Neilalien : A Doctor Strange Fansite : A Comic Book Weblog  

Have a great weekend, everyone! And always remember:

Dr. Strange has his eye on you!    Wong spits in your tea!
Mr. Fuji throws salt!

Update: [Steve Ditko] [Mr. A] [more Dr. Strange] [Clea]

Posted 27 January 02006 - Permalink

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Complete Steve Ditko "No Way Out!" 5p. story from Tales to Astonish #9 posted online [Marvel Masterworks: Tales to Astonish Vol. 1 reprints #1-10] [via Ditko-L]

Ten Essential Volumes of the Marvel Essentials Series; includes Lee/Ditko Dr. Strange [The A.V. Club's Weekly List]

Free Comic Book Day books announced [ICv2] [Free Comic Book Day 6 May 02006]

Cinematic photorealistic snapshot art trend in comics abandons the illusion of motion, not as exciting [Permanent Damage]

Marvel and DC: Derivative rehash [ICv2 Talk Back]
Response: Don't look to Big Two lumbering giants as initiators, innovators [ICv2]
Response: Retailers and readers don't want change; the Big Two are focused on icons and movies [ICv2]

Joe Casey talks GODLAND, the TPB [Newsarama]

Dark Horse State of the Union [Newsarama]
If you can't make money with Star Wars and Conan The Barbarian, then comics are truly screwed.

Comics to Battle for Truth, Justice and the Islamic Way [New York Times] [Newsarama]

Mr. Mutawa's Teshkeel Media, based in Kuwait, says that in September it will begin publishing "The 99," a series of comic books based on superhero characters who battle injustice and fight evil, with each character personifying one of the 99 qualities that Muslims believe God embodies.

Teshkeel will also be adapting/publishing Marvel Comics for a Middle Eastern audience. "Tashkeel will be, of course, the second such large scale foray into comics for a Middle Eastern company. The Egyptian-based AK Comics launched last year..."

Submissions for Isotope Excellence in Minicomics now open [Newsarama]

Marvel month-to-month sales December 02005 [Pulse] [Update: DC, others]

Marvel Knights imprint- of Joey Q and the Dr. Strange Flight of Bones miniseries- getting some much-needed new attention [Comic Book Resources] [Newsarama Joey Q interview]

Who needs Vogue? Hong Kong youths look to Japanese comic books for fashion inspiration, cosplay [MSN-Mainichi Daily]

Posted 26 January 02006 - Permalink

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Defenders #5 miniseries finale out this week

Steve Englehart reports from his email list: His Marvel one-shot, the Western Black Rider, with Marshall Rogers, out in June, includes a visit to 01881 Chinatown in Manhattan and the young Ancient One!

High praise for Frank Quitely- the body language in All-Star Superman #2 [Listen To Us, We're Right]

Marvel Boy reviewed [Comics Reporter]

Comics responding to the Roe v. Wade 01973 court decision [Who Killed Junior? from the right] [Abortion Eve from the left]

Posted 23 January 02006 - Permalink

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Happy 300th Birthday this month to Benjamin Franklin, a fascinating man- and Clea seducer

Clea and Benjamin Franklin

From Doctor Strange #19. Scan poached from

Posted 22 January 02006 - Permalink

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Diamond Comics Distributors' monopoly kung-fu grip on comic books re: stocking (plenty of exclusive Marvel/DC/superhero/nude cover variants available; can't get any Maus, Understanding Comics, Persepolis, etc. etc.) and pricing (Direct Market discount-for-nonreturnability trade-off long dead, discounts not great; charges for shipping); death spiral of midlist publisher signs on with Diamond > shop minimum order requirements > shop sole-sources with Diamond > shop pays more for/can't profit from midlist publisher > shop doesn't carry midlist publisher > shop and midlist publisher in trouble; wallows in having 70% of its eggs in one basket, no incentive to change, completely ignoring how to grow the business; Direct Market's ability to compete with bookstores or easily build nonsuperhero customer base hobbled [Brian Hibbs Tilting At Windmills] [Comics Reporter] []

Hilarious 01978 Japanese Spider-Man video clip [YouTube] [via Do You Feel Loved?]
And then all of a sudden, a giant transforming robot appears...

