Neilalien : A Doctor Strange Fansite : A Comic Book Weblog  

Marshall Rogers and The Artwork of Dr. Strange [Best Of Most Of]

Posted 31 March 02007 - Permalink

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Friday Catblogging: Dr. Strange mostly just uses his powers to take pictures of his cats for the Internet [tiny_monster illo] [thanks Johnny!]

Marvel month-to-month direct market sales February 02007 [The Beat]
Numbers for The Oath:

10/06 #1 of 5 - 40,280
11/06 #2 of 5 - 29,824 (-26.0%)
12/06 #3 of 5 - 27,046 ( -9.3%)
01/07 #4 of 5 - 26,179 ( -3.2%)
02/07 #5 of 5 - 25,665 ( -2.0%)

Posted 30 March 02007 - Permalink

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365 Reasons to Love Comics #87: Doctor Strange [Comics Should Be Good]
Some kind words for Neilalien at the link- thanks!

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The plans in NYC this weekend:

Posted 29 March 02007 - Permalink

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Classic Marshall Rogers Doctor Strange #49 cover

Artist Marshall Rogers has died, 57 years too young [Newsarama]

Posted 28 March 02007 - Permalink

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A 3-D Astral Fly By of Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum [Joey Q's Blog]

Posted 27 March 02007 - Permalink

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Doctor Strange became Doc after years in the original origin- in today's instant-gratification world and JMS' Strange unnecessary retooling, it was five weeks [Silver Aged]

Also: Early 'Latin Lover' movie star Gilbert Roland as inspiration for Doc's look? [Google Image Search: Gilbert Roland]
Neilalien still sees Ronald Colman more [Google Image Search: Ronald Colman]
(This is all after the Asianesque first appearance, of course.)

Related Blasts From Past:
Doctor Strange at the Movies [Booksteve's Library]
Comics in Context #137 with Peter Sanderson [Quick Stop Entertainment]

(Comics enthusiasts should note that Capra's Lost Horizon appears to have been an influence on Stan Lee and Steve Ditko's Doctor Strange: the Ancient One may have been inspired by Lost Horizon's High Lama, and, as drawn by Ditko, Strange even looked like the film's star, Ronald Colman, complete with the latter's trademark mustache.)

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Michael T. Gilbert neat re-imagination of Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2 cover [image] [MTG's Journal] [via Ditko-L]

Ditko's early-80's Legion of Super-Heroes considered at Ditko Comics [#272] [#274] [#276] [#281]
Steve Ditko's Legion [The Legion Omnicom]
"Unfortunately for the most part Ditko's brief tenure as fill-in artist didn't intersect with the well-written eras."

Ditko love note; lots of info per panel [Comics Should Be Good]

Marvel Bears: Doctor Strange [Vorjeeves]

Marvel's June 02007 solicitations include World War Hulk #1 and Mystic Arcana: Magik [Comic Book Resources]
A bad month for Doc fans: Hulk beats Doc, and Doc not in a major mystic event.

Marvel to open theme park in Dubai [PR on Comic Book Resources]
Those lucky Halliburton employees.

The Comics Chronicles: a resource for comic-book circulation data [via Comics Reporter]
Yay for us wonks and those seeking historical sales numbers!

An appreciation of Criminal [Pipeline column on CBR]

Comics 1, Prudes 0: Missouri Library Reinstates Graphic Novels [ICv2]

Peter David explains three-act writing [Comic Book Resources]

Dan Slott politely asks downloaders to stop downloading his comics [Comics Worth Reading]

Neilalien fave The Surrogates headed to Hollywood, Disney; congrats to Rob Venditti [ICv2] [Pulse #1, #2]

Angelina Jolie joins Wanted cast [Popoholic]
No word yet on if Eminem will play the main character purposely made to look like Eminem in the comic.

Top 15 Unintentionally Funny Comic Book Panels [Yes But No But Yes]
If Neilalien knew that collecting and recycling these comicsblogosphere ancient greatest hits in one place would have led to massive Digg traffic, he would have done this post.

