Neilalien : A Doctor Strange Fansite : A Comic Book Weblog  

Roger Stern interview [Comic Book Resources]

CBR: You had a long run on "Doctor Strange." What made this character interesting to you?
Stern: He was the first comics character who really had me accepting the concept of "magic." That was mainly thanks to Lee and Ditko. Their work got me to buy into Doc's world. Plus, he and Tony Stark were the first comics heroes I'd ever encountered who had moustaches.
CBR: Why do you think that Marvel has had difficulty maintaining an ongoing "Doctor Strange" series?
Stern: The good Doctor is not a slam-bang super-hero, so right off the bat he's very different from the majority of the Marvel characters. And most of the Marvel heroes have science-based (or pseudo-science-based) origins. Despite its early pulpish feel, "Doctor Strange" has generally been a much more esoteric strip, far removed from the other Marvel heroes... and some creative teams have tried to pull it even farther away.
CBR: Your first published comics story was a Steve Ditko "Captain Atom" story. As a newcomer, how did you get to work with Steve Ditko?
Stern: Well, I didn't really work with Ditko. He had already plotted and penciled that story for the "Captain Atom" comic book. It was still on the shelf at Charlton and they... turned it over to me... And here's the interesting thing about that story: there was no written plot. All I had to go by were the penciled pages. But, you know, those pages were all I needed. It was Ditko! The storytelling was so great, you could tell exactly what was going on.

Update: Above interview critiqued; Stern declaration that Parker/Watson was a mistake got no follow-up [Motime Like The Present]

DC main man Paul Levitz essentially tells secret RRP Direct-Market meeting that they're the past of comics distribution; hilarity ensues [Brian Hibbs] [Paul O'Brien at Ninth Art] [The Beat #1, #2] [The Engine]
After the First Age of newsstands, and the Second Age of direct market stores, we're entering a Third Age, undefined as yet but clearly bookstore-oriented for DC. Where are new comic readers coming from? Can the Direct Market ever live up to its potential?

New occult story arc starts in Marvel Knights 4 #25, will include Dr. Strange [IGN]

ICv2 October 02005 numbers and analysis [Top 300; Defenders #4 at #62, 29,075 sold] [Top 100 GN's] [Infinite Crisis #1 a million-dollar book, credited for 6% periodical rise]
October 02005 month-to-month sales numbers at Pulse [Marvel] [DC, others]
Observing the sales-number horse-race of stunts and slow decline: "There are bags of money sitting by the road and a gross ton of readers looking for things to read... and the DM is, as you say, eating itself." [Basement Tapes]

The Webcomics Business Models [Joey Manley's Webhead column at Pulse]
It's Webcomics Week [Comixfan] [via WFC News]
Oh No Robot is a full-text webcomics search engine [Webhead explains]

Claypool Comics (Elvira) first casualty of Diamond's new minimum-order policy? [The Beat] [Mark Evanier]

Saliva Strand Syndrome- a silent killer [Dave's Long Box]

Love note to Big Fat Comics; Dr. Strange in wishlist for Marvel anthology [Filing Cabinet of the Damned]

Roll call: The Legion of Librarian Comics Bloggers [Yet Another Comics Blog]

What type of lover would Comic Book be? [creepo Newsarama MB post]

On self-publishing; plus December 02005 'Blacklights', previewing black-themed comics [What's A Nubian? column at Buzzscope]

Not done with All-Star Superman #1 love [Annotations] [Not The Beastmaster] [learn something: Polite Dissent Biological Reviews #1; #2]

Epic-Scale Stories Excite the Superhero Universe [New York Times]
House of M and Infinite Crisis compared to movies' "summer blockbusters".