Congrats on ten years of Aquaman website fandom [Bloggity]

Posted 21 January 02006 - Permalink

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Uncle Sam wants YOU Uncle Sam wants YOU... to create a psy-ops comic book to influence Arab youth [Harper's] [via Robot Wisdom]

In order to achieve long-term peace and stability in the Middle East, the youth need to be reached. One effective means of influencing youth is through the use of comic books. A series of comic books provides the opportunity for youth to learn lessons, develop role models, and improve their education.
The Contractor shall provide development of an original comic-book series. Knowledge of Arabic language and culture, law enforcement, and small-unit military operations is desired. The comic books will be produced in Arabic so the boxes will have to follow a sequence of right to left and top to bottom. The series will be based on the security forces, military, and police, and set in the near future in the Middle East. If the subject matter for a specific comic does not do well in its intended focus group then it may be dropped and/or a new basis for the comic will be selected.
A designated representative of the U.S. Army will provide thematic guidance, cultural expertise, and oversight to the Contractor. Additionally, photos of regional architecture, vehicles, and people, which will serve as a basis for the artwork, will be provided.
This will be a collaborative effort with representatives of the U.S. Army who have already done initial character and plot development.

"From an advertisement posted in March 02005 on the Federal Business Opportunities website by the U.S. Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg in North Carolina." Originally from Harper's Magazine, June 02005. Posted to Harper's website 19 January 02006. A current search of the FBO website for "comic book" came up empty. Has the contract been filled for a half-year? Any results? <Conan O'Brien nerd voice>And they're called panels, not boxes.</Conan O'Brien nerd voice>

Posted 20 January 02006 - Permalink

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Physician Heal Thyself: Doctor Strange #80 [Polite Dissent]

Why Malpractice Rates Are So High in the Marvel Universe: Doctor Strange #39 [Polite Dissent]

Caricaturist Bill "Weg" Green draws man who burgled him, helps police catch thief in 15 minutes [The Age] [via Boing Boing]

Posted 19 January 02006 - Permalink

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The Doctor Strange Custom Covers Project is complete!
Doc uber-fan Howard Hallis has re-imagined Strange Tales covers the way they should have been: by Steve Ditko, with Dr. Strange prominent and the Human Torch/Nick Fury story as the tiny blurb. Excelsior!

Reader Pete emails:

I'm reading Knees Up Mother Earth by Robert Rankin, which makes a couple of references to Dr. Strange. One of the main characters talks about how Dr. Strange comics made him want to learn astral projection, and even uses "By the hoary hosts of Hoggoth!" as an exclamation.

Neilalien's adding this book to the stack.

Posted 18 January 02006 - Permalink

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The official media strategy for the movie Munich is to "let the movie speak for itself", no interviews, no pre-Oscar blitz [related at Mediabistro FishbowlLA along with cracks in the strategy]
It's been said that Spielberg "pulled a Steve Ditko" [BadLit]

Another press hit for the fascinating hikikomori phenomenon of nerd shut-ins in Japan [New York Times: Shutting Themselves In] [via Kottke] [blogged in June: Washington Post: In Tokyo, a Ghetto of Geeks]

Unmasking the 01974 Captain America Secret Empire storyline, just reprinted in TPB [The Barer Cave]

Comic psyops: Rescued by Reagan! [CIA's Grenada booklet from 01983 invasion] [via Boing Boing]

Short animated film re: lawyers wrecking City of Heroes ["Cease and Desist" QuickTime movie] [via Boing Boing]

"The Religious Experience of Philip K. Dick" by R. Crumb from 80's Weirdo, 8 pages [Philip K. Dick Fans] [via Boing Boing]

Posted 17 January 02006 - Permalink

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Neilalienistas: Scanners are detecting a lot of buzz re: this week's Dead Girl #1, with prominent (it's all Doc, DG doesn't show up until the last page), "interesting"/"humorous"/"depressive" Dr. Strange [example at Comixtreme]
Neilalien's ready to read n' rant.

