Joe Mathlete Explains Today's Marmaduke [via MetaFilter]
Civil War Reed Richards and Tony Stark have plenty of other brilliant foolproof contingency plans like Clor [hilarious Sporadic Sequential]
Marvel and Microsoft line up Cryptic Studios for Marvel Universe MMO for both Xbox 360 and Windows Vista! [Newsarama] [Comic Book Resources]
Cryptic is City of Heroes with NCSoft, which is good news because they know how to do it well already- but they were also the target of Marvel's litigation against the game, so color Neilalien surprised.
DRM'ed PDF's for a dollar less than the actual comic book? Sold! Not [Blog@Newsarama reports on DriveThruComics; see commenter backlash]
New better Ditkomania scannage available [Datajunkie]
Religion and Comic Books: Where Did Superman's Theology Come From? [New York Times re: Rabbi Weinstein's Up, Up and Oy Vey!]
Posted 28 September 02006 - Permalink
The first six pages of Dr. Strange: The Oath [Comic Book Resources]
Posted 27 September 02006 - Permalink
Heroes debuts on NBC tonight 9 PM [Official Heroes Site]
Posted 25 September 02006 - Permalink
Dr. Strange: Born in 01900 or 01930?
Dr. Strange uber-fan (and often Neilalien link-submitter) SanctumSanctorumComix has a notion [CBR Forums thread strarts] [post #1, post #2, post #3; post #4]
New Strange-using (ick) Marvel.com bio says 01930
Related refresher: Doctor Strange- Year One [The Wastebasket]
In Praise of: Marvel Premiere #13, Dr. Strange by Englehart & Brunner [Ink Destroyed My Brush]
A bit too much other Dr. Strange work is dissed to get to this praise, but praiseworthy nonetheless.
Saint Brendan the Navigator is one of the few saints to be featured as a comic book character (in Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #11 backup story) [Saints Preserve Us!] [Marvel Appendix listing] [St. Brendan in the Patron Saints Index] [St. Brendan in the Catholic Encyclopedia]
For the cheap newbie: The Origin of Dr. Strange, Strange Tales #115, posted online [Papa Joe Mambo]
Posted 24 September 02006 - Permalink
Civil War #4 overwhelmingly despised
None of the characters in Civil War #4 are remotely recognizable or likable. And Memo to Marvel: Never, ever, do a story involving a clone again! MARVEL COMICS AND CLONES DO NOT MIX! And heck, the unstable clone didn't work out so well against our friends- let's try outsourcing to some Hannibal Lechters! Neilalien revokes his earlier frustration that Dr. Strange isn't involved in this! Bullet dodged! The art's good though.
Update: Progressive Ruin is with Neilalien
Update: Who else is with us? Beautiful blurry purple alien heads everywhere [Comic Treadmill] [Bloggity Blog-Blog-Blog] [Polite Dissent] [Bully Says]
Collecting finer links, updating as found:
Has Mark Millar Ever Even Read a Marvel Comic? [Ye Olde Comick Booke Blogge]
An Open Letter to Reed Richards and Tony Stark, Two Fictional Characters [BeaucoupKevin]
Tumbling House of Cards [Comics Should Be Good]
The monster message board thread, if you dare [Comic Book Resources Forums]
Civil War Contemplations [Comics Fairplay]
Great rant by Worstblogever
Pretending to be about the national debate of security versus civil liberties, and most of the characters are way out of whack [Comics And...]
Pulp, Grind, Manifesto: Vaughan, Grayson, Waid & Heinberg on Comics [Comic Book Resources]
Kurt Busiek 01988 Memo: On Writing For Comics [meta] [via xBlog]
Better deals with bookstore distributors than with Diamond are available to comic shops [Brian Hibbs Tilting At Windmills @Newsarama]
Props for Mark Gruenwald [The Fred Hembeck Show: Episode 72 at Quick Stop Entertainment]
Re-Reading Wertham, annotated page by page [by Comicon.com MB poster]
The Kryptonese Alphabet [meta info] [via Kottke]
Posted 23 September 02006 - Permalink
Braindump: Dr. Strange vs. Ghost Rider, Ghost Rider #3
A terrible Doctor Strange appearance.
(1) Dr. Strange has no interesting offense. Doc's offense in this issue is two energy blasts, one from a pointy finger, and then calling a lightning bolt. So boring. When a lug like Ghost Rider is shown with a more varied arsenal (brawling, chains, fire) than a Master of the Mystic Arts, it's bad.
