02007 Neilalien Awards
Best Dr. Strange Appearance: Doctor Strange: The Oath miniseries by Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin
This won last year, but hey, #4 and #5 came out in 02007, and it's that damn good.
Worst Dr. Strange Appearance: the entirety of the New Avengers: Illuminati miniseries
Other Notable Dr. Strange Appearances: New Avengers series; World War Hulk miniseries
Best Appearance of a Dr.-Strange-Affiliated Character, Accoutrement, Parody, etc.: Zom in World War Hulk
Best Appearance of a Dr.-Strange-Affiliated Character, Accoutrement, Parody, etc., Runner-Up: many delights in Mystic Arcana's back-up story and The Marvel Tarot, Winds of Watoomb used as scuba gear, Oshtur being the basis of Easter and Ostara, etc.
Best Appearance of a Dr.-Strange-Affiliated Character, Accoutrement, Parody, etc., Runner-Up: Dr. Karma in Love and Capes
Best Appearance of a Dr.-Strange-Affiliated Character, Accoutrement, Parody, etc., Runner-Up: "Strange Bedfellows" by Scorpio Rex Steele
Worst Appearance of a Dr.-Strange-Affiliated Character, Accoutrement, Parody, etc.: Xandu in Punisher War Journal #4 [Neilalien muses]
Biggest Disappointment to Dr. Strange Fans: the Dr. Strange animated DVD movie
Biggest Disappointment to Dr. Strange Fans, Runner-Up: it's OK to depower an omniscient Doctor Strange in order to be able to tell a story, just do it already, but Doc is so obviously depowered, with splash pages of him crying "No!" when asked if he can do something, and ten hint-drops like, "My powers are not what they once were...", leaving Doc fans to only hope that he's either really been a Skrull lately, or that the Skrull sorcerers are fucking with him somehow
Biggest Disappointment to Dr. Strange Fans, Runner-Up: "the entire structure of magic in the Marvel Universe needs to be repaired" in Mystic Arcana- and where is the Sorcerer Supreme?- checking out hockey scores, according to Illuminati
Greatest Hope for Dr. Strange Fans: Blake Bell's Strange and Stranger Ditko book; Dash Shaw's Doctor Strange seeing print in a Marvel indie book
The Comic Book of 02007: I Shall Destroy All The Civilized Planets!: The Comics of Fletcher Hanks, edited by Paul Karasik
Some More Comic Books That Brought Neilalien Much Joy in 02007:
the Ditko-centric Omnibi: Spider-Man and Amazing Fantasy
not comics: the In Search of Steve Ditko Jonathan Ross documentary
half comics: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill
All-Star Superman by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely
Super-Villain Team-Up: Modok's 11 by Fred Van Lente and Francis Portela
Immortal Iron Fist by Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, David Aja, etc.
Casanova by Matt Fraction and Gabriel Ba
Posted 30 January 02008 - Permalink
Dating Dr. Strange [IGN] [thanks Sanctum!]
Speedball vs. The War on Crime [Blackmarket Pies]
He is (or was) a Steve Ditko character, after all.
"Ode to Doctor Strange" (#169): art by Bill Evertson [Visual Influence]
A beautiful Doctor Strange in upcoming "Brand New Day" (Amazing Spider-Man #555), even despite the astral-Cloak thing [Newsarama; (scroll down for the preview art)]
Horror in the Nursery: 01948 Collier's article by Judith Crist on Wertham's crusade against crime comics [Comics Commentary] [via LinkMachineGo]
Posted 23 January 02008 - Permalink
Artist Robb Waters has done (and this is a little WTF, even for Neilalien!) an oil painting of the Doctor Strange mask from the Ben Cooper 01978 Halloween costume [for sale on Ebay] [previous Neilalien post about the costume w/images] [thanks Howard!]
Doctor Strange is the King of Clubs in the Skrulls' Most Wanted deck [Comic Book Resources]
We've seen little of Skrull society- only the occasional invading military- there's no reason they can't have sorcerers, or install a fake Doc.
