Neilalien : A Doctor Strange Fansite : A Comic Book Weblog  

Marvel settles with Simon over Captain America [Newsarama] [Pulse]
Hopefully Joe got something good.

Blistering critique of Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book [Pulse]

Great read: Grant Morrison on New X-Men [Comic Book Resources]

Interview with Ed Brubaker on Sleeper [Ninth Art]

Geoff Klock's How To Read Super-Hero Comics And Why discussed [Forager 23] [Motime Like The Present]

Giving away comics to commuters [The Comic Pimp]

Paul O'Brien looks at CrossGen's studio system [Ninth Art]
Committeecrap or collaboration?

Torrid smackdown of the Batman Hush storyline [Attentiondeficitdisorderly]

Fox Entertainment sued for $100 million over League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen [ICv2]
If Fox took Alan Moore's graphic novel and munged it with these guys' script, it's stupider than you thought.

Neilalien fave Stuart Immonen signs exclusive with Marvel [Newsarama] [Pulse]

Posted 29 September 02003 - Permalink

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Neilalien's been busy scanning your planet's theological schools to learn what the fark antinomian means enough for a response to Motime. :) But basically, he agrees that Doc is not antinomian. An antinomian sounds like someone who (a) feels like they can act however they want because God's grace is not based on works (it cheapens God's grace to say it's contingent on our behavior/deeds, it leads to "Popery" (which assumingly rhymes with potpourri), Grace is God's to give not ours to get, the Commandments are promises of how the righteous will find themselves acting, not commands- so off to the whorehouse we can go!) and (b) they're walking around fairly confident that they have said Grace (the "elected" part). Which isn't Doc at all. Don't know if any standard superhero could be- they all play by the rules (that black-white superhero morality) and seek to do good works as an active instrument of justice (maybe even for their salvation, like Spidey, or in Doc's case, he has a great responsibility (and seeking some redemption for his past, too)).

And he's also been busy enjoying and putting together review items for Doc in this week's Thor: Vikings and Amazing Spider-Man (Attentiondeficitdisorderly has already weighed in with mini-reviews both similiar and opposite to where Neilalien might go at a later date).

In the meantime, here's some links Neilalien's been reading this week before they pile up too high.

Another treasure from Doctor Strange's letter page [Motime]

CrossGen layoffs [Newsarama] [Pulse]
Updated: More details on CrossGen restructuring [Pulse]

Alan David Doane closing down Comic Book Galaxy
Well, raise the glass. All good things must pass. Better to go out leaving them wanting more, rather than linger far past your prime like some people.

Speaking of Doane, he's been enjoying the Smax miniseries, as Neilalien has [Comic Book Galaxy]

Comic shops discussed [Unqualified Offerings]

Stuart Moore on decompression [Newsarama]

Ray Bradbury on comics [Newsarama]

Permanent Damage on revamps, John Byrne's career [Comic Book Resources]

Micropayments, web artistic community take another savage beating [Charging People at the Slumbering Lungfish via Boing Boing]

Prophecy Magazine's future looks bleak [Pulse]
Neilalien was looking forward to this magazine! It's needed. Didn't know that "multi-million dollar investment deals" were what they were looking for though- eek.
Update: This means more screwed freelancers [Pen-Elayne]

Mass. man's comic-book care packages come to the rescue of bored troops [Stars & Stripes via Riba Rambles via Pen-Elayne]
An update on Operation Comix Relief.

Jews are the true comic-book heroes [Chicago Sun-Times via WFC News]

Waid and Wieringo back on Fantastic Four [Newsarama] [Pulse]
Well, let's hope that little mess is behind us.

Which superhero are you? [via rec.arts.comics.marvel.universe]
Acch! Anyone but Superman!

Posted 25 September 02003 - Permalink

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Rob Worley, writer of Epic's Young Ancient One and all-around great Comics2Film guy, has a blog [] [thanks to Pmpknface for the tip]

Dr. Strange: antinomian rebel? [Motime Like the Present via Attentiondeficitdisorderly]
Very neat post inspired by a letter in Doctor Strange #7. Neilalien will have to think about this one.