Whatever happened to Dr. Stephen Sanders? [Usenet rec.arts.comics.marvel.universe (Google Groups)]

New Dr. Strange home-designed game with cards and 12-sided die [Warp Spawn Games] [via]

Top ten Stan Lee moments [Springfield News-Sun]

Fred Hembeck put Spider-Man poster on his dorm-room ceiling over his bed, aww (or is that eww) [Fred Hembeck Show]

Spider-Woman bukkake, eww (or is that aww) [Low Road]

The Day the Powers Died [Ye Olde Comick Book Blogge]
Neilalien dropped the long-time fave book with the monkey-humping issue too.

Manga replacing Western comics in bookstores [Precocious Curmudgeon] [The Engine]
Viz and Simon & Schuster Expand Distribution Agreement [Anime News Network]
Some impact expected re: Musicland bankruptcy: Suncoast sold 20% US anime, 10-15% manga [ICv2, #2, #3]

Indianapolis is protected by Doktor DiscorD and Mr. Silent [Warren Ellis] [Doktor DiscorD's MySpace] [Mr. Silent's MySpace]
Meanwhile, Jackson, Michigan forsakes its drunk-driving superhero protector, Captain Jackson [Sploid]

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Horse race time: December 02005, end-year analysis; best year since 01996 [ICv2 Top 300] [ICv2 Top 100 GN's] [ICv2: GN's sales surge 33% for the year in comic shops, while singles up 4% for the year but most top singles down] [Newsarama] [Comics Buyer's Guide]

The Top 300 comic books had sales worth $20.02 million in December, 5% more than in December [0]2004.
The Top 300 comic books had retailer orders of 6.56 million copies in December, 1% more than December [0]2004, which had one more shipping week. "Even with one less Wednesday, the market moved more comic books," Miller said. "That's a pretty good sign."
Diamond sold 76.13 million of its Top 300 comics from each of the 12 months of [0]2005. That's an increase of 2.3% over [0]2004's 74.44 million copies.
For [0]2005, the Top 300 comics from each month sold a combined $221.73 million, an increase of 3.9% over [0]2004, which saw sales of $213.237 million.
Overall, [Diamond, direct market, singles (not just Top 300), TPB/GN (not just Top 100), magazines] [0]2005's U.S. [not including U.K.] sales stood at $352.33 million, up 7.3% over [0]2004's total of $328.25 million... "That doesn't count newsstand sales, subscription sales, or sales of trade paperbacks through bookstores," Miller said. "That would bring [0]2005 above $400 million, putting us in our best shape since [0]1996."

Warning: These numbers as usual seem much more art than science- and it's difficult to track all of the variables, like exactly what the numbers mean (just Diamond, just direct market, just singles, just the US, etc.), can't compare different months or quarters re: seasonality and different numbers of Wednesdays in months, prices go up so fewer units sold can still yield a sales increase monetarily, add in that the numbers discussed sometimes change within news articles, etc. Still, things overall appear better than the $19 million/month [Top 300 Diamond direct-market singles, September 02003] x 12 = $228 million/year = one casino in Joliet number Neilalien had fun with a few years ago (the numbers for singles seem flat, despite news of single-digit percentage gains each year, no?; ah, but $19 million to $20 million is up 5%; TPB/GN's have apparently grown a bit more to help overall). But for some attempted sense of perspective re: the size of the comics industry vs. some other medium or mode of entertainment (don't bother comparing to books, music, movies, video games, all in the multi-billions), $350 million annually in sales is equal to the projected 02006 sales for Levitra, one brand of hard-on pill.

Posted 16 January 02006 - Permalink

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With a great URL comes great responsibility: blogging Ditko comics
It's in the good hands of the Kirby Comics guy.

What it feels like for a girl- in society, not just comicdom [The Beat]

Alphabetti Fumetti to L, Stan Lee [Ninth Art]

Marvel/Toy Biz signs licensing deal with Hasbro for toys; forsakes totally-separate-but-sockpuppet Toy Biz Worldwide for real toy company, exchanging greater royalty cut for more potential volume/better distribution [Newsarama] [Comic Book Resources] []
Update: What Does the Hasbro/Marvel Deal Mean? [Action-Figure] [via The Beat]

Doc Samson #1 review: "The guest star Dr. Strange's latest acquisition in what must be the scraping from the bottom of the acolyte barrel must die, preferably quickly." [Silver Bullet Comics]
Update: Another review of Doc Samson #1 at Hulk News

DMZ reviewed [Crisis/Boring Change]
With creator Brian Wood praising this review so highly, there's nothing left for lesser reviewers to say! Neilalien, in love with NYC himself, and wondering what this planet is coming to, is greatly enjoying DMZ.