Great Scott! What did Michael Turner's udderly ridiculous JLA #10 cover look like before Power Girl's breasts were supposedly toned down? [Newsarama]

Posted 25 March 02007 - Permalink

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Dr. Strange in Kingdom Come #3

Doctor Strange in Kingdom Come #3. Next to last page of Chapter Three, top of top panel, very tiny, in the background with many other characters including Spider-Man and Thor. [Kingdom Come #3 Annotations]

Reminding Neilalien of the above: Doc uber-fan Howard and this thread on the Collectors Society Message Board of unofficial Marvel/DC crossovers, which includes Green Lantern V3 #57 when Kyle Rayner met Wong.

Wong in Green Lantern V3 #57 Wong in Green Lantern V3 #57

Posted 23 March 02007 - Permalink

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Dr. Strange Minimate

Doctor Strange Minimate announced [Minimate Headquarters] [Defenders Message Board]
Speculation that there will be a Defenders Minimate box set.

Posted 21 March 02007 - Permalink

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Dr. Strange, as written by Hunter S. Thompson [Lurking Rhythmically] [thanks Sanctum!]

Old-school Doctor Strange #11/Tomb of Dracula #44 crossover was one that worked: reader actually started buying other book [Comics Should Be Good]

Civil War: Frontline #11's Captain-America-doesn't-know-MySpace bullshit utterly destroyed by Photoshoppage [Tetsubo Productions]

Ode to Cloak & Dagger: The Teen Angst of Hell's Kitchen Vigilantes [Get That Out of Your Mouth column at Pitchfork Media]

She-Hulk, Sexual Assault, and Why I Think Dan Slott Did a Good Job [Mildred Milton]
On Slott's recent false-rape-accusation Starfox storyline. Those wacky eros powers!

The Whitewashed World of The Superhero [Cultural Magpie] [via Comics Reporter]

Do comics wane because people like the clear cut good versus evil stuff more than the 'popular' depressing 'realistic' stuff? [Websnark]
Among other challenges, a jaded audience wants good grim and gritty.

Captain America #25 death issue highlights that retailers are not trusted by industry suppliers, and some retailer speculator-greed [Brian Hibbs Tilting at Windmills]

Retailers rightly livid over being given little pre-information from Marvel about Captain America #25 death issue event or publicity [ICv2 #1, #2, #3, #4]

Does anyone at Marvel have an answer or is it simply another "You should have ordered more in the first place, you n00b!"... "Leaping from the final pages of Civil War... the life of Captain America! And it a... tell! We can't reveal more... will stun readers and send shockwave... here." Yeah... let me triple my orders based on that amazing solicitation.

Very elegant post by "kitty_tc" [Newsarama Message Board]

Mythic cycle and superhero storytelling: What seems to be getting ignored here is the fact that heroic stories have always included an element of death and rebirth, from the time of Beowulf on to the current day. This is so prevalent and so much an essential part of the genre that Joseph Campbell, in his famous studies of the mythic heroic cycle, declared the "death-underworld-return" concept to be a requirement for any story that follows the classic formula... Does anyone really think that superheroes are not the modern day equivalents of Beowulf and Gilgamesh and Heracles and every other classic heroic epic? Hell, some of those classic mythical heroes are still appearing in superhero stories today. It's the same thing, a storytelling tradition that has existed for all of recorded human memory. Superheroes are just the latest iteration of an idea as old as we are... Mythic heroes are supposed to die, conquer death, and return. It's an integral part of the genre. Comic books didn't screw up by making their heroes die and come back, people screwed up by ever expecting otherwise.

Posted 19 March 02007 - Permalink

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Stan Lee Media returns from the dead to sue Marvel for $5 Billion! Claiming co-ownership of Marvel characters?

[VFXWorld] [Red Herring] [Comic Book Resources] [Newsarama] [BBC News] [Comics Reporter]

Blast From The Past: Peter Paul: Lee Settlement Defrauds Stan Lee Media Shareholders [Comics Journal]

Neilalien struggles with his non-lawyer synopsis paragraph, and Comics Reporter's sounds better, so he's quoting that:

Stan Lee Media emerges from the ashes, sans Lee, to sue Marvel based on the two-pronged belief that Stan Lee maintained some level of acknowledged co-creator rights on certain Marvel properties according to contracts negotiated on his behalf at Marvel, and that Lee had assigned these rights to SLM shortly after the company's formation.

