Neilalien : A Doctor Strange Fansite : A Comic Book Weblog  



A Doctor Strange Fansite
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Latest Weblog Post:

11 Is A Palindromic Number, and,
A Recusal

Please celebrate with Neilalien his 11th Blogiversary! Exclesior!

That's 1,111 in internet/weblog/dog years. You won't find a better combination of starting earlier and blogging longer in comics-blogging.

But alas, as of today, Neilalien is officially recusing himself from the news, entertainments, and expectations of the near-daily visitor to his website.

Now is a good time- 11 is a palindromic number, of course...

[25 Feb 02011: More...]

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Dr. Strange Information
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Email Neilalien:
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More: OriginPre-Blog Links

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Overheard in a comic con bathroom:

"We have a new character... named Dr. Strange... Twas Steve's idea."
- Stan Lee, letter to Comic Reader #16, 23 February 01963, as quoted in Steve Ditko's 32-Page Package v.5 Tsk! Tsk!

"I'm telling you, the only reason that Neilalien has lasted so long is because he kills younger, more innocent, bloggers and drinks their blood in some twisted Ditko-inspired mystical ceremony."
- Fanboy Rampage 10/17/02005

"Is that the Eye of Yaphet Kotto?"
- A demon, Marvel Comics Presents #20

"The funny thing about that is that comic books and wrestling are two of the original arts that America has given to the world- the other being jazz."
- CM Punk, Inked Magazine interview 3/23/02012

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Creators/Publishers: Neilalien would love to help,
but he does not accept free comics or review submissions.

"Do not accept for review a book you are
predisposed to dislike, or committed by
friendship to like." - John Updike


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Doctor Strange #7 is out!

Preview at Comics Continuum

Collected reviews at Comic Book Round Up

Variant cover regime at Midtown Comics

Entry at Fandom Marvel Database

[9 September 02023]

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Longtime Marvel X-Men Artist Dan Green Passes Away

Worked at Marvel for over 25 years, primarily as an inker. Re: Doctor Strange, Green inked/finished many Gene Colan books, drew Roger Stern's run vs. Dracula, and beautifully painted the Doctor Strange: Into Shamballa graphic novel.

Dan Green [Wikipedia]

Daniel Green [Penciler] [Inker] [Fandom Marvel Database/Wiki]

[26 August 02023]

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"It Could Be Better, But It Could Be Worse": Shops Discuss The Often Difficult Year So Far In Comics Retail [by David Harper at SKTCHD]

[via Comics Retailers See Uncertain Future [The Beat]]

"70% of the publishers could disappear tomorrow, and 90% of the customers wouldn't even notice... My wish for this year is that the chasm between what publishers put out and what we can actually sell gets smaller... pump out more and more variant covers in the vain hopes to find more buyers..."

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Can Anything Cure Marvel's Malaise? [The Beat]

Marvel Needs New Imprints If The Company Wants To Take Bigger Risks [CBR]

Marvel Might Be In Need Of A Fresh Start [SKTCHD (paywall)]
["Marvel benefits from inertia more than any other publisher."]

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Update: CBLDF Calls for Collective Action [Publishers Weekly]
["Jeff Trexler, interim director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, told PW that the book bans happening across the country were a topic of much conversation at San Diego Comic-Con."]

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To Mr. MacKay, With Apologies [SKTCHD (paywall)]
[praise for MacKay, among other things, the current writer of Doctor Strange]

[22 August 02023]

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Overworked And Underpaid, VFX Workers Vote To Unionize At Marvel [Vulture]

Marvel VFX Artists Vote To Unionize [Variety]

Marvel Studios VFX Workers File To Join IATSE Union [Hollywood Reporter]

Marvel VFX Workers Vote To Unionize Under IATSE [Vanity Fair]

I'm A VFX Artist, And I'm Tired Of Getting 'Pixel-Fked' By Marvel [Vulture 7/02022]

Marvel VFX Workers On 'Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania' [Vulture 2/02023]

