Neilalien : A Doctor Strange Fansite : A Comic Book Weblog  

Blue Hat Man Back Issue #24 is out! Doctor Strange cover, art gallery, lots of Doc-centric interviews/items re: Brunner, Colan, Smith, Golden, Rogers [TwoMorrows Publishing]
Doc-covered Alter Ego #73, more Brunner, next month.

Mark Evanier on Steve Ditko, correcting some mythology [News From ME #1; #2]
You don't leave Marvel because of a disagreement over the secret identity of a villain. You leave Marvel because you're getting screwed out of a lot of promised money.

Interview with Ditko from Marvel Main #4 fanzine, October 01968 [hosted at] [via above Evanier]
Ditko strikes Neilalien as the kind of man who, when pointed to a red house and asked what color that house is, would say, "Red on this side."

The Usual Skrullspects [Weekly Crisis] [thanks Joe!]
Is Dr. Strange's uselessness in New Avengers not Bendis depowering him for the story, but because Doc's really a Skrull?

"Marvel Comics has released page previews from the concluding chapters of the 'Endangered Species' story, which will run in Uncanny X-Men #491, X-Factor #24, New X-Men #43 and X-Men #204. In the story, Beast turns to magic (i.e. Doctor Strange) to try to reverse the effects of M-Day." [Comics Continuum] [thanks Sanctum!]

Personal finance blogger uses Quicken to track his comic book addiction [Get Rich Slowly]
Via Consumerist, with many interesting comments about comics from people outside the comics interweb.

Posted 28 September 02007 - Permalink

- -

Doctor Strange by Jirapat Tasanasomboon Doctor Strange commission by Thai artist Jirapat Tasanasomboon (aka Top) [General's War Room]
More by Jirapat Tasanasomboon: [Dr. Strange vs. Naga for sale] [Spider-Man Thai Boxing] [Batman Draped in Thai Silk]

Steve Ditko's Battling Bondage Babes to appear in new book [Clean Cartoonists' Dirty Drawings official website] [via The Beat]

Jean-Marc Lofficier's unpublished Book of Vishanti backup story of Cagliostro's origin [Marvel Appendix]

Doctor Strange by Howard Chaykin, soon to be looking at Wolverine's dead nekkid hairy butt in #58 [Newsarama]

A look at the links between comics and sports [Scripps Howard News Service] [via WFC News]

Jessica Biel reportedly in talks to play Wonder Woman in upcoming Justice League of America live-action movie, yummy! [Variety] [via Comic Reel at CBR]

Neilalien gives a big thumbs up (if his alien physiology included thumbs) for last night's Heroes season premiere.

Posted 25 September 02007 - Permalink

- -

Jonathan Ross' excellent In Search of Steve Ditko documentary is online [YouTube in 7 parts; Part 3 has Dr. Strange] [News From Mark Evanier]
Positive review by Blake Bell [Best Of Most Of]

Ditko Shrugged column series
Ayn Rand's Influence on Steve Ditko's Craft, Commerce, and Creeper [Silver Bullet Comics #1]
Apollonian and Dionysian Conflicts in The Hawk and the Dove and Beware the Creeper [Silver Bullet Comics #2]
Did Neal Adams Work on Beware the Creeper #5? [Silver Bullet Comics #3]
After Ditko, the Drought [Silver Bullet Comics #4]
Discussion thread [Silver Bullet Comics Forum] [via Blake Bell]

The time Occasional Superheroine actually saw Steve Ditko [Occasional Superheroine]

- -

Essential Doctor Strange Volume 3 in December 02007 [Marvel solicits at Comic Book Resources]
Reprints: Doctor Strange #1-29 and Annual #1, and Tomb of Dracula #44-45.

That page in New Avengers #34 when Dr. Strange reveals each character's secret motivation [Occasional Superheroine]

Doc uber-fan Howard Hallis bought Night Nurse boobies [Lienil Yu New Avengers #34 original art]

- -

Connecticut teacher gives Eightball #22 (Ice Haven) as reading assignment to freshman, controversy, forced resignation; parent: as sexually-itemed as Catcher In The Rye but cartoon/images make it more porny [ICv2]
Daniel Clowes, Pornographer? [Vulture [New York Magazine)]
Handling of teacher, comic issue riles parents [New Haven Register]
Nick Mullins on the Guilford Incident [Comics Reporter]
Massive discussion thread; "once someone who wants ratings actually reads a yaoi manga, we're in for it" [The Beat]
Sounds like "the cool teacher" was a little too cool by half for our litigious age this time, for assigning that book, however non-porn it is, to someone that young- maybe a judgment-slip in a less-formal summer class situation.

