Neilalien : A Doctor Strange Fansite : A Comic Book Weblog  

Grant Morrison's Animal Man is Ken Jennings' (that Jeopardy guy) Best Metacomic [Confessions of a Trivial Mind] [via Fimoculous]

Posted 31 March 02009 - Permalink

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Doctor Strange by Pyracantha Marvel June 02009 solicitations include New Avengers #54, battle scene with Dormammu on the cover, "A Sorcerer Supreme is chosen" solicit text, no Doctor Strange seen [Comic Book Resources]

Thorough history of the Bendismantling of Doctor Strange that has gotten us to this point and New Avengers #51 [Sanctum Sanctorum Comix]

Doctor Strange illo by Pyracantha from 80's fanzine [Art By-Products]

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"The Dimensions of Greed", Ditko 7-pager from Time Warp #3 (March 01980) [Diversions of the Groovy Kind]
Written by J.M. DeMatteis.

Positive press-hit for June's The Surrogates: Flesh and Bone, sequel to Neilalien fave [Comic Book Resources]

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Fantagraphics' Eric Reynolds on Diamond's new higher benchmarks; bad, but the indie singles format was already dead [Robot 6]

Everyone thinks new Diamond distributor higher cutoffs will be "quality control"- until it's their book that doesn't meet the threshold; Diamond has no stake in comics-as-art [Permanent Damage]

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Marvel hiring/assembling writing teams/fellowships for its movie slate, to help launch the lesser properties like Doctor Strange [Variety] [Newsarama]

Hollywood too dependent on comic book movies to make them three-hour big-star-lacking gory R-rated affairs with non-holiday release dates like Watchmen [LA Daily News]

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Thailand: Firefighter dresses as Spider-Man to coax autistic boy from window ledge [Wired] [BBC]
He kept a costume in his locker.

Dr. Jim Kakalios (The Physics of Superheroes): Gwen Stacy's neck snapped when Spider-Man's webbing stopped her fall [YouTube]

Posted 29 March 02009 - Permalink

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New Avengers #51 Minidump

Neilalien liked Dormammu's two pages here. The mysterious broadcasting head granting pain and powers- it recalls Dormy's early appearances as Mordo's benefactor. And a non-whiny Dormammu is always good. Love seeing that mystic font again. And the flash of demon-mouthed Hood later on was great. +1.

Doctor Strange with Billy/Wiccan is a wash: It starts strong, confident, up through "young means apologizing", and Neilalien read that line meta-ly about how the superheroic stuff is a distraction to the growth of mystic characters, heh, +1. But then it turns into Doc schubbily confiding to a child about his own cluelessness, -1.

They're trying to make the Sorcerer-Supreme mantle-passing a mysterious mystical process, and keep the new SS a mystery for a story-drama reveal, but does it work? Neilalien isn't enjoying that the mantle seems like an ownerless Green Lantern ring, wandering the Earth searching for the most worthy successor. Too passive; too Chosen One. Exactly "what" is "considering" that "Dr. Doom is too corrupted"? The mantle should be either beaten out of the current holder, or at an Aged Genghis contest, or bequeathed by the current holder to someone specific. Neilalien was expecting the new Sorcerer Supreme to be determined by a villain beating it out of Doc (and there apparently are still some active parts to the process, as Doc dreads people coming after his artifacts), or a good guy/gal coming to rescue the situation by having Doc bequeath it to them- not this game of Clue. Doc traveling to Jennifer Kale to find out if she's the new Sorcerer Supreme is a dud- the mountain doesn't come to Mohammed. And despite the dimension-protecting responsibilities and Vishanti-connection that have been hinted as belonging to the mantle-holder, one obviously doesn't have to be "pure" to hold the mantle (purity to use the Eye is an entirely other matter), if the past and current threats from the many villains, Urthona, Salome, Dr. Doom, etc., ever meant anything. It undermines the entire Zom-poisoning storyline: If Doc's too corrupted to hold the mantle, how in the heck is The Hood less corrupted? In Neilalien's opinion, it would be much better if the precise meme here wasn't so much that Doc is too ~impure~ to be SS, but that he is so ~weakened~ by his impurity (being an aspirer to a pure path and needing purity for his particular artifacts and spells) that opportunists and mantle-coveters see the chance to strike, and good guys/gals become so concerned for the safety of the dimension that they demand it be bequeathed.

