New Yorkers can get a little more out of Free Comic Book Day [Pulse reports of a Marvel/NY Post team-up]
Steven Grant kicks around Free Comic Book Day's Christa Sherman's 100% Guaranteed How-To Manual For Getting Anyone To Read Comics!!! by the Second To Some Studios guys who give us Fade From Blue [Permanent Damage (scroll down)]
Greg Rucka interview on Pulse [Part 1's about Queen & Country; Part 2's about Batman: Death and the Maidens, drawn by all-class Klaus Janson]
Why I Love The Comics Journal... and Why You Should, Too, If You Love Comics (or: Don't Believe the Anti-Hype) [Unca Cheeks via Flat Earth]
Haunted House Calls: The World(s) According To Dr. Strange [Unca Cheeks]
Priest's next book The Crew can now be checked out [Newsarama]
T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents examined, enjoyed [Pop Culture Gadabout]
Neilalien will add his dittomarks to a sentiment that seems to be everywhere online right now: If only all of Grant Morrison's New X-Men run had been drawn by Quitely and/or Jimenez! Neilalien's attendance would have been more regular all along.
Posted 30 April 02003 - Permalink
Looking at March's numbers [Newsarama]
Among many factoids, Marvel Universe: The End continues strong (First Look of #4 coming out tomorrow via Comics Continuum)- which isn't all that surprising from Neilalien's perspective. Earth/Universe/Paradise X also do decently. There's a lot of old-timer Marvelheads out there who aren't getting much for their Marvel Universe/Cosmic/Mystical fix anymore.
Current Neilalien enjoyments Invincible and Fade From Blue are in the "Under 10,000 Club"- surely just two of many fine books that are.
Graphic novels are redrawing the lines between art, fiction and journalism [The Oregonian via Newsarama]
The Erotic ThunderCats Art Page [via Franklin's Findings: Post #1, #2]
Posted 29 April 02003 - Permalink
The 12 Dumbest Covers of American Comics We Could Find [Atlas Comics via LinkMachineGo]
Update: More Atlas Comics Lists [The 25 All-Time Greatest Covers of American Comics] [The 100 Best Comic Artists]
As always, these types of lists are very subjective. Your mileage will vary. Steve Ditko is #8! And his 1955 cover to Strange Suspense Stories #19 is ranked #23.
The credits of The Hulk movie will include: "Based on the Marvel Characters as created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby" [Ain't It Cool News via News From Me]
Marvel stretching out stories; questioning DC's promotion of Red Son [Lying In The Gutters at CBG]
Also by Johnston: Marvel vs. DC: The Cold War of Comics redux [Waiting For Tommy]
History Channel teams with Diamond to promote comics [Newsarama]
On 23 June, cable network The History Channel will air Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked, the network's first documentary about comic books and their subject matter.
Wind In The Sales [Paul O'Brien on Ninth Art]
The latest cold shower: Bookstores may not be the promised land. Newsstands still hold potential, but only for the anthology digest formats that the big American publishers don't do.
Update: Journalista says that bookstore small potatoes are still bigger than direct market ones.
Comic Book Babylon: The Shape Of Comic Book Reading [Ninth Art]
A David Lewis explores how narrative theory is affected when visual signs are added to a text.
Interesting Peter Bagge interview on Pulse [Part 1; Part 2]
He likes the pamphlets, he hates the high-falutin' comics, and more. Neilalien's still enjoying Megalomaniacal Spider-Man.
Writer Of The Future: David Michelinie [Pulse]
Nice overview of what they're trying to accomplish at Future Comics.
Fun Alias speculation [Peter David's weblog and discussion]
(The rockin' TV show, not the comic.) Everyone's going after Rimbaldi's stuff as if he succeeded in conquering immortality, so yeah, it makes sense he's still alive.
Author William Gibson is putting blogging aside so it doesn't suck his time, creativity or solitary-writer mojo [Wired News]
Posted 28 April 02003 - Permalink
Marvel expands its legal team to handle licensing growth [press release on Yahoo]
Final Fantasy [Salt Lake City Weekly via Bookslut]
A mixed piece about the current comics demographic.
