Neilalien : A Doctor Strange Fansite : A Comic Book Weblog  

Dr. Strange and Civil War: A Rant

As delayed as the Civil War books themselves!

So Dr. Strange is in seclusion in his Arctic lodge, on a hunger strike, or fasting to receive a vision-solution to the crisis, or something. Well, la-di-effin'-da. Of course, Neilalien is disappointed.

Usually Doc is completely nonexistent in huge events of the Marvel Universe, so perhaps we should be happy for the crumb of an attempt to explain his nonappearance this time. Apparently being Illuminati-important nowadays means nothing.

Marvel's out of ideas for this guy. What was the new idea here? Millar went with "Arctic" instead of "Tibetan"? For all we know Millar can't be bothered to know that Doc's origin involved Tibet and not the Arctic.

Perhaps Doc is a vicitm of his own vague-yet-massive power level again? It's difficult to include a guy in stories like this who can teleport all of his opponents to his Arctic lodge with a whim. Note to creators: If your character has watched God create the universe, outsmarted the embodiment of Eternity in said universe, and has defeated Satan, all by 01976- then it's going to cause problems for challenging the character later on.

Marvel editor Tom Brevoort has stated that it's not Doc's power level, but his unique higher-operating position, the Registration Act not applying to him, "he's not a super hero". From his interview on Newsarama re: #3:

NRAMA: Take us inside Dr. Strange's head a little - why has he taken himself off the table as a player - or has he? Editorially speaking, did Strange (or other heroes/characters) have to be taken off the table, so to speak, given their powers?
TB: Despite the fact that he wears the trappings of a costume, Doctor Strange really isn't a super hero at all, but a sorcerer, specifically the Sorcerer Supreme, which is a position that entails a defined set of responsibilities. Sure, he came to the meeting at the Baxter Building because he was invited, and he has friends on both sides of the argument, but he doesn't really believe that the Registration Act applies to him, or impacts him. So he's chosen to simply withdraw to his Sanctum, go about his duties, and remove himself from the conflict. It wasn't really a question of his powers, no more so than with the Panther, than with the unique position Strange occupies on the landscape. The Panther is neutral because he's not a citizen, Strange is neutral because he's not a super hero.

This can mean different things, but as Neilalien sees this concept, it's a big plus to the character. Neilalien's always liked that Doc has been and could be potentially less-spandexy than the average superhero bear in both style and story. It's probably enjoying Doc as a youth that lead to opening Neilalien up to so many other kinds of comics besides superhero comics. But now to see this concept wielded as a weapon to excuse his absence from a big Marvel event- ouch! If Dr. Strange is *not* a superhero, both inside the Marvel Universe and meta-thought that way in Marvel editorial- then why doesn't Marvel give us some goshdarn non-superhero Doc stories unlike the last 20 years!? They use it to say he would not be a part of Civil War, but then they don't give us anything like Sandman or occult mystery or horror.

The pro-registration side has half the heroes (and many of the more powerful ones- and Thor- the anti-registration side seems more "street-level"), SHIELD and the American Government behind it. Doc should be active in this- a balancing force to make it even. Doc doesn't have to be any different/dominating than he's been in any issue of the Defenders.

Can a miniseries come along and define Doc's powers a bit more better? But without losing the sense of wonder? Establish that yes he is Sorcerer Supreme and protector of this dimension, but that dimensional-wide threats are rare, and that when those few occasions happened, he protected us with brains and guile, not omnipotence? Can we challenge him. Can we depower him- but not through incompetence, not by having him say "I'm unable to do that" or by getting physically exhausted- but because it's against a code or law of magick or something? Is it possible? The hope is what keeps this weblog going.

Or how about making Doc a "partial" ally in Civil War somehow? Behind the scenes support. A little Orb of Agamotto intel here, a little tip for Wiccan there.

Instead of that one panel we got in #3 with Wong, Yellowjacket and Wasp, how about this for one panel? It's got conflict, it's got Doc participating, it explains why he's not more involved, etc.:

DOC: My duties to protect this dimension prevent me from fully involving myself in this "smaller" conflict. I must not be out on the battlefield with you- if the pro-registration side loses greater perspective and neutralizes me somehow, this dimension may be left unprotected. But I will help you as much as I can behind the scenes to ensure...
POWER MAN (interrupting angrily): You're a coward, man! You can end this with one thought!
DOC: What would you have me do? Teleport everyone who doesn't agree with us to Mars? Violate Stark with a brainwash? Animate the dead children of Stamford as zombies for their parents to hug?
CAPTAIN AMERICA: Stand down, Luke. We're grateful for any help, Stephen. Grateful you're not on their side, too.