- -

Nostalgiametrics: The Science of Today for Yesterday's Crap [Dave's Long Box]

Insurgent Activity in the Kingdom of Rust: Writers Updating Superheroes in 02006 [Jog The Blog; essay from TCJ #276]

02006 Was a Very Good Year (For Comics) (And Graphic Novels); floppies up 14% [ICv2]

The utter inbredness of Sinestro Corps inspires "Why I Don't Read Many Super-Hero Comics" blogpost [Jason Is A Person Who Writes] [via Myriad Issues]

Five ways Walt Simonson kicked my ass with Thor #337 [Progressive Ruin]

Five Superheroes You Like, a) Created After 01950, b) Not Published By DC or Marvel or Image [Comics Reporter]

Posted 23 September 02007 - Permalink

- -

Who is the Blue Hat Man?

Whenever Neilalien sees the above panel from Strange Tales #136, he feels so intrigued and curious: Who is that rad dude in the crazy blue hat and shades?

Who is the Blue Hat Man?

Posted 16 September 02007 - Permalink

- -

The Unsung Hero Behind Spider-Man [The Guardian re: Jonathan Ross tracking down Steve Ditko]

Is there a "Ditko Curse" placed upon anyone who comments on Ditko's life as it relates to his work, rather than just the work itself? [Best Of Most Of (Blake Bell)]

Dr. Id, Psychologist of the Supernatural, old-school Ditko Dr. Strange homage (though not to dismiss it as only such) and Neilalien fave, snags Outstanding Comic Ignatz Award nomination [Small Press Expo 02007 Ignatz noms] [Dr. Id Official Website]
Congrats to Adam McGovern and Paolo Leandri!

Big Bendis interview re: New Avengers [Comic Book Resources] [thanks Sanctum!]

"We see the Avengers kind of deal with each other and their trust issues. We get Night Nurse's return to Doctor Strange's life after the events of 'The Oath,' she's his girlfriend now.
The "New Avengers Annual" [in January] will be a big story for Doctor Strange as well. In the Annual, the Sorcerer Supreme will find some of the desperate actions he took during "World War Hulk" coming back to haunt him. "This book will also serve as a huge exclamation point on that part of Doctor Strange's story, as the Hood's gang actually descends on his house," Bendis explained.
"Over in 'New Avengers', on top of all the machinations with the villains; big, life changing emotional events hit more than one character," Bendis said. "So there will be relationship stuff both good and bad and what Doctor Strange is going through is pretty huge."

It's very exciting for Doc fans that he's getting this much attention- but Bendis only taketh and teareth down. When does he ever giveth? (Although he did just give us Night Nurse boobies in New Avengers #34...)

Benjamin Franklin: Our Founding Mack Daddy [Fortress of Fortitude]
The man hooked up with Clea. Until it was unfortunately revealed that Ben might have really been Stygyro, anyway.

Dr. Strange #9 on Coolest Superhero Costume list [Retrocrush] [via Defenders Message Board]

Dr. Strange and the Psychedelic Origins of the Future by Vincent Bridges [Alternative Approaches]

Praise for the "sheer amount of fun and excitement poured into every issue" of Casanova [Chris's Invincible Super-Blog]

Do fans really hate Spider-Man's marriage as much as Marvel EIC Joey Quesada does (or claims fans do)? [Progressive Ruin]

Jim Shooter returning to Legion! "The craft of comics storytelling is all but lost" [Wizard] [via Comics Crew]

Who Cares About The Death of a Gay Superhero Anyway?: A History of Gays in Comic Books [Perry Moore] [via new linkblog Comic Gays]

Why Kirby was a great cover artist; covers with newsstand-eye-competition showmanship irrelevant in today's comics distribution model [Permanent Damage column at Comic Book Resources]

For Clinton, 02000 Fund-Raising Controversy Lingers [Wall Street Journal Online]
The latest overview/update re: Stan Lee Media's Peter Paul and Hillary Clinton fundraising questions.

Posted 15 September 02007 - Permalink

- -

On Including The Cloak of Levitation with Doctor Strange's Astral Form (First of a Series)

Neilalien's scanners picked up this recent charming post, and link from, Sporadic Sequential (with Doctor Strange image by Mike Miller)- and he realizes, bafflingly, that for all the ranting he's done online about his favorite pet peeve over the last eight years, he's never really provided some kind of distinct weblog post or webpage for people to link or refer to his "complaint". How has the internet gone so long without this? ;) Well, let's just get to fixing this terrible situation pronto!