Who will be the next Stan Lee? [older column on Silver Bullet Comics]
Posted 27 April 02003 - Permalink
Looking for more from webcomics than just a static image [Ninth Art Editorial]
Posted 25 April 02003 - Permalink
Sony dismays as results fall short of forecast [FT.com (Financial Times) via Drudge]
Can't be good for the prospects of a Marvel purchase. But who knows? Maybe if Sony's bad off, they'll be so desperate for the big Spider-Man 2 payday that they won't be willing to lose it through the lawsuit.
Credit Where Due [News From Me]
Mark Evanier weighs in on the damage wrought by "artist Stan Lee" (crap, now Neilalien will show up in a Google search for that- but maybe he can correct a few people then).
More Fund Comics announced to benefit CBLDF [Pulse]
Sports a great Perez cover of Hulk smashing censorship.
If you are desperate for some good hero stories involving mystical powers, the occult, the supernatural- and if you read this Dr. Strange site, you just might be- then you might want to check out Future Comics' Deathmask #1, which came out yesterday. The book has a pulpish feel, and the brutal hero exhibits some interesting abilities. Neilalien might give this his standard three-issue tryout and see where it goes- just have to root for the veterans at Future (Michelinie, Giordano and Layton). And retailers, if you order direct, the books are 100% returnable (according to the inside back cover).
Posted 24 April 02003 - Permalink
Excellent Permanent Damage re: meaningless insular awards, Marvel's lawsuit, creator opinions, the crazy comics week [Comic Book Resources]
Marvel seeks $50 million from Sony; studio could lose Spidey [Pulse via above column; Newsarama]
More on Marvel-Sony Suit [ICv2]
Brian Hibbs on His Suit Against Marvel [ICv2]
Posted 23 April 02003 - Permalink
Sony Loses Fight To Keep Marvel Suit Secret [ICv2]
L.A. judge opens Spider-Man lawsuit to public [Reuters via Yahoo]
Judge refuses Spider-Man secrecy [BBC]
Last two links via World Famous Comics News.
Mark Millar interview on Pulse [Part 1; Part 2]
"Objectivity is bullshit." Welcome to our postmodern world. That pretty much sums up the debate. Neilalien's perfectly content to be on the other side of that fence. If the comic book is ever going to be a serious medium, one thing it's going to need is a press, awards, etc., that really sets higher standards for itself than that.
And "the heart of the complaint"- well, only more like the left ventricle- is that Neilalien has always thought, and probably will always think, that the Journal would be more effective at what it's trying to do, the promotion of a higher comics medium, without the needless attitudes (especially the snobbo to make itself feel good- talk about power fantasies or being fannish). You catch more flies with honey. (And no, that doesn't mean lip service to crappy corporate comics or putting on a false happy hypey face or only doing positive reviews- why do they always think you mean that). Neilalien only says it because he would like to see a better comics medium too.
But hey, this is all an old windmill, and it's been round-and-round before. Just one of those old topics that can still sometimes get Neilalien hepped up (arrogance, bad comics journalism, ad hominem attacks on superhero readers, CGC slabbing, etc.). So that will be enough media critic crackpotism from this site for now.
Posted 22 April 02003 - Permalink
Marvel's going back to old issue numbering [this and more in this week's Gutters]
When times are good and it serves them to have a proud, long legacy, it's Amazing Spider-Man #956. When times are bad and it's time to get some speculator mojo, it's Spider-Man Collector's Edition Number One (Volume 92)!
What Free Comic Book Day "stunt" will make you Comics' #1 Fan? Lots of goodies if you win. Neilalien's not running, so that's one media empire you won't have to compete with. ;)
Part 3 of Rob Vollmar's history of women in comics [The Mirror Crack'd on Ninth Art]
Women in comics, like most "minorities," struggle with separation/assimiliation issues.