Exclusive first look at Barry Windsor-Smith's Thing [Comic Book Galaxy]
Okay, that didn't come out the way Neilalien intended...

Superman is boring; experience the sheer joy of bat-shit crazy comics such as Marvel Zombies instead [The Hurting]

Augie checks out new drawer-style comic book boxes: can stack them higher, don't need to unstack to get at the books [Pipeline]

November 02005 month-to-month sales at Pulse [Marvel] [DC, others]

"GODLAND is the sort of comic you don't so much read as visually inject into your eyeballs" [Ninth Art]

Posted 11 January 02006 - Permalink

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02005 Neilalien Awards

Dr. Strange in Defenders #1 Best Dr. Strange Appearance: Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire Defenders miniseries; specifically #1

Worst Dr. Strange Appearance: House of M miniseries; specifically "I'm a complete failure" #8

Other Notable Dr. Strange Appearances: Strange miniseries completion; New Avengers #7 (first appearance of the Illuminati, assuming it goes anywhere); Top 10: Beyond The Farthest Precinct #4; Essential Doctor Strange Volume 2; Marvel Visionaries: Steve Ditko

Best Appearance of a Dr.-Strange-Affiliated Character, Accoutrement, Parody, etc.: Doctor Dremo #1 jam minicomic by the DC Conspiracy [Neilalien's comments]

Best Appearance of a Dr.-Strange-Affiliated Character, Accoutrement, Parody, etc., Runner-Up: "Plasmo the Mystic" reprints from Bongo Comics' Free Comic Book Day book

Most Wrong :) Appearance of a Dr.-Strange-Affiliated Character, Accoutrement, Parody, etc.: Dr. Strange fucking himself across dimensions in Johnny Ryan's Marvel Super Pages

Biggest Insult to Dr. Strange Fans: The Strange miniseries fixing an origin that wasn't broken, and so strongly evoking The Matrix ("there is an old mentor, the Ancient One like Morpheus, using a talented female, Clea like Trinity, to search for the One, Strange like Neo, and initiating him into a world he didn't know existed and refuses to acknowledge, but he is all powerful within once he accepts his gift"- from an otherwise positive Clandestine Critic review) and The Empire Strikes Back (sees vision of family/friends in trouble, cuts training short to fight the bad guy with energy swords)

Greatest Hope for Dr. Strange Fans: Blake Bell's Mysterious Traveler book; a good Doctor Strange direct-to-DVD animated movie

Best Steve Ditko Item: Simpsons Super Spectacular #1 Radioactive-Man-as-Captain-Atom homage by Batton Lash and Michael T. Gilbert

Worst Steve Ditko Item: Marvel Visionaries: Steve Ditko could have shown more visionary and less Squirrel Girl [Blake Bell picks his own contents]

Best Comic Book of 02005: The Complete Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

Some Comic Books That Brought Neilalien Much Joy in 02005:

GODLAND by Joe Casey and Tom Scioli
Horus by Johane Matte
Runners by Sean Wang
Sleeper: Season Two by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
Action Philosophers by Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey
Top 10: The Forty-Niners by Alan Moore and Gene Ha

Posted 10 January 02006 - Permalink

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Rosario Dawson Rosario Dawson co-creating Occult Crimes Taskforce comic book [Speakeasy Publisher PR at Comic Book Resources]

Poster "Sparky Supreme" answers: What do you think Dr. Strange needs to keep an ongoing series? [Defenders Message Board]

He needs a writer who won't:
* Treat magic as just "force fields and power bolts".
* Understands both fantasy and horror.
* Doesn't use Dormammu AGAIN (Flight of Bones, Strange, Defenders....)
* Understands that Stephen wins not because he's more powerful than his foe, but because he's SMARTER.

The Warren Ellis Mass Interrogation Thread 02006 [The Engine]

Q. Why Comics? out of any type of field for which you could write, why do you stay with comics?
A. I love visual narrative. And comics are the single field where I can do visual narrative and not get second-guessed to death by committees and execs and roomfuls of suited drones, frankly. It's just me, a few artists and the reader -- no hurdles, no workarounds, no filters. You can't beat that.