Inside The VFX Union Brewing In Hollywood [Vulture 1/02023]

IATSE = International Alliance Of Theatrical Stage Employees [Wikipedia]

VFX = Visual Effects [Wikipedia]

[8 August 02023]

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Doctor Strange #6 is out! [2 Aug]

Preview at Comics Continuum

Collected reviews at Comic Book Round Up

Variant cover regime at Midtown Comics


  • The origin of General Strange is told... We see a lot more about the War of the Seven Spheres than we ever have before...
  • 5,000 years of war turned Doc into a traumatized sunk-cost-fallacy psychopath (it'll do that)...
  • The Trinity of Ashes wanted the battle-hardened General imprisoned for peace, and peacetime ain't for him, and the Vishanti made a deal with the Doctor that he would return- so a split was done and everything that made up the General was under-the-rugged...
  • Sounds like the General was freed when the Doctor died... the binding was linked to Doc's life force...
  • General Strange reminds of the War Doctor version of Doctor Who...
  • Is it a retcon here that Doc doesn't remember what happened during the War of the Seven Spheres? He seems to have remembered it in the past, yes? He remembered all the time in the Vishanti's libraries and the syzygy he used to re-power in DSSS #80...
  • Never thought we'd see that fancy shirt again...
  • Any comics with the Trinity of Ashes, Neilalien is probably going to enjoy...
  • Neilalien pronounces Ygmlosvorraich "Igg-meh-loss-vorr-raysh"...
  • Did not expect the War to be "sword and planet"- that sci-fi genre where there's advanced tech but people still fight hand-to-hand with swords- a more creative mind-bending magickal war should have been portrayed?- enjoyed "the thaumonuclear blast that detonated the ley lines and rendered the prayer-fields uninhabitable"- but then we got a lot of grunt troops with polearms on battlefields?- to fight for land?... at least show Mindless Ones as such troops...
  • The real problematic Doctor Strange clone here is this "Wyn" from G.O.D.S. and that waste of a page...
  • It's cliché and irresistible catnip to creators- but what better villain could there be for a hero than the hero's mirror reverse? The doubling/split is a great idea! Bring on Doctor vs. General!

[6 August 02023]

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Marvel's August, September, and October 02023 solicits sound like a Doctor vs. General Strange battle royale; include Hickman's G.O.D.S. #1

DOCTOR STRANGE #6 [out 2 Aug in three days!]
Jed MacKay (W)
Cover by Alex Ross
Many years ago, Doctor Strange fought in a five thousand-year battle called the War of the Seven Spheres. But what was it? And how did it create the mysterious threat that plagues Strange today? PLUS: A bonus page written by Jonathan Hickman- WHO ARE THE G.O.D.S.?
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

Jed MacKay (W)
Pasqual Ferry (A)
Cover by ALEX ROSS
Stephen Strange is a doctor who has sworn to do no harm. But there's another, darker side to him, and its his duty to win at any cost. Can Stephen best his mirror image, trained through thousands of years of mystic war?
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

Jed MacKay (W)
Pasqual Ferry (A)
Cover by ALEX ROSS
With the enemy revealed, Doctor Strange and his allies rush to confront his evil doppelganger, General Strange!
But does the Doctor stand a chance again the General's five thousand years of experience?
And will Stephen and Clea's marriage hold in the face of such a threat?
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

G.O.D.S. #1
This ENORMOUS EXTRA-SIZED first issue features DOCTOR STRANGE, who, while not boring at all, is easily the most boring person in the book.

Doctor Strange guest-stars in this action-packed heist that gives new meaning to the term "bullet train"!

Guest starring DOCTOR STRANGE!


