking about a guy who travels the cosmos on a surfboard...

Posted 22 July 02005 - Permalink

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Michael T. Gilbert reports that Ditko fans will want to check out Hogan's Alley #13 [ditko-l Steve Ditko Discussion Group] [Hogan's Alley website]

I just thought I'd let you know that the 13th issue of Hogan's Alley (a mag primarily devoted to old comic strips) just came out last week. It includes my "Take-2!" article, featuring two stories by Kirby and Ditko respectively, in which they each redrew the same story twice. We reprint all four stories, four pages per page.
The first two are the Lee/Kirby 1960 story "Beware! The Rawhide Kid!" (Marvel), and the 1961 remake, "Origin Of The Rawhide Kid!" by the same team.
The second two stories are Ditko's 1957 story "Director Of The Board" (Charlton), re-christened "A Look Into The Future", when Ditko redrew it in 1961. The stories were sent to me by Nick Caputo, Chris Brown and Ronn Sutton, who were credited in the article. I think you'll find it fun to compare the two versions of each side by side.

Neilalien's favorite beam-down point, Brooklyn NY, gets a new comic shop [Newsarama]
The press release:

Rocketship is Brooklyn's newest comic book and graphic novel store, opening in August at 208 Smith Street, with a wide selection of graphic novels, alternative comics, "DIY" mini-comics, and original comic art.
To help celebrate the grand opening, Rocketship will host "Cartoon Brooklyn," a gallery show featuring work by some of Brooklyn's best local artists. Jessica Abel (Artbabe, La Perdida), Dean Haspiel (Opposable Thumbs, The Quitter), Matt Madden (A Fine Mess, Odds Off), and Josh Neufeld (A Few Perfect Hours, The Vagabonds) will all have work displayed in the store throughout August and September. An opening reception will be held on July 29th, from seven until ten in the evening, complete with an open bar that will be serving wine and beer in the store's garden. (Please contact Alex Cox at 718-797-1348 to be added to the guest list.)
Rocketship is owned by Mary Gibbons and Alex Cox, both of whom have years of experience in comic book retail, and share a love for comics as an art form. Their mission is to showcase cartoon art that goes beyond summer blockbusters and muscled men in tights. To that end, they've established Rocketship in Cobble Hill, and have a year's worth of gallery shows already planned.
"Cartoon Brooklyn" showcases some of the finest artists working in alternative comics today, including three Xeric Award winners (Abel, Madden, and Neufeld) and two Harvey Pekar/American Splendor collaborators (Haspiel and Neufeld). The artists themselves will be present for a signing (to be announced) at the end of August.
Rocketship is located 208 Smith Street (between Butler and Baltic) in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.

Posted 21 July 02005 - Permalink

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James Doohan, "Scotty", has died [CNN]

Posted 20 July 02005 - Permalink

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Comics out tomorrow featuring or including Dr. Strange: Defenders #1. A Marvel Milestones reprinting a story for each of the Big Four Defenders: Doc's is Marvel Premiere #3, "While The World Spins Mad" by Stan Lee and Barry Smith. Exiles #67.
Also of note: Neilalien fave The Silencers relaunch issue with Image.

Doc in Exiles #66 Doc Sighting: Exiles #66
Apparently the Exiles are a team of mutants, each plucked from their own separate alternate realities, who travel among the parallel universes and repair the damaged ones and restore cosmic balances. Seems like a fun What-If book- and an opportunity to breathe new life into old second string properties by creating alternate versions than standard continuity and make a popular villain like Sabretooth a good guy on an ongoing monthly sales basis, of course. Anyway, the team needs some serious healing after a recent big battle, so in this issue they go pluck a Dr. Strange from a reality that's not the 616 one. This alternate Dr. Strange has no mystical expertise- he's never been to Tibet ("Cancelled a vacation there once."). But more than just a medical doctor, he's a "practitioner of meta-medicine", an expert on superhumans- he's operating on the Hulk when they fetch him, and he's able to advise and operate on the mutantly-wounded mutants. A cute appearance for Doc, he's not on the cover or in uniform (he wears a white smock throughout). Check it out in the shops, rabid Doc fans!
Updated 20 July with #67 [Spoilers]: Well, I guess we won't be seeing much of that particular Dr. Strange anymore... Deadpool, you pisser! Interesting that the Timebreakers actually do refer to standard continuity as Six-One-Six.