"Use your cover to put in the reader's mind a question they have to buy the comic to answer" [Permanent Damage covers covers]

'Less is more' is good, but not convinced that the total elimination of captions and thought balloons is great [Erik Larsen One Fan's Opinion]

Superheroes as works of art [Worth 1000 Photoshop Contest] [via The Beat]

Funny examination of DC character Mordru's costume and similarity to Alan Moore [The Hurting]

Conservatives rankled that DeLay's corruption getting more press than I'm-running-to-Brazil-because-I'm-innocent Peter Paul's Hillary claims [Accuracy In Media]

Lost star Michelle Rodriguez (drool) in a new Tigress movie? Stan Lee involved [IFMagazine]
Alias cancelled [Film Stew]
Alias started off as such a great show, but they really put us through a lot: the dumbing-down of the storyline for 'accessibility', Sydney's lost year was dud, they ended the double-life mojo, that time they found someone by searching the entire planet with a spy satellite and a DNA sample, the unbelievablilty of everyone working for Sloan again, the attempted handoff of the show to non-Sydney/non-Vaughn, etc. Alas Alias.

The new She-Hulk letters page is called Gamma Gamma Hey. Does a Ramones fan proud...

Reminder: Neilalien's not enough of a syndication kool-aid drinker yet to provide a full-content feed, or to use RSS himself as more than a slightly better way to stay on top of certain image-, brokendesign- and ad-laden websites on a slow dialup connection than surfing with Opera and his user-defined text-only stylesheet. But if you ever find yourself information-overload-miffed waiting for an un-updated Neilalien webpage to crank- perhaps while he gets loogey on turkey and forgets to hit the Publish button- then the Neilalien RSS Update Notifier/Tickler Thingie is for you.

Posted 30 November 02005 - Permalink

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Doctor Dremo

Doctor Dremo Doctor Dremo #1 is a jam minicomic by the DC Conspiracy [blog], "a Washington, DC, area comic-book creators collaborative". (Should be able to link directly to a page about the Doctor Dremo book, but alas, the group couldn't resist using crappy Flash for their website. Anyway...) Named after a bar where the Conspirators meet, the Dr. Dremo character is a great takeoff on Dr. Strange (complete with all-seeing eye symbol, Wang and The Dread Dremomu) that all Doc fans will enjoy. The book has creative quality work throughout, and the story doesn't stray- leaving the next creator with an insane plot twist may be half the fun of jamming, but it usually just makes for a weaker end result. By Matt Dembicki, Deborah Orgel, Evan Keeling, Grant Jeffrey Barrus, Jacob Warrenfeltz, Bram and Monica Meehan, Andrew Cohen, and Chris Piers. 32 pages, 8.5"x5.5", black & white with color cover, $3.00. Highly recommended, especially to Dr. Strange fans.

In fact, Neilalien would like to take this moment and correct a longtime lapse on this weblog, and recommend all of the self-published minicomics he's enjoyed over the past few years coming out of Wasp Comics (Washington Area Small Press) by Matt Dembicki [blog, which includes a great self-publishing series called "The Small Presser"]. (Full disclosure: Neilalien is aware of Dembicki's work from a former life... it's but a distant image...) Coexistence (8 pages, 8.5"x5.5", black & white with color cover, 50 cents) is a strong recent release with excellent use of darkness and shadow, about a priest's battle of wits with the devil, adapting a short story by Polish author Slawomir Mrozek (as Dembicki's Attic Wit #1-3 adapt a story by Polish writer Marek Huberath). Mr. Big is a steadily-more-involving tale of a pond and its politics, a terrorizing snapping turtle and an invading snakehead. Check out the Wasp Comics website for all the comics online, and send Matt some minicomics cash. More links: Attic Wit #1 review [Silver Bullet Comics]. Attic Wit #1-2, Mr. Big #1-2 review [Alan David Doane]. Mr. Big #4 review [Size Matters].