[30 July 02023]

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Meta, Microsoft, Hundreds More Own Trademarks To New Twitter Name [Twitter is changing its name to "X"- X is so widely used and cited in trademarks that it is a candidate for legal challenges- including Disney/Marvel?- they have been known to use "X" quite a bit- X-Men, X-Force, X of X, X-cetera]

Interesting: This isn't the first time Elon Musk has tried to rebrand something [Paypal in 02000]

Marvel was bought for $4 billion in 02009- and Star Wars for $4 billion in 02012- both by Disney- Disney earned $18 billion in global box office from Marvel movies 02009-02019- Disney recouped its purchase of Star Wars in six years- it's astonishing to think that each purchase cost $40 billion less than Twitter

[25 July 02023]

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"Go Bleed On That Page, Hero!": The Tradd Moore Interview [Comics Journal]

[24 July 02023]

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Disney Reveals 'Doctor Strange 2' Cost $100 Million More Than Its Estimated Budget [Forbes]

• $213.7M spent on pre-production and filming
• $135.3M spent on making the movie/post-production
• $349M total cost to make movie!
• estimates were "only" $200M
• COVID-19 delayed production, increased costs
• -$54.5M UK 25% reimbursement [Forbes]
• takes cost down to $294.5M
• Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness grossed $955.8M [Box Office Mojo]
• studios get half of the ticket sales so $477.9M
• $477.9M - $294.5M = $183.4M profit?
• unclear if massive marketing costs are included here, but unlikely; was even $100M profit achieved?
• maybe after merchandising?

[22 July 02023]

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Announced at Comic-Con: The next wave of the Marvel Legends figure series is Marvel Knights- with a Clea figure, and a Mindless One Build-A-Figure! [Toyark]

[21 July 02023]

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Marvel Settles Creator Copyright Lawsuits- But Not Steve Ditko [Bleeding Cool]

Marvel Settles With Four Artists In Superhero Copyright Fight [Reuters; 9 Jun]

Disney's Marvel has agreed to end its court battles with four artists who attempted to reclaim copyright interests in superheroes they co-created including Iron Man, Ant-Man and Captain Marvel, according to federal court filings published on Friday. The filings said Marvel would drop its lawsuits against Larry Lieber and the estates of Don Heck, Gene Colan and Don Rico with prejudice, which means they cannot be refiled. A Disney spokesperson and an attorney for the artists said they had reached an "amicable resolution." Marvel did not appear to have settled with the estate of comic book artist Steve Ditko, which is seeking to reclaim his share of copyrights in Spider-Man and Doctor Strange.

Marvel, Artist's Estate Ask For Pre-Trial Wins In Superhero Copyright Fight [Reuters; 22 May]

Walt Disney Co's Marvel and the estate of artist Steve Ditko both asked a Manhattan federal judge on Friday to hand them a win without waiting for trial in their copyright dispute over rights to superheroes Spider-Man and Doctor Strange. Marvel urged the court to reject the estate's effort to reclaim Ditko's interest in the characters, arguing he co-created them on the company's behalf. Ditko's estate argued that he developed his heroes and stories independently, and that Marvel intentionally avoided hiring him because of the "dire state of its business" at the time.

Also, a Ditko letter in the treasure trove of litigation documents: What Steve Ditko Thought About Doctor Strange And Other Marvel Movies

[18 July 02023]

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How Manga Was Translated For America [NY Times] [gift link probably won't live long; found via Hacker News] [fun article/presentation with many little items like vertically vs. horizontally-oriented word balloons, how they used to flip the art so manga could be read like American comics and it made everyone left-handed, the Japanese love for onomatopoeia, etc.]

[16 July 02023]

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Will Burning Comic Books Be Next? [CounterPunch]

[14 July 02023]

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San Diego Comic-Con International is 20-23 July [Program Schedule]

Update: According to the SAG-AFTRA Member Strike FAQ, members cannot do promotion/publicity services like conventions, panels, social media, etc., for struck work or struck companies. The strike is expected to hit the ever-more-Hollywood Comic-Con hard. Comic-Con will be just for comics again!