Posted 19 July 02005 - Permalink

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02005 San Diego Comic-Con International News Index [Newsarama]
Information Overload defined, but it's useful to have all the links together at one page. Of course it should be keyword searchable... Neilalien didn't hear of any Dr. Strange news this year (not much news at all, actually). Guess JMS' Strange isn't the "launching pad" it was supposed to be yet...
Con seemed even more divorced from comic books than ever before [Mark Evanier]

Congrats to Gene Colan: Eisner Hall of Famer [Newsarama lists 02005 Eisner Winners]
Other winners: Ex Machina, Eightball #23, and Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book, by Gerard Jones.

Defenders #1 Book Of The Week [Ninth Art]

The Defenders #6 synchs perfectly to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon [Filing Cabinet Of The Damned]

Dr. Strange Vs. Dr. Fate & Current Scarlet Witch & Zatanna [academic paper ;) presented at Killer Movies] [via Progressive Ruin]

Brightly-clad teen sidekicks don't fit, and have their absurdity highlighted, in comics' current grim n' gritty era [Ninth Art]

What's wrong with Hype Fatigue? House of M and Infinite Countdown are feeding my kids! [Other retailers respond to one who complained]

The latest widely picked-up Associated Press story on the superhero movie boom [RedNova] [Washington Post]
Neilalien's seen three headlines for this so far: "Superheroes Abound at Movies This Year", "Need a superhero? Look in Hollywood: Aquaman is about the only comic star without a film deal", "Fickle Hollywood courts superheroes". Dr. Strange is mentioned as in the pipeline! Doc and Aquaman, racing to be the last one in before the fad ends.
Superman Returns: "it's one of the largest films Warner Bros. has ever made" [RedNova]

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A Short Interview With James Kochalka; SuperF*ckers despised by superhero blogs? [Comics Reporter]
Kochalka's work does nothing for Neilalien. He's checked out all his stuff too, based on the pimping of Comic Book Galaxy and others. Shrug. A lot of stuff doesn't work for Neilalien. He has nothing against it to write a negative review or anything, no need to warn people and their wallets about it, no desire to disrespect the creator, the creator path being brutal enough. Except for Dr. Strange, when Neilalien can certainly be a source of slings and arrows, this weblog can often be silent, as it has been about Kochalka, in a can't-say-anything-positive-then-say-nothing, can't-back-up-"I-don't-like-this!"-with-intelligent-objective-discourse, can't-have-an-opinion-about-every-damn-little-thing, let-the-blogosphere-have-its-darlings, we-can-only-blog-what-interests-us, people-can-check-it-out-for-themselves kind of way. But Neilalien finds this "superhero blog" line oddly motivating (and since generating default silence, no buzz or attention good or bad must be the worst fate of all). Neilalien will categorically state to his readers that all superhero enjoyers should check out SuperF*ckers for themselves. [American Elf: The Sketchbook Diaries of James Kochalka website to check out more of his work] You might be delighted by it- and there's no inherent reason why any superhero enjoyer- especially the Neilalien-reading brand of superhero enjoyer with good taste and who can have fun and be wonderfully goosed by such things as the Coober Skeber Marvel Benefit Issue, Johnny Ryan's Marvel Super Pages, etc.- should despise or be offended by it. Neilalien's more curious where all of these bad reviews from superhero weblogs are? Granted, the hardcore nostalgic Rambo fan, the only one left, not abandoned by the Direct Market, probably won't be into a funny animal movie- and they do get upset about things- but about Rambo things, like Hal Jordan not being Green Lantern anymore. Do they even know that SuperF*ckers exists? Never mind feel any strong emotion about it either way. Who has been offended; who thinks they are being made fun of; who's insecure when the indies spew their fanboy hate; who's misunderstanding when the indies celebrate their own fanboy love? There's only unconditional praise in a current Google search for SuperF*ckers review blog (um, well not anymore once Google finds this post, oops). Oh well, maybe there are tons of hate-filled pans out there by that favorite snob-constructed Sasquatch, the hyper-sensitive personally-offended superhero reader- the comics blogosphere is too enormous for Neilalien to be omniscient about it anymore. Or could this be a bullshit line for indie cred, grabbing for that badge of honor? Neilalien says it's bullshit. "The superhero blogs hate me!"- Comics Reporter eats it up ("In just the way you'd expect?"). Or a marketing ploy that Neilalien just fell for (hyper-sensitive, indeed!)?

