Happy Halloween everyone!
Howard Hallis will be enjoying the holiday dressed as Dr. Strange.
James Sime is Too Good for Comics [Brian Wood Delphi Forum via Fanboy Rampage]
Tony Isabella on Black Lightning [via Alan David Doane]
How I Became A Young, Zingy With-It Guy [Mark Evanier]
Evanier started The Ranks of Marveldom and edited Marvelmania International.
More on how waiting for the trade is changing things [Ninth Art]
Posted 31 October 02003 - Permalink
Savant is not coming back [Savant Delphi Forum via Comics Burrito with a eulogy]
Alan David Doane also weighs in on Savant's now-official demise, with praise, and contrasting with a couple kicks to the Comic Pimp's head.
Cannot agree with ADD here. Neilalien has always been skeptical of most things that comicdom has called Activism or Outreach, because it often plays out as the snob-browbeating of the current comic-reading population (the happy superhero market) rather than working to increase the comic-reading population (by getting the entire potential non-superhero market in with non-superhero books). And when it shoots for that better latter realm, most often it's a scary call to snob-browbeat the general public! Having said all that, if we're going to compare and contrast, The Pimp has Savant beat flat.
First off, why the distinction- aren't Savant and Sime the same animal? One of Savant's editors seems to think so. They are both Activism and thus one will be generally applauding or skeptical of both.
If they are not the same animal, then... ADD's elevation of Savant over the Pimp is really setting Neilalien off tonight for some reason. Activism of the sort Savant accomplished? Savant gets a prop while the Pimp gets ripped? Neilalien was thinking the exact opposite. With all due respect to Savant, and all the other standard disclaimers (he read and often enjoyed Savant, he has nothing against anyone, they did a lot of work, it's sad to see any conversation about comics end, no grave-dancing here, surely all those testimonials and anecdotes are wonderful, what has Neilalien done?, etc.). But Savant really read like it preached to the choir- and that's not activism. It was told this to its face on many occasions by said choir IIRC (wanted to link to some choice moments but DelphiBasic members can't search more than three months back). And much of its outreach beyond the converted felt like shaming the superhero enjoyer into buying something s/he wouldn't like anyway. These calls to action ring as macho and hollow to people as any Sime text might. The Activist's Cookbook is required reading, but there's barely any real outreach ideas in it that's going to grow the comic reading population. Most of it sounds like a "geek purity" dare to folks who are already into comics to take all of the books that the essay writer doesn't like and give them away, stop buying them, stop collecting them, cut them in half with scissors, stop writing fan-fiction about them, etc. Savant seemed to treat the 200,000 people left who still know comics exist as if they were the problem- crap supporters inside the market, bad ambassadors of the medium to the outside- but they are not the problem, even if some "smell like cat piss" (another Cookbook "gem"- more like cooking up a straw man) and most do nothing to "save comics" and vote Marvel with their dollars week after week. Savant ate its own, looked too inward, more interested in getting itself distributed at comic cons, getting fanboys to "think about their medium"- instead of outwardly getting actual comic books distributed to completely new potential readers. At least the Pimp is in the retailing trenches, and proposing or resurrecting methods to actively engage and attract the millions outside of comics- however scarily to the common person, however old the ideas may be, however slim the chance someone's going to be moved to open a graphic novel shop in an airport. Better to grow brand new markets and addicts, and cold-call the unknowing legions outside the clubhouse, with a sci-fi non-superhero comic guerilla-marketed and left in a public restroom stall at Yankees Stadium- than to snobbily badger the population who are already happily paying for their fix, and passing out photocopies of Savant at a comic convention of the already addicted. Neilalien votes Pimp over Savant.
After almost a year, Warren Ellis' abandonment of activism, Matt Fraction's ass-whupping of it and the skepticism expressed at Ninth Art about it have yet to be adequately answered. Unless Savant's closing and Pimp's pimping are the responses.
Related: The Pimp's enthusiasm gives him a free pass [Fanboy Rampage]
1602 #6: Doctor Strange goes to the moon! [Marvel in January via Grotesque Anatomy who thinks as Neilalien does about Nu Marvel's covers]
Doc also guest-stars in Daredevil #56 by Bendis, and it sounds like we'll see a sorceress of some sort in Amazing Spider-Man #503.