The "intent" to anonymously "annoy" on the Internet is now a federal crime; comicdom's message boards to shut down [CNET News]
Update: Voice-of-reason internet lawyers seem to be saying that this law merely extends a 01934 heavy-breathing telephone harassment law to voice-over-internet, and that the First Amendment still applies re: what speech is protected (anonymous is protected; anything but death threats, Fire! in theaters, etc.). Speaking for anonymous annoyers everywhere, Neilalien says, "Phew!"

"How do I break into comics?" reality pill [Robert Kirkman Buy My Books column at Comic Book Resources]

Paul Kedrosky re: Wonkette leaving blogging to write books:

The financial returns to career bloggers remain higher outside the blog-o-sphere. Put differently, most full-time bloggers who aren't using their blogs to leverage other work are closet philanthropists -- and a smaller subset of full-time bloggers who don't abandon the business for better-paying stuff that blogging has leveraged are irrational altogether.

Six years of part-time blogging with nothing else leveraged is starting to look irrational too...

Why do they kill kittens and make baby Jesus cry fiddling with Neilalien's branding, palindromic mojo, ego-surfing, search results, etc.? [Technorati search for "nielalien"]
For the record, Neilalien is honored by, and would never complain about, any positively-intended link, however spelled... ;) As long as the link itself works... At least there is a link... There has to be a link, folks! A positive mention of a website on the internet without a link is like a print review of a restaurant without providing the street address and phone number.

Posted 9 January 02006 - Permalink

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Dr. Strange in Doc Samson #1 Dr. Strange Sighting: Doc Samson #1

Doc Samson gets the call: a young female voice from his past asks him to investigate the disappearance of her hippie parents. The couple once grief-selfishly trapped a beloved dead friend on this plane as a ghost, and the ghost's been getting increasingly ornery over the holding back of its posthumous evolution for this 60's nostalgia trip. Our green-haired psychologist can handle the search, and treat the couple's denial- but for the ghost part, Samson drives his musclecar over to the Sanctum Sanctorum for help. We're introduced to Strange's apprentice, a bumbling excitable boy (we miss you Zevon) named Jack Holyoak, complete with "A"-for-Apprentice (or A-hole) lettered shirt. Strange is in a three-day trance, but he told Holyoak to expect Samson (a nice touch), so it's time to wake Strange up. Holyoak ends up summoning the Sword of Surtur and transforming Strange into a frog- but a kiss from the young woman brings Strange back to princely form. Strange can't accompany Samson, but he offers his apprentice, and asks for help in seasoning the lad.

It would be a safe bet that this Strange appearance would piss Neilalien off- most of his appearances do- Strange yet again doesn't go on the adventure, misplaced comic relief, etc.- but writer Paul Di Filipo pulls it off with enough aplomb. Strange chewing out his young apprentice in the silence bubble and begging Samson to take the boy is very funny. The kissing of the frog is cute, it's been a long time since Dr. Strange had any Joseph-Campbell mythological wonder to him, so it was nice to see. It would have been fun to have a proper Strange-Strong Guy team-up formula, like he's had with Spider-Man, Hulk, etc.- Strange deals with the greater metaphysical threat while the other pounds the bad guy's grunts- but Strange would have easily overwhelmed any threat to Samson. Jack Holyoak offers nothing except Doctor Strange Lite and the occasional "By the Hairy Hostess of Hogwarts" one-liner (and apparently, "womanizing" will be part of his personality too, ooh, can't wait for that)- alas, this could have been poor Rintrah, a much more interesting character and good comic relief (with Samson we could have had a Green Hair Team).

Holyoak says, "Just gotta jolt his physical body so the astral body knows enough to come home." The astral form has a 24-hour limit before the body dies (has this rule from Strange Tales #121 ever been broken, changed, etc.?), and we've already been told that "Doc went into a trance three days ago", so we have a problem here. Maybe Di Filipo screwed up or refused to bow to continuity's yoke. Maybe Doc pops back in every eight hours. Maybe Doc's doing a trance or something completely different than the astral form thing and the clueless apprentice misspoke. And what kind of jolt are talking about?- we've seen bodies stolen while the astral form felt nothing- isn't there a technique Wong knows to bring Doc back mundanely (pinch the entranced's nostrils shut)?