Not only are Doc fans 'suffering' from his too-high power level, we're suffering from the general lack of development over the years for other mystical superheroes. So there is no one who could side with pro-registration and counter Doc in battle, hide the trap from his detection, etc. No interesting mystic contacts to consult. Nor any development of a rogues' gallery of mystical *earthly* foes and supporting characters. There are no spellcasting villains whom Doc must corral in all this hubbub- Doc's foes are the tyrants of other dimensions.

Ah well, if it were that easy, Neilalien would be a comic book writer, not a blogger. It just seems like the ideas are there for writers if they just took a little interest and effort in throwing Dr. Strange fans a bone.

Other Civil War braindumps:

  1. Neilalien was thinking the same thing Focused Totality was re: Spider-Man's characterization feeling so off. But apparently, this has been explained in other books, which sucks for those of us not buying every single crossover (and will suck for the TPB readers if the TPB only includes the 7 Civil War issues). Spider-Man has always been too much of a secret-ID-to-protect-Aunt-May type to unmask. He would never be so sure of himself. He doesn't command troops. He'd never show such lack of disrespect to Captain America. He'd be, "Can't we all just get along?" They broke Spidey. Really hate sounding even more like fan entitlement, or that these characters cannot change to the detriment of their ability to be in new stories, but this is core Spidey stuff. It's like turning an Objectivist Question into a spiritualist... It's not going to take another death, adding Mary Jane or Aunt May to the guilt-cemetary filled with Uncle Ben, the Stacys, etc., to snap him back, is it?
  2. The way Neilalien sees it, the anti-registration side needs a bit more intellectual meat behind it to be a compelling alternative. The concept of hero vigilantism and "it's always the way we've done things" meta-comic-book tradition has a plush home inside the mind of us long-time superhero enjoyers (right next to the comfy happy-delusion pillows that patrolling a large city and interrupting crimes in progress is even remotely possible)- and the raw concept of being forced to sign up with the government offends freedom-loving Americans- a national ID card is a third rail of American politics. But it's obvious that if you want to build a nuclear reactor, you have to sign up with the government- so the same would follow if *you* happen to be a nuclear reactor. We have to sign up for a license to fish, fer chrissakes. It's obvious in our Orange-Alerted world that fearful people who would shrug off NSA wiretaps for an illusion of safety would certainly clamor for getting these walking WMD's off the streets, "no one's above the law", some mother who lost a child in a Stamford-like incident twenty years ago would have started MASH (Mothers Against Super Heroes), etc. The government would be way on board, if the theory holds that a state doesn't have much if it doesn't have a monopoly on the legitimate use of force. It looks like we're going to see loved ones hurt as a consequence of revealing secret identities, but Neilalien needs a bit more than that from the comics to "legitimize" the anti-registration argument. In the real world, one can be moved to protect the civil liberties of ordinary Americans against government wiretapping without judicial oversight- but why would anyone protect a Batman-wacko's freedom to even just drive on the roads at 200 miles per hour in a car powered by a jet engine? This isn't a symptom of meta structural weakness to the superhero genre and the stories it can tell and its ability to reflect the real world- it's that if you're going to turn superheroes into the guerillas in the hills, then they need some intellectuals in the universities, y'know? Maybe make one of the anti-registration heroes a Second-Amendment-like thinker-nut to explain how it might apply and be wise to keep some power out of the government's hands. Show an interview with a New York City attorney who, when asked why registration's never passed before, says that an NYC jury would never convict Spider-Man, that there's lots of public goodwill for the heroes and distrust of the police, show that the public felt safe with the heroes already before the law was passed and it's more a powergrab by elites. Or, you could go in the other direction, take the pro-registration side down, turn registration into an easily-abused grey-area power-corrupts super-fascist thing- deputized telepaths now ordered to read the minds of jaywalkers in a new Clear Minds Initiative (you didn't think they were gonna call it Operation Find Evil Thoughts?)- but Neilalien would rather see the anti-registration side be made more sensical rather than the pro-registration heroes turned into villains. Maybe the superheroes should have a deal, bargained through united power and a general depowering of SHIELD and the rest of the normal Marvel Universe- we masks will police our own and deal with the Dr. Dooms that you can't, in return for being left alone otherwise. Or just a voluntary deputization system- anyone who's ever played the Champions RPG knows that spending a few points on a Police Powers perk goes a long way for those who choose to take it. Anyway, just a quick brainstorm, but it would be nice to get more behind the anti-registration concept.
  3. It's definitely hitting the 'superheroes fighting each other' button though. Old-school Team-Ups. Always the best battles. Neilalien likes that. Heh.