JLA/Avengers #3 cover character guide [ComiX-Fan Forums via WFC News]
Retailer Group Asks Diamond for Reorder Charge Cut [ICv2]
Yay! The Journal of MODOK Studies #3 is announced! [TCJ Message Board]
Posted 29 October 02003 - Permalink
The Picture of Everything by Howard Hallis [via Triptych Cryptic]
Doctor Strange is in Section 2: Heroes and Cartoons, bottom left, directly above the Thing.
Marvel Bullpen Bulletins '65-'70 [via Motime]
December 01965 features a Doc image and t-shirt.
The Best Superhero Comics of All Time [TCJ Message Board]
Maybe we can all get along.
The Comics Pimp gets slapped, responds [Savant Delphi Forum via Alan David Doane]
John Pierce is promising more. Looks like the Activism topic just might make a comeback.
Posted 28 October 02003 - Permalink
Neilalien fave Arlen Schumer is coming out with a new book: The Silver Age of Comic Book Art from Collectors Press
Steve Ditko will be a featured artist. But most amazingly, Ditko has spoken! A back cover quote?! Related at Neal Adams' site:
From a handwritten letter, dated 10/13, sent to Laura Bartroff, Publicity Director for Collectors Press, by the legendary co-creator of Spider-Man and Dr. Strange (among others), comicdom's own J.D. Salinger/Greta Garbo, a man who has refused to be interviewed nor photographed for over 35 years, and has rarely (if ever?) spoken for the record of others' works: "Thanks for the copy of THE SILVER AGE OF COMIC BOOK ART. It is a unique achievement by Arlen Schumer and will be an ongoing source of reference, study and enjoyment for everyone interested in comics. Regards, Steve Ditko"
All of the above was graciously entered into Neilalien's scanners by Egon.
Jumpin' Baron Mordo on a pogo stick- Doctor Strange is in so much stuff Neilalien can't keep up! [Defenders Message Board]
Besides the cameo on the chessboard in JLA/Avengers #2, 1602, Thor Vikings and Amazing Spider-Man #'s 498-500, a few more Doc appearances of late should be noted for the obsessive completists out there... His cloak of levitation and eye of Agamotto are being worn by Loki in the last 3 issues of Thor, and Doc has joined the Nazi resistance in the latest issue of Captain America (Vol. 4 #19). Finally, Strange makes another cameo in Thanos #1.
Looks like it's back to the shop for Neilalien!
Lions Gate buys Artisan Entertainment [Yahoo Finance News]
Marvel was supposedly a suitor. $245 million.
Doing Comics The Stainless Steve Englehart Way: The Rising and Advancing of A Silver Age Titan [by Darren "Doc Nebula" Madigan]
Lots of celebration for Englehart's Dr. Strange here.
Interesting "Comp-gate scandal" re: DC staffers trading in their free comics at NYC's Jim Hanley's Universe for store cred and indy books [Pulse]
Praise for comics webloggery over message boards re: intelligent classy discourse- and expanding that rational sliver-tiny middle ground between the "art snobs" and "fanboys" [Forager 23]
Includes a funny synopsis of TCJ's Message Board.
The Two Faces of Takashi Murakami [Wired]
Via new blog The Comics Burrito which writes:
It'd be nice to live somewhere where the arrogant divisions between 'high' and 'low' art aren't recognized.
Hey, aren't those guys at Burrito Savant guys? Whatever happened to Savant anyway? And 'comicbooks' wasn't taken at Blogspot yet?!
The cover of Vivid Girls #1 [via Gutters]
If you only read one review of JLA/Avengers #2, make it Johnny Bacardi's (kicker Sleeper #10 review also)
Neilalien can only observe and report his own behavior: JLA/A is getting bought, enjoyed, critiqued, ripped to shreds, etc.- talked about- while 1602, even with Dr. Strange and its Marvel Universe WhatIffery, is merely getting skimmed in the store, to be revisited when the trade comes out.
Posted 27 October 02003 - Permalink
Pic of the 1602 Dr. Strange statue [Figures.com]
Neilalien's not a statue guy but he really likes this one. [A mighty member of dashing Dr. Strange fandom emailed the link.]
How To Pick Up Girls If You Are A Comic Book Geek [It Came From The Quarter Bin]
Stray Bullets praised as the 800-pound gorilla of crime/good genre comics [Ninth Art]
Want to make comics? Don't work with close friends! ;) [Ninth Art]
The trials and tribulations of creating a graphic novel.