BTW, The SuperF*ckers Theme [MP3] is fucking awesome!

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So what's worse blog form? Repeating a link as if new in only six months (Boing Boing links to that hilarious "This Godless Communism" 01960's Catholic Guild Red Scare comic 10 July 02005, Boing Boing links to it 27 November 02004)- or classlessly calling out other blogs on their repeats? Surely the latter, so Neilalien will say nothing. ;) Hey, Neilalien only notices out of love, because he reads fave site Boing Boing near daily and already poached this link from BB the first time around. When you've blogged long enough (and especially at BB, a group blog, where one hand might not know what the other has already typed), you're bound to repeat yourself. Neilalien's probably broken a record or two over the years. As all the romantic films involving amnesia victims teach us, one of the magical things about this world is that we can forget something and have it be New Again. And there's nothing wrong with saving great links from archive-burial somehow, or letting classics be New Again, breaking the web again via those who are simply discovering it for the first time, or linking to what a thousand other blogs already have. But let's strive to keep links repeated-on-the-same-site-as-if-new to at least a year apart, okay? There's enough info overload out there. Anything shorter could be confusing to readers with half a memory, or a sign of the blogger's senility... ;) (Or has internet-time become so fast, or our attention spans so short, that six months is the cycle length now?) (Now that Neilalien's posted this, look for him to inadvertently repeat a link as if new in the coming weeks...)
MetaFilter loves the anti-Commie comic [via Bloggity]

Posted 18 July 02005 - Permalink

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Live-Action Marvel Chronology at dates the Dr. Strange TV movie: 6 Sept 01978
It was killed in the ratings by a rebroadcast of Roots.

Image of Marvel's empty No Prize envelopes [Mark Evanier]

DC has surpassed Marvel by putting the urgency and action comic fans want back into their books [The Hurting]

Comic geeks now a fantastic force, flexing their superpowers to make or break Hollywood projects [LA Times]

Proud fetish publisher Benedikt Taschen proudly not a comic book nerd [Art and the Big Book of Breasts at Stuff NZ]
Because being caught with comics is now worse than being caught with porn.

Robust nostalgia market and manga update contribute to Nancy Drew's 75 years of success []

Kirkman's Marvel Team-Up #14: Spider-Man and... Invincible?! [Newsarama Comic-Con coverage]

Explaining the She-Hulk #100 image, two months after She-Hulk returns in a new series in October by Dan Slott, they are going back to the "original" numbering covering the original Byrne series and the previous Slott series... The crowd laughed and Quesada joined them, clearly joking, "We are such whores".


Hudlin added that when he visited the Marvel offices to make this point [more minority characters], he didn't meet any resistance, but went on to say the industry is so focused on the direct market and sending product to the same people month-in and month-out, that it doesn't reach out to new readers.