It seems to be this: Despite Stan being work-for-hire, Marvel was very afraid during its vulnerable funky bankruptcy that Stan was going to claim that he had a banana (some ownership of or rights to Marvel characters). So Marvel gave Stan 10% of the movies (which eventually became a settlement of $10 million)- in exchange, Stan would never claim he had a banana. The questions for the court now seem to be: (1) Was Marvel's deal an acknowledgment that Stan indeed had a banana? and (2) What if, one month earlier, Stan had signed away to Stan Lee Media any and all bananas he owned at that time?

Stan Lee has nothing to do with Stan Lee Media these days (note to entrepreneurs: never name your company or product with your own name or likeness, no matter how much of a brand your name or likeness may be, lest you ever lose control). Lee is suing SLM re: challenging the legitimacy of the management of SLM, and does not support SLM's action against Marvel.

Somebody ("Friends of Stan Lee Media") has started to chronicle SLM's efforts to claim co-ownership of Marvel's Stan Lee creations. Neilalien smells a rat, an agenda, an SLM employee or something- could be a disgruntled pro-Paul SLM investor?- but the fascinating Lee/POW Entertainment complaint against Stan Lee Media is posted there now, so maybe it's a useful-enough rat for interested wonks like Neilalien. How about posting SLM's $5 billion complaint against Marvel?

According to page 5 of POW's/Lee's complaint, Lee bought all of his rights and stuff back from SLM while it was in bankruptcy, at the OK of the bankruptcy court, and transferred it all to POW- and that SLM has been revived and its new officers installed without the consent of the bankruptcy court, and now uses Stan Lee's name, likeness, the SLM URL/website, those webisodes, etc., wrongly.

Update: Countersuit: Stan Lee Media to Sue Stan Lee! Lee a "rogue employee" who transferred his goodies to POW improperly? [Red Herring]

Posted 18 March 02007 - Permalink

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Kickass Moments In Doctor Strange History: The Oath

Dr. Strange's gloves are off in The Oath #5

"And, I'm sorry, when Strange takes his gloves off, revealing all the scars, and proceeds to kung fu the crap out of the antagonist, there should not be a single nerd not losing his or her shit" [Joe Rice review at CSBG]

"This Doctor Strange is Gandalf, Sherlock Holmes, and Indiana Jones all rolled into one cool New York package" [great Oath review at PopMatters]

"Doctor Strange: The Oath has been pure magic from start to finish so why not let this mini-series cast its spell on you?" [Broken Frontier]

Update: "As satisfying a resolution as one could hope for"; Vaughan stripped away all the bullshit; can future Doc stories build on this? [Johnny Bacardi Show]

Much more about The Oath to live here... Developing...

Site Announcement: As in previous years, March Madness will reduce blog posting over the coming weeks.

Have a great weekend! Sale at Rocketship!

Posted 16 March 02007 - Permalink

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Dr. Strange: He's Watching You [propaganda poster by Near-Mint Heroes]

Comics could learn something from Las Vegas and its willingness to blow up old casinos to build new ones and expand a gambling town's appeal with Broadway shows [Permanent Damage]

Posted 15 March 02007 - Permalink

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Who had which gem? Usenet discusses Illuminati, Infinity Gems [rec.arts.comics.marvel.universe (Google Groups)] [Wikipedia: Infinity Gems]
Doctor Strange got Adam Warlock's dangerous green Soul Gem?

Out today Doc fans: New Avengers #28, Doctor Strange Marvel Masterworks Volume 3 hardcover.

Posted 14 March 02007 - Permalink

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Legendary comics writer Arnold Drake has died [News From ME] [Wikipedia: Arnold Drake] [Wikipedia: Doom Patrol] [Matt Fraction selects Doom Patrol panels]

Writer Greg Pak discusses World War: Hulk miniseries [Comic Book Resources]
Hulk to return to Earth for vengeance against the Illuminati who exiled him. Match-ups with various Illuminati members, like Doc v. Hulk, to be discussed later.

The Hulk's goal of vengeance might lead to him taking a bite out of the Big Apple. "New York City is the epicenter," Pak said. "And there are a couple of buildings in Midtown and a certain address on Bleecker Street where the Hulk has some particular business to conduct."

Captain America Proves the Direct Market Doesn't Work [Todd Allen at Business of Content] [via Lying In The Gutters]
So few in the general population have any idea where to buy the Captain America death issue they've heard so much about. The way retailers have to order comics is too clunky to move quickly when publicity blasts. Direct market retailers are still in the niche-of-a-niche comics collectibles business. Also: Having no digital download of the book available meant money was left on the table.