Congrats to Mark Evanier for his award from the Writers Guild's Animation Writers Caucus (Gary Owens presenting) [News From Me] [press release]
Posted 24 October 02003 - Permalink
Neilalien attended the J. Michael Straczynski/Joe Quesada Amazing Spider-Man #500 book-signing at Midtown Comics this afternoon. He has a signed book, but of course he was really there to get more information out of the two about the upcoming Dr. Strange mini-series. Sorry, Neilalienistas- mum was the word. Neilalien's not an insider. He did chat very briefly with Joey Q about Doctor Strange's excellent appearance in Daredevil #5, and JQ said, "That was fun to draw."
Gods willing, there will be a review of Amazing Spider-Man #500, co-starring Dr. Strange, here shortly...
Neilalien's seen blogs writing about manga, but never manga about blogs? [via Boing Boing]
Posted 23 October 02003 - Permalink
Jemas speaks re: his "voluntary transition" [Newsarama]
Romita Sr. interview re: Spider-Man [STLtoday.com]
Via Mark Evanier who's always fun for debunking the cherished nuggets of comic book history.
Update: A lone email swings in to remind Neilalien that Gil Kane is credited with the pencils of Gwen Stacy's death (the interviewer says that Romita drew it).
Ed Brubaker interview [Permanent Damage]
Lots about Sleeper and the comic book biz here.
Mortal Coils guy (and a previous Neilalien Best of MoCCA candidate) A. David Lewis lands huge VH1 superheroes-on-film gig [Pulse]
Update: VH1 brass kills this project: it wasn't funny enough... [Pulse]
Board games stave off dementia [ICv2]
Obviously these people have never played Das Malefiz Spiel (Barricade), an uber-frustrating German board game from Neilalien's youth well-proven to cause insanity.
Posted 22 October 02003 - Permalink
Long live the single! [A Thousand Flowers]
Posted 21 October 02003 - Permalink
Dr. Strange will be the first 1602 statue [ICv2]
Resulting Newsarama discussion proceeds to rip apart 1602 and statues based on it.
If you squint or glance fast, "1602 Dr. Strange Neil Gaiman Special Edition statue" looks like "1602 Dr. Strange Neilalien Special Edition statue"... :)
Small press comics and independent creators get new news site [Comic Stack]
They're also looking for writers and columnists. Found via their message board hype.
Marvels gutted [Gone & Forgotten] [spotted by Motime]
Update: Eve Tushnet defends [Part Uno] [Addendum]
Posted 20 October 02003 - Permalink
Comics in Context #15: Stan Lee and the Mystery of Creativity [IGN FilmForce via Mark Evanier]
Peter Sanderson begins a long two-part look at the recent biography of Stan Lee, with a huge bonus: Clickable Stan is back!
Update: Linkrot is the bane of the internet. All of Neilalien's old links to IGN have long been dead, but the "Related Links" section of the above story suggests that they're putting some stories back? Which is wonderful, the content still lives- but it's not ideal, because they're at new URLs, and there's no forwarding, so old links are still dead, and interested parties still have to search.
- Interview with Stan Lee [IGN; big five parter from 26 June 02000]
- The Inside Story on the Fall of Stan Lee Media [IGN; from 17 December 02000]
- Looks like one Neilalien fave hasn't been resurrected: the press hit from April 02000 announcing the now-defunct Harlan Ellison/John Romita Jr. Doctor Strange mini-series that really got this Doc weblog going.
Posted 18 October 02003 - Permalink
Clintons Sued by Peter Paul in L.A. Over Campaign Donations [Yahoo News via Mark Evanier]
Color vs. Black & White [Slushfactory via Comics Worth Reading]
How you can get comics in your local library [The Comics Pimp]
Archaia Studios Press is seeking submissions for full-color creator-owned comic books in the fantasy, horror, pulp noir, and science fiction genres [also via Comics Worth Reading]
CrossGen canceling titles, shedding staff [Pulse]
"You know what's great about your stuff, kid? You draw with your dick!" [Comics Commentary]
The Geekiest Hobbies of All Time [The Wave Magazine (written by Seanbaby) via MemeMachineGo]
Comic books are #10.
Posted 17 October 02003 - Permalink
Sorcerers, Swamp Things, Sandmen, and Sophie:
The Stream of Consciousness Running Through Four Occult Superhero Comics [Part 1] [Part 2]
By Darren "Doc Nebula" Madigan, via Pop Culture Gadabout's comments. This will be Neilalien's weekend reading.
