Happy Halloween everyone!
Doctor Strange Halloween banner is up [current Defenders Message Board]
Industry Discusses 'Free Comics Night' [Newsarama]
Peter C. (Knight) Ruggiero, an artist seeking his big break, posts three nice Doc pin-ups online [Defenders Message Board]
Posted 31 October 02001 - Permalink
Wanted: Superhero [Forbes.com via Splash]
Analysis concludes: The worst thing Marvel ever did was go public. It went from a profitable enterprise to squeezing blood from stones, trying to show growth to stockholders every quarter. Prices were increased to the point of killing sales, and they got into the losing trading card and action figure businesses (the comics themselves have always been nicely profitable). Licensing at Marvel is laughable, while DC printed its own money with the Batman movies and even Dark Horse went to the well with The Mask. The article also mentions that no one can buy the company cheap and save it- Marvel just filed anti-takeover plans with the SEC.
Top 100 Comics For November [CBR]
Defenders does not appear. Again. My friends at the Defenders Message Board don't wanna hear it, I'm sure. The Overlords story-arc must turn this puppy around. Nuff said.
Posted 30 October 02001 - Permalink
Comics Up 8% Year-to-Year, Marvel Up 36% [ICv2 via Splash]
3 Indicted By Federal Grand Jury In Check-Kiting Scheme [Stan Lee Media] [LA Times via Splash]
More 'Hero,' Less Costume For Marvel? [Newsarama re: The London Sunday Times]
Another item about how comic book entertainment might be trending since the WTC attack. Marvel considers less bright spandex, less violence, more public identities, more humanism, problem-solving and philosophizing. But once again, Mark Millar is the voice of reason: this is a temporary feel-good phase that may lead to some long-term positives such as deeper, more empathetic characters, and more consequences to character actions.
Neilalien's Excite My Chicken is in an up-cycle again. My stats reveal heavy linkage from Everlasting Blort and Kutjebef in the past week. If you haven't played with Neilalien's 02000 5k Contest entry lately, I invite you to relive the excitement.
Addendum: Ah, I see. The Chicken's been mentioned recently in a MetaFilter thread.
Posted 29 October 02001 - Permalink
"Defenders is an unholy blend of nostalgia, attempted humor, large-scale action, and Larsen's art. It's not hitting any of its potential audiences squarely, which is turning many who try it off." [admittedly correct quote of Johanna Draper Carlson on Usenet]
Posted 28 October 02001 - Permalink
Defenders #10 Review (Spoilers)
Not bad, but the Battle Royale ruined it for me. Let me zip through the book:
- Another brilliant narration move by Busiek re: MODOK this issue.
- MODOK's return is shown and explained. I like that. Another Busiek strength.
- Nighthawk whispers to Hellcat that something is definitely going on with the Big Four. Setting the table. Fine.
- Doc extends the idol's protection to all the Defenders. Good use of Doc's powers. An energy-blaster or puncher can't do that.
- We see what the Headmen do when they're ruling the world. Very fun.
- MODOK's rant about AIM and ideas restores a little of AIM's lost lustre. Solid.
- Fight against all the supervillains- fell very flat for me, killed the issue for me.
- The art takes a noticeable dive- Abomination and Juggernaut teaming on the Hulk in that one little panel especially. I'm suprised Larsen didn't do his usual exciting half-page splash for that kind of scene.
- The group of supervillains that appear was uninspiring- too many of the Spider-Man variety. If Spidey can take out the Sinister Six, the Defenders surely can. This was a missed opportunity to bring in more obscure, under-used and weird villains in the Defender's style.
- The villains are shown with, what I'll call, the "wrong competence." Kreel basically takes out TWO Defenders while Dr. Doom just stands there? I don't mind seeing the Defenders lose- but show it right. Except for the Hulk, there were no exciting match-ups. It was an Acts of Vengeance frat party. Bring in four magical opponents to team-up on Doc. Bring in four tough aliens to beat Surfer. Maybe bring in Hydro-Man and Water Wizard or someone to defeat Namor in an interesting, ironic way.
- Klaw and Venom in the same panel? I thought Klaw's powers were sound, and Venom's only great weakness is sound. I argue that they couldn't be working in any kind of proximity.
- Namor cries out, "For every one we defeat, three more appear!" Well, we really only see the original batch that appears throughout the battle, so the reader doesn't get that sense. I just didn't get the sense that the Defenders were being "dynamically overwhelmed." All I saw was the same group of ill-chosen villains in a couple pages of cramped panels. Compare this fight to the long, thin sweeping, high-movement panels in #5 when the Little 3 take on the Headmen, for example. Or compare to when they fight Attuma and Co. in #7- larger panels, better art (Larsen's drawing monsters here, not people like in #10), more movement, better group of villains to fight, with Orka for Hulk, Nagala for Doc, etc.
- Doc getting knocked out again was a bummer for a Doc fan. For Doc non-fans, at the least, it was repetitive. Hopefully this is related to Doc going to the dark side? Maybe he's just not powerful right now?