The Comic Journal's bias means no Eisner! [Just to be Nominated: Inside the Eisner Awards by Time's Andrew D. Arnold via good discussion so far on TCJ's Message Board about the piece, TCJ bias and the Eisners]
Okay, Neilalien's having some fun- that's not a fair headline. Arnold's tidbit only highlights Neilalien's point once again that biases and entanglements are everywhere in comicdom. Neilalien lightly ranted against TCJ's editorial stance last week- or more accurately, against the ludicrously arrogant claim by TCJ's own, complete with halo and batting eyelashes, that it's as pure as freshly fallen snow. And he will just as quickly rant in favor of better Eisner judges with more objectivity who don't have anti-TCJ resentment. It's all the same tentacle that weaves its way through the industry, failing smell tests, rendering comics "journalism," awards, etc. meaningless.
Posted 21 April 02003 - Permalink
X-Entertainment outdoes itself once again: a great, funny tribute to the Decepticon Cassettes [via Fark]
Transformers Season 2 Part 2 comes out this week, baby.
When comics get serious [San Jose Mercury News] [via WFC News]
Artists wrestle with how- and when- to address heroism, horror of U.S.-led war in Iraq.
Comic book drive has taken off [Daily News Transcript] [via WFC News]
Operation Comix Relief has started with a bang. Excelsior! Previous: Milford Daily News, blogged here.
Black Panther cancelled [Newsarama]
The National Superhero in Canadian Comic-Book Art [via Flat Earth with more]
Tandy Computer Whiz Kids Comics from the 80's [via Journalista]
Two 19-year-olds open comic and gaming shop [Oroville Mercury Register] [thanks to Journalista for suggesting the link]
Posted 20 April 02003 - Permalink
Nicolas Cage says Presley was 'too demanding' [ITV.com] [via Bookslut]
The Hollywood star's outburst came after he admitted selling his vintage comic collection to keep his wife happy. "I refuse to be blackmailed. I'm choosing independence, I should have stood up to her from the start," he said.
Bookslut's also bummed at Salon:
Anyone remember the "introductory column" to a "series on comic books"? Did I miss it, or was that series just the one article?
A legal tangle over Spider-Man [MSNBC.com] [via Journalista]
Play portraying Archie as gay gets a cease-and-desist, dilutes image [Creative Loafing Atlanta] [via Journalista]
There's a Directory of the Barbelith Underground Comic Book Forum [thread announcing a recent update]
There's also a great discussion of New X-Men #139 at Barbelith.
Posted 19 April 02003 - Permalink
Stan and the Stipperella [Newsarama; discussion here]
A classic Ditko cover for Mysteries of Unexplored Worlds #3 used to represent the loss of civil liberties [Warblogger Watch]
Hibbs v. Marvel goes to mediation [Newsarama]
Roundup of Marvel's claim that Sony's stealing Spidey [Pulse]
Posted 18 April 02003 - Permalink
Fantagraphics mouthpiece just can't get too worked up about more links between comics publishers and comics news/press/journalists [Journalista]
Journalista also haughtily claims that "the Journal isn't similarly compromised." Neilalien would characterize Fantagraphics ownership and the anti-Marvel bias at TCJ as quite a similar and problematic animal to the pro-Marvel bias of Newsarama, CrossGen and Pulse, etc. Sure, TCJ has some integrity, probably more than most- but it only wishes that integrity was the reason "why we've got our oh-so-bad reputation."
There is very little good comics journalism. Most comics press is editorializing, opinion columns, reviews, fanzine enthusiasms, attitudes, grudges, insiders, people who work in the industry, people who want to work in the industry, publisher ownership, sponsorship deals and press releases. Don't let TCJ pee on you from its high towers and tell you it's raining, or that it's all that better than the rest, true believers.
Update: Franklin's got some.
Posted 17 April 02003 - Permalink
Marvel Asks Court to Revoke Spider-Man License
Drudge Report Exclusive [via Oliver Willis]
In sealed papers, MARVEL says SONY should not continue advertising SPIDERMAN as a SONY character and marketing him as such through a constellation of SONY consumer products.