Rob Worley (Young Ancient One) has a ghost-and-gangsters three-issue mini-series called The Revenant coming in March [Pulse]
Bemoaners of today's grim n' gritty like to forget that Silver Age villains were homicidal maniacs back then too; Wonder Woman is no feminist icon [Permanent Damage column at Comic Book Resources]
Ah, memories: "One More Day" is merely the latest in a long cyclical line of previous Marvel hoo-hash, all of which we've recovered from before [Augie's Pipeline column at Comic Book Resources]
Positive review of Brian K. Vaughan's Pride of Baghdad by an Iraqi [Konfused Kid] [via Bloggity]
Pride was a fave book of Neilalien's last year. The paperback came out recently.
Persepolis' Marjane Satrapi says "graphic novel" is a term created by publishers so the bourgeois can read comics without feeling bad [GalleyCat]
Posted 17 January 02008 - Permalink
Some rad Doctor Strange images from the Under The Influence: A Tribute to Stan Lee exhibit in LA [Howard Hallis] [Flickr tag: tribute2stanlee]
Appreciating a quick Marshall Rogers convention sketch; "the hackiest hack who worked for Marvel in the early '60s had a better sense of basic figure drawing and naturalism than almost any contemporary cartoonist" [Comics Comics] [via Comics Reporter]
On the "Bubble World" method of survival within the vast shared universes of Marvel and DC [Siskoid] via [Blog@Newsarama]
Fletcher Hanks' work (re: I Shall Destroy All The Civilized Planets!) is way too fascist to be celebrated by the likes of Kurt Vonnegut [Hooded Utilitarian]
17 Sensational, Free and Downloadable Graphic Novels [Daily Bits] [via Wired]
The top five Jewish superheroes [Comics Should Be Good]
Funny: Deals with devils (re: "One More Day")? Keith Geffen lists 25 better ways to break up a comicbook marriage [Unfortunate Confluence of Words column at CBR]
Neilalien wants to play! Ten little-known reasons why Doctor Strange and Clea split up:
1. No blinds for privacy on big Sanctum Sanctorum window.
2. He kept calling them the Orbs of Agamotto.
3. No cure for the burning head caught from Dormammu.
4. Calling her "my old lady" to the poker guys: tolerable. Referring to her as "The Ancient One": not.
5. The Cloak of Levitation made her airsick.
6. He used his Wand of Watoomb like a Mindless One.
7. Conjuring iron clamp over her mouth to shut her up was the last straw.
8. Once you go "Dark Dimension", you never go back.
9. One word: Manservant.
10. Creepy Eye of Agamotto liked to watch.
Posted 11 January 02008 - Permalink
New Avengers Annual #2 preview [Newsarama]
On the radar: The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America by David Hajdu, out in March [Amazon.com] [Hajdu interview at Publishers Weekly]
In defense of Stan Lee, who made the Marvel Universe and Marvel fandom come alive [Pop Culture Safari] [Alter Ego #74 Stan Lee ish out now]
Posted 8 January 02008 - Permalink
New John Byrne Doctor Strange commission [Byrne Robotics MB] [thanks Alan!]
Reports are trickling in that Bongo Comic's Doctor Strange parody character Plasmo The Mystic makes a major appearance in this week's Simpsons Super Spectacular #6. Developing...
Comic Foundry #2 awaits your order in Previews [Comic Foundry]
Massive interview with Attentiondeficitdisorderly Too Flat on the state of Marvel/DC [Comics Reporter]
Superhero comics use costumes and powers as an exciting metaphor for the liberation of your secret self, so having costumes and powers that make a visual and mental impact on the reader aren't just gravy, they're part of why a character works or doesn't work, and there's no shame in that game...
Most of the dreary superhero comics that the internet makes fun of these days have superheroes shouting or crying where they should be punching, and that's where they go wrong...
I think it's a bad idea to continue to involve Spidey in magic and mysticism, which has been a hallmark of writer J. Michael Straczynski's run dating back to when he ret-conned the character's practically perfect origin story to change the source of his powers from radiation to some Spider-God -- now the spider that bit him is supposed to have already had powers he was sent to transfer to Peter Parker, and the radiation was just an accident! It's a bad idea because Spidey's roots are in science fiction, his vibe is as everyday real-world as a Marvel superhero's vibe can get, and the whole point of his character -- like most Marvel characters -- isn't that he's some Chosen One selected by the Gods and tempted by devils, he's just some teenage loser who at a couple of key moments was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and had to make a choice of how to live his life after those moments. Again, replacing Lee/Ditko chance with destiny is a JMS calling card -- witness his Matrixy revamp of Doctor Strange's origin. I think it misses the point of Marvel Comics.