Posted 21 November 02005 - Permalink

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Link Wray, Father of the Power Chord, has died [ w/MP3s]

Posted 20 November 02005 - Permalink

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The Comic Book King: "Ukrainian-American Steve Ditko is acknowledged as one of the all-time great illustrators of comic books" [The Ukrainian Observer]
"So if anyone asks whether the creator of Spider-Man is of Ukrainian ancestry, the answer is 'I think so, but I'm not sure.'" [The Windsor Viter, June 1999, Volume 9, Number 3]
Various notable persons of Ukrainian ancestry in the United States [Wikipedia]
Sweet potato pierogis at Veselka on Neilalien! Mmm...

Top Five Marvel Superheroes Whose Names Are Their Actual Names [Snark Free Waters]
Doctor Strange is #2.

Thing Hands make 02005 "10 Worst Toys" list [World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H.)] [via Boing Boing]
No no, not for being crappy, but for being dangerous. The hazard? Blunt impact injuries! DUH!

"Craft by itself isn't art, but art doesn't really get to be art without craft" and punk rock too [Permanent Damage]

Posted 18 November 02005 - Permalink

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Doc Sighting: Top 10: Beyond The Farthest Precinct #4

Doctor Strange in Top 10: Beyond The Farthest Precinct #4

One of the great things about the Top 10 books are the "easter eggs". Carefully scanning every panel of Neopolis for references to other comic books always produces a reward. Beyond The Farthest Precinct #4 is no exception, and even feels heavy with references, even for Top 10. Stilt Man working on a construction site, Astro City's Confessor presiding over a funeral, Machine Man, Asterix, Felix The Cat, all the Marvel villains at the baseball game, etc. etc.- who knows how many references Neilalien doesn't even get.

In #4, we get treated to the panel above: it looks like Dr. Strange and another magician are the metal detectors at the station house. Who is the other magician? There were several magicians in the 01940's of the suit-and-turban variety. Neilalien thinks it's Sargon the Sorcerer- the Ruby of Life in the turban and how the cape attaches in the front is a match. There's no Ibistick wand, so it's not Ibis The Invincible. And Mr. Mystic didn't have a gem in his turban.

Update: You sick Dr. Strange surrender monkeys are emailing that Doc appears in a second place in the book. Which is likely true. Neilalien was aware of it, but was thrown off: isn't that supposed to be a page of Marvel villains? Does anyone else have a cloak like that?

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Doc Sighting: Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #2, Part 4 of 12 of "The Other" story arc. Spidey's got cooties, and he makes the Marvel-U braintrust rounds trying to find a cure: Reed Richards, Dr. Pym, Dr. Banner, etc. He also goes to Dr. Strange, who also cannot help him. But that's fine- this isn't the usual Doc incompetence that Neilalien rails against- "The Other"'s got eight more chapters, and it's clear that Spidey's not going to solve his problem that easily and early, right?

Doctor Strange completists, and fans of Marvel monsters, will want to pick up Marvel Monsters: From The Files Of Ulysses Bloodstone (And The Monster Hunters). Dr. Strange sends Ulysses a magical spell relating the events of that Strange Tales book (the one from the 90's by Busiek with the acetate cover), and the monster known as KhLΘG. What really caught Neilalien's eye about this book is how information is displayed in emails and a weblog format (LiveJournal, more accurately). Blogs in Marvel Comics! Also: a neat credit to one of Neilalien's longtime fave reference websites, The Marvel Universe Appendix.

Doc Sighting: The Pulse #12
Jessica Jones' water breaks, and it's mayhem at the hospital until the New Avengers show up to take her to "the best doctor in town", Doctor Strange, to deliver Luke Cage's Power Muffin.

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Is there a little chill in Hell right now? Because it might be one of those rare times when Neilalien's buying a DC Universe book. Yep, couldn't resist that beautiful Quitely art and neat lettering in All-Star Superman #1. Oh and Grant Morrison's good too. :) If Morrison can make the most boring comic book character ever interesting to Neilalien, he can do anything.
Update: Grant Morrison's Six Rules for Writing All Star Superman [Wizard Magazine interview posted to a message board] [via LinkMachineGo]

Neilalien enjoyed Marvel Team-Up #14, the Spider-Man/Invincible story by Kirkman, Walker and Crabtree. Put this creative team on any book and Neilalien's buying. It was neat that they talked about how a fat slob like Dr. Octopus survives his fights with superheroes by using the tangle of arms to keep battlers at a distance and unable to land clean blows. Unfortunately, this new mystique is undermined immediately later in the story when Invincible just tears the arms apart in a rage.