Massive awesome collection of old-school arcade tokens [Flickr] [via Waxy]

Posted 17 July 02005 - Permalink

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Memin Pinguin Mexico put Sambo on a postage stamp a couple weeks ago. Meet Memin Pinguin, a long-time beloved Mexican comic book character, from the 01940's but widely read still today, "especially by the poor and relatively uneducated". As much a part of Mexico's national culture and tradition as Bugs Bunny is to America's, as harmless as Speedy Gonzales, a product of his time and place. An adorable little monkey-like boy with exaggerated African features who's mischievous and loves to laugh it up while he's being bullied by the white kids. A symbol of "the egalitarian possibility that all groups can live together in peace" that demonstrates "the affection that Mexicans feel for black people". Found sympathetic and inoffensive by non-black Mexicans everywhere. And how could you possibly understand that, you politically-correct-, modern-day-standards- and race-obsessed American-centric gringos, you who don't even understand Mexico's television comedy? The stamps sold out in two days.

Mexican stamp fuels 'racial stereotypes' [MSNBC]
Mexican stamp called offensive to blacks [CNN]
Memin defended: The Pride In Memin Pinguin: Americans misinterpret stamp while overlooking essential facts of blacks history worthy of respect [Washington Post Op-Ed by Mexican historian Enrique Krauze]
Memin Pinguin Judging The Content Of A Caricature [Clarence Page column]
Biography page for creator Sixto Valencia Burgos [Lambiek]
Stamp of Disapproval for Mexico [Washington Post column]
Sambo still walks... in Mexico [Blog Alice; many images]
Guess Mexico Didn't Get The Memo... [My So-Called Blog]
Mexico's goodwill ambassador? Time to dust off the Frito-Lay Bandit [Waveflux]
Must-read: American in Mexico observes; Mexican government adept at exploiting disagreements with the US [Jon's Mexico Blog]
Mexico's forgotten race steps into spotlight: A row with the US has highlighted the discrimination faced by black population [Guardian Unlimited]
Forgotten culture: Ignored by society, black Mexicans deny their history [Rachel Graves, Houston Chronicle, 3 July 02004]

Posted 17 July 02005 - Permalink

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Ron Perelman loses appeal, Marvel suit against him continues; faces trial and $554 million in charges over bonds [Telegraph] [Bloomberg News at Philadelphia Inquirer]

Marvel trustees say Perelman and other directors caused the company to issue $553.5 million in notes in 1993 and 1994, and "none of the proceeds went to Marvel, or were used for Marvel's benefit," according to the appeals court ruling. Instead, the trustees allege, the directors unjustly enriched themselves.

Marvel teams up with Microsoft: licensing deal to create massively multiplayer online games for Xbox 360 featuring Marvel characters [Newsarama] [Red Herring] [PR Newswire] [Motley Fool loves it]

Transformers live-action movie slated for 4 July 02007! Yay! [CNN]
Big names: Michael Bay (The Rock, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor- eh, but there will be action) to direct and Steven Spielberg to executive produce.

Enjoying The Steve Ditko Reader Volume 3, but with these caveats standing out:

  1. They didn't catch the name error on the spine from the last volume. Oh well, at least our bookshelves now have two matching books titled "The Steve Ditko Reade". C'mon people- this is the legacy of a great and essential comic book artist you have in your hands!
  2. "The Man Who Could See Tomorrow" is a six-pager; it's missing a page, there's only five pages in this volume. Ditto.
  3. To anyone who thinks that it's a bad thing that comic book creators had/have been shackled with essentially being required to work in the superhero genre for so long (and anyone should think that): the shackles of working on five-page-stories-with-trick-endings were much heavier.

Posted 15 July 02005 - Permalink

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12 September trial date set in Gordon Lee case [Comic Book Legal Defense Fund] [Pulse] [ICv2] [Newsarama]
The CBLDF has hired counsel on behalf of Mr. Lee, a Rome, GA comics retailer.

Lee faces two counts of the felony charge "Distribution of Material Depicting Nudity or Sexual Conduct," and five counts of the misdemeanor charge "Distribution of Material Harmful to Minors." The incident in question was the distribution of a Free Comic Book Day giveaway from Alternative Comics to a minor during a community Halloween event.

