Neilalien : A Doctor Strange Fansite : A Comic Book Weblog  



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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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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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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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Today marks 23 Years of Neilalien comic book/Doctor Strange/Steve Ditko/geek weblog goodies! Excelsior!

[25 February 02023]

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Doctor Strange: Fall Sunrise #4 preview at Comics Continuum, out 22 Feb

Update: Comic Book Round Up collected reviews

Update: Variant cover regime via Midtown Comics

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Doctor Strange #1 Trailer on YouTube
[out 22 March]

Update: 'Doctor Strange' Enlists A Hoary Host Of Super Heroes
["In a new trailer for 'Doctor Strange' #1, Stephen Strange and Clea get a visit from Spider-Man, Daredevil, Black Cat, and more."]

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Also: Strange Academy: Finals #4 preview at Comics Continuum, out 22 Feb

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Marvel's April and May 02023 solicits include Doctor Strange, old friends and foes

Cover by ALEX ROSS
Variant Cover by LEE GARBETT
Variant Cover by Alex Maleev
Stormbreakers Variant Cover by LUCAS WERNECK
An unending sleeping sickness has struck the children of Bleecker Street! There can only be one culprit behind this attack. It's up to Doctor Strange and Clea to travel into the Dream Dimension to confront their old foe, Nightmare. But all is not what they seem... and what they discover will shock them!
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

Jed MacKay and more! (W)
Pasqual Ferry and tokitokoro (A)
Cover by ALEX ROSS
Stephen Strange has no short supply of enemies, but none are more fearsome than DORMAMMU... master of the Dark Dimension! When a cult summons the Dreaded Lord to New York, Stephen has to risk everything in order to defeat his most dangerous foe! But is he truly up for the task? Plus, a backup story featuring Doctor Strange and Sister Grimm of the Runaways!
40 PGS./Rated T+ $4.99

Ben Grimm travels to the Jersey Shore (and beyond) for a Grimm family reunion. Things get even more awkward when Doctor Strange shows up with information about the time-and-space-traveling thief whos been haranguing the THING. Dont miss part three of the greatest THING story ever told, as far as we know...

Adam Warlock has been stripped of his Infinity Gem! But who is the new bearer calling herself Eve? As Adam falls into a coma, Gamora, Pip and Genis-Vell must seek the help of Doctor Strange!

[20 February 02023]

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Steve Ditko's hometown- Johnstown, Pennsylvania- has put up a mural commemorating the artist!


Mural is by Matt Lamb and The Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center. Mural shows Spider-Man and Doctor Strange. Two other murals honoring Ditko are planned.

[31 January 02023]

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What Ever Happened To The Sales Charts?

Killed by the recent distribution wars: the era of Diamond being able to tell us how everything sold- because they distributed everything- is long gone. Do we have a modern-world industry that has this information- or are we trying to hide the death of the periodical? Neilalien needs his wonky data back!

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Brain Hibbs: Tilting At Windmills #293: What's Wrong With The Periodical???

  • Too many monthly titles.
  • Not enough new characters/franchises or audience expansion: 24 (half!) of DC's 49 series are Batman-family characters.
  • Too expensive: $4.99 emerging as the new price.
  • Too many variant covers. Marvel/DC are currently averaging 3-4(!) covers per book.
  • Mini-series focused on characters that already have ongoing series. They split the audience rather than grow it.
  • Incessant restarting and renumbering of series. Chasing pops for issues with "#1" on the cover that evaporate immediately. Nuking the angle of connected series/serialization/soap opera/consistent commitment/collecting #1-20 versus four confusing five-issue mini-series providing four "jumping off" points more than four "jumping on" points.
  • Publishing mini-series as a bunch of unconnected number ones (such as: Death of Doctor Strange: Spider-Man #1, Death of Doctor Strange: Avengers #1, etc.).
  • Diamond was a monopoly, but the consolidation had cost benefits: Now retailer discounts are down and shipping costs are up re: smaller orders with multiple distributors.
  • Without consequences, some retailers are cheating and putting new books on the shelves earlier than Wednesday.
  • There is very little to-consumer/end-reader promotion and marketing. Fans are not the publishers' customers: comic shops are. Even in the age of social media, very little info-hype is reaching fans and potential new fans about books coming out.

Brian Hibbs shop report: Comix Experience Best-Sellers: [0]2022

[29 January 02023]

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Strange #10 was out 18 Jan! Series finale ends with Doctor Strange among the living; leads into new ongoing series

Preview at Comics Continuum

Comic Book Round Up collected reviews

Variant cover regime via Midtown Comics

Clea Resurrects Doctor Strange With A Kiss, Disney Style

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The table was set that it would be catastrophic if Doc and Clea touched. While Neilalien appreciates that the result of their touching could never have been annihilation, and was quite unexpected and imaginative- this Strange merged entity- he doesn't think that the result should have been so overwhelmingly positive and done. A downside should have been shown- a "cost"- as Doc writers have been so obsessed about of late- would have been appropriate here.