One man's crusade to save the Direct Market from itself [Journalista]
Interesting angles re: Fantagraphics in the same boat, returnability, JLA/Avengers' 200K maybe revealing the bazaar's actual size, etc.

Marvel Comics CD-ROM coming out with lots of Silver Age stuff [Comic Book Resources via Alan David Doane]
No Doctor Strange though.

Let's talk about artists, not the industry [Ninth Art]
Or rather, arrrtists.

Atomic Comics responds to non-oomph retailers and big movie tie-ins with Free Comic Book Day 2.5 [Pulse]

New retailer weekly column by James Sime of Isotope at Comic Book Resources [The Comics Pimp]

Chris Allen interviews Paul O'Brien [Breakdowns]

AiT/Planetar Doesn't Sell-Out of Anything [Newsarama]
A funny press release and it gets the word out. Aspects of humor, hype, low print runs, retailer ordering struggles and "We sold out!" press releases are discussed in the comments.

Funny thread about thought balloons and the current rage against them in comics (storytelling cheat?- nah) [TCJ Message Board]

Posted 19 September 02003 - Permalink

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Spandex-clad 'superhero' freeing cars on London streets []
Who is Angle Grinder Man?

Better to have Captain America redeem America with his fists instead of whine and mope about it [Attentiondeficitdisorderly]

Posted 18 September 02003 - Permalink

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Check it out: New Modern Tales sister site "dedicated to creating the best action webcomics of the 21st century" []
Subscribe in the first month and it's only $19.95/year for life.

Marvel and Miramax mull joint bid for Artisan? [NY Post via WFC News]

Quesada, Peter David, others will be at a Marvel/Midtown Comics New York Is Book Country street fair booth this Sunday 21 September [Newsarama]
Adrian Tomine and other creators will also be at the fair. Don't forget that's the same day as Neil Gaiman and Art Spiegelman at the 92nd Street Y. Go NYC! Egon's got all this kind of great info, as always.

El Cazador #1 sells out, going back to press with new cover [Newsarama] [ICv2] [Pulse]
CrossGen's fastest selling issue ever. Now why did this happen? Because it's a desperately-needed non-superhero non-art comic book? Or because Neilalien mentioned it a couple times? Eh, probably neither. But an alien can dream.

New Rising Stars mini-series delayed [Pulse]
Sheesh, let's get the original series done first before we start delaying the spinoffs, okay guys? Neilalien would've forgotten all about Rising Stars if JMS' Supreme Power #1's children hadn't reminded him.

Quickie Peter Bagge interview re: The Incorrigable Hulk [Pulse]
The Megalomaniacal Spider-Man was a riot so this should get picked up.

Posted 17 September 02003 - Permalink

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Possible cover for Ditko TCJ from Blake Bell

December's The Comics Journal #258 will be all-Ditko!

Blake Bell reports on Ditko Looked Up [solicitiation and possible cover]
Also: Mysterious Traveler to debut at next July's San Diego Comic Con

Blake's SPX Report with centrist Team Comix take: let's look elsewhere besides 'rah rah' and 'nah nah'
Source: TCJ Message Board; the thread went in an interesting Team Comix way as well

"What Stan Lee Means to Me" Contest Results [Rise and Fall site]

U.S. Prosecutors Extradite Peter Paul from Brazil [Reuters on Yahoo News]
Paul is finally back in the States to face conspiracy and securities fraud charges related to the Stan Lee Media scandal. Judicial Watch represents him- they're after Hillary.
Missed this: Hillary Clinton Whistleblower Peter F. Paul Moved to Corridor of Death in Brazilian Prison When U.S. Fails to Arrange Return To Federal Court in New York [Judicial Watch]

Johnny Cash comics! [Flat Earth]

Archie rules in the flyover states [Journey Into Comics at Newsarama]

Paul O'Brien looks at Image [Ninth Art]

Say it ain't so: A new Flash TV show [ICv2]
Cashing in on Smallville's success. But if Smallville has a "no flights" policy, then isn't it essentially the Flash already?