The "astral body" that Holyoak beckons to return is referred to as the ka, a touch that delights Neilalien since he has some interest in Ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptians had a very complex view of the person, being made of up to nine parts, both physical and soul-like: body (khat), heart (yb), name (ren), ka, shadow (khaibit), akh, sekhem, ba and sahu. Since understanding the true nuanced cultural meanings of each part is probably lost to us forever, and their own beliefs changed over time, there's no point to debate the choice. Ka is a fine, straightforward-enough choice, and the astral form should be seen as a magical or mental construct and not the soul itself- the soul would be the thing released if the astral form did not return to the body after 24 hours and the body died and the astral form dissipated/died. But khaibit, akh and sahu all sound like interesting bold "spirit form" candidates for writers to pick too. Given the ancient Egyptians' sophistication in this area, they might have considered Strange's astral form to be some combination of these parts and not just one, or maybe they would have created an entirely new part for astral forms if they had really existed. And what would they label the hippie's ghost in this story? [ The Ancient Egyptian Concept of the Soul by Caroline Seawright] [Per Kemet: Parts of the Soul] [Ancient Egypt: Body and soul]

While not a book that Neilalien would check out anymore if Doctor Strange didn't appear in it, Doc Samson #1 is a new tack on the once Hulk-orbiting character, but stays true to its psychologist roots, evokes the Doc-Savage Tom-Strong "old-school" pulp Renaissance-muscle-man-in-tight-T-shirt accompanied and aided by his adolescent family on weird adventures (Di Filipo's been interviewing as much that he sees Samson that way), and isn't a horrible ride. What did you think, Doc (Strange and Samson) fans?

Posted 8 January 02006 - Permalink

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Was 02005 the year that the seeds of a very different comics industry were planted? [The Beat's Annual Year End Survey]
Direct Market engaging in autoerotic asphyxiation, choking itself, dangling from the bedroom door, while comics move to bookstores, web... Bite down on the lemon! The lemon!

Where Are The Female Super-Villains? [Comics Should Be Good]

Posted 7 January 02006 - Permalink

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Richard Branson, he of Virgin Atlantic, Mobile, Galactic, etc., Insert Any Industry Here- launching Virgin Comics and Virgin Animation with Deepok Chopra- mainly for India/Asia [Newsarama] [Update: Comic Book Resources]

The Onion's "Best of The Worst of Everything" includes Superheroes entry [Onion A.V. Club] [via Ferret Press/PANEL Weblog]

Joyless curmudgeons might hate them because: These spandex-wearing steroid cases have dominated the comics medium almost since its inception, to the extent that most people can't even hear the words "comic book" without picturing crudely illustrated, emotionally stunted, adolescent power fantasies.
But we love them because: When rendered simply, those power fantasies have real appeal, mostly for the way they hearken back to a kinder pop age. (Spend some time with the Showcase Presents: Superman collection to see how that simplicity can be transformed into near-surrealism.) Superheroes also represent a kind of modern American mythology, illustrating our evolving sense of what it means to be a hero.
At least we could claim: That the genre has spawned some remarkably artful deconstructions, by the likes of Alan Moore, Kurt Busiek, and even Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, and Jack Kirby way back in the day. Also, we've always thought The Flash was super-cool.

Posted 6 January 02006 - Permalink

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Don't Fear The Creeper: Analysis of Ditko's evolving style [Datajunkie]

Comics are ugly, poorly written and unoriginal; "comics need to be better, and independent comics in particular have to be better"; we got mainstream acceptance but not excitement; Marvel/DC/Diamond are not philanthropists about to give up control; we got diversity [Steven Grant's Permanent Damage]

Posted 5 January 02006 - Permalink

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Female creator quits the business side of comics [Lea Hernandez; post #2; #3] [via The Beat]
The male-locker-room stank of Frank Miller "ass-shot" scripts, getting repeatedly fondled, Wizard faux porn, etc.- and other factors, lack of acknowledgement re: Tokyopop contract whistle-blowing, etc.- it was all a bit much, as it is/has been for many. We lose when the comic industry's Beavis-Butthead, if not outright hostile, environment to women moves creators (and readers) to make decisions like this.