Have a great Labor Day, everyone!

Posted 31 August 02006 - Permalink

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A Guilty Pleasure: The Dr. Strange TV movie [He Dreams While Awake]
And what a phenomenon it would have been, if Roots hadn't been on at the same time.

Stan Lee Meets is "a monument to the horrors of work for hire" [Bad Librarianship]
Neilalien will still buy the Dr. Strange one.

Cracked's new owner eyes comeback for the magazine, "content development business" [Boston Globe] [via Obscure Store]

Eternally-recurring netmeme "Wally Wood's 22 Panels That Always Work" recurs again but with new scans; don't-miss if haven't seen already [Joel Johnson]

Superhero: The Secret Origin of a Genre writer Dr. Peter Coogan's Ph.D. dissertation was titled "The Emergence of the Superhero Genre in America from Daniel Boone to Batman" [MonkeyBrain Books]

Posted 29 August 02006 - Permalink

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Tonight: Masters of the Comic Book Universe Revealed! launch party, panel discussion at MoCCA [public linkable info (hint hint MoCCA folks) found at The Beat]
See you there, Neilalienistas!

Great hopeful Ed Brubaker interview re: Criminal, marketing, crime fiction [Comics Reporter]

Month-to-month sales analysis July 02006 now at The Beat [Marvel; massive Civil War positive effect] [DC, indies]
Update: Latest vent session re: comics' crappily-inaccurate sales numbers, now including backlash vs. flippant commentary in above analyses [The Engine] [via Blog@Newsarama]

Posted 28 August 02006 - Permalink

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D is for Dr. Strange Dr. Strange is D in Ape Lad's 1 Hour Alphabet of Comic Book Folk [D is for Dr. Strange] [via Boing Boing]

Dr. Strange: The Oath #2 in Marvel's November solicits [Comic Book Resources] [cover]
"From the pages of DAREDEVIL, the mysterious woman known as NIGHT NURSE joins Doctor Strange on a paranormal mission to save millions of lives." So Night Nurse the big new teamup/sidekick for Doc? Neilalien doesn't know enough about her to have an opinion yet. [Night Nurse at Wikipedia]

Also in November solicits: New Avengers #26 guest-stars Doctor Strange (and sports a Scarlet Witch cover and return?)

Also in November solicits: What If? Avenger Disassembled. "But was the real problem solved? What if the greatest threat had gone undetected?" You mean, What if Dr. Strange had been even less competent against a massive mystical threat?

Stan Lee talks Stan Lee Meets [Comic Book Resources] [Doc cover] [big Doc page]

Blogger at ComicByComic seeks reading recommendations to help him grok Dr. Strange, and has just discovered the Dr. Strange TV Movie's existence and seeks ways to get a copy.
Neilalien recommends his Dr. Strange Recommended Reading List, and Ebay.

Marvel Comics U.S. postage stamp series lineup out; does not include Dr. Strange [Newsarama]
Neilalien has proven incapable of linking to stamp stories without also linking to The Unofficial Index of Marvel Value Stamps.

Helpful Questions and Answers about the Superhero Registration Act [Polite Dissent]

Your Superhero Co-workers [Google Blogoscoped]

Doctor Strange: A feared person, Doctor Strange works as a sysadmin. His magic powers affect every machine in his near surroundings. Doc Strange, whose history remains in the dark, is often called when other superheroes' tools failed.