Posted 15 September 02003 - Permalink

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On Fucking Team Comix

Fuck Team Comix [Journalista]
Update: Excerpt of Tom Spurgeon's essay "Why Team Comics is Still a Bad Idea"
More: ADD and Forager applaud the sentiment, Attentiondeficitdisorderly with a thoughtful response
Update: Jay's Daze

Neilalien sees "Fuck Team Comix" as having several chunks to it, mainly (1) a critique of the current comics "activism" that the browbeating of people uninterested in change isn't changing anything; (2) a rejection of a publisher or comics personality hucksteristicly manipulating that activist urge with a call that if you love the comics medium, you are obligated to save their ass and buy two copies of their "crap" (which the market and aesthetics has already judged as such) instead of one; (3) a dovetailing with Groth's Death of Criticism essay, against 'no bad/critical/toughlove reviews' policies and 'no standards' and wannabe industry creators and social butterflies not speaking the Truth, and (4) Blake Bell is right: TCJ loves to be the badass, Fantagraphics vs. 90's Marvel then, Fantagraphics vs. Top Shelf now 'who's the truer art-indie blue'. (And, if as Journalista innocently puts it, this is just TCJ's "attempt to raise issues", then this is another classic example of how TCJ's moronic attitude undercuts anything it tries to do- even when it tries to honestly "stimulate debate", people think the boy's just crying wolf again.)

If (1) through (3) are accurate wordings coming through Neilalien's filters, and accurate phenomena of Team Comix, then he can't really disagree with "Fuck Team Comix" and the criticism of that phenomena.

But his agreement is heavily caveated. Team Comix, as with all things in life, manifests with a good side and a bad side. The good side is mainly the comradeship and community and passion within the comic book world, which is wonderful, a strength, and shouldn't be devalued. "Fuck Team Comix" only concentrates on the bad and its destructive power. Neilalien doesn't think the solution is to throw out the baby with the bathwater. The community doesn't have to be crucified to save the art.

The solution is to adultly recognize both the positive and negative aspects of reality, maximize the good and minimize the bad, and strive towards a healthier community. There's a lot of unhealthy childishness on both sides. Right now in comics you win the prize if you're the biggest mindless booster of Tony Stark's billionth bout with an armor glitch, or if you have the stupidest monocle-adjusting condescending attitude against that which is not high art, is never supposed to be high art, nor has to be high art. If everyone spoke the Truth, combined support-love with constructive criticism, spoke out against the bad aspects of Team Comix with class, and didn't try to manipulate the good aspects, the community would be better off, we can both have the cake and eat it. Only in comicdom can you get called out for being too nice; only in an insular art community can everything be taken so personally. There's a lot of love, but we eat our own- and factionalism and hostility naturally rise as resources dwindle.

Some aspects of Team Comix are bad, and should be confronted- but for Neilalien, the bottom line feels like this: The current direct market system so negatively warps the chances of a non-Marvel/DC creator/publisher's survival, that Warren Ellis or Top Shelf's output, pleas for financial help, or calls to activist action, can't all be ego-driven shit that never deserved to live. If a bake sale needs to be held, and many are motivated by a passion for comics to buy some brownies, then Go Team Comix. Such enthusiasm has ultimately got to be a thing closer to the lifeblood of comics than their doom.

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Must-reads: Fascinating discussion of micropayments:
Fame vs Fortune: Micropayments and Free Content [Clay Shirky]
Misunderstanding Micropayments [Scott McCloud responds]
Information Wants to be Valued [Joey Manley responds]
Links via Journalista.
Storage place for more:
As is their nature, the Metafilter thread and the Slashdot thread tilt anti-micropayments

Comic shops might compete by being a "third place" besides home and work, like Starbucks [Forager 23]
If they weren't a cowardly, insular lot. Neilalien just linked to a story about a new retailer who's thinking in-store game tournaments are part of the solution.

Sounds like Neilalien has his next book to read: Jonathan Lethem's new novel The Fortress of Solitude [recommended by Triptych Cryptic]

Posted 14 September 02003 - Permalink

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Mail in written proof from a valid blood donation center that you tried to give blood, and you get free Sword of Dracula art [Newsarama]

Telling Tales [Ninth Art]
A nothing-new but readable essay re: how 22 pages and the serialized format of cliffhangers and recaps limits storytelling.

John Ritter and Johnny Cash. That means less laughter, and less shared-thus-reduced pain, in Neilalien's world.
Update: Monitor Duty reminds us of Ritter's Captain Avenger superhero TV movie Hero At Large.