Retailer responds to armchair quarterbacks who think Captain America #25 orders should have been raised due to Marvel hype, internet rumor columns, and unpredicted last-second uber-publicity [Progressive Ruin; more] [discussion at Blog@Newsarama]

"But who will avenge him? If only there were a group of 'avengers,' if you will, organized for that purpose." [The Onion pretends to get people's opinions re: Captain America's death] [via LinkMachineGo]

Friends of Lulu Empowerment Fund defunct; recap of funko ending [Pulse]

ACT-I-VATE comics collective profiled [AP]

Stan Lee's Mutants, Monsters & Marvels DVD "not a terribly accurate source of information about Marvel or Stan Lee history"; "Stan Lee knows nothing about his own career" [Amygdala] [via Unqualified Offerings]

Posted 13 March 02007 - Permalink

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Braindump: The New Avengers: Illuminati #1-2

Illuminati #1 Neilalien didn't have high expectations for enjoying this miniseries. He tends not to like Hidden Year, Lost Adventure, retcon, etc., type stories. Please leave his nostalgia alone- don't turn Gwen Stacy into a whore or rape victim or whatever they did. He wants new stories for his own enjoyment- and accessible ones for everyone else. If you think two first-page sentences of history is going to move anyone who doesn't already know what a Skrull or Infinity Gem is to give a darn about these books, Neilalien's got a bridge to sell you. Then, Dr. Strange usually sucks in groups- devolving into an energy blaster (no time or space in crowded battle panels to show Doc damaging people in more interesting ways, it seems), or the taxicab teleporter, or the distant 'too powerful for normal adventures' advisor. Those wacky 70's Defenders stories were great for other reasons. And then you've got the Illuminati one-shot and how Bendis writes these characters- the only retcon revealed here is that behind the scenes, our heroes have acted much less like heroes and much more like unrecognizable a-holes.

The low hopes have been validated/self-fulfilled so far.

The bad taste comes quickly in #1. In this issue, we find out that after the Kree-Skrull war, as the Skrulls debate that they cannot expect to conquer Earth with a frontal attack, the Illuminati do a frontal attack of their own. As noted in BeaucoupKevin's preview, "I am not interested in superhero comics that turn characters that normally act like, you know, heroes into cold-blooded killers." Neilalien can see here instead a simple tale in which the Illuminati appear to the Skrull leader to negotiate, and the Skrull gives them an interesting mission to complete in return for Earth's safety, maybe the mission is morally grey, the heroes do the right thing but it goes wrong or it's a trap or test, etc. Or at least make the Skrulls attack them first. But no- the Illuminati teleport in filled with piss and a moronic, murderous plan to Black-Bolt-scream the entire Skrull Empire.

Still, #1 is the better book of the two. At least the attack does not work, and maybe made things worse, which makes some sense of the nonsensical. Dr. Strange has neat moments- he confounds the Skrull scientists analyzing him and the priests are called in, and the Images of Ikonn (it's cool if Doc needed Xavier's help to project the image of Galactus to so many minds, that's teamwork, they're all still weak individually from their torture).

Neilalien liked #2 less, primarily because Dr. Strange does nothing in a story in which he should shine. The Infinity Gauntlet should be his specialty, his realm. He has about three lines of dialogue- his spell against a monster isn't clearly shown to do anything. He should have detected that Reed had started collecting Gems- it's incompetence in his Sorcerer Supreme duties that he didn't, but that's par for the Bendis course. In fact, Neilalien can think of about five interesting entities that should have been attracted by the Gems coming together. Doc should have been as loud as Namor with the objections. There was no need for the faux-drama of The Watcher appearing- Doc and Namor could have drawn the line in the sand, which would have been much more interesting intergroup conflict and paranoia, and a moody psychological "temptation of power" story.

The gem manifestations are not interesting. It seems to Neilalien that a writer could have gone nuts with cool things the gems might do with the passing urges of the careless and clueless. Disintegrating Iron Man's arm, all of reality exploding, a sea monster from Namor's subconscious, and turning briefly into children? Meh. Namor was the right choice for something bad happening re: the mind gem, since Doc and Xavier have mental discipline to control their thoughts and what might manifest- plus, Namor was the most vocal against possessing the gems. Neilalien can't help but think that instead of a toothy seamonster for a physical battle, how about manifesting Namor's long-dead lady friend Dorma for a fun mindfuck and temptation?