Judge combines "materially indistinguishable" piled-on counts against retailer Gordon Lee [Comic Book Legal Defense Fund] [Newsarama] [more]

If you only read one text in your life explaining why Iggy Pop and GODLAND don't suck, but Kill Bill does, using "The Chris Farley Show" to elucidate the point- make it this one [Filing Cabinet of the Damned]

Neilalien's often commented that's Andrew Arnold phones in his riskless yearly best-of lists of the usual-suspects artcomix (no superheroes allowed too?, we get Concrete with "scare quotes" this year); Comics Worth Reading says it best:

...Time.comix's Best of 2005 list, a list that I found completely predictable. If you had a computer analyze what are considered art comics and then scan press and message boards for which titles were being positioned as important books of the year, this is what it would come up with.

Plus more at CWR re: entertainment level as criteria; how the list is a bookstore list for cultured cities. Update: Will the comics fan looking for an all-encompassing reading and social experience have to live in cities to find what they want? [Brill Building]

Comic Book Galaxy's 02006 Roundtable
Is Pimp saying in his compliment that the comics industry hasn't already been set afire by Neilalien-created comics?! ;)

Posted 4 January 02006 - Permalink

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Why Discussions About Getting Comics Into the Mainstream Are a Waste of Time [Comics Reporter] [massive discussion with CR Tom/TCJ Dirk wrangle at The Engine] [Kurt Busiek wins?] ["Can comics be mainstream?" (Yes!) vs. "Can current-model, current-format, current-distribution superhero comics be mainstream?" (No!); what's manga doing right (Emotion!) and is it really reproducible elsewhere?; needing to define "mainstream" once again: paychecks/freedom either/or; internal direct market reform vs. filling more external venues like bookstores with more non-superhero non-art; and Neilalien missed the memo: everyone but him seems to now think that showing cool characters/celebs (instead of just 40-year-old virgins and Kevin Smith monologuists) reading comics (and not just superhero comics) in movies (not superhero movies) the way they show cool characters smoking cigarettes (hooking many teens per day) is an (one) impossibly dumb idea (among thousands that could surely only help)]

Brian Hibbs with another great glimpse behind the curtain of the retailer nightmare of ordering comics [Tilting At Windmills]

Variety: Marvel and DC are out of top-tier characters for movies [ICv2]

If the the Big Two's icons have a future in comicbooks, slash away the clutter from the enduring core concepts, as they have in the movies [Ninth Art]

Great Joe Casey interview by Tom Spurgeon from The Comics Journal a while back is now online [Comics Reporter]

Posted 3 January 02006 - Permalink

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Joe Quesada interview: Marvel magic needs rules [Newsarama]

NRAMA: Will we see another similar event to Annihilation but using the magical sector of the MU?
JQ: There are no plans right now, but I've been looking for a great magic proposal that makes sense of our magic characters.
If you look around comicdom you'll notice that although there are some pretty popular magic based characters they all have trouble supporting an ongoing series. I can only speak for the Marvel characters but I think that's because there are no solid rules that govern them.
In other words, you can place Dr. Strange in peril but it never really seems like much because at any moment he can cast a spell of crimson bands of what have you and he's out. There are no rules to his universe and from a storytelling perspective that's problematic. When you look at imaginary situations, worlds like the world of Toy Story or even Roger Rabbit have rules of their universe clearly define. Heck in Roger Rabbit it's very clear how to kill a 'toon, so the viewer gets the feeling that the characters can be placed in peril and have their back's placed against the wall.
This is exactly what I'm looking for in regards to our magic characters. Rules that govern them. How do you kill Doctor Strange? How do you hurt him?

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Found a weblog with a recent hat trick of good stuff:

Praise for Eerie #135 (01982), collecting ten Ditko stories from the 60's [Obsessed With Comics]

Intrigued by Ditko's Batman in Man-Bat #1 [Obsessed With Comics]

Marvel Premiere #3's great combination of Dr. Strange, Stan Lee and Barry Windsor-Smith [Obsessed With Comics]

Posted 2 January 02006 - Permalink

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