Posted 16 November 02005 - Permalink

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Stan Lee swears in X-Men 3? [The Comic Reel]

New Erik Larsen/Savage Dragon website includes Dr. Strange sketch [thanks Augie!]

Jim Starlin's Warlock: Joe Casey continues his exploration of the Cosmic Superhero Epic [The Genre column at GØDLAND Online]

September 02005 month-to-month sales at Pulse [Marvel] [DC, others]

Webhead: New column by Joey Manley about webcomics [Pulse]
Neilalien will be reading.

Posted 14 November 02005 - Permalink

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Arrested Development cancelled [Yahoo News]
Nuts. At least Smallville has ramped up: Lois in a bikini, Lois undercover at the strip club, Lana as a vampire, and now Spike's a Kryptonian!

The ups and downs of the pro wrestling industry as parable for the comics industry [Permanent Damage]

Klurkor 11, a set of rules designed for better comics storytelling [T Campbell] [via House Of The Ded]

Posted 12 November 02005 - Permalink

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Steve Ditko draws Chuck Norris [Masterworks, Archives, Essentials and Collected Editions Fan Site] [via Brill Building]

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Why Won't They Enrich Their Lives?

If only those superhero-only enjoyers would enrich their lives by checking out thought-provoking autobiographical comics (shakes fist in frustration) [Brill Building]

Gods bless Brill Building for trying. We can't do nothing, or we'll go insane. It's a frustration Neilalien shares. Good smart people don't know that certain good smart books even exist.

It seems that every year or so, this essay re-emerges. There are two kinds of this essay. The first kind explores Why genre-specific fandom?- Subsurface Communications had a neat one. The second is the condescending crappy Blame The Superhero Reader For All That Is Bad In Comics, If Only They Would Buy Something Else, ridiculously-wasted erroneously-targeted snobcamp-energy type. Brill Building's above feels like the first type, so this website won't respond to it as if the second type has returned like a bad penny. Still, for some reason Neilalien could never prevent himself from drooling at the sound of this particular bell, and the keyboard's hummin', so let's crank up the Victrola.

The way Neilalien sees it, there are two reasons for the superhero-specific fandom phenomenon:

  1. Superhero comics and autobiographical comics are as different as stamp collecting and baseball-card collecting. Just because they are both types of comics or collecting, it doesn't mean that one would be interested in the other. Those looking for some explodotainment are not interested in arthouse films. Very few people- but a subpopulation over-represented in the comicsblogosphere, which is wonderful, and Neilalien is also a member- love Comics, Movies, etc. as a Medium critically and thus are open to liking all kinds of them. We kind of saw this phenomenon when Paul O'Brien's recent ennui about one type of comics and reluctance to read the "right" type broke the internet in half. When you suggest Optic Nerve to a hardcore superhero fan, it's not apples and apples. They may know where the shop is, and what a thought balloon is, but it's still too different. Neilalien suspects this is what's happening with manga as well. Neilalien also suspects that this over-representation of "medium lovers" explains the comicsblogosphere's apparent bemused lack of comprehension of genre-specific fandom.
  2. After years of only supporting superhero fans in the Direct Market and convention circuit, the hardcorest of the hardcore are almost the only ones left, the only ones who didn't abandon comics nor were not abandoned. Anyone with any genetic predisposition to like other possible comics other than the Marvel/DC overlords in their under-capitalized-so-risk-averse boutiques have largely been bred out of that vat, naturally deselected by the Direct Market environment. This isn't a different kind of condescension- that superhero enjoyers are un-"enrich"-able monolithic lummoxes so why bother, keep 'em in closed-minded darkness, only suggest good superhero books to them. But the Direct Market forge is constantly exfoliating any waverers (cutting off its long tail) and refining those who remain towards ever more hardcoreness. It sifts through people until it finds the copy with the perfect spine, and then CGC-slabs them. Until even books with "only" heavy superhero elements like Sleeper can't sell.