Posted 12 September 02003 - Permalink

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El Cazador #1 Neilalien's three-issue trial of El Cazador is under way. He's probably pimped for El Cazador on this website as much as any other non-Dr. Strange book (except for maybe Fade From Blue). And sight unseen- and a CrossGen book too! Why on Earth? For two reasons. First, he likes a good pirate yarn. (You do know that 19 September is Talk Like A Pirate Day?) But more importantly, this is exactly the kind of book that Neilalien seeks out to vote for with his Save The American Comic Book dollar. Why? Because as Kim Thompson put it so eloquently in one of Neilalien's favorite links ever, we need more 'crap'. Because Warren Ellis is letting his 'post-activism' work do the talking: mostly crime, espionage, sci-fi. That's where we need to go- those and the other and more diverse markets that comics need to serve, along with romance, comedy, etc. Between the well-served superhero in-joke monomarket and the snob-inflated troubled-childhood catharsis lies a vast vein of accessible or irreverent pop genre pulp, little mined of its golden eggs since the Comics Code Authority killed the Goose and pulled the financial survival rug out from under the medium. Like Queen & Country, El Cazador has no fantastical elements (now a little cursed treasure or a giant squid would be fun, but some people somehow see that as less adult, whatever that means)- and a non-white-male lead too. And it's not manga.

Comics are where storytelling is at. Books? Where's the pictures? Movies? It's all whiz-bang- there's no characterization in two hours anymore besides cliches and stereotypes. Video games? Well, the holodeck's going to change entertainment as we know it, but we don't have to worry just yet. Comics have so many meta-problems- if only they had a better marketing team to make them cool again, if only the publishers marketed them directly to real people, as opposed to retailers and movie executives, if only people actually read on commutes again instead of driving in alone in their cars from the burbs, etc. And if only comics had a lot more diversity. No one's crazy enough to say that El Cazador's first issue is going to Save Comics- we'll need better- and pirate stories are just another micro-niche- but we do need a lot more like it. (Hopefully its publisher will survive long enough to reach a three-issue sampling. And let's make sure they pay the freelancers they owe, too.) And if there's no promotion outside of comicdom, then it's just throwing a different genre at a shrinking readership to see if it sticks.

So what did Neilalien think of El Cazador #1? Well... here's two positive reviews at FourthRail. #2 is advertised as "Mutiny!", which assuages his concerns that she came to control the ship too easily. Hopefully we'll see more of Blackjack and his own problems. And isn't there an unfortunate typo/unintended pun on the first page? A pirate book that calls the Vatican the Holy Sea... Isn't it See? (Google spell check: pope "holy sea": 301 results; pope "holy see": 101,000 results. Yup. Maybe they were using the 1687 spelling.)

Sneak peak at Strange Magic [Newsarama]

It sounds like practically every other script submitted to Epic was a Dr. Strange revamp, so if this one stood out, it must be great!

Some Suggestions from a Manga Fan [ MB via Attentiondeficitdisorderly]

The Return of El Octopo [Stuart Moore's A Thousand Flowers at Newsarama]
The prescient politics of American Flagg!'s second run is covered.

Fantagraphics lands Peanuts [Comics Journal MB via Pop Culture Gadabout] [Pulse]
No more financial problems for that publisher.

Comic Book: The Movie Now Slated for January Release [ICv2]

Retailer Shoots, Kills Burglar [ICv2]

Carter's tits are so huge in that new Stargate SG-1 comic. Geez.

Blankets reviewed [Unqualified Offerings]
No Virginia, comics criticism is not dead.

Posted 11 September 02003 - Permalink

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Posted 11 September 02003 - Permalink

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Neal Adams Batman book crappily tweaked [ MBs via Alan David Doane]

MoCCA stealing SPX thunder? [Comics Journal MBs via Attentiondeficitdisorderly]
Funny thread, too. Neilalien can only say that MoCCA's first two years have been awesome enough to upstage anybody else.

Stan Lee, his contributions discussed [Journey Into Comics at Newsarama reviews Stan Lee & The Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book]

Fanboy Radio has been rocking out lately
Lee bio authors Jordan Raphael and Tom Spurgeon, Joe Quesada, etc. More listening to do.