An online museum of comic book and superhero-related food products [Super Hero Food via The Presurfer]
Failing to Save the Day: Mediocrity and the Superhero Narrative [Narratech essay]
The ugly work-for-hire system has soured Steven Grant on the Bulletproof Monk movie [Permanent Damage]
Neilalien's getting all a-tingly for Free Comic Book Day
3 May 02003. Second To Some Studios' Christa's 100% Guaranteed How-to Manual for Getting Anyone to Read Comic Books! by Fade From Blue's Myatt Murphy and Scott Dalrymple sounds like it'll be hilarious and informative. Update: it is!
So CrossGen wasn't snubbed by the 02003 Eisners, nor was it because their books suck: they forgot to submit materials for consideration [Newsarama]
Great item in the comments: Is this the first deadline CrossGen's missed?
Keep the Publicity Machine pumping: If you don't get any nominations (or just one), put out a press release to apologize.
Epic: A plan by Marvel to co-opt the comics press by offering them creator jobs? [Franklin's Findings]
Posted 16 April 02003 - Permalink
Company changes with times, stays true to the wacky, weird [Miami Herald via WFC News]
Johnson Smith Co. may not exactly be a household name but millions of Americans have seen its comic book advertising for itching powder, magic tricks and whoopee cushions.
For Art's Sake [Ninth Art]
Paul O'Brien wonders why Powers is considered a Bendis book so much more than an Oeming book.
Stan Lee and Pam Anderson in a promo clip for the Stripperella cartoon [TNN (large mpg) via The Johnny Bacardi Show]
That frustrated sigh you hear are Dr. Strange fans [new Silver Surfer series announced; new White Queen series announced]
Legendary Jim Steranko does Lady Domino [Pulse]
Interview with Queen & Country's Greg Rucka [Pulse]
The Science of Superheroes wins two tech writing awards [Pulse]
Posted 14 April 02003 - Permalink
Comic Book Marketplace #99 announces that the Lee/Ditko Dr. Strange stories "attained a level of sophistication that the medium has rarely risen to"-
Nuff Said around these parts- but creator Evan Dorkin (while still appreciating Strange Tales of course) uses it as a forum for a proper rant re: the nostalgic bias against modern really-sophisticated non-superhero comics [Big Mouth Types Again via Journalista]
Dorkin also tells fans, retailers and pros to shut up with the whining about manga
From Neilalien's not-in-any-loops vantage point, it sounds like:
- The NYC version of the Blake Bell Ditko lecture that might have been in April will hopefully be happening by November
- Ditko has some objections to the Mysterious Traveler book: in an essay printed in The Comics, he's calling it a "poisoned sandwich"
- Rumors of the demise (or anything more than a delay) of the Mysterious Traveler book have been greatly exaggerated
How can it be that the 01995 Dr. Strange Marvel Milestone reprint book is the rarest Doc comic ever? [Defenders Message Board]
Someone's offering $25-50 to complete his Doc collection.
Pitching to Epic [Barbelith Underground MB thread]
Congratulations to all the Eisner nominees, especially Myatt Murphy and Scott Dalrymple for Fade From Blue [Pulse]
An Invincible Artist: Cory Walker [Pulse]
Comic book pages carry messages of faith [Pasadena Star News via WFC News]
War Comics, Then and...? [Journey Into Comics]
Also written by Sangiacomo: Comic books shy away from latest war [Cleveland Plain Dealer via Journalista]
Also from Journalista: War passions stir topic of political comics
Comics During Wartime: Icons as Emblems [current Read Comics In Public]
Huge creator poll re: comics and the war [Comicgate]
Weblogger goes ballistic on said poll [Are You Hep To The Jive?]
Response: "Those Damn Liberal Comic Books" [Pop Culture Gadabout]
Posted 13 April 02003 - Permalink
Strange Tales #110: Published 40 years ago today
Dr. Strange first appeared on newsstands on this day in 01963. That is awesome. Happy Anniversary and Congratulations to Steve Ditko, Stan Lee and Marvel Comics. Neilalien's thrilled to be blogging this moment.