If you want to grow the readership of works like Epileptic, asking these hardcore superhero fans to check it out hasn't worked very well. And then big picture, that's asking a shrinking demographic to redistribute its spending across more comics- surely we can do something more effective with our sweat than rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic? Potential readership growth for the teen sex-angst AIDS-metaphor Black Hole resides outside the strident superhero fanbase, not within. Rambo diehards didn't go see Philadelphia. The superhero fans are happy, we do them right, we got them covered, leave them alone, don't badger them, it's not effective anyway. An altcomix-promoting booth at Spandexcon is not "outreach" or "activism"- such a booth at a book fair or on the street outside of Macy's or a New York Times press-hit is Outreach and Activism. We need an infusion of new blood. We need to increase the overall number of people who read comics- who even know they still exist- not attack or alter the buying/reading habits of the happy tiny 200,000 who already do. It's not that supercomics sell so much ("much" being a relative term), but that everything else sells so little. It would be wonderful if the Direct Market patrons of today demanded more diverse comics and, voting with their dollars and pre-orders, from within, changed how "outsiders" perceived comics, forced the evolution of stores that would attract the new blood of tomorrow- but it doesn't seem to be happening, does it? Comic shops without a James Sime or Brian Hibbs at the helm, that don't bring in those New Readers of non-superhero comics, will die, bookstores will eat them, they'll become toy geek culture stores, gaming emporiums, etc. Comics will suffer. But those now addicted 200,000 are the foundation for future growth, the charter sustaining board members, the I.V. drip- not the problem. But all Neilalien can do is talk at walls like Savant's and Journalista's, the same way they talk at superhero-reader walls. And their charges of "protectionism", that Neilalien claims that the Direct Market should be superhero-only, which is never what he's said. He's simply saying that trying to shame superhero-only readers to Buy Something Else is just not an effective way to work towards making the Direct Market something more diverse than superhero-only. (Using "you are going out of business catering to a dying-off microtaste" to shame publishers who throw their monopolist weight around and retailers who only sell superhero is another animal- but even then, the loudest punditry there is of the inane "Get out of the way of the future and just die!" mentality.) Especially when such a Buy Something Else call will go unheard, because it's from a website that superhero readers don't visit because of the pointless Attitude found there, like a Savant or Journalista... Okay, this is devolving into a ranty response to several past essays of the second type (that Neilalien would like to think he's long unclenched from...), so let's just defer to Attentiondeficitdisorderly's fine summation of the last spat (hope that link never dies).

Neilalien's not in a different boat. He tries all the time to rearrange deckchairs and alter the superhero hardcore base's buying habits towards other genres and less-corporate situations- but with things they might actually like, at the Venn Diagram overlaps. They come because they Google for "Clea naked bondage", get caught in the pitcher plant, and then maybe they learn some industry news, then he pimps them action comics like The Losers, sci-fi like Runners, minicomics like Jet-Pack Jenny, creator owned-and-operated superhero like Invincible, books like Sleeper, The Silencers, etc. Desperate for any non-Marvel/DC dollar, any dollar that could put food on the table of self-publishing creators with actual genre-plots besides their own suburban dateless-nerd angst. Is Neilalien effective in his mission? The emails he gets from those who followed a recommendation and were pleased hint at Yes; the fetal position he's in nightly hints at No. It's not much, barely anything- but Neilalien thinks it's at least a fly-honey approach towards superhero fans with more logical promise than badgering, or suggesting something so out of their ever-shrinking Venn Diagram as Brill Building did.