Free Comic Book Day 02004 date set [Newsarama] [ICv2]
3 July, to coincide with the big opening of Spider-Man 2. Guess most retailers didn't think the holiday weekend would be a problem and wanted the movie bang. The Newsarama discussion gets a little nasty.

Has classic Defenders/Howard The Duck scribe Steve Gerber silently bowed out of comics? [this week's faux Gutters]

Ex-Marvel editor Jason Liebig interviewed: fascinating sound-off vs. Jemas/Quesada [found at Waiting For Tommy while seeking out this week's Rich Johnston fix]

Posted 9 September 02003 - Permalink

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The Wand of Watoomb

The Wand of Watoomb

Since an item from Dr. Strange canon, the Wand of Watoomb, is one of the twelve items of power needed to resolve the situation in Avengers/JLA (you are checking this out, right?), Neilalien thought he would whip up a little FAQ (especially since the Scarlet Witch (pfft) doesn't know a darn thing about it).

What is the Wand of Watoomb?

Dorje The Wand of Watoomb is an object of great mystical power. It is a short yellow staff, not much longer than the fist is wide, with two frowning crystalline horned heads on each end, facing the same way. Its possessor can open doorways and passages to other worlds, dimensions and times; its possessor can see any place, object or person just by thinking about it, and can do things in the remote place viewed; it also augments the possessor's magical power and can dish out standard energy blasts. The Wand comes apart into two halves which are powerless until joined.

Cat Yronwode has speculated that Ditko may have gotten the idea for the Wand's design from a Tibetan dorje.

Who is Watoomb?

Watoomb is a vastly powerful god-like extradimensional being, and one of the 'Powers and Principalities' that Dr. Strange and other mystics call upon for spells. Doc usually calls on him for the Winds of Watoomb, invoking high winds that can push away a mass of enemies or soften the landing of a long fall.

In Doctor Strange #34, Watoomb is shown as a glowing yellow man with a headdress, apparently just a human mystic who after many esoteric years has grown beyond, ascended, graduated, retired, etc.

Watoomb Watoomb is portrayed in Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #49 as a brown-skinned man with flowing white hair and moustache- much more like a god than in DS #34, and most certainly not retired from mystical affairs- surrounded by swirling winds and talking like a ssslllooowww wwwiiinnnddd llliiikkkeee ttthhhiiisss.

It's a safe assumption that Watoomb created the Wand, but only an assumption: it's not officially known if Watoomb created it or just possessed it long enough to get his name attached to it. There's also a Scroll of Watoomb.

When have we seen the Wand of Watoomb before?

The Wand in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2 Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2 (01965). We first encounter the Wand in this utterly magnificent Lee/Ditko Spidey/Doc team-up. The villainous mystic Xandu, complete with monocle, already possesses one half of the Wand, and after stealing the half Doc was safe-keeping, puts them together- but he's foiled by the heroes before he can do much damage. At the end of the story, Xandu is mind-wiped and the Wand is drained of its power.

Marvel Team-Up #21 (01974). Turns out Xandu sent his mind away from his body moments before Doc's mindwipe and escaped erasure- ha! It also turns out that the guy has more than world domination on his mind- he wants to use the Wand to bring his wife Melinda out of 'a sleep that resembles death' that he put her in by mistake (oops- shouldn't have used her as spell target practice!). Sans monocle, he recharges the Wand with the Crystal of Kadavus, but again, Doc and Spidey stop him soon after he acquires the trinket. Xandu is defeated, and Doc throws the Wand out to drift in a pocket dimension. Doc offers to help Xandu, but diagnoses that Melinda-babe is rather more in 'a death that resembles sleep'. The poor schmuck's left sobbing at her coffin. Chances that the Wand can be found and we'll see Xandu again: 0.00001%. Oh wait- this is comics!