(2) Dr. Strange has no defense. Granted, it's Ghost Rider's book so he's going to look good, and his chains are probably mystical and not mundane, and Doc is shown surviving Rider punches and fire that would kill a normal person. But Doc's not shown with any kind of defenses or magic or shields. Doc can't divert the path of one chain. Doc can't transform one chain into a flock of doves to flap away harmlessly or anything interesting. The only time Rider seems to miss is for #3 next.
(3) Dr. Strange falls for the oldest, lamest trick in the book. Ye olde 'miss the guy to make something behind him fall on him'. We've seen this ten zillion times. Zero originality. Why does Doc call a chain hurl "valiant"? And what's with Doc's shit-eating grin? So out of character.
(4) Transporting Ghost Rider to consecrated ground does nothing. No advantage or limitation is shown. Just Dr. Strange incompetence again. Plus bringing the fight to a cemetary for people's headstones to get destroyed and poor graves to get defiled. S-M-R-T. How about teleporting to an abandoned ancient monastery in the middle of the desert somewhere. How about showing a Ghost Rider or his skull fire actually weakened by being in such a place.
(5) Dr. Strange wallows in self-pity. He takes out the bad guy, and then starts a moaning monologue about his mortal imperfection and temper. It made Neilalien vomit a little in his mouth. Why is Doc a sad sack?
(6) Ghost Rider basically defeats the Sorcerer Supreme. Damn, the Earth realm is under some great protection, eh? It makes no sense. If you're not going to show Doc hand Rider his ass, at least let it be the old comic book convention of two heroes both looking good and fighting to a standstill until the misunderstanding is resolved.
(7) Dr. Strange wastes his time fighting Ghost Rider while Lucifer is on Earth. Doc obviously knows Lucifer is involved. Lucifer is clearly the greater danger. Doc should be trying to recruit Rider to help him against Lucifer, instead of cease-and-desisting Rider. It makes no sense. The story should have went at least a little more like this: Doc tries to get Rider's help against Lucifer, Rider thinks Doc is Lucifer in disguise and attacks, they should have fought (with much more interesting Doc offense and defense) to a standstill, then Doc clears up the confusion with the Eye of Agamotto, and then they ally against Lucifer.
The only decent thing 'against' Dr. Strange in this issue is that Doc seems kind of powerless when he can't speak and his arms are bound, which recalls the recent thinking that that's one of the ways we can make Dr. Strange interesting again and not so powerful.
Just more crap for Dr. Strange fans to suck up. Marvel's out of ideas for this guy. Bring on The Oath- anything will look good in comparison to this.
Posted 22 September 02006 - Permalink
Original Tomb of Dracula nudity edited out for Essential collections [The Groovy Age of Horror (NSFW)] [via Sporadic Sequential]
Posted 21 September 02006 - Permalink
Dr. Strange and related out today:
- Doc in Ghost Rider #3
- Mindless Ones in Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. #8
- Doc NOT in Civil War #4 [which might be looking less disappointing after this issue's bad Frankenstein lurches, but Neilalien won't spoil] [unless Doc is Ski-Mask Man, but that's probably Punisher or Hawkeye]
Dr. Strange and related out in December [December 02006 Marvel solicits]:
Written by BRIAN K. VAUGHAN
Pencils & Cover by MARCOS MARTIN
As he searches every dimension of the Marvel Universe for a cure to save the life of his dying friend, Doctor Strange finally learns the shocking true identity of the shadowy villain who holds Wong's life in his hands.
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99
- Doc in New Avengers: Illuminati #1 (of 5) [miniseries relates the group's beginnings] [cover does nada for Neilalien]
- Doc in X-Men: First Class #4 (of 8) [going back to the X-Men's beginnings] [Dr. Strange on cover]
- Cyttorak in? New Excalibur #14 [cover] [Juggernaut story]
- Avengers Disassembled HC [we all remember Doc's deus ex machina 'there's no such thing as chaos magic' fun?]
- For the true collector monkeys: Yandroth item in All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A To Z #12
And more about Stan Lee Meets Doctor Strange on the wires, on sale 11 October:
Lee, Bendis, Bagley and Davis Present Stan Lee Meets Dr. Strange
In the second of a series of specials celebrating Stan Lee's 65th year of working at Marvel, "The Man" gets to meet the Master of the Mystic Arts: Dr. Strange. In Stan Lee Meets Dr. Strange, Lee pens a tale with art by Alan Davis where Stan journeys to Greenwich Village to catch up with his old pal Dr. Strange.