Item: The Cloak of Levitation should not be included in Doctor Strange's astral form!

The Cloak of Levitation should not be included in Doctor Strange's astral form!

Above: A panel from Strange Tales #128, by Ditko. This is the first time in the comics record that Doctor Strange goes into astral form after receiving the Cloak of Levitation from the Ancient One.

The Cloak of Levitation should not be included in Doctor Strange's astral form!

Above: From Strange Tales #139, by Ditko. Isn't there an elegance, an elegant asymmetry about it?

The Cloak of Levitation should not be included in Doctor Strange's astral form!

Above: From Strange Tales #134, by Ditko. It doesn't matter what clothes Doc is wearing at the time. The astral form always looks consistent. It's like his self-concept-ego-image. Neilalien likes that it looks the way Doc did as a novice, as Doc looked when he first learned to leave his body astrally. It keeps Doc humble. If Doc aged, would the astral form stay relatively youthful-looking? Can Doc's self-concept-ego-image change?

The Cloak of Levitation should not be included in Doctor Strange's astral form!

Above: Doctor Strange pin-up by Ditko, published in Marvel Collectors' Item Classics #10. The definitive no-Cloak image. [Update: This item updated October 02018.]

Neilalien's argument against including the Cloak:

1. An astral form doesn't need a Cloak of Levitation to help it fly.

2. It dilutes and de-unique-izes the wondrous ability of the Eye of Agamotto. The Eye (and its predecessor Amulet) should be the only item that accompanies Doc in astral form.

3. It's what Ditko did.

Thus, in summary:

The Cloak of Levitation should not be included in Doctor Strange's astral form!

Above: From Strange Tales #149, by Bill Everett. This is the first post-Ditko astral form in Strange Tales. Everett keeps the tradition!

The Cloak of Levitation should not be included in Doctor Strange's astral form!

Above: Doctor Strange #169 cover by Dan Adkins. Attaboy, Adkins!

The Cloak of Levitation should not be included in Doctor Strange's astral form!

Above: From Doctor Strange #2, by Frank Brunner. No, dude!

The Cloak of Levitation should not be included in Doctor Strange's astral form!

Above: From Doctor Strange #10, by Gene Colan. How couldja, Colan?

The Cloak of Levitation should not be included in Doctor Strange's astral form! The Cloak of Levitation should not be included in Doctor Strange's astral form!

Above left: From Marvel Feature (Presents The Defenders) #1, by Ross Andru. Yes!
Above right: From Defenders #2, by Sal Buscema. No!

The Cloak of Levitation should not be included in Doctor Strange's astral form!

Above: From Doctor Strange #54, by Brent Anderson. Oy.

The Cloak of Levitation should not be included in Doctor Strange's astral form!

Above: From Doctor Strange #69, by Paul Smith. He knew the deal.

The Cloak of Levitation should not be included in Doctor Strange's astral form!

Above: From Doctor Strange #51, by Marshall Rogers. Go for it, Doc-in-correct-Cloakless-astral-form! Fuck with Hitler!

The Cloak of Levitation should not be included in Doctor Strange's astral form!

Above: From Strange Tales V3 #19, by Rich Case. An astral form in the winter clothes Doc's wearing? WTF?!

The Cloak of Levitation should not be included in Doctor Strange's astral form!

Above: From Doctor Strange #70, by Bret Blevins. Nicely done!

Update: Doctor Strange uber-fan SanctumSanctorumComix takes the ball and runs with it; kind words for this post [Defenders Message Board]

Posted 12 September 02007 - Permalink

- -

"Comic Book Club is a weekly comic book talk show featuring the best comedians in New York talking shop with industry professionals" [tonight at The Peoples Improv Theater in NYC, 8pm] [via Gothamist]

Posted 11 September 02007 - Permalink

- -

Great essay: Why Comic Shops Still Matter, Or At Least Why They Should [Comics Reporter]

Update: More Hallelujah from Neilalien: In Japan, comics are everywhere, and there are still comics shops; shops don't need to go the way of the dodo, but they do need to try a bit harder []

Jonathan Ross' In Search of Steve Ditko documentary on BBC Four Sunday 16 September [BBC Four]

Mike Wieringo remembrance event at Flatiron Joe's in NYC next Wednesday 19 September [Hero Initiative]

Posted 10 September 02007 - Permalink

- -

Baltimore Comic-Con 02007 Mondo Marvel Panel coverage [Newsarama] [Comic Book Resources] [thanks readers!]