Is pimping Optic Nerve your noble bag? Great! But yours seems a more difficult task than Neilalien's, because your "real" targets have barely read any "graphic fiction" before. A "medium jump" is harder- that's why you go after the superhero apples-to-apples already-comic-readers, right? It makes little sense to Neilalien to try and get Green Lantern ubercollectors to check out Blankets, and much less to propose this as a solution to comic's woes. To grow alt/art, you need A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius book readers to crossover and overcome anti-comics literary snobbery and read Epileptic (to even find it!). CSI television viewers to read CSI comics. You kinda need to do the same thing that Marvel's trying to do: get Stephen King book readers to become Stephen King comic book readers. Marvel's King crossover is not only a similar task- it might actually be the easier task?- less literary snobbery among King readers?- today it still feels like a smaller stretch than a Green Lantern > Blankets crossover.

Neilalien doesn't want to sound like he stands ready to jump down the throat of any attempt to broaden a superhero-enjoyer's horizons. But the louder the recommender's frustration and anger over it, the greater the condescension, the further from superheroics the recommendation- the louder Neilalien's "protection". Once again, comics punditry, activists and outreachists, much like the Direct Market, seem more obsessed with "enriching" and refining more purity out of the choir, rather than growing the size and diversity of the flock.

Posted 11 November 02005 - Permalink

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Dr. Strange part of Bendis' New Avengers Special: The Illuminati [Newsarama]
Doc represents the mystical side of the Marvel Universe in a secret cabal, formed after the Kree-Skrull War, with Professor X, Namor, Black Bolt and Reed Richards. They've "had a hand in many of the major events that have rocked the Marvel Universe over the years".

The Surrogates #3 preview [Newsarama]
Robert Venditti talks up his series [Pulse]

Jock and Diggle talk the end of The Losers [Pulse]

On Multiplicity: The Pleasures and Politics of Infinite Crises on Infinite Earths [Double Articulation]

Posted 10 November 02005 - Permalink

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Marvel releases bad Q3 02005 numbers [Newsarama]
Big declines in overall profit (-29%, $34.4 million in Q3 02004 to $23.4 million), licensing (almost -50%), toys (-54%). Bad news- although again, it's swings heavily based on the movie cycle: not every financial quarter will have a Spider-Man 2 or Lord Of The Rings and quarters with one and without one get compared year-to-year in these reports. The problem now is landing a big Q3 next year to compare to this lull between movies and make it look like a big growth surge- but the outlook/projection for 02006 was tamed. The 02006 movie slate is X-Men 3, Ghost Rider, and The Punisher 2. Note: Thing Hands didn't sell like Hulk Hands. As of this writing 1 PM ET, Marvel stock is down 20% today. The one bright spot is the one we care about: publishing! A 14% increase in revenue compared to Q3 02004, increasing to $25.8 million- credited to higher trade paperback sales (responsible for $3.2 million of the increase).

Mainstream Media Meltdown II [The Long Tail]
Box office, newspapers, CDs, radio, books, DVDs, magazines, etc. Braindump:

Posted 9 November 02005 - Permalink

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Doc Sighting: House of M #8

Dr. Strange has a tiny but intense moment in House of M #8. "My duties as Master of the Mystic Arts are simple. Protect this world from an attack just like this. I failed. Completely."

Alas, once again, Doc and his fans get no respect, and a big event in the Marvel Universe is dependent of Doctor Strange's either complete absence, incapacitation, incompetence or failure (Secret Wars, Doc can't help because he's off busy in another dimension, the recent Unthinkable storyline in Fantastic Four, etc. etc.). Perhaps Doc's been written as so powerful that he can't interestingly participate- so much so that now he's long crossed the line into becoming an element that requires removal. The author naturally thinks, "I can't have a murder mystery with everyone trapped on the Moon unless I deal with the guy who can read everyone's mind and teleport everyone home." And then half the time, they "deal" with Doc by turning him into an oaf, on the level of having him repeatedly bumble into a sedative-filled syringe like BA Baracus. Of course when it's time afterwards to help people forget or undo what's happened (in this issue, in the recent Daredevil, etc.), Doc's as useless as a two-legged table- but for that he should be useless- but it always seems to play out as incompetence again, that he's unable to do it, "the magic doesn't work that way", etc. It's never that he won't do it ("My responsibility now is to preserve the timeline, not rip it apart creating endless timeloops of second chances."). You just don't see any other heroes wearing the hairshirt like Doc does here (except for Emma when she's using Cerebro)- no one even replies to him with, "We all failed, Doc."