Call to restrict the content of Free Comic Book Day books to all-ages appropriate material [ICv2]
Neilalien doesn't want a world completely dumbed-down and cleaned-up to the level of fourth-graders, but a point can be made that Free Comic Book Day is an event with a primary 'kid-ambassadorial' function. Interesting point that Top Shelf's FCBD offering was both kid-safe but still kept its alt-indie cred.

"Quintessential hippie" Chet Helms has died [Hartford Advocate]

His Oct. 16, 1965 bash, called "Tribute to Dr. Strange," held at Longshoreman's Hall was the first to create a sense of community around rock music.

Stan Lee wearing Power Patrol Rings Wearers of Stan-Lee-globally-branded Power Patrol Rings will receive secret super-powered missions to purchase trading cards, games, DVDs, action figures, see movies, eat at fast food outlets [Comic Book Bin]

Retailer feeling that old Marvel Hype Fatigue [Newsarama]

Illinoise CD with Superman in cover art retracted after DC Comics cease-and-desist [Pulse]
We talk about Marvel's lawyerism so much, we forget Time Warner has a pretty bad record too, threatening children with Harry Potter fansites, cracking down on fan films, etc.

Descriptions of all The Price Is Right minigames [Wikipedia] [via Waxy]

Flickr photos tagged with 'comics'

The Thing Despite horrible reviews and low expectations, Fantastic Four rakes in $56 million opening weekend [AP at Yahoo Finance]
Marvel stock surged 12%. How are the Thing Feet selling?- are they this year's Hulk Hands? So are all the doomsday theories that were so the rage when Marvel started this new wave of movies and licensing put to bed yet? Just checking what the party line is...
Update: Neilalien just saw the F4 flick- he was definitely going to see it in the theaters since rented special effects have no oomph on his tiny television, and he was just waiting to be in a popcorn-fun brain-turned-off mood. He enjoyed it! Definitely not as bad as all the reports say. Neilalien might even have to surprisingly say that he liked it better than Daredevil or Hulk; it knew what it was, it felt tighter, less indulgent, briskly paced- no creaking leather, no gamma poodles, no extended scenes of sapitude, etc. The brain-turned-off helped. Jessica Alba is hot hot hot. Chiklis was excellent as Ben Grimm. His character being able to be cured and then switch back so quickly undermined a bit, though.

War Of The Worlds. Respected recommenders and Attentiondeficitdisorderly's essay moved Neilalien to get over his disdain for Tom Cruise and get in a seat. Wow, generally excellent and apocalycreepo. Tim Robbins' basement brings the movie to a screeching halt (twenty minutes of low-tech snake probe- with the aliens searching at that speed, the human race would have had about a million years left to survive). [Ghost In The Machine's review]

Enjoy the San Diego Comic-Con this weekend everyone!
And here's to hoping that tomorrow's Comic Book Weblogs Panel is a success- or at least relevant to the comics blogosphere- or at least won't come off sounding like the comicdom equivalent of what's happened in politicdom like a Meet The Press roundtable of "professionals and columnists" elitistly bashing those of us in our "living rooms and pajamas".

Posted 13 July 02005 - Permalink

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Byron Preiss killed in fatal auto accident [Jim Steranko at Pulse]
"American popular culture lost one of its most productive and visionary champions"; graphic novel pioneer.

Defenders' Giffen and DeMatteis discuss writing humor [Comic Foundry]

Posted 11 July 02005 - Permalink

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The Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center announced [press release at Newsarama]

Keith Giffen interviewed about Defenders [Comixfan] [Part 2] [via Thanator]

Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis banter about Defenders [Newsarama]

Dr. Strange as Bob Newhart, and Dormammu and Umar as Donnie and Marie From Hell... If this were any other creative team, Neilalien would be running for the exits instead of intrigued. The humor won't offend this fanboy, but the team intensely hating each other will. We shall see.