Posted 7 January 02008 - Permalink
Rant: The current environment is hostile to kinder, gentler old-school Defenders + lightning + bottle [A Trout In The Milk]
"One More Day" reboot met the needs of only one Spider-Man reader: Joe Quesada [Comic Book Galaxy]
Update: Comics are known to put toothpaste back in tubes; One More Day puts Civil War's Spider-Man-identity-outing toothpaste back in, and that's where One More Day's toothpaste is headed [The Hurting]
Update: One More Day universally reviled; Spider-Man sells his soul/perfect marriage to the devil to avoid personal responsibility [Progressive Ruin]
Update: Awesome One More Day reaction via Watchmen edit [by Chip Zdarsky] [via BeaucoupKevin, who has his own take (Peter Parker 30-something broke living with mom now matches demographic still reading Spider-Man...)]
Update: Spider-Man's New Status Quo PR image [Newsarama]
Update: Infantilizing reboot of Spider-Man opens up no new stories for the 21st century; "very much the opposite of brand new" [Douglas Wolk at Savage Critics]
With a new Indiana Jones movie upcoming, speculators are advised to pick up those Marvel issues Ditko drew [Wizard]
Comics in the classroom: The pairing of visual and written plotlines helps struggling readers [New York Times]
Posted 3 January 02008 - Permalink
Doctor Strange medals on Polite Dissent's Worst Comic Book Medicine of 02007 list for casting a "homeopathic" spell in New Avengers #28
Must-read: Retailer discusses decision to eliminate back issues in his shop [ICv2]
Too many front-loaded mini-series glut-titles now to store (Marvel/DC have gone from putting out one longbox/year to ten); a limited collector audience puts collectible prices out of reach for most shops, while most others aren't interested in books that predate them/don't push any child-memory buttons.
Update: Part 2
Hallelujah to Ted Rall for speaking up re: the New York Times Magazine's comics pages of Ware and Clowes [The Unfunny Pages] [via The Beat; Rall comment at The Beat]
Maybe week after week after week of mind-numbingly boring and pretentious art comix in the NYT Mag are making me grouchy. Each time I read one of those graphic turds, I can't help but wonder about the scores of far more talented cartoonists will never get a shot at that real estate (and no, I'm not talking about me). It's an outrage, and someone ought to say so.
Rall sips of the argument-undermining angry-juice (the Equal Time link would be most of the other comments at The Beat- Attentiondeficitdisorderly Too Flat wants a piece too)- and the New York Times ain't picking comics for Neilalien's tastes. But the way Neilalien sees it, just as anyone interested in dispelling the absurdly hogwash notion that costumed vigilantism is the only legitimate genre for comics is disappointed with the gatekeeping of 90% of comic shops, anyone who has an interest in dispelling the (Neilalien's?) absurdly hogwash notion that all artcomix are precious white suburban objets d'angst ought to be disappointed that the gatekeepers at vaunted venues like the Times Magazine and the "Best American Comics" books dip so heavily from the "mopey" barrel. Alas, our bad embarrassing gatekeepers who tell the "outside world", "This is Comics".
Posted 2 January 02008 - Permalink
Dinosaurs by Ditko: scan of 3-pager "The Man Who Crashed Into Another Era" in Do You Believe In Nightmares #1, November 01957 [Tomb It May Concern (Neilalien loves the puns)]
That time in Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 12 when Doctor Strange Jr. miscast a spell and removed Wong's shirt and revealed his nipple ring [Scans_daily]
They posted this a couple months ago, but (1) all of those new required adult content extra mouse clicks and (2) changing/inconsistently using both "doctor strange" and "dr. strange" as tags are undermining Neilalien's ability to check out the fun site.
In defense of nitpicking: Dr. Bruccoli says, "Factual errors in fiction distract readers who spot them and may undermine confidence in the work and the author. Many careful readers hold that if an author cannot be trusted in details, he may not be trustworthy in larger matters." [Suspension of Disbelief]
The full issue of Casanova #8 is online, if the buck-99 price and the near-universal praise somehow weren't enough for you to check the book out yet [Newsarama]
Flat-out awesome homemade Star Trek vs. Star Wars episode [YouTube]
Beware all ye who create movies: Ringwood is expanding his reviewing brand [Ken-Lowery.com]
Posted 1 January 02008 - Permalink
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