Graphic novel stores in airports for travel readers [The Comics Pimp]
Give comics to trick-or-treaters instead of candy [Thanator]
Neilalien fave Sleeper gets a trade [Newsarama]
Also: more praise and gushing review list [Grotesque Anatomy]
Fascinating and sad DC vs. Tony Isabella via Black Lightning [Alan David Doane]
Black Lightning becomes a murderer in Green Arrow and the character's creator is upset.
It's always an interesting and informative read when Newsarama looks at the numbers
Small Publisher Good News Watch: Moonstone's selling stuff out [Silencers #1 via Newsarama] [Phantom via Pulse]
Flat Earth goes on hiatus, will be missed
Posted 16 October 02003 - Permalink
A celebration of the Lee/Ditko Doctor Strange [Pop Culture Gadabout]
Architects of a marvelous world: Marvel Comics co-creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby became the Lennon and McCartney of the comic book universe [National Post via Mark Evanier, fact-checking]
Marvel confirms reorganization [Newsarama]
Dan Buckley is the new Publisher, with Bill Jemas "transitioning" to Chief Marketing Officer, a non-executive position, so they don't have to give him a big payout.
Holding space for ruminations: [Paul O'Brien] [Forager 23] [The Beat] [Permanent Damage] [Franklin's Findings]
Joey Q will still light our way.
Confirmed: Epic book Young Ancient One still coming out in February [Thanator]
Neilalien fave Invincible scores an A- in Entertainment Weekly [Grotesque Anatomy]
Update: Thanator has more
Posted 14 October 02003 - Permalink
Bill Jemas axed [Newsarama] [Pulse] [excellent Gutters]
Jemas probably never got a kind word on this website (too tough with the small retailers, never should have written one single comic book, etc.)- but now Neilalien can't help but have thoughts of the "be careful what you wish for" "you don't know a golden age is happening until it's over" variety. Now we'll get to vent about a different kind of bullshit from Marvel: instead of lousy risks taken (T&A and sex, Tsunami pseudo-manga, Rawhide Kid, the superhero shuffle), now we'll get no risks taken whatsoever so as not to offend Hollywood in any way whatsoever. Sincerely: Mr. Jemas, you presided over a miraculous turnaround. Good luck in your future endeavors.
Epic submissions suspended [Newsarama] [Pulse]
Due to overwhelming response. Comicdom must be like New York- everyone's got a script. Don't know if this really has something to do with Jemas' departure. Young Ancient One should be unaffected since it's further along the process (knock on wood). Still love the concept of Epic- but without the proper resources involved nor creator ownership nor genre expansion, why bother.
700 pallets of 90's comics and cards found stored overseas [ICv2]
Neilalien's very curious to see what's in this time capsule. There's nothing worse for collectibility than when demand is miniscule and supply is engorged- which was already the case for most of the 90's Marvel stuff.
The business of comics needs to support the art of comics more [Ninth Art]
The Direct Market: Anecdotes From The Field [Grotesque Anatomy]
Posted 11 October 02003 - Permalink
On his Bad Signal mailing list, Warren Ellis reported today on the 'strangely persistent rumor' that Bill Jemas has been removed from power and Epic 'deactivated'
Marvel raises Q3, 2003 guidance [Newsarama] [Pulse]
High praise for Denny O'Neil's The Question [It Came From The Quarter Bin]
Fortress of Solitude author Jonathan Lethem interviewed [Comic Book Resources]
Retailer rant re: Avengers #71 [ICv2]
Steven Grant weighs in on recent topics [Permanent Damage]
Posted 9 October 02003 - Permalink
Rob Worley writes in: The Young Ancient One Mini-Site!
Get a free tattoo, too, of "the mark of the ancient ones"- which looks an awful lot like the symbol Doc sported in Flight of Bones. Hmmm... And just learned that Invincible colorist Bill Crabtree is involved.
An excellent open letter against comic book reviews with condescending asides [Bookslut via Bloggity]
Update: Related: 50,000,000 Manga Fans Can't Be Illiterate [Grotesque Anatomy]
Strange Magic debuts in February [Newsarama]
The resulting discussion asks: Where's Doc? Where's Witches?
Review: Putting Stan Lee in his place [CNN.com] [emailed in by The Temple Files]
Posted 8 October 02003 - Permalink
Vintage Dr. Strange Halloween costume! [RetroCrush] [superhero index] [full index of vintage costumes] [via Fark]
The Man Who Stepped Out of a Closet [Comics Commentary]
A call to research the portrayal of sexual relationships in Ditko's work.
Forager 23 is contributing to TCJ's upcoming all-Ditko issue!