Update: 'Too Big To Fail': San Diego Comic-Con Survives- And Thrives- With Or Without Hollywood [The Wrap]

Update: New York Comic-Con is 12-15 October

[9 July 02023]

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The East Village Zine Fair is taking place this weekend 8-9 July [EV Grieve]

[7 July 02023]

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'Stan Lee' Review: Disney Doc On The Marvel Legend Is A Lame Infomercial [Rolling Stone]

Probably the best article to be found re: the utter pablum of the new Stan Lee documentary by David Gelb- although unfortunately it recommends toxic hit-piece True Believer as an alternative.

Saying again: "It's a sign of the comic-book field's eternal immaturity that the debate-meme-choices are this extreme binary of essentially either Lee hagiographies doing 100% as claimed, or simplistic 50%-50%, or Lee was a craven parasite who did 0%."

The "I saw a fly crawling on a wall" groaner supposedly inspiring the creation of Spider-Man is in the first two minutes!

[Rotten Tomatoes] [IMDb]

Update: Jeet Heer: "Both Marvel & DC have documentaries out built on the same false premise: that comics are created by management (editors) rather than freelancers (writer/artists/cartoonists). Both documentaries are acts of class war on behalf of corporate power."

Update: Jeet Heer at The Nation: How Stan Lee Became The Face Of An Exploitative Industry

[26 June 02023]

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John Romita, legendary Marvel comics creator, developed Spider-Man post-Ditko, romance artist who got Peter Parker laid, has died at 93

The Comics Journal obituary

Entertainment Weekly obit

LA Times obit

NY Times obit

An Interview With John Romita By Tom Spurgeon [Comics Journal, 02003]

Roy Thomas interviews John Romita [Alter Ego Vol. 3 #9]

Guardian obit
["When Stan Lee put Romita on Spider-Man in 1966, Marvel Comics- and its growing army of fans- really did hit the jackpot."]

John Romita Sr. [Wikipedia]

[18 June 02023]

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Marvel's June and July 02023 solicits include Doctor Strange, Illuminati

Marvel's next event is Ultimate Invasion, a four-issue mini-series by Hickman and Hitch, that will feature elements/characters from the influential imprint Ultimate Universe/Earth-1610, The Maker (the alternate Reed Richards) and Miles Morales/Spider-Man, post-Secret-Wars. The solicit for #1 says, "The Illuminati must form once again to stop the Maker from his plans to destroy- or perhaps rebuild- the universe, with Miles Morales at the center of it all!" With the Illuminati getting back together, will Dr. Strange be (a) present and (b) competent and (c) not an Illuminasshat?

Jonathan Hickman And Bryan Hitch Are Teaming Up For A New Ultimate Marvel Comic [EW]

Jed MacKay (W)
Cover by Alex Ross
Clea Variant Cover by DERRICK CHEW
Wong and magic super-spy Pandora Peters are reforming S.H.I.E.L.D.'s covert mystical organization. Their first mission? Find a supernatural serial killer who not only destroys magic but eats it! Who is this horrifying monster? And what future danger does it spell for Doctor Strange?
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

Jed MacKay (W)
Pasqual Ferry (A)
Cover by Alex Ross
Strange and Clea have been invited to an interdimensional wedding. But when the bride is Clea's own mother, Umar the Unrelenting, it's not exactly the family event the Stranges want to attend. Especially when the guests are mysteriously being murdered!
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

WARLOCK: REBIRTH #3 (OF 5) (by Marz/Lim)
Adam Warlock and Doctor Strange must escape Soul World! But in order to do that, Adam will have to fight Eve head on! Without the Soul Gem, does Adam stand a chance?

[4 June 02023]

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The long era of Ike Perlmutter- the very controversial figure, but an undeniably key figure to Marvel Comics surviving its bankruptcy- with Marvel/Disney is at an end

Marvel Entertainment Chairman Ike Perlmutter Out At Disney [Hollywood Reporter]
["Known for being reclusive and frugal, Perlmutter acquired Marvel in 1998 via a toy company he controlled. A little more than a decade later, he helped orchestrate the sale to Disney, which was led by Iger, for $4 billion. Disney agreed to continue employing him as chairman of Marvel."]