Maybe Neilalien's crazy with hope, but does anyone else get the feeling from this issue that Doctor Strange being clueless about who is the next Sorcerer Supreme suggests that the "next" one is actually *Doctor Strange*!? Look in the mirror, dude, you're not broken! Ah, we'll all have a laugh and wonder why we ever actually worried that the status-quo could ever change in superhero comics. Right? Right? Bueller?

Neilalien's main complaint with the issue: The entire 'Spider-Man unmasking'/'Coma Girl was Peter Parker's classmate' thing was six pages of total filler-fluff. An "Avengers" comic book should have an "on screen" battle in it. With a bit more old-school compression, you get that yes-still-important Spidey characterization stuff down to two pages, shave a page off of Doc and Billy in the coffee shop, and show us some crazy comicbook shit with The Hood kicking Doctor Strange's ass in magickal combat.

Posted 28 March 02009 - Permalink

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Tuxedo MODOK by Paolo Rivera Who Should Play Dr. Strange? [Empire Online]
Photos of 11 (mostly) big-name stars with their pros and cons listed. Thanks Howard!

March MODOK Madness! [Wired blurb]

Grant Morrison interview re: the return of Seaguy; mentions he's working on an Earth 4 book, which is the Charlton characters, including Ditko creations Captain Atom (co- with Joe Gill), Blue Beetle and The Question [Comic Book Resources] [Rokk's Comic Book Revolution]

Wolverine toy has an interestingly placed valve for inflation [ICv2]
Reminds Neilalien of that Batman squirt gun.

Wolverine blow-up toy Batman squirt gun

Posted 24 March 02009 - Permalink

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Blue Hat Man Examination of the diverse image-to-text ratios in Ditko's later comics [Blog Flume]

Nightcrawler as the next Sorcerer Supreme? [Weekly Crisis]

Snagging old Steve Gerber superhero comics in bulk on the cheap recommended as an alternative to current serial habits [Comics Reporter]
Neilalien seconds. Two related links:
More recommendations: The Baxter paper books are physically aging well; Doctor Strange Classics reprints (of the classic Doc vs. Dormammu story arc by Ditko) (with the Byrne covers) cited [Comic Book Galaxy]
Update: Oh yeah, Neilalien forgot about that Doctor Strange Special Edition Baxter book too, reprinting Doctor Strange #1, 2, 4, 5, with Wrightson cover [Sanctum comment at CBG]
More on breaking the current serial habit: Wait one week and see what you still want to buy [Pipeline]

Marvel updates/tweaks its film release schedule through 02012, spacing them out more [SuperheroFlix]
Neilalien mostly suspects the bad economy, glut avoidance, and the complex schedules of actors. Avengers are the focus. There will certainly be no Dr. Strange movie until way past 02012 then.

Posted 23 March 02009 - Permalink

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Dr. Strange in New Avengers #51 New Avengers #51 preview [Comic Book Resources]
Doc's looking a lot like Stan Lee. The new Sorcerer Supreme is Stan Lee! New Avengers #51 hits shops this Wednesday.

New news blip that Marvel's indie anthology is moving forward, hopefully with Dash Shaw's Doctor Strange [Robot 6]

Assign a Stan Lee Nickname to modern comics professionals [Paul Cornell]

Looking at this gallery of 32 Marvel first/splash pages from 32 years ago March 01977 at Diversions of the Groovy Kind- it's clear that supercomics have lost some of their magic over the ensuing years. Perhaps they are creator-withering conventions/structures/traps of the medium's old 22-page episodic ways- to start with a newsstand-competing cover with action and speech/text, a bright splash first page, characters nonsensically thinking/yelling out a recap of previous issues, and ending with a cliffhanger- but we haven't replaced that system with anything great yet. It beats the pants off the modern covers of posing mannequins, Marvel comics start today with a black-backgrounded text page, and the cliffhanger is a lost art.