- The Little Three pull through, which is fine. "Garden Gnome of Doom" made me laugh.
- Granted that having Orrgo undo everything was really the only way to get out of the destruction that happened, it still felt like a cheap out.
- Doc's path to the dark side is more evident, which is exciting.
Posted 26 October 02001 - Permalink
Defenders #10 reviews [SpinnerRack] [Critiques On Infinite Earths at FourthRail]
New Comic Day Remains Wednesday [ICv2]
Watchmen Movie At Universal? [Continuum]
The latest CGC Hall of Shame: 10.0 'Spider-Armor' issue valued at 50 cents goes for 355 bucks on EBay [Third Millenium Entertainment via Usenet]
Posted 26 October 02001 - Permalink
Moore On Gaiman's Marvel Deal [Newsarama]
Neilalien hears the sound of hatchets being buried, which is good. Unfortunately, no licensed property at any big company interests Moore, which means he won't be writing Doctor Strange any time soon. (I love how the first person to comment at the linked article mentions exactly this.)
Interview with Alan Moore [The Onion A.V. Club Part 1, Part 2; via LinkMachineGo]
The press weighs in on the new maturity of comics [AP story on Salon via Splash]
Posted 25 October 02001 - Permalink
Caught Up With Comics And The Clintons [Miami Herald via Splash]
U.S. prosecutors visit Peter Paul in a Brazil jail to hear his allegations. The article also has more about Paul's ambitious past. He ripped off Castro!
Marvel/Gaiman Press Conference Transcript [Newsarama]
"Maybe that's the point where I'll ring Craig Russell and say, 'Let's do Dr. Strange.'"
Marvel Comics For January [Continuum]
More on Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #12. The Ultimate Doc is a young man who has recently inherited his father's magic, and his enemies! A legacy he didn't know he had. No arrogant surgeon hitting bottom? I guess we'll wait and see... Ultimates is for the kiddies anyway.
Howard The Duck #1 and Mangaverse info also in the link. There will be no Defenders in January between #12 in December and Overlords #1 in February.
Posted 24 October 02001 - Permalink
Neilalien doesn't see Doctor Strange among these teaser images for Toy Biz' upcoming Marvel Legends line of action figures [Comics Continuum]
Posted 23 October 02001 - Permalink
Alan Moore Interview [CBR]
Posted 22 October 02001 - Permalink
First Look: Defenders #10 [Mile High Comics via Defenders Message Board]
MODOK narrates the issue.
A Doc image by Larsen from Defenders #10 [Defenders Message Board]
Doc snub in Thunderbolts #57? In that issue, a powered-up Graviton suspends a ton of Marvel Universe heroes helplessly upside-down above the ground in a cool two-page spread. Doc is not among them. Even though this is a negative situation, Neilalien still feels snubbed, as usual. Where is Doc? The guy gets no respect. Or maybe his absence is out of respect? Maybe they couldn't really show Doc because Graviton is incapable of rendering Doc helpless. Maybe Doc's body, but not his astral form.
Is it me, or does the font on the cover of the Supergirl Wings TPB look like The Flight of Bones?
Posted 21 October 02001 - Permalink
Quesada On The Today Show For Heroes [Newsarama; transcript at Continuum]
Heroes has sold out its entire first print run of 100,000 copies.
Posted 18 October 02001 - Permalink
Neilalien Readers Send Mangaverse Mail
I love to hear from my peeps. I have received several emails, some speculative, some sounding quite certain, some of the "duh, he's right there" variety, that in this Marvel Mangaverse promo image, Doctor Strange is the kid in the middle, with white hair streak, black double-breasted suit, glowing glasses, and obviously casting a spell. The hand gesture is what seals it for me. More Marvel Mangaverse original link.
Posted 17 October 02001 - Permalink
This week is Restaurant Week in New York City. To get people back outside and spending money after "911" (my girlfriend hates it when I call it that), some pretty hoity-toity, expensive, and always-unavailable restaurants are now offering $30.01 dinners. We ate a delicious three-course meal at Bobby DeNiro's Tribeca Grill tonight (I get to call him Bobby now :) ) and we'll be at Tavern on the Green later this week.
Posted 16 October 02001 - Permalink
More Marvel Mangaverse [Newsarama]
Perhaps I spoke to quickly about the Mangaverse. According to this news item, Dr. Strange does appear in it. For all I know, he may even appear in one of the images accompanying the story, but if he does, he doesn't look like his normal self.
Posted 13 October 02001 - Permalink
What Would Stan Lee Do? [SpinnerRack.com]
Funny column complete with printable WWSLD bracelet!
Whoops, don't know if I mentioned this here. Probably not, because pathetically, I didn't know it myself until now. Defenders #10 ships 10/24. It was supposed to go out 10/10. I swore that it was a Defenders week this week. Neilalien thought he had lost his mind.