Doctor Strange #34 (01979). Villainous sorcerer Cyrus Black relates when he and Dr. Strange first met, and how the Wand entered our dimension: "We first met years ago in the dimension of Watoomb, when he retired from mystic affairs and wished to pass his awesome wand on to some deserving adept. At Watoomb's direction, we each took half the wand and battled each other like the apprentices we were, hoping victory would allow one of us to possess the complete wand. Though you defeated me, I later learned that my half of the wand was stolen shortly after our contest by the sorcerer Xandu*, thus depriving you of it." *See Spider-Man Annual #2. Which apparently means that Doc had the complete wand after his battle with Cyrus Black, and then Xandu stole each half from Doc each on a separate occasion, with the theft of the second half related in the Spider-Man Annual.

Xandu Spider-Man/Doctor Strange: The Way To Dusty Death graphic novel (01992). Well, some stuff happened before this, but don't worry, it was pretty bad. Xandu lost his marbles over the whole Melinda thing (but found his monocle). He got the Wand back and fights Spidey and the Scarlet Witch (okay, so she does know something about it). Xandu managed to bring Melinda back to life, but the rulers of the Death Dimension have a tighter balance sheet than Enron, so they tried to take Xandu away as her replacement. Xandu also moved on to other power items, like the Ruby of Dominion. Anyway, the gang's all together again in this fun graphic novel, which has more body switches than the original Star Trek. It ends with Xandu in the nut house, Melinda as leader of the Death Dimension!, Spidey spooked by seeing Gwen and Uncle Ben there, and the Wand smashed and exploded.

Ultimate Team-Up #12-13 (02002). Bendis pays homage to the Lee/Ditko first Doc/Spidey team-up: Xandu is the villain and the Wand is his goal.

Where would the Wand of Watoomb be now for Avengers/JLA?

Busiek could put it anywhere. Is this story in-continuity? The last time we see the Wand in-continuity, it's three yards and a cloud of dust (sorry, but it's football season again). But like most mystical objects and bad pennies, it can probably never be physically destroyed, and it keeps turning up. Xandu's certainly got a knack for finding this knick-knack. Neilalien would love to see Doc as the competent safe-keeper of the Wand in Avengers/JLA (hmm, isn't Superyawn vulnerable to magic?) but don't hold your breath. He's not a member of the Avengers- so expect Scarlet Witch to get all the good lines.

Posted 7 September 02003 - Permalink

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Demon Beast Invasion is indeed mostly graphic sex [Volokh Conspiracy]
Conclusion: Fits traditional obscenity law- no special and more restrictive rule for comic books.

Dr. Strange Marvel Masterworks discussed [Comics Journal MB]

Can anyone name anything that's 'in between' Wizard Magazine and The Comics Journal that will appeal to a lot of people? [Comics Journal MB]

Jenny Everywhere: The open-source superhero for all of us! [Jenny Everywhere] [A Hero For The People, No Strings Attached at Exclaim!]
She's public domain, notable yet vague enough to be used in any situation, and her Shifter power makes continuity a non-issue! Flat Earth is behind this crazy idea, you can just smell it.

Note to self: Look for Seamonsters and Superheroes [Comic Book Resources]

Does Gruenwald's Squadron Supreme maxiseries live up to the hype as a pre-Authority? [Ninth Art]

Rx for a new Golden Age: More risk-taking comic books available for everyone to buy [Ninth Art]
"Of course, the funny thing about Golden Ages is that you never know you're in one until it's passed..."

Standard party line re: Optic Nerve reaffirmed [Comics Journal MB]
Mr. Tomine, your fans, including Neilalien, are pleading: Please find a new theme besides "alienated youth" for your obvious talent! #9 coming out soon maybe. (Be warned there's a very bad signal-to-noise ratio in this discussion.)

Direct market retailer not rolling over and dying vs. "bookstores are the future of comics" [ICv2]

Man-Thing starts filming in Australia [Newsarama]
Sigh. We're going to get a Puck movie before a Doctor Strange one, don't you just know it. What makes this press release interesting is the emphasis on direct-to-video as a new distribution channel for minor Marvel characters.

CrossGen CFO has resigned [Pulse]
The plot thickens. Oh man, please just don't go under until we get a couple issues of El Cazador for Neilalien's pirate fix. That would be just his luck though. Like Warren Ellis quitting after one issue of Dr. Strange Sorcerer Supreme.

Posted 5 September 02003 - Permalink

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Stake driven through heart of Gary Groth's recent essay on the death of comics criticism [Breakdowns]

Funny and informative comic book font item [Mark Evanier]
Don't know who's he's talking to, but phew, Neilalien got the I's right in his logo.