Plus Stan Lee Meets Dr. Strange features a back-up story by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley honoring Stan Lee. The creative team behind the fan-favorite Ultimate Spider-Man present a brand-new story paying homage to the life and career of the man who helped build the House of Ideas.
And if that wasn't enough, a reprinting of the Lee-scripted Marvel Premiere #3 with art by Barry Windsor-Smith featuring one of Doctor Strange's most memorable adventures.
Filled with more high-profile creators than you can shake a Wand of Watoomb at, Stan Lee Meets Dr. Strange is fun-filled celebratory romp through the Marvel Universe for fans of Marvel, both yesterday and today.
48 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99
Posted 20 September 02006 - Permalink
Must-Read/Learn: Legend Alex Toth critiquing Steve Rude Jonny Quest story art [ConceptArt.org Forums] [via Comics Reporter]
So fascinating, so brutal, so educational to anyone who reads/creates comics.
Update: Rude speaks [Sporadic Sequential with scans from interview in Draw #11]
Must-See: Special Exhibition: Masters of American Comics at The Jewish Museum in NYC
Opened Friday, runs through January 02007. Jack Kirby celebrated, natch.
Very neat Kirby interactive by The New York Times
Also at the Jewish Museum: Special Exhibition: Superheroes: Good and Evil in American Comics
GraphicSmash's RSS feed is working again, which means that Neilalien's GraphicSmash Pimpbotbox can return to the upper right of this site's homepage! It uses Feedroll to snag and HTMLize the first headline and link of GraphicSmash's feed, so when that feed changes daily, we get a new link to a different webcomic to check out. If you're like Neilalien, and (a) you like your comics with some escapist genre explodo instead of depressing autobioshlop, but (b) you're kinda over the Marvel/DC concept and their sinful distribution monopoly, but (c) you have no darn clue why a giant teardrop keeps appearing next to Pikachu's head, then you must check out GraphicSmash action webcomics.
Posted 19 September 02006 - Permalink
Learn: Carson Van Osten's Comic Strip Artist's Kit [Temple of the Seven Golden Camels] [via Drawn!] [Osten Lambiek Comiclopedia entry]
X-Men comic-collecting included in Weird Al Yankovic's hilarious, amazing "White And Nerdy" [YouTube (leaked-early link updated with something more official)] [via Robot Wisdom]
Update: Wikipedia entry on White & Nerdy
Private to In Sequence: Joanna Cameron as schoolteacher in glasses/Isis? Definitely hot [Isis Wikipedia entry]
Thank you Trigger, and soundman Noel, for 15 years of The Continental. A great punk club in New York City, ending its live-music run with a fun final show last night including Handsome Dick Manitoba and some remnants of The Dictators, Lenny Kaye, and C.J. Ramone. With CBGB closing next month too, an era is ending.
The Continental Drifts [Village Voice]
Downer at the Rock and Roll Club by Lenny Kaye [Village Voice]
Posted 18 September 02006 - Permalink
Spider-Man/Dr. Strange 01972 Rockomic "animated"! Excelsior! [YouTube; Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4 is an absolute must-see for Doc fans and the songs are a riot] [Part 5] [thanks Sanctum!]
Posted 17 September 02006 - Permalink
Scott McCloud: The Zen Master of comics [Presentation Zen] [via 43 Folders]
It was a real thrill for Neilalien to meet and speak with Scott McCloud last week at Rocketship. Zot! was one of the first, if not the first, non-Marvel/DC/Harvey comic books Neilalien was ever exposed to oh those many years ago, and it proved to be a gateway drug to a whole new world of non- and less-corporate comics.
Posted 16 September 02006 - Permalink
Dr. Strange pantless on his new Illuminati card for the VS. game
How To Spot A Jap: 01942 US Army & Navy's Educational Comic Strip [Ethan Persoff] [via Kottke]
Apparently, being a raging racist helps.