But sucking all that up- this could be an interesting thread if Bendis or another writer picks it up and runs with it well. Neilalien wouldn't want to see Doc shut down from doubt, turtling, moping off to some hidden dimension of libraries to "get better". Doc's been shown in the past with enough Zen-ness to simply accept this new Decimated reality, but an intense response would be better. On the other end of the spectrum, crazily reaffirming his duties and ensuring that something like this never happens again by becoming a tyrant towards other mystics sounds like an retread of The Order. But geez, throw us Doc fans a bone, give us a little redemptive victory. Have Doc brush himself off from this setback and help a group of former mutants get the powers back or something like that. Give Doc a critical part in addressing the "equal and opposite reaction".

With our luck- if they do anything with this at all, mind you- Marvel editors will probably decide to have Doc be so upset at this failure that he'll want to go "back to the beginning" to see "where he went wrong", and we'll get yet another useless Dr. Strange origin retelling/revamping...

Update: Big Bendis interview, House of M Post Mortem II [Newsarama]
Listen to his load of crap!

NRAMA: The repercussions for Dr. Strange - as he said, this was his job, to protect the world form this kind of attack, and he totally failed. Was bringing him down your idea?
BB: Yes. I love Dr. Strange - loooove him. I think there's a story to be told of Dr. Strange re-earning his title of the Sorcerer Supreme.
NRAMA: Was that a seed that you planted for yourself, that is, do you plan on going back and bringing Dr. Strange back to his former glory?
BB: I think Dr. Strange is one of the greatest characters ever at Marvel, and every writer in the world has a pitch in for him, but no one can write him in a way that grabs people. I wanted to give him a hook and let him go back out there to see if someone would grab it.
He has such a great origin, but there's not a lot to build on from it.
NRAMA: And this goes back to that and touches is, where originally, his pride was his downfall, and it could be argued in House of M that he thought he was up to the challenge, and yet, he wasn't...
BB: Right. I would like to see him start drinking again... and smash his car again... if we're taking him down to the roots, let's go all the way back [laughs]. And someone should pull him aside and tell him the moustache just isn't working anymore.
NRAMA: Dr. Strange: Intervention?
BB: [laughs] Man - that's the plot for The Illuminati - they tell him there's a crisis, and he shows up, but when he gets there, Reed closes and locks the door and says, "First off Stephen, we're all here because we care about you..." Then Dr. Strange teams with Dormammu and defeats them all, because he's in denial.
NRAMA: But with that, you were okay in changing Dr. Strange and letting him go, even though you couldn't write the story right away?
BB: Yeah - it's not as if Dr. Strange is currently a key figure in anyone's book. He'll hold until someone wants to get to him, if it's me, or someone else.

Dr. Strange fans, Baron Mordo must have cursed us, stuck us in a time loop where every creator out there from JMS to Bendis is obsessed with giving us the same story over and over... We don't need his origin "fixed" or redone again or built on, we don't need to see him re-earn titles he already possesses, all we ever see is Doc being knocked down by creators who claim to love the character- but no creator ever comes around to follow-up so we never see the glory-regained story... Anger rising...

Posted 8 November 02005 - Permalink

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The Dr. Strange tunic Peter Hooten wore in the 70's TV movie: $7,500 or best offer! [EBay] [thanks Wrong Dimension Boy!]