Recent splurge from The Onion:
I'll Thank You Not To Call My Collection Of Sequential-Art Erotica 'Dirty Comics' [The Onion]
Boy Bitten by Radioactive Spider Dies of Leukemia [The Onion "in 01963"]
Galactus Running for California Governor [The Onion]

Posted 4 September 02003 - Permalink

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Perlmutter unloading tons of Marvel shares? Which means no Marvel buyers? [this week's Gutters on CBR]
Gutters also wonders why there's no Team Comix rallying around CrossGen, and suggests El Cazador, out next week. Neilalien say Arrr!

Obscenity trial prompts freedom-of-speech outcry [Japan Times Online via WFC News]
Pornographic comic book targeted in Japan for the first time. It's getting bad all over.

You need to remember who pays for things in this industry, son [ICv2]
Don't expect commercials for the CSI comic book during CSI.

Fanboys, rigid obsessives locked in time, so sad, know thou art pitied [this week's Permanent Damage on CBR]

Batman daily strip on AOL [Newsarama]
There's comics online now!? Just kidding. Could mean a lot of new eyeballs. There's that AOL Time Warner DC media juggernaut cross-pollenatin'.

New Cape Coral, Florida store is banking on super heroes [ via WFC News]
26-year-old guy saves money stocking supermarket shelves to open up his own comic shop in a town that has seen three comic book shops shut down in the last five years. His edge: location, HeroClix and a little Stan Lee hucksterism. Business is expected to be split 50-50 between comics and games. He set up a table inside the movie theater when the Hulk premiered. Comics are hot right now and he wanted to open up his store before someone else got the idea. The shop's on a busy road, big and clean, full of teen boys and superheroes, and doing better than his wife expected. Keep on truckin'.

Posted 3 September 02003 - Permalink

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Marvel dipping back into the Defenders well? [All The Rage 7/10 rumor via Defenders Message Board]

What's Steve Ditko REALLY like? [Fred Hembeck (29 August entry, no permalinks)]
Fred muses about Cat Yronwode's book attempt. Thanks to Bloggity for the link.

Found while looking desperately for any info re: participation beforehand/results afterwards for this weekend's comics flash mob NYC: Jimmy Palmiotti posts a frustrated rant on Newsarama that just about sums the whole damn thing up

Paul O'Brien analyzes CrossGen's grip on reality [Ninth Art]

Big praise for Sleeper [Johnny Bacardi]
There's also big praise for Sean Phillips that's a little too big... He's doing a rocking art job on Sleeper- Neilalien finds the unconventional paneling style particularly effective. The darkness-filled rough-and-tumble story of Sleeper fits his style, though. Neilalien also has a certain Codename: X-Men comic from a while back (featuring Dr. Strange as a cannibal!) that has art so bad by Mr. Phillips that Neilalien avoided Sleeper until the comics blogosphere praised the book to high heaven.

Hilarious: Dear Fanboys [Fujikosmurf]
BTW, great main page design at Fujikosmurf.

The Trouble With Manga [Forager 23]
Forager 23 begins the backlash against "At least the next generation of kids are reading comics" and takes manga to task as a nicely/efficiently-packaged (Attentiondeficitdisorderly's recent post on manga formatting inspired F23's text) but mostly pubescent repetitive crank-out (what we get in America anyway) that threatens, or at least it's not going to save or grow the readership of a great institution with value, the American comic book (superhero and/or art/alt) (although it might or might not save their retailers from going under).

When Neilalien read Forager's piece, he thought about Tsunami, no? Marvel's Tsunami line is a perfect example of a publisher taking "too much"- or at least the wrong thing (like the monolithic big-eyed up-the-skirt-see-the-panties style but not the book format)- from manga and transforming it into a doomed-to-fail enterprise (turning off both the real manga folks and the fanboys) that threatens the unique wonderfulness of the American comic book.

The American comics industry, publishers and retailers, needs to attract a new audience for its own product. I think it's important to look to Japan (as well as Europe) for ideas on how it should go about doing this, but it still has to work within a specifically American framework.

Posted 1 September 02003 - Permalink

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