And #2 is filled with one of Neilalien's biggest pet peeves that he's weighed in on many times: Doc's in astral form the entire time, and the Cloak of Levitation is shown with his astral form. Gah! Doesn't Marvel have a bible on this character, and do creators/editors read it?

There's two bottom lines here. First, these comics are not fun. Second, a book like this is such a contradictory and self-undermining thing. What's the point of Marvel mining and pandering to the fanbase with hyper-continuity books like this and Civil War if the characters are unrecognizable to said fanbase? It's like inviting hardcore hockey fans to a chess match.

And this isn't a rant against change- you can evolve these characters (please do!), freshly bend these resilient icons, they don't have to be trapped in amber- you can change the lineup of the Fantastic Four, update costumes, have them get married, replace Thor with a horse from space, make Nextwave comedic versions and Ultimate versions, have them face incredible challenges, etc. Heck, DC turned the Question from an Objectivist into a spiritualist, and for a lot of people (not Neilalien), that was an improvement or didn't break the core of the character! Practically the only thing a creator should not alter is that the characters still need to act like heroes- but that's the change Marvel seems obsessed with making the most.

Review of #1; "a weird mix of super-specific continuity and off-base characterization"; taking note of the slaughter-the-Skrulls plan [Every Day Is Like Wednesday]

Posted 9 March 02007 - Permalink

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Masked Dr. Strange custom mego Neat set of new custom Dr. Strange megos by "illegalmego" [Mego Talk]

Wizard Universe selling Captain America #25 death issue in CGC 9.9 coffin for $700 [BeaucoupKevin]

What's wrong with Big-Two comics in a nutshell: to grok a book, you need to already have read many other books; inbred events, crossovers and resurrections replaced good storytelling [The Beat] [hopeful follow-up]
Above inspires the latest big industry meta thread [The Engine]

Remembering Marvel's 80's graphic novels, Epic Illustrated [Best Of Most Of]

Slave Labor Graphics' Dan Vado: Publishing creator-owned work is not a viable business model for publishers [The Beat with discussion in comments]

Retailers balking at their share of Free Comic Book Day burden; publishers not expecting to lose money on promotional event; too many FCBD books; indie FCBD books 'don't have post-FCBD uses' [Comics Worth Reading]

Peek at Neilalien fave GODLAND sales: 4-5K monthly singles (death), first trade over 7K (life!) [post at Engine]

Good yaoi overview; yaoi is adult women having the right to determine for themselves what turns them on [ (printer page is best, but your print dialog might come up, just hit cancel)] [via Precocious Curmudgeon]

Problem: Big serialized crossover events like Civil War don't collect into trades well; trying to create books that work for two different audiences [Bags And Boards]

Posted 8 March 02007 - Permalink

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Xandu in Punisher War Journal Xandu in Punisher War Journal #4 (Spoilers)

The recent possible Marvel character death that Doctor Strange fandom is buzzing about is not Captain America, but Xandu- the man of the monocle, the Wand of Watoomb, the wife he's trying to save, and the great Lee/Ditko Doc/Spidey team-up classic Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2.

Punisher War Journal #4, by Matt Fraction and Mike Deodato, is a delight. C-list villains gather in a bar for very entertaining and sympathetic characterizations at the funeral of Stilt-Man- that is until everyone's poisoned and the bar's exploded by the Punisher. The deed looks thorough.

Xandu is shown as one of the background mourners. He has no lines- all he does is take a punch from Will-o-Wisp in the big battle splash page and grimace in poison-pain. But he's definitely there. His presence makes about as much sense as Doctor Doom's (before you find out the funny explanation for Doom). Xandu's not a street-level thug, and has a non-physical power-level way above the others (although perhaps he's not much without his Wand (and what man is? ba-dum bump)).

It would really be a shame if many of these villains were actually killed after Fraction breathes some semblance of life into their character-cadavers before killing them. Time for creative new villains. But even if we are clearly shown a corpse, even in Marvel Comics where the only permanent death is Uncle Ben, there's no way Neilalien's going