First Look: Just Imagine Stan Lee with Dave Gibbons Creating Green Lantern [Comics Continuum]
There's a goof in this week's U.S. War Machine #5 that Neilalien finds funny. When Rhodey first meets Josephs, the EXIT sign reflected in the mirror is not shown in mirror image. But who would notice? Artist and readers are concentrating on other things in that particular panel, I bet.
Posted 12 October 02001 - Permalink
Marvel To Publish G.I. Joe And Transformers Trade Paperbacks [CBR]
Canceled 'Authority' Plans Revealed [CBR]
Yay! ComicGeek decides a full stop is too drastic. He's just cutting back. There's a chance the rest of us can get news scoops now.
Posted 10 October 02001 - Permalink
Comic Book World Is Not Immune From Terror Attacks [NY Times via Splash]
An interesting brain shard: Is Marvel any more or less affected by the WTC tragedy because its stories occur in New York City, and not fictional Metropolis or Gotham City?
News And Notes From Diamond's Retailer Summit In Las Vegas [Comic Book Resources]
DC says they support retailers more than Marvel. DC calls Jemas stupid re: The Authority issue. Gene Colan will be a guest creator on the new Howard the Duck MAX series. And Marvel has obtained the license to reprint Transformers and GI Joe.
Posted 9 October 02001 - Permalink
Jemas In His Own Words [Newsarama with discussion]
What Marvel's Authority "offer" is all about.
RRP-O'D! [current Splash]
More cat fighting at the Marvel Retailer Rally.
Posted 8 October 02001 - Permalink
Ken at ComicGeek gets a job, and announces the comics-news superlog is on hiatus. Just when his traffic got so high that his server couldn't take it, being blogged by Memepool, and how he parlayed the blog into that gig at Silver Bullet Comics, and the way he had to put up the disclaimer that he was adding his own opinions to the news, and the comic strip with Neilalien, and all those great quotes and accolades he received. Neilalien would have been jealous if Neilalien didn't have the best 100-person loyal daily readership of any website. It's been a bad week for comics and weblogs. Neilalien weeps sadly and bitterly for a second straight day. In that part of the Venn diagram where comic books and weblogs overlap- fill it in black this week, my friends. Fill it in black.
New Doctor Strange mini-bust [Bowen Designs]
Dr. Strange and Dr. Fate vs. CTHULHU [Comic Book Universe Battles]
In Little Time, Pop Culture Is Almost Back to Normal [NY Times via Splash]
I guess last week's revelation that Entertainment Will Be Transformed By The WTC Terror Attack was just a bunch of media moguls wetting their pants. Or as my friend Mark has noted, the Onion just did this story better as: A Shattered Nation Longs To Care About Stupid Bullshit Again.
Posted 5 October 02001 - Permalink
Dr. Mike at The Tomb of Horrors will forever be one of Neilalien's heroes for his once brief online posting of a certain, shall we say, Lan-ay Oore's-may I-light-tway of-ay e-thay Uperheroes-say itch-pay o-tay C-Day- and for naming his weblog after a classic and ruthless Advanced Dungeons & Dragons module. Which means that when he wrote this week that he's bored to tears of the Marvel classics, Neilalien's own weeping was all the more sad and bitter. If only there had been more Howard The Duck for him to read over the past twenty years, or more leftist weblogging he could have done, there may have been an outlet for the bile- instead of keeping it all inside him, unexpressed, eating at his soul, poisoning his child-like sense of wonder. But there's still hope- at least Dr. Mike was "unnerved" by this self-discovery. If Dr. Stan Lee couldn't do anything, then Neilalien would assume that the patient is already beyond saving- but perhaps the return of Dr. Steve Gerber, however guarded, can work some magic.
Posted 4 October 02001 - Permalink
New Larsen Hulk-centric Defenders art is posted online [Defenders Message Board]
Kurt Busiek announces that he is somehow involved with this Friday's episode of That's Life on CBS? [Defenders Message Board]
Looking Into Marvel's Mangaverse [Newsarama]
A very interesting read, but don't hold your breath for Dr. Strange's participation. He could fit in as some kind of mystical ninja detective, no? Still, I'm avoiding this entire Mangaverse thing.
Jemas Throws Down Gauntlet On The Authority [Newsarama]
I'm a New Yorker who wants to get back to normal, and an Authority fan. I'm actually with Jemas on this one. Stick it to that AOL/Time Warner/DC/Wildstorm Manga-Hulk-Zilla, Bill!
The Skinny On The Marvel Retailer Rally [CBR]
Jemas: The main excuse of the comics industry has been distribution. Now sales are up, but distribution issues go unaddressed. Conclusion: The real reason was crappo product.
Admission to next weekend's Big Apple Con (rescheduled due to 9-11) is free, but taking donations [Big Apple Con]
And then all of a sudden, there was two days of Watchmen movie news [Comics2Film]
After Cold War Fear dissipated, the Watchmen-as-Property cycle no doubt went down. Has Terrorism Fear caused an upswing?
Posted 3 October 02001 - Permalink
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