Posted 22 March 02009 - Permalink

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Runners Runners, Sean Wang's great sci-fi work and longtime Neilalien fave, is now a webcomic! [Runners Universe]
Schulz City Schulz City: If Frank Miller did Peanuts, by Timothy Lim [Page 1, 2] [via GalleyCat]
Liquid Revolver Liquid Revolver is available: Nazis and mind control by some of the same DC cats behind Doctor Dremo; 68 pages, $6 [Three Crows Press]

Posted 16 March 02009 - Permalink

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How Reed Richards properly stopped a Skrull invasion the first time: use panels from actual Marvel comics and hope they have bad eyesight [Comic Coverage]

Note: As with every year, Neilalien warns his visitors that blogging content amounts will probably be negatively impacted by March Madness. (The blogging content quality would be negatively impacted too, if it could go any lower! [rim shot])

Posted 15 March 02009 - Permalink

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The Official Creebobby Comics Archetype Times Table [via Waxy]

Saturday Morning Watchmen [YouTube]

Posted 13 March 02009 - Permalink

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Top 10: Season Two #4, out this week, includes a Strange-Gun that shoots Gamma-Hoggoth blasts

Top 10: Season Two Top 10: Season Two

Also a great easter-egg of a face-melty Arnold Toht from Indiana Jones. Top 10 is one of Neilalien's fave comics worlds (he enjoyed Smax, The Forty-Niners, Farthest Precinct, etc., too).

Redux: Doctor Strange in Top 10 (does Neilalien have them all?):

Doctor Strange in Top 10 #11

Above: Top 10 #11 consulting with Dr. Fate (and presumably Dr. Doom re: facial repair?).

Doctor Strange in Top 10 and the Farthest Precinct #4

Above: Top 10 and the Farthest Precinct #4, doing security at the station house with a Sargon the Sorcerer type.

Posted 12 March 02009 - Permalink

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Doctor Strange does its own official "who will be the next Sorcerer Supreme odds" article []

Redux: [Sanctum's odds] [Bendis & Brevoort banter about a list of characters]

Dr. Doom's chances 90%, Scarlet Witch's chances 95%, Clea's chances 95% [The Marvel/DC Blog]

Bendis will not choose any character that makes the most sense, he will choose the character that's the most interesting to him, at the readers' peril [Comics Should Be Good]
That means it will be Luke Cage 34%, Spider-Woman 33%, Scarlet Witch 33%.

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On Who Will Be The New Sorcerer Supreme

Neilalien's cynical dread-filled thinking tonight, but yearning and able to be pleasantly surprised:

  1. A standard "Dormmamu-ized Hood seizing the mantle briefly, which Doctor Strange then reclaims" story is probably about the best we can hope for at this point. It feels much better if a villain gets it, since that would have to be temporary, right? Right? Bueller? And, not to defend the status quo too much, much better if Doc ends the story arc still with the mantle.
  2. Bendis' apparent penchant for making the Marvel Universe a worse and worse place adds some credence to the theory that a villain will possibly become Sorcerer Supreme on a more permanent basis. Not Dormammu/The Hood- that would likely play out as above: a thug's short reign contained in the story arc. Not Doom, since it would alter a major Marvel Universe toy too much. But Baron Mordo could be interesting- and he's qualified. Or is this post-cancer post-death good-guy Mordo, or some time-slipped Mordo from that JMS Amazing Spider-Man? Did we ever figure that out? But then doesn't that put the dimension in great peril?
  3. Very possible, and somewhat palatable to Neilalien, is if a good-aligned absentee-figure gets it. The good guys win the day, and win the mantle back, but Doc says he's still too poisoned, so somebody like Ian McNee or Amadeus Cho (or unfortunately, Clea) gets it and blinks away, floats up to Heaven, rarely to be seen again. Or the title could be left open/unclaimed for a while, like an empty boxing championship. Of course, it would be irresponsible as sin for Doc to leave the mantle open and the Earth/dimension unprotected, or in anyone's hands who couldn't handle it or adequately protect the Earth/dimension, but that hasn't stopped Bendis before, who had Doc take off in the first place. (You can hear Stephen now: "I wasn't ready when I got the mantle, either...") Or, the nature of the mantle might end up altered because of this story arc- the Vishanti change it or take it away! This might even lead to richer depowered/'there are more powerful sorcerers than Doc now (or ones with more soul purity)' 'free agent' Doctor Strange story-pastures. It is totally possible for Doctor Strange to not be Sorcerer Supreme- just as anything is possible, provided the story is good. Neilalien doesn't irrationally cling to the concept of Doctor Strange as SS- but it has to be done well and for a good reason that he's not.
  4. The worst thing in Neilalien's mind, as opposed to the previous items, is probably if simply another in-present superhero gets the mantle, and it's just smeared in our faces month after month, a whole new monthly book spins off about Illyana or Jessica Drew handling her new Sorcerer Supreme responsibilities. It would feel about as crappy as Moon Knight acquiring and using Mjolnir. Hopefully this scenario is very unlikely. If it's Scarlet Witch, this blog might have to retire in disgust.
  5. Another sucky thing would be if the Sorcerer Supreme mantle gets no respect in the story arc, or if Doctor Strange gets no props for ever holding the mantle. It should be overwhelming fetaling power, or instill God-like fetaling wonder (not to sound too much as if the title literally bestows power or awareness- surely there are perks and blessings- but it seems to mainly bestow responsibility and honor), or fetaling drool at the responsibility- especially to the unprepared. Or if the new SS doesn't instantly get hounded by every Urthona and Salome and number-one contender in the multiverse. Can you imagine the mantle somehow inadvertently passing into Iron Fist's lap briefly, but not only doesn't he scream from every brain cell, "How can you handle this incredible state of being, Stephen!?", he becomes instantly competent with handling it, as if any monkey can cast a spell or protect a dimension? Suxxors!
  6. The mantle will likely 'change hands' from or to Doctor Strange in a boring punch- and energy-blast-filled battle- certainly nothing interesting or actually mystical like a puzzle, a battle in a demented realm of the mind, the new mantle-holder being overwhelmed by all of the Sorcerer Supreme responsibilities (kind of re: Nicodemus in Marvel Fanfare #5), an Aged Genghis tournament (Triumph and Torment), etc.
  7. Knowing Marvel's hype machine, the odds list and Bendis/Brevoort banter are smokescreens, and it's likely someone not on those lists, nor on the cover of #51.
  8. Assuming (a) smokescreens, and the actual New Sorcerer Supreme is a glaring omission not on those two lists (nor the cover of #51), (b) it's been foreshadowed in New Avengers #34 that the torch will be passed to a new generation (and possibly having it be an inexperienced youngling might qualify as "making the Marvel Universe a worse and worse place"), and (c) it will be someone from or related to the Bendis stable of favorite or created characters (Luke Cage, Spider-Woman, or Scarlet Witch)- who does that leave? Options like Wiccan (who calls Scarlet Witch 'Mom') or Sister Grimm aren't terrible guesses. Sucky if true. But Neilalien's not seriously betting any intergalactic credits on them (plus all his cash is tied up in Citigroup stock).

New Avengers #51 on sale 25 March. We shall see.

Bought today: Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #9, featuring Doctor Strange.

Posted 11 March 02009 - Permalink

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That time Ditko covered Marvel Triple Action #47, a reprint of Avengers #54, with a cover reversing the original's POV [Seduction of the Indifferent]

Ditko reverses Avengers #54 cover

Posted 10 March 02009 - Permalink

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Blue Hat Man Ditko Once More: new Ditko comics out later this year? [Ditko Comics]

Marvel Sneak Peek (2 little pages): New Avengers #51 [Major Spoilers]

Boycott Watchmen Movie Facebook Group
Wait a Week to Watch the Watchmen Facebook Group
A show of support for Alan Moore.