Dr. Strange Heroclix figure Sounds like the new Marvel HeroClix expansion Fantastic Forces treats Dr. Strange right [WizKids] [via Comic Treadmill with review of the Baron Mordo figure too]

The First Church Of Galactus [MetaFilter] [via Progressive Ruin]

Avi's Fantasy Land: The Incredibles was a commercial(!) for Fantastic Four; superhero movie glut isn't possible if all the movies are good [Zap2It interviews Arad]
But he has Dr. Strange to help against the hyper-critical fanbase.

Compiling a list of the favorite super-heroes of fictional characters (Radioactive Man/Bart Simpson, for example) [Polite Dissent]

Interview with Grant Geissman, author of Foul Play!: The Art and Artists of the Notorious 1950s E.C. Comics! [Newsarama]

A look behind the scenes: Challenging Canadian Customs' seizure of an imported book that's "solidly a product of the Japanese sexual psyche" [] [via CBG/ADD Blog]

London called- they will not be divided.

Posted 9 July 02005 - Permalink

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Previous reports confirmed: Ultimate Spider-Man video game's NYC-scape includes Sanctum Sanctorum [IGN]
His house is there, but not him:

Even if it only amounts to being able to watch Strange through his skylight as he catches an episode of Queer Eye before bed, it would be nifty to have the sorcerer attached to his home in some way.

Essential Essential Defenders review [Brill Building (Happy Birthday and Blogday)]

Chandu The Magician Chandu the Magician: An outrageously campy ought-to-be-cult classic [Hartford Advocate reviews the movie, 4 stars]
Stan Lee mentioned Chandu (specifically the radio show, not this 01932 movie) as a source of inspiration for Dr. Strange in "Origins of Marvel Comics."

Avengers Disassembled revisited; Dr. Strange's appearance deus-ex-deconstructed [Bendis Board Jinxworld] [via Fanboy Rampage]

Nightcrawler's foster mother Margali Szardos' sorceress power rivals Doctor Strange's? Pfft! [Comic Book Resources interviews Nightcrawler writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa]

Oni Press: "Comic books for people who like to read books" [Bookslut]

Meme Watch: The Incredibles stole Fantastic Four's thunder [Progressive Ruin]

The Invisible Library: neat collection of fictional books [via LinkMachineGo]
(Warning: The Invisible Library is darn near invisible itself, since it can't be seen until after clicking through an Enter Page, then the Main Desk Page, and then the Catalog Page. What a useless pile of mouse clicks and page loadings. Can't they just put the catalog alphabetic directory links and a news blog on the first home page? But Neilalien treats you right- the above link goes straight to the catalog.)

Posted 6 July 02005 - Permalink

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Stan Lee interviewed by Mark Millar [new Millarworld website, magazine]

Steve Englehart, Len Wein, and Tony Isabella talk 70's Luke Cage, white guys writing black heroes [Pulse]
Meanwhile today, he's making white babies.

Three categories of comics press releases examined [Ninth Art]
Comic printed to order sells out! Unknown signs exclusive! New publisher to break Earth in half!

Month-to-month sales May 02005 at Pulse [Marvel] [DC, others]

Righteous praise for Simonson's Thor run [Newsarama]

Matt Fraction on 70's comics [Comic Book Resources]

Aside from the self-unconsciousness... the first thing that's really struck me is how dense these stories were and the second is how a lot of that density comes from these kind of... expired devices and forgotten tools of the medium. I'm not wholly convinced that some of these devices-- narrative captions, thought balloons, etc.-- are best left in the past. There's a part of me that feels like comics needed to shed those tropes to reach a certain degree of sophistication, and now that that level's been reached with the right hands and the right minds behind it, these tools could be dusted off and reintroduced into the mainstream. If for no other reason that they're very... comic-y, you know? It's a unique genetic component to the comics form; they kind of help make comics, comics... these books are anti-bloat, anti-coast, and absolutely don't allow for passive consumption.

Posted 5 July 02005 - Permalink

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