[Source for dating info: Marvel Comics Group and the Silver Age of Comics]
Posted 9 April 02003 - Permalink
Wonderlust: My fetish for Wonder Woman and the erotic art of transformation [Neal Pollack essay on Nerve.com via MemeMachineGo]
Nothing, and I mean nothing, gets me hotter than when a so-called "ordinary" woman changes into a superheroine.
Marvel v. Sony: "The mother of all contract suits." [Newsarama]
Marvel's Laff-a-Lympics [Stuart Moore's A Thousand Flowers #15]
Secret Wars was a blatant ripoff of Yogi's Ark Lark.
Posted 9 April 02003 - Permalink
Suspected bad news confirmed. According to this TCJ Message Board thread and Ditko-L, Steve Ditko: The Mysterious Traveler: A Critical Retrospective of His Career and Work by Blake Bell from Fantagraphics Books will now be coming out in mid-2004, if at all, and it's being retooled. Pre-orders from Amazon have been cancelled. Sounds like something funky might be going on.
There's more bad news that Neilalien forgot to mention: The recently released Steve Ditko Reader has some disappointing problems with missing pages or pages out of order. Don't know if there will be a fix, new edition, etc. Your own personal level of diehard Ditko fandom will ultimately determine your enjoyment level with the book.
And there was possibly a Ditko lecture/slideshow event in NYC in April by Blake Bell, reported here. Anyone hear anything about that?
The cover of Amazing Spider-Man #35: Kirby-reworked final version; original Ditko version
Daredevil hits $100 million in 8 weeks [Box Office Mojo]
According to Box Office Guru, Daredevil has grossed $147.5 million worldwide as of 30 March 02003. $150 million in ticket sales, product placement and tie-in money, broadcast TV rights, cable TV rights, DVD and video sales and rentals, merchandising and toys, interest in two sequels (Daredevil 2 and Elektra), etc. Ummm, does this sound like a failure to you?
Posted 8 April 02003 - Permalink
First Look: Marvel Universe: The End #3 [Mile High Comics]
Snake Charmer: Interview with Alan Moore Part 2 [Ninth Art]
Captain America, Traitor? [National Review Online via Franklin's Findings]
Better not work for peace, wonder about the negative consequences of American foreign policy for non-Americans, or question some ugliness in American history like the Tuskegee experiments- you'll make baby Bucky cry.
Marvel receives award from anti-smoking group [Newsarama]
Must be for all that dubious Truth product placement.
Should Free Comic Book Day coincide with a major Marvel superhero film debut? [Journalista]
Retailer Gail Burt says:
Like I said, while a movie tie-in is cool and really advantageous; and while it looks really good for comic-based movies for the next couple of years, eventually, we're going to have to make this thing stand on its own.
Getting serious about comics [Great Falls Tribune (Montana)]
Journalista linked to this, calling it "Everything that's wrong with the comics industry."
Well, Neilalien's not really disagreeing. More crappy press for comic books. But this article also shows everything that's great about comics, too. It's probably just a "is the glass one-tenth full or nine-tenths empty" kind of thing. Neilalien sees enthusiasm for comic books here, which is all good- he sees what comic books have done right, maybe the only thing they've been able to do right, the happiness and loyalty they inspire. If only comicdom could serve and excite many other, and more populous and diverse groups and markets, as adequately as it currently serves the adult nostalgic reader of superhero and pop-culture diversion.
Web Connection Speed Trends
66.5% of home users in the US connect to the Internet at 56Kbps or less, a fact that Neilalien wishes would sink into some graphic-and-ad bloated comic book news sites.
It appears that the recent talk of finality coming from Alan David Doane has been backed up with action? The language on Comic Book Galaxy's home page is in the past tense, the Delphi Forum is a 404, the link to his blog redirects, and all the other blogs that used to live on CBG have over time been shunted off to other locations. That sucks.
Update: ADD's blog still lives
Posted 7 April 02003 - Permalink
Dr. Strange T-shirt update. No new Doc shirt- just reissues of the past designs to coincide Separate Reality hardcover that was re-solicited and finally coming out. Thanks to everyone in the Neilalien Cabal who wrote in with info, with a special shout-out to Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog for the scan of the Previews ad! Excelsior!