Posted 15 September 02006 - Permalink
Origins of a Marvel Fanboy [Filing Cabinet of the Damned]
Marvel ditching secret IDs while DC caring anew about them highlights larger differences in approaches [Filing Cabinet of the Damned]
Dave's Long Box does fun positive reviews so Neilalien doesn't have to [Top 10: The Forty-Niners] [Vimanarama]
Posted 14 September 02006 - Permalink
Tonight in NYC: Comics writer JM DeMatteis signing, 6-8 PM [Jim Hanley's Universe]
Let's go ask him about his Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme run and Defenders miniseries.
Posted 13 September 02006 - Permalink
The great Michael Golden apparently made a rare convention appearance at this past weekend's Baltimore Comic Con [IGN] [Comic Book Resources]
[A]ccording to one art dealer, "Everybody in the business has ripped off something from 'Dr. Strange #55'."
First Look Thunderbolts #106 includes Wong [Mile High Comics] [thanks Sanctum!]
It also includes one of Neilalien's biggest pet peeves: When they show that any schmuck can do what Dr. Strange does (in this case, Speed Demon comprehending ancient magical scrolls).
Posted 12 September 02006 - Permalink
The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon [Slate]
Posted 10 September 02006 - Permalink
Tonight in Brooklyn: Scott McCloud Making Comics
Book Release Party, 8 PM [Rocketship]
See you there, Neilalienistas!
Dr. Strange uses American Sign Language I Love You gesture to throw mystic love-blast affirmations of affection [Lady, That's My Skull]
DC's 52 #18 includes a Ditko mysticscape homage.
Update: 52 #18 also includes a cameo of Ditko character The Odd Man [Ditkoland MB post]
Writer of the upcoming Dr. Strange: The Oath miniseries Brian K. Vaughan is hot right now getting big press bumps for his first original book-length graphic novel Pride of Baghdad, out next week, a story using animals from the Iraqi zoo to provide multiple viewpoints of wartime Iraq. Check out the Pride of Baghdad MySpace page for a ten-page preview and collection of related links and interviews. Here's a link to the New York Times Arts article that's better (no subscription req'd, won't linkrot so fast, whole article on one page, would've went with the printable version but the article's images are good- it's the least a blog can do for its readers). Via ICv2, which suggests that retailers may want to do a little more in-store marketing for this press-bountiful "high concept" creator with appeal to traditional and non-traditional comic readers alike. (Is it too Marvel Zombie to hope for some kind of spillover to The Oath?)
Diamond rejecting indie books with form letter checklist, and for "writing not up to comic industry standards" [Hope Larson, publisher of House of Sugar] [via The Engine w/good discussion]
Those terribly high comic industry standards will get you every time.
Milestone Media: wholly owned by two black men, wholly owns Static Shock, a body of work unmatched by any other black-owned comic book company [Dwayne McDuffie update on VHive] [via Comics Worth Reading]
Two random humans have 99.9% identical DNA, humans/chimps 95%; Peter Parker and clone? 94.2% [Polite Dissent]
Now that's one bad clone. It must look like an octopus.
The Professor and the Madman: Meet David Milch, the genius behind HBO's Deadwood [Slate]
The DVDs also show that there is more than a glimmer of the bullshit artist at work. In the first episode's commentary track, Milch swears offhandedly throughout, pausing ironically for another disquisition on the show's own profanity. With his defense in full flight, Milch tosses off a reference first to H.L. Mencken on the nature of American language and then to Marvel Comics, before catching himself midlecture and conceding, "Well, that last thing, I guess comics have nothing to do with swearing."
Congratulations to Alan David Doane and six years of Comic Book Galaxy!
Posted 9 September 02006 - Permalink
Creator Lea Hernandez has house fire; needs Team Comix help [Newsarama] [Lea's LiveJournal]
Frank Brunner interviewed re: Dr. Strange! [Dynamic Forces] [via Defenders Message Board]
BH: Is there any particular tale of the Doctor Strange that you were never able to tell?
FB: Not at the time I quit doing the series, but now and then I think of a story line that I came up with back in the 90's, I was thinking of it in terms of the millennium, like a "Doctor Strange 2000" where Clea leaves him and he starts drinking again, hits the bottom, and then has to save us from some new Dark Religious movement! Something like that...