Stan vs. 'Striperella' [Excerpted from The Comics Journal #255]
Dr. Strange not among Grant Morrison's Favourite Superheroes [LinkMachineGo]
The Next Comic Book Controversy: Who is the target audience? [Mark Evanier]
Interview with Scott McCloud [Bookslut]
Neilalien fave Hannibal Tabu got a gig at Comic Book Resources! [The Comic Reel]
Also: Hannibal interviewed by Breakdowns
Yeah, Neilalien's waiting for his ship to come in any day now... :)
Batman #608 Hush Variant CGC 9.8: $2,300 and still the reserve not met [Ebay via CGC Hall of Shame]
Excerpt from ground-breaking essay Saints, Anonymous: Marvel Comics (1961-1976) and the Puritan Legacy in America [Motime Like The Present]
Taking on comic reviews that are just potshots of the superhero genre [Franklin's Findings]
JLA/Avengers #1 review roundup [Grotesque Anatomy]
Summary of the power items in JLA/Avengers [Comics 101]
Neilalien covered the Wand of Watoomb last month, but he links this because he didn't actually know the DC items.
Posted 7 October 02003 - Permalink
Serious guerrilla marketing for comics, interesting recommendations [The Comics Pimp]
Possible Epic dismantling, the Avengers sex script [Lying In The Gutters]
Comic books, rock 'n' roll, and Brooklyn [CNN.com]
Via Triptych Cryptic via Temple Files. Neilalien's got to get reading Fortress of Solitude!
Blogging for Dollars [A Whole Lotta Nothing via Anil's Daily Links]
Micropayments get another kick in the head as user experience hell. Argues that textads are better. Also good tips on how to create a site that might yield results with Google's textads.
Update: Don't get all excited about Google's AdSense yet- there's some evilness [Kottke]
Deflating The Blog Bubble [Oliver Willis via Anil's Daily Links]
66% of blogs are dead, 1 million one-day wonders, more interesting stats, demographics [Perseus.com Blog Survey]
Feeling meta grumpy about weblogs today.
Why link to graphic novel holon academic goobledeegook that's way over the head when one can link to Wizard's Comic Babes Archive?
The latter link via the Sequential Tart MB with a discussion. At what cost web hits?
Posted 6 October 02003 - Permalink
SEC has joined wider probe of Stan Lee Media [NYPost.com via WFC News]
Quentin Tarantino Blasts Comic Fans [Sci-Fi Wire via WFC News]
The geeks giveth and they taketh away. Or simply the perils of trying to cash in on an established audience if you give them crap they don't want.
Excellent attempt to separate canon/continuity from comic book fangeekism [Ninth Art]
Avengers #71 to be first mainstream Marvel comic with mature rating [Newsarama] [Pulse]
Ant-Man goes muff-diving. No, really. A hooker gets beat up too.
Updates: Avengers #71 Delayed, Returnable [ICv2]
Retailers Over-Reacting [ICv2]
Comic book store owners find business looks rosier [Atlanta-Journal Constitution via WFC News]
An upbeat press hit, or a list of depressing factoids? U-Decide.
Off to watch Alias. In Sequence will be watching too.
Posted 5 October 02003 - Permalink
Egon needs Team Comix assistance
Alan David Doane is back blogging, a new URL
Amazing Spider-Man #500 preview [Newsarama] [Pulse]
Who Created Marvel? discussed [another topic tag-teamed well a la Stan & Jack by Forager and Motime]
Halle Berry as Catwoman preview pic [ICv2]
Motivational superhero posters [Superlithos via Bloggity]
What? No "Spider-Man: Stick with it!"?
The ORIGINAL Illustrated Catalog Of ACME Products [via Boing Boing]
Containing all of the things a certain coyote has bought over the years.
Posted 2 October 02003 - Permalink
Marvel to produce own films? [Sci Fi Wire via WFC News]
Movie executives are strolling through comic book shops, asking assistant managers what the hot properties are [The Clarion-Ledger via WFC News]
Posted without comment.
Panels! The Journal of Comics Criticism [via TCJ Message Board]
The purpose of this journal is to bring the same level of intellectual and academic discussion and literary analysis to the medium of comic books and graphic novels that exists for virtually all other forms of writing.
Breaking into comics, CrossGen licensed trademarks as collateral, the golden age of decompression has past [Permanent Damage]
Marvel publishing a benefit book for ACTOR [ICv2]
Hulk ride scares woman to death [Pulse]
Posted 1 October 02003 - Permalink
A Doctor Strange Fansite
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