Dr. Strange TV movie tunic

Screenshot of Dr. Strange TV movie tunic

Posted 7 November 02005 - Permalink

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Another Defenders series by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire planned [Comics Continuum] [via Defenders Message Board]
So said Marvel editor Nick Lowe Friday at Wizard World Texas.

Posted 6 November 02005 - Permalink

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Stephen King to adapt The Dark Tower to comics for Marvel [Marvel PR at Newsarama; Pulse; Comic Book Resources] [major Joey Q interview at Newsarama]

Marvel Announces Three Projects with Best-Selling Authors of Prose Fiction [ICv2]
Novelist David Morrell, the creator of Rambo, to write a Captain America series [PR at Newsarama; Comic Book Resources]
Novelist Eric Jerome Dickey to create Storm mini-series (with romance with T'Challa) coinciding with February 02006 Black History Month [PR at Comic Book Resources; Newsarama]

Marvel Meets the King [Motley Fool]
Marvel-cheerleading investment site drinks the Kool-Aid that King will bring in massive amounts of new Marvel comic readers.

What can King do for comics that Star Wars comics (or Spider-Man movies) didn't?, collection/backlist will sell, move aimed at bookstore market [The Beat analyzes]

Update: "But it's not, in the sense that most people would understand it, a comic written by Stephen King" [Ninth Art]

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Stan Lee On The Superpower Of Comics: short "words and pictures" duh interview blurb [; print link: that Forbes site is unusable!]

GODLAND #1 and #2 sold out; TPB collecting #1-6 out in January [PR at Newsarama; Comic Book Resources]

New What Ifs take place on "Earth-717"; Captain America on the Union side of the Civil War against the White Skull [PR at Pulse]

How Jews Invented The Comic Book [] [alt link: Ynetnews]
How did the People of the Book become People of the Comic Book? (Note: This has confusingly/boringly become an annually-used headline/meme, but as far as Neilalien can tell this is a new text, or at least, he's never linked to this particular text before.)

A. Dave Lewis' The Lone and Level Sands in December tells Exodus story from Pharaoh's point of view [Newsarama]
Equal time re: the above link? ;)

Posted 5 November 02005 - Permalink

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Professor X is blogging, relating recent meeting with Dr. Strange [Professor Xavier's Blog]

Wong was polite enough, but as he led us to the Ritual Chamber, I scanned his mind. It turns out that when no one else is in the house, Wong likes to try on Clea's outfits. No harm in that I suppose so I'll keep his secret safe. Besides, it can always be useful to have a little something on someone.

"This day in comics history" blog new-to-Neilalien [Days Of Comics Past]

Alan Moore: Could it be magic? [Independent Online] [via Robot Wisdom]
Or is that magick? Fave line:

One of the many themes which have permeated his work since he first started to be noticed for his issues of DC Comics Swamp Thing in the early 1980s is his distaste for the way the mass media turn sometimes quite ordinary people into celebrities, "fuel rods for the Murdoch empire", then spit them out as drug-addicted or merely boring, only to rediscover them years later as ironic icons.

Posted 4 November 02005 - Permalink

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The S.H.I.E.L.D. Career Power Seminar [Dave's Long Box]

In His Own Words: Creating Runners, From Comic to Graphic Novel by Sean Wang [Pulse]

Time for comics fans and creators of color to stand up and be counted [new What's A Nubian? column at Buzzscope] [by Rich Watson also of Glyphs] [via The Low Road]

Black Like Me: There's an almost complete lack of non-white characters in our Big Two mainstream comic universes [Brandon Thomas' Ambidextrous column at Silver Bullet] [via Glyphs with response: need more black creators]

Brian Hibbs on the end of the Marvel/retailer class action suit [Newsarama]

Posted 3 November 02005 - Permalink

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Happy Birthday to Steve Ditko!

Steve Ditko

From "How Stan Lee And Steve Ditko Create Spider-Man!" in Spider-Man Annual #1 (01964).

Posted 2 November 02005 - Permalink

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