The Evolution of Speechballoons [Andy's Comix Website] [making the rounds this week with links from Drawn! and Boing Boing]

The pirate story from Watchmen has been extracted for in vitro viewing [Tales of the Black Freighter: Marooned (The Reconstruction)] [meta] [via CBR interview w/the fan who did it]

The latest look at Wonder Woman's bondage-lovin' creator [Comic Book Resources]

Should Yaoi Be Just For Women? [Yaoi 911]
Neilalien found this piece to be the best and most balanced overview of the 'Yaoi/Gay Divide' for the completely clueless like himself.
Sounds like the yaoi "by women for women" boy-love manga community doesn't understand/want any potential Western gay male embrace [] [Sporadic Sequential]

New ImageText is up, including:

Grant Morrison gives great interview (as usual); this one about Batman (his new run already generating excitement); disses Miller's Batman vs. Al Qaeda [Newsarama]

NRAMA: But still, looking at the larger cultural subtext you're writing this in, what makes a grim Batman not appropriate for the world we live in now? Miller's working on a Batman vs. Al Qaeda story, and it's hard to think of a time when we've seen such grimness on the news... shouldn't Batman reflect that in a way, as he did in the late '80s when he first took that turn?
GM: First off, the idea that superhero comics should reflect the news headlines is not one I tend to subscribe to. I've always preferred using my comics to talk about the world around me in the language of symbolism and metaphor and I'm more interested in telling stories about how people behave in bizarre situations than I am in commenting on current events.
Having said that, Batman will always reflect his times: the idea here is not to soften or emotionally reset Batman as an exercise in nostalgia but to make him more real and relatable, while at the same time offering some rationale for his complex multi-faceted personality I want to see a Batman that combines the cynic, the scholar, the daredevil, the businessman, the superhero, the wit, the lateral thinker, the aristocrat. He terrifies the guilty but he has great compassion for the weak and the downtrodden and will lay his life on the line for anybody who's in trouble. He's a master of yoga and meditation who has as much control over his body and his feelings as any human. He has a wider range of experiences than most people will dream of in ten lifetimes. This is not a one-note character! So, while I won't pretend we all live on Sunnybrook Farm, I don't think its appropriate - particularly in trying times - to present our fictional heroes as unsmiling vengeance machines. I'd rather Batman embodied the best that secular humanism has to offer - a sour-faced, sexually-repressed, humorless, uptight, angry, and all-round grim 'n' gritty Batman would be more likely to join the Taliban surely?

Posted 25 August 02006 - Permalink

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Marvel announces two-month delays to event blockbuster (by today's measures) Civil War; tons of tie-in issues dragged away with it; retailers, cash flow, momentum, any new readers brought in, etc., all totally screwed; asteroid impacts Earth, threatening all life [CBR] [Newsarama]

Millar, McNiven (and Hitch) respond [CBR] [Newsarama]
Tom Brevoort responds [CBR] [Newsarama]

More: [Blog@Newsarama] [The Beat] [Brian Hibbs @ Savage Critic; Tilting @ Newsarama]
'Civil War' Delays Rile Retailers [ICv2]

Marvel couldn't win with fill-ins either; would rather wait and get McNiven's artistic vision and consistency [Focused Totality]

This incident must certainly highlight the folly of any retailers who solely depend on Marvel/Diamond to feed their kids [Alan David Doane]
Although Neilalien might argue that Civil War's success shows that the superhero floppy ain't dead yet.

Update: "Retailers need to be able to cope with a possible future without Marvel" and not have all their eggs in one basket [Lying In The Gutters]

Update: Readers being taken for granted; Marvel's CW comparison to Watchmen's landmarkness is premature, and its comparison to any Watchmen lateness doesn't fly (didn't hork the whole line) [Permanent Damage]

Update: ICv2 collects the retailer response. In lieu of having it all on one linkable page, here's Blog@Newsarama's summary.

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J.M. DeMatteis re: the endtimes of Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme [Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #63 @ CSBG @ CBR]
Sanctum asked the question! DeMatteis couldn't tell the stories he wanted to (had to tie up loose ends), and finding out Doc's father was already dead nuked another idea (and explains the cover to #86 a bit).

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Ed Brubaker talks Criminal, out in October [Comic Book Galaxy: Five Questions] [PDF preview]

Update: ADD starts A Criminal Blog to promote book [review of #1; 'better than Sleeper'!]

Update: Sean Phillips interview re: Criminal [Pulse]

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Marvel insults gays with bad-publicity-avoiding MAX/Explicit label policy [Postmodernbarney] [Gay League] [via Comics Reporter] []
Update: Joey Q says the policy's kaput, "no longer necessary" [Newsarama]

Free Comic Book Day 02007 is May 5th, coincides with movie again (Spider-Man 3) [ICv2]

Comic Book Publishers: A Field Guide to Understanding Their Quirks and Complications [Sporadic Sequential]