He's Just Not That Into Your Income: Cartoonist re: the expectations people have that his cartoons are free-of-charge [Mike Lynch Cartoons]

There was a rumor that Neilalien fave and Marvel's best book Captain Britain and MI:13 was to be cancelled? You deny me Freshmaker?! [Newsarama]

Marvel Q4 02008 numbers released; publishing revenues increased 9.2%, from $30.3 million in Q4 02007 to $33.1 million; Iron Man provides boatload of money [] [ICv2]

After some hubbub, Samuel L. Jackson has been signed to play Nick Fury in up to nine Marvel films! [Wired] [ICv2]
That's a lot of Royales with cheese.

Posted 3 March 02009 - Permalink

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Doctor Strange by Mark Grambau Dr. Strange is as powerful as the God he invokes; art by Mark Grambau [Mark's Evil Twin] [Grambau superhero art fun] [super-via Comics Reporter with a recent link to Grambau, Johnny Bacardi, and ADDTF]

Secret Lives of Comic Store Employees [Wired] [super-via all]

Adorable Calvin, Hobbes and Susie, grown-up and manga style [colored by sora1589 on DeviantART] [original by nami86 on DeviantART] [via Oliver Willis] [Update: more adult Calvin & Hobbes at Gerry Caravan's]

Call For Papers: Papers needed for the "Understanding Superheroes: An Interdisciplinary Conference" being held at the University of Oregon in Eugene on 23-24 October 02009 [Thought Balloonists]

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Popular comics spot Scans_Daily shuttered by LiveJournal for posting copyrighted material [Firefox News] [via LinkMachineGo] [Digital Strips] [con and pro: BeaucoupKevin; Comics Worth Reading] [folks, please stop calling for the bodily harm of Peter David]
Updates: [Mightygodking] [Airings LJ] [really good Robot 6] [Johnny Bacardi Show]
Update: Interview: The scans_daily moderators [ComicMix]

If Scans_Daily evolved from 'fair-use/sampling of older comics' to 'posting new comics in their entirety', with a community entitledly whiningly expecting copyright violation without creator compensation, that's not a very defensible, excusable, pretty or legal spot to be in. As any creator or blogger knows, getting one's content and lunches stolen or control lost sucks. But looking at that site, there was definitely 1,000 times more 'people being exposed to and checking out things that they wouldn't have bought or even known about anyway in a democratic passionate word-of-mouth early-adopter community with a miniscule chance that they might have bought after checking it out' than 'lost sales' going on there. Our modern internet world is increasingly considering the $4 22-page dead-tree corporately-gatekept comic book squirreled away unadvertised in Direct Market boutiques, like the payola'd $20 music CD of mostly filler, to be pricing/promotion/distribution/format damage to be routed around. The creators, publishers and commentators who see more potential than legions of criminals here will be labeled as the ones who 'get it' by the hip Boing-Boing Interneterati. Neilalien mostly agrees- but will those creators be able to pay bills? We shall see. We hope so. The current problems, promise and paradoxes of piracy, technology, copyright and distribution, and changes in our businesses, just haven't been fully grokked and solved yet. Until they are, the cease-and-desist, the terms-of-service violation, etc., is a whack-a-mole game (as evidenced by Scans_Daily's already new URL). Comics, what/where is your iTunes equivalent?

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The Offenders by Kerry Callen The Offenders first appearance wasn't the recent Hulk #10: Kerry Callen's youthful Offenders art in 01981's Amazing Heroes #4 [Kerry Callen's Blog] [thanks Howard!]

Neilalien was about to suggest that everyone turn their brains off and have the fun blast he did with Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness' Hulk #10- but Sanctum's Doctor-Strange brain never stops: Calling foul re: the masked version of Doctor Strange interacting with Clea [Sanctum Sanctorum Comix]

Posted 1 March 02009 - Permalink

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