Disney Axes Marvel Entertainment Billionaire Ike Perlmutter [Vanity Fair]
["Vanquishing Perlmutter represents a strong power play by Disney CEO Bob Iger, who returned to lead the company in November."]

Disney Lays Off Ike Perlmutter, Chairman Of Marvel Entertainment [NY Times]

Ike Perlmutter Finally Fired From Marvel And Disney [Bleeding Cool]

Ike Perlmutter Is Out At Marvel... But Marvel Comics Is Now "Redundant" [The Beat]

Who Is Ike Perlmutter? Marvel Executive History And Controversies Explained [Screen Rant]

Bye Ike Perlmutter Good Riddance [The Mary Sue]

Ike Perlmutter Holds The Reins Of Superheroes At Marvel [LA Times 8/02012]

How Marvel Became The Envy (And Scourge) Of Hollywood [Hollywood Reporter 7/02014]
["Ike Perlmutter has become one of the town's most feared (and frugal) moguls... insiders open up about the never-seen executive's ironfisted style and the underside of a superhero empire."]

Meet The Reclusive Marvel Mogul Who Loves Marco Rubio And Donald Trump [Daily Beast 2/02016]

The Best Picture Of Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter We Are Likely To Get [Bleeding Cool 1/02017]

How Marvel Went From Bankruptcy To Billions [Den Of Geek 4/02018]

What You Need To Know About Marvel Entertainment's Mysterious Chairman- And Why Disney Is Keeping Quiet [Fast Company 12/02018]

Report: Ike Perlmutter Attempted A Shadow Disney Board Coup Over The Summer... And It's Not Done Yet [The Beat]

Isaac "Ike" Perlmutter [Wikipedia]

Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Health []

"Tyrant".... "eccentric"... "reclusive" (few photos/interviews of him exist)... turned selling toys on the street into Marvel buying his Toy Biz and putting him on Marvel's board... maneuvered around the Perelman/Icahn battle to gain control of Marvel with Avi Arad and put the IP/characters in hock to get a $525 million line of credit for Marvel to launch its own movie studio... cheapskate who fished paper clips out of the trash and wanted to serve only potato chips at the Iron Man movie premiere (but contrast with Ron Perelman's debt and junk-bond ways)... feuded with MCU-miracleman Kevin Feige... "all black people look the same"... held back Marvel diversity, Black Panther, and female-superhero-led movies... tried to get us into the Inhumans instead of the X-Men to spite Fox owning the movie rights... Trump's biggest donor... sided with Ron DeSantis against Disney... tried to take over Disney in a coup with Nelson Peltz...

[12 May 02023]

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Free Comic Book Day is this Saturday 6 May!

[Store Locator]
Titles: [Bleeding Cool] [Popverse]

[4 May 02023]

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Al Jaffee, Trailblazing 'Mad' Magazine Cartoonist, Dies At 102

Al Jaffee: The Comics Journal obit

Al Jaffee: Wikipedia

Inventor of the Fold-In!

Wil Forbis: "This is the core of Jaffee's work: the idea that to be alive is to be constantly beleaguered by annoying idiots, poorly designed products and the unapologetic ferocity of fate. Competence and intelligence are not rewarded in life but punished."

[11 April 02023]

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60 Years Ago Today! Strange Tales #110, the comic book with the first appearance of Doctor Strange, cover dated July 01963, was published and went onto newsstands on 9 April 01963!

Source for date: Marvel Comics Group [0]1939-[0]1980: [0]1963

[9 April 02023]

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MoCCA Fest next weekend 1-2 Apr!


Programming Schedule

Please note that programming is at the School of Visual Arts, which requires proof of vaccination and boosters. It is not required for the main event in the Metropolitan Pavilion.

[25 March 02023]

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Doctor Strange #1, new ongoing series, is out today 22 Mar!