Posted 19 August 02006 - Permalink

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"Well, how would you like to see Doctor Strange get a hole punched right through his skinny head by one of THE BOYS?" [Isotope Comics]
This past Wednesday, Isotope Comics had an in-store event with artist Darick Robertson, to promote The Boys, his new Wildstorm series with Garth Ennis in stores this week, about a group of CIA agents who police the superhero community. Part of the promotion: if one had emailed by Wednesday, ten lucky winners would get an original sketch by Robertson of one's favorite superhero getting beat up. LOL! Such pluck makes Neilalien want to check out The Boys. Anyway, alas, sorry fans, Neilalien was asleep at the switch this busy week, and now it's too late to participate, in non-internet time two days notice isn't enough. Or maybe it was subconscious- Neilalien didn't want to see his beloved Doc get beat up... Did uber-Doc-fan James Sime or any of the winners choose Doctor Strange? Please send along a scan!

Darick Robertson interview re: The Boys [Newsarama]

Ennis interview re: The Boys from March [Newsarama]
"I've never been a big fan of superheroes, but I can't pretend I'm not aware of them. You look at that stuff and you go, 'No, no, that's not what would happen, this is what would really happen...' and you carry on from there."

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Out now:

Posted 18 August 02006 - Permalink

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Challengers of the Unknown Must Die! GN collects Loeb/Sale 01991 miniseries (their first collaboration); includes extended Sanctum Sanctorum cameo [Johnny Bacardi reviews] [Wikipedia] [Amazon]
Another review: "One Challenger transforms into a Dr. Strange clone" [Paperback Reader]

Posted 17 August 02006 - Permalink

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Alter Ego #61 includes The Dr. Strange Custom Covers Project! Congrats Howard!

Posted 16 August 02006 - Permalink

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Strange Medicine: Brian K. Vaughan talks Dr. Strange: The Oath [Comic Book Resources]

Posted 15 August 02006 - Permalink

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The Corinthian Dr. Strange figure, in crystal (astral form?)

Series 1 Marvel Hero Corinthian figures [Microstars]
Two inches tall. Each of the 24 also has a rarer, clear plastic counterpart (but only Doc's astral form makes sense of it, no? ah, maybe Iceman, Silver Surfer, and Invisible Woman too).

Posted 14 August 02006 - Permalink

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As Dr. Strange fans and readers of this weblog know, the Ultimate Avengers 2 animated movie DVD was released yesterday, and includes a two-minute preview of the upcoming Dr. Strange animated movie DVD [Amazon] [support your local comics shop if you can!]

For those resistant to buying UA2 just for it: The Doc preview can already be found on YouTube [thanks Joe!]

For the Doc uber-completists: Look for a special version of UA2 at Wal-Mart that includes a minicomic reprinting Tales of Suspense #39 (Iron Man's first appearance) and Strange Tales #115 [Howard was kind enough to provide a scan]

Posted 9 August 02006 - Permalink

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Stan Lee signs on for New York Comic-Con 02007 appearance [PR at Newsarama]
Will The Alien finally meet The Man?

Marvel releases 2Q 02006 numbers [Newsarama] [ICv2] [Yahoo Finance]
Marvel Plays Daredevil [Motley Fool]
Profits down 37%, due to licensing (down 23%). Analysts predicted much worse (11 cents a share) and Marvel made 19 cents (net income was $16.9 million), so in that wacky world of Wall Street expectations, this was good news, and the outlook ahead was boosted. Toys were actually up. Publishing was up 21%! Civil War (and the cost of making comics not going up) was credited. $163 million/8.4 million shares were bought back. Dr. Strange movie again on list "to be developed".

Publishing: Again, Marvel's Publishing segment showed an increase compared to 2005's figures, up $4.3 million from 2005, to $25.1 million (compared to $20.9 million in 2005), or 21%. In terms of six months, 2006's publishing net sales amount to $48.9 million, compared to $43.3 million in 2005.

Marvel Unmasked: The incredible tale of how the comic-book company escaped disaster. Next: Can our hero survive its own ambitions? [Time Magazine]
Lots of speculation in this article about who will buy Marvel.

Brian Hibbs interviewed [Independent Propaganda] [via Blog@Newsarama]

Infinity Gauntlet #4 gets the Alternate Reality Where Everybody Dies Week treatment [Dave's Long Box]

Marvel and DC readers prefer different villain types [The Absorbascon] [via Blog@Newsarama]
Interesting "what kids (want to) feel like" vs. "fun kids entertainment" distinction.