Superheroes are glamourous; aspiration, mystery, grace, escapism, projection, transcendence [Virginia Postrel writing in The Atlantic; read quick, non-subscriber link only good for another day]
Fascinating article meta: Marvel's lawyer demanded the article treat the word superhero as Marvel/DC Super Hero trademark [Postrel's Dynamist Blog] [via Comics Reporter]
Mark Millar: Comics move in 20 year cycles; boom coming, followed by Hollywood poaching the talent and bust [Newsarama]
Millar keeps moving the dates like an apocalyptic preacher; boom happening now but the potential buyers are downloading [Lying In The Gutters]
Comics not a blameless magically cyclical business, but go on upswings/downswings based on the interestingness of their contents [Permanent Damage]
ACTOR (A Commitment To Our Roots) is now HERO, The Hero Initiative [Hero Initiative]
Eh. A horizontal move; neither name thrills Neilalien. ACTOR says nothing about comics; now we have the zillionth silhouette of a muscular man with hands on hips to represent all comics. But a rose is still a rose. As long as they're helping our wonderful heritage of classic (and classicly screwed-over) comics creators with more than their funeral costs after they're dead.
Brian K. Vaughan interview goodness re: meta writer stuff [Comic Foundry]
More Ed Brubaker interview goodness [Comic Foundry]
Q: Do you have any specific career goals at this point? You have spoken before about the necessity of work-for-hire; do you see your work on books like Uncanny X-Men or Captain America as a stepping stone toward other goals, or are they the goals?
A: The goal is basically to make a decent living as a professional writer. Work-for-hire writing can be both creatively fulfilling and financially rewarding, whether people want to believe that or not. Even if I could make my living doing only stuff I completely owned, I'd probably still do some work-for-hire books, just for the fun of it, and to use different writing muscles. But the ultimate goal, yeah, is to be able to do creator-owned work that succeeds, which means it sells enough to keep doing it.
Q: You once said that if you had the power, you'd cut half of Marvel and DC's superhero titles and diversify them with other types of books. What would you like to see getting more play on the shelves right now?
A: Just anything of a different genre that's actually good. My point with that was that the shelves are so crowded now that even a really great genre comic, like a crime or sci-fi comic, has trouble even making it onto them. And when Marvel or DC try to expand with different genres, they never think about clearing a path for the new work. In the old days, they had the newsstands, and they could only put out a flat number of comics a month, so if they wanted to do a western, they had to cancel something else to make room for it. But I think if half the superhero books (the ones I or my friends don't write, obviously) suddenly disappeared, and Marvel and DC started putting out different genres than superheroes, they'd have a better shot with retailers, because there'd be room on the shelves. I mean, sure, maybe they'd still flop, but at least the retailers would be more inclined to give them a chance. The way it is now, any new thing is always in addition to everything else, so why would a retailer try something new if he's already crowded with stuff he can barely afford? So, I'd just like to have more good horror, crime, western, humor, sci-fi... all sorts of pulp genre comics, and not so many superhero genre books. I'm not suggesting getting rid of superheroes, or saying they suck, or that I don't enjoy writing them, because I clearly do, but I wouldn't cry if suddenly there were only a hundred a month instead of two hundred. Especially if that was replaced with high-quality genre stuff with more diversity. And that's not even about being an art snob, I just want some more pulp. Hell, I'm too optimistic, though. If Marvel and DC gave up that much shelf-space all at once, all those stores would just fill up on manga, which is both highly successful, and filled with every genre imaginable.
Posted 8 September 02006 - Permalink
Superhero Extreme Monkey Ninja War (where anyone with a create-in-five-seconds Ning account can actually participate by adding a witty photo and caption to the combat most deadly) vs. SuperHero Fight?
Posted 6 September 02006 - Permalink
Labor Day sale at NYC's Jim Hanley's Universe!
Today (Mon) and tomorrow (Tues): 25% off everything in the store.
Nice rant: It would take a fanfic writer two minutes to end Dr. Strange's boring omnipotence and omniscience [Tetsubo Productions]
The Mysterious Traveler: Another Ditko fedora-and-trenchcoat [Datajunkie]
Todd McFarlane grokked Ditko; too bad he had almost no interest in being a cartoonist [The Hurting]
Stan Lee Meets Dr. Strange #1 Preview [PopCultureShock]
Pic of Dr. Strange fan at DragonCon with leopard-skin gloves for Doc's dotted orange gloves [Clea's Cave]
Radio trivia contest included "Clea was seduced by what figure from American history?" question [WPRK Trivia Blog]
Posted 4 September 02006 - Permalink
A Doctor Strange Fansite
A Comic Book Weblog/Portal
A Steve Ditko Fansite
A Mysterious Palindrome
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