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Doctor Strange's Next Epic Role: Magical Wife Guy
[includes preview images/covers for Doctor Strange #1 in March]

"I think there's a certain gravitas in the two of them together - neither of them are young, fresh, unseasoned," said MacKay. "Stephen Strange is an elder statesman in the Marvel universe, the person that's always brought in when magic intrudes into lives of other heroes, and Clea is every bit his equal: an alien warlord who possesses great power of her own. I think Clea and Strange are a power couple in every sense of the word, and I'm interested in exploring that relationship and bringing it back to the forefront in the world of Strange."

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Tradd Moore's Doctor Strange: Fall Sunrise #3 was out 25 Jan!

Preview at Comics Continuum

Comic Book Round Up collected reviews

Variant cover regime via Midtown Comics

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Also out 18 Jan: Punisher #9: Frank Castle has killed and replaced Ares, the God of War; Doc in ending cameo assembling a hero confab about what to be done

Also out 25 Jan: Midnight Suns #5 miniseries finale: Agatha Harkness gives herself a Kathryn-Hahn MCU younger makeover

Alex Ross cover for upcoming Doctor Strange #1 used as cover for "Marvel Free Previews Volume 6 #16 January For March 2023 Shipping Product"

[27 January 02023]

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Megacorporation Acquires Good Thing, Destroys It

Digital Comics Platform Comixology Hit By Amazon Layoffs [Popverse]

Amazon Ran Comixology Straight Into The Ground, And Now It's Laying Off Staff [Android Police]

Amazon's Huge Layoffs Are Gutting Comixology [Gizmodo/io9]
["In the wake of a disastrous Amazon integration and redesign last year, a move to cut 18,000 jobs is going to have a major impact on the digital comics platform."]

Comic Book Folk React To ComiXology Layoffs [Bleeding Cool]

Jonathan H. Gray: "Still thinking about Comixology & how Amazon bought a thing that worked, gutted it, shat in its bed, and then threw it away because they didn't want to play with it any more. Jobs lost, livelihoods upended, & a fresh digital horizon that was opened up is now gone on a whim."

More/General info about the Amazon layoffs: Amazon CEO Says Company Will Lay Off More Than 18,000 Workers [NPR]
[A little more than 1% of the 1.5 million Amazon workforce; none of the reasons given (pandemic over-hiring then, economic slowdown now) seem to actually be about Comixology; if Comixology activity is down now, it's because Amazon nuked it]

About that "disastrous Amazon integration and redesign last year": Opinion: Comixology's New Update Takes All The Fun Out Of Reading Digital Comics [IGN, February 02022]

When the world was new:

With Comixology, Amazon Acquires A Piece Of The Comic-Based Media Empire [TechCrunch, April 02014] ["Amazon has purchased Comixology, and that's a huge deal, because it means the largest bookseller in the world now owns the company that brought digital comics distribution to the masses, and essentially forced big publishers like DC and Marvel to get with it and start distributing titles on the same day in print and via digital channels. It's hard to understate Comixology's role in digital comics and the transition of the medium from print to online..."]

Amazon Buys Digital Comics Company ComiXology [Wired, April 02014] ["Well, there goes the digital neighborhood [Graeme being prescient lol]. ComiXology, the leading digital comics platform responsible for the sale of more than 4 billion pages of comics in [0]2013 alone, has been purchased by Amazon."] To Acquire comiXology [Press release, April 02014] [" today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire comiXology, the company that revolutionized the digital comics reading experience with their immersive Guided View technology and makes discovering, buying, and reading comic books and graphic novels easier and more fun than ever before... There is no better home for comiXology than Amazon to see this vision through. Working together, we look to accelerate a new age for comic books and graphic novels... Amazon and comiXology share a passion for reinventing reading in a digital world... Founded in [0]2007, comiXology offers a broad library of digital comic book content from over 75 of the top publishers as well as top independent creators."]

ComiXology [Wikipedia]

Comixology []

[22 January 02023]

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The massive Howard Hallis Doctor Strange collection has been posted online!

Strange Multiverse Collectibles

All 6,660 items have been photographed and categorized!

Auction coming in July: buy the entire lot for $110,000!

Announcement on Twitter

Update: Strange Multiverse Collectibles YouTube Channel

Update: Strange Multiverse Collectibles News Page

[9 January 02023]

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Tradd Moore's Doctor Strange: Fall Sunrise #2 was out last week 28 Dec!

Preview at Comics Continuum

Comic Book Round Up collected reviews

Variant cover regime

Also out:

Midnight Suns #4
Strange Academy: Finals #3

[2 January 02023]

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