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X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl softcover collection out this week [Jog recommends]

Neilalien is given an opportunity for a total snark/judgmental-free web usability FYI. Jog was disoriented on the day of this above post, so the typo in the title of the post ("were" instead of "where") is obviously part of that/the joke. But if Jog were to ever correct this "typo", Neilalien's link would break. Blogger uses the blogpost's title for that post's permalink URL (if using the one-page-per-post settings)- and it appears that if the title is changed in the future, a new permalink URL is generated, so any linklove that other people have already posted is broken. Neilalien's seen this phenomenon happen before, so take care when backchanging post titles, Blogger users (other blogging software might do the same thing). Note that the popular addition of "UPDATED" to post titles would seem to break things too. Although it's certainly not a black-and-white situation: First, leaving a typo in a post title can be a tough call if one is the type of person (like Neilalien) who would rather not leave it to reflect poorly on one for posterity. Second, before one runs (if they have a choice) back to numerical or date-based permalink URLs, note that this trend all started because many web gurus got frustrated with URLs (like Neilalien's own permalinks...) that do not say anything- e.g., is better than, no? (The decision now is if is better, and what of a later correction that creates a 404.) A good solution, by the way, if you're more tech-skilled and have your own website and more control over it than over a Blogpost-hosted page, is to map a redirect of the URL with the spelling error to the corrected page.

Posted 8 August 02006 - Permalink

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New Illuminati miniseries by Bendis starts in December [Comic Book Resources] [Newsarama] [thanks Sanctum!]
We'll find out what Dr. Strange and the merry band did after the Kree-Skrull War to protect the Earth. The Illuminati is also outed to the other superhero groups. Sounds more like an action outer-space adventure than sitting around a meeting table, which is a positive.

Complete 20-Page Original Steve Ditko Story Art for Amazing Spider-Man #31 at auction [Mastro Auctions] [via Drunkenfist]
The bidding is about to hit $100,000 as of this posting.

Comicbook References Watch: "To hear the hype [about tomorrow's Lieberman/Lamont Connecticut Senate Democratic Primary], the day could hardly be more momentous if Galactus himself were to descend and declare his intention to devour the earth." [American Prospect Online poli-pundit column]

Posted 7 August 02006 - Permalink

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The Corinthian

Posted 5 August 02006 - Permalink

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The Octopus went and colored that recent black-and-white Alan Davis promo image for Stan Lee Meets Dr. Strange [meta] [kind words]

Posted 4 August 02006 - Permalink

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Dr. Strange animated movie screencap Dr. Strange animated movie screencaps! [Comics Continuum] [Neilalien's fave: The Sanctum] [via Hannibal Tabu at CBR]
There will be a preview with Ultimate Avengers 2.

Posted 3 August 02006 - Permalink

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Mystic Master Dr. Strange has never been above throwing a punch [Chris' Invincible Super-Blog]

Alan Moore interview re: Lost Girls [Onion A.V. Club] [via Robot Wisdom]
Tons of Lost Girls links collected [Occasional Superheroine]

Publisher Claypool Comics shuts down print operations; not meeting Diamond minimums for profitable distribution [Newsarama] [Comic Book Resources]
Moving to the web. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark ends with issue #166.
It's chilling that the middle man has this much power [Peter David; lots in comments]
Flashback 12/02005: Critical of Claypool's lack of promotion, online presence [Paul O'Brien at Ninth Art]

The Contradiction of Disabled Superheroes [Comic Foundry; Part 1]

Nice lovenote to the superhero comicbook and the guys who like them [Comic Foundry]

Warren Ellis to launch free portal for webcomics he likes [Comixpedia]
Update: Who wants to be a rocket pirate? [The Engine]

Requiem for a Rookie Card [Slate]
An industry reshuffles to recapture its youth [Christian Science Monitor]
Baseball card industry retrenches after sharp decline [Washington Times]
The above via: Baseball card days [Kottke]
A sad read about another industry that's barely surviving its own 90's bubble-burst of catering to hard-core nostalgic older-male collectors with a glut of fancy foil, turning people into little speculators/investors in things that are not actually rare, fighting a perception of being passe, no longer sold on every street corner, no longer perceived as a good value at $4 a pop, competing with video games, a back-issue market nuked by Ebay, a less-than-mint back-issue market nuked by slabbing, etc.

Update: Yet another article: It's no longer in the cards []
When they took out the bubblegum because collectors were complaining of gum stains on the cards, "it was a concept that had lost its way."

Posted 2 August 02006 - Permalink

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