Preview at Comics Continuum

Comic Book Round Up collected reviews

Variant cover regime at Midtown Comics

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It looks like we are calling this Volume 6 (both the Wiki and Midtown)

Volume 1: #169-183 and then #381-390
Volume 2: #1-81
Volume 3: Flight Of Bones #1-4
Volume 4: #1-26 (Aaron/Bachalo) (then back to Volume 1 #381)
Volume 5: #1-20 (Waid)
Volume 6: Now (MacKay)

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Marvel Promises New Role For Wong In 'Doctor Strange' #4 [as an Agent of W.A.N.D.]

[22 March 02023]

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'Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania' Didn't Break Marvel Out Of Its Rut [Vox]

Superhero Fatigue Threatens Marvel's Multiverse Saga [Ringer]

Kevin Feige Opens Up About Phase 5, Kang, And The Future Of The MCU [EW]

How Much Is Too Much Marvel And 'Star Wars'? Disney Rethinks Franchise Output [Hollywood Reporter]

Is the mood turning against the MCU?:

  • The Multiverse/Phase 5 is looking a bit like a glutty slog (but now they want to space things out more).
  • The big tentpole Tier-1 actors/characters: contracts ended, humans aged, or sadly died (Boseman), or with other studios (Spider-Man/Sony), or are already over-mined (X-Men) or over-rebooted (FF). (Feel free to use Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange as the core!)
  • The horror of now three straight movies under 79% on Rotten Tomatoes after setting such a high bar (but audience scores are still high, and money is still shoveling in).
  • Endgame epic took ten years to get there. Do we have the attention span or star/character-power for another ten?
  • Marvel isn't the only superhero-glut-source in town (DC Gunn reboot; Sony's Spider-Verse; shows like 'The Boys').
  • Will the Multiverse be done well? Will it be a masterstroke for experimentation, creativity, diversity, and IP longevity, like 'Into The Spider-Verse'? Or just Prime Minister Electro 'Earth-X' 'Exiles' type stuff, absurdly moving around Titanic deck chairs, nostalgia plays and Easter eggs like the Illuminati in 'DSitMoM'? Will we care/will there be life-death stakes if there are infinite disposable versions of a character ('Rick And Morty' ate this lunch already)? If Ironheart, Moon Knight, Beta Ray Bill, and Earth-12345 Iron Man don't sell, do they bring back the heavy hitters that sold and just say 'OK, this is the 616 Thor', this is the same timeless character only played by the next actor after Hemsworth, this IP is just a mantle/title/suit, like Hulk (Norton/Ruffalo), Rhodey (Howard/Cheadle), like a new creative team on a long-running comic, like they do with Doctor Who and James Bond without the pretense of multiverse or reboot?

[5 March 02023]

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"You've Got To Constantly Reinvent Yourself": Dan DiDio Is On A Mission To Save Comics From Itself

Highly readable meta-industry interview with the controversial long-time ex-head of DC:

I spoke to the Diamond conference, and I said something that a couple of people agreed with, which was that I believe we lost one to two generations of comic fans. What do I mean by that? I mean that whatever we were doing at the moment wasn't attractive to people looking for something to buy some sort of entertainment. And I think that's when you saw this gravitation to manga. And rather than understand what that audience was going, we doubled down on the audience that we had.
I used to joke- which is not a joke anymore- when I first got to DC about sales on a number of books and price increases. And the simple math was that a book at $2.99 selling 40,000 copies turned the same profit that a book at $7.99 did at 25,000, and a $15 did at 10,000. But the 10,000 book had a hardcover, you had beautiful paper, it didn't [have to hit a] schedule. Everybody said, "Let's make more of those." And I said, "Here's the problem. I make more of those 10,000, I lose 5,000 people. Like, 40,000 [readers] goes to 35, 25 goes to 20, 10 goes to 5. We're out of business."
And the answer becomes, "Well, we just raise the price." And I said, "Great. We're going to create a $1,000 comic for 1,000 people. And that'll be our entire audience at the end of the day." And I think that's where we're heading right now.

Equal Time: "Kinda frustrating to listen to the new Dan Didio interview saying "we lost a whole generation of readers" like gosh whoopsie how did that happen."

[4 March 02023]

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