Why was there no Dr. Strange in the Mystic Arcana story? Cebulski: Obviously, he was in use in places like World War Hulk and New Avengers. Marvel wanted to focus on lesser known magical characters. "There is a larger story," Cebulski added. "There will be a new announcement soon about more in the Marvel magic universe."
Any possible Dr. Strange ongoing? "No plans, you'll see him around other places," Brevoort said. "We like Doc and it's really hard even with a good creative team." Brevoort added that he really liked the "Dr. Strange: The Oath" mini, but that even then the sales were only so-so.

Posted 9 September 02007 - Permalink

- -

Brian Wood Rocketship event tonight in NYC [Rocketship]
See you there, Neilalienistas!

Posted 8 September 02007 - Permalink

- -

Messing with Neilalien's news scanners today: BBC story about a ceiling voyeur named Stephen Strange
Update: Daily Rotten's link to this article includes a Howard Hallis Custom Cover! Was DR fooled?

Posted 4 September 02007 - Permalink

- -

Always wanted this in the weblog record: A great letter in Doctor Strange #25 (October 01977 issue) by Cat Yronwode [Cat Yronwode's Lesser Book of the Vishanti website]

Posted 3 September 02007 - Permalink

- -

The X-Men Fatality Timeline
Great stuff. Wow, Jean Grey's died 26 times.

- -

The Timeline includes the complete destruction and near-exact recreation/duplication of the Earth (except for Doctor Strange) by Eternity in Doctor Strange #12-13. Neat! Which reveals Neilalien's second motive for linking this: The Timeline-keeper Lorendiac writes (4th draft), "NOTE: I believe dialogue in a later issue of Doctor Strange either stated or implied that all of the above had been smoke and mirrors and probably never really happened, but I could be wrong and I was not able to find the story I'm thinking of in my collection just now. If I do find it, I'll be sure to include more details in a subsequent Draft of this Timeline."

Doctor Strange #13: Twas An Illusion

The terrible truth is: Eternity's destruction and recreation of the Earth was indeed retconned! It was all an illusion by the Ancient One. Let Neilalien's own previous illusions and testings of his readership here fall away...

In Doctor Strange #19, it is revealed that the Ancient One has yet again been testing his disciple. Doc's full acceptance of the horrors he has recently experienced (he's watched everyone die- and now, everyone's a bit like an undead mannequin to/but him, and only he knows it) leads to an offer of "completeness", "finality", and "one with the universe-ness" by/with the Ancient One.

Doctor Strange #19: Twas An Illusion

Doc had been sniffing that something was amiss. Of course, he rejects the Ancient One's offer. Doc may give some Zen reason for saying no, but let's be real: he declines because he doesn't want to stop doing the Hoary Hosts of Horizontal with Clea. But by rejecting "the oneness that being the Sorcerer Supreme must lead to", Doc thus rejects being Sorcerer Supreme, and the Ancient One removes the mantle and depowers Doc.

If #19's dialogue leaves a little wiggle-room vague-doubt for the enterprising and hopeful fanboy (like Neilalien) to possibly say that Eternity still did the deed ("illusions" could refer to other things- Doc's "watched", he's been "shown"- it still could mean he was observing things that really happened), the hard-retcon money-shot is in Doctor Strange #20. Here, it is flatly revealed that those vile mystics from the Quadriverse, The Creators, elaborately planned and planted the idea in the Ancient One's mind of testing Doc with "supposed destructions" and "imaginary recreations", so that the Ancient One would give Doc an offer he had to refuse, depower Doc, and make Doc easier pickings!

Doctor Strange #20: Twas An Illusion

It's really a shame that Eternity's "recreational" activity was undone (and as another test by the Ancient One- a lame, repetitive out- and it makes the A-One into an A-Hole), because it was an awesome concept that could only happen in a book like Doctor Strange. Of course, the real reason for the retcon is provided in the letters page of #19: Marv Wolfman couldn't undo Steve Englehart's increasingly weird, high-concept and sales-nuking run fast enough! Marv even undid Clea's night of passion with Benjamin Franklin- it was really the evil sorcerer Stygyro (which transforms a cool romantic event into just a damn creepy rape). While Marv's depowering of Doc was needed- Neilalien ultimately finds himself preferring "what could have been" over Marv's tedious superheroic Quadriverse story arc: the continuation of Englehart's exploration of the occult history of America.

So Jean Grey's only died 25 times.

Posted 2 September 02007 - Permalink

- -

Doctor Strange vs. Juggernaut by Gene Colan from Doctor Strange #182 spotlighted, photoshopped [Scans_daily]
Happy birthday, Gene Colan! [via Comics Reporter]

Posted 1 September 02007 - Permalink

- -