Man thinks twice before dissing Aquaman in front of pro wrestler Raven [Blognarok]
These two items remind Neilalien of another link: Raven wearing a Dr. Strange T-shirt
Posted 7 April 02003 - Permalink
Fantastic Four #67 (Spoilers). A retread of Dr. Doom's origin- but just when you think Doom's choosing Valeria over world domination, with a delicious despicable twist it turns out the choice he's making is sorcery over science.
Neilalien just searched his archives, and it's hard to believe that in three years he's never ranted against the sorcerous Dr. Doom. Because Neilalien hates the sorcerous Dr. Doom. Doom should be the technological arch-rival to Reed. Doctor Strange is a stronger character with his own rogues gallery. It dilutes and disrespects Strange's special abilities when more people have it, and worse, when someone has it yet forsakes it, i.e. Doom's second in line for Sorcerer Supreme but has long used tech instead. And who cares if the magical aspect of Doom has been around since his origin story- it just doesn't fit, it doesn't add another dimension to the character. As someone wrote on Usenet, it's like Baron Mordo getting a Ph.D. and attacking the Ancient One with a laser beam. The only good thing about Dr. Doom's spellcasting ways is that it provided us with Triumph and Torment, a damn great story.
So will Dr. Strange appear in the Unthinkable story line? Neilalien's not counting on it (looks unlikely from the future FF covers posted on Marvel's website- geez that Marvel website is awful). Which is yet another reason to dislike the sorcerous Doom: more significant Marvel mystical events will be happening, but with Dr. Strange nowhere to be found.
Now off to catch up on an appearance by Doc and the Defenders in Alias #21 [Defenders Message Board]
Posted 7 April 02003 - Permalink
Great nostalgia for an issue of Kid Colt Outlaw [Tony Isabella]
Going by the emails coming in and the reviews online, it appears that Neilalien has missed something on the Marvel Mystical/Dr. Doom front in Fantastic Four #67. Will be checking it out as soon as possible.
Posted 3 April 02003 - Permalink
Excelsior! Alan Moore's recent NPR interview has appeared in mp3 format on the Neilalien Message Board
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the WB has ordered six episodes of Who Wants to be a Superhero?, described as "a tongue-in-cheek fantasy contest show from reality guru Bruce Nash ("Meet My Folks") and comic pioneer Stan Lee." [Newsarama]
Steven Grant discusses creator rights, Epic [CBR's Permanent Damage]
Is it me or is Marvel lacking in supernatural titles at the moment? [rec.arts.comics.marvel.universe item (Google Groups)]
This thread gets extra props because someone complains that all the Infinity crossovers contributed to the death of Doc's Sorcerer Supreme title.
Today's Diamond Shipping List lists a Dr. Strange T-shirt
Went to the comic book shop but there was no shirt and no info. Anyone know anything about it?
Only picked up one thing at the comic shop today: Tales To Demolish #1, which Neilalien enjoyed.
Posted 2 April 02003 - Permalink
Neilalien would like some mojo this month, please.
The Warren Ellis Forum is open for twelve hours today!
Also for your April Fools Day enjoyment: The Norman Osborns
Marvel's Masterworks Master Plan [Newsarama]
Doctor Strange Vol. 1: Features the Ditko pinup from Strange Tales #128 as the new cover piece. This completes the interior reprint content of Strange Tales #110, 111 and 114-141. (August)
Epic discussed some more [Micah Wright's Delphi Forum]
Alan Moore was on NPR yesterday [Todd Mundt Show]
It's in Real format, so you'll have to tell Neilalien if it's good.
Robert Kirkman Talks 'Invincible' [Comic Book Resources]
Paul Stock of Librairie Astro Tells the Tale of the Stolen Comics [ICv2]
Two Quebecor theft rings broken up.
Posted 1 April 02003 - Permalink
A Doctor Strange Fansite
A Comic Book Weblog/Portal
A Steve Ditko Fansite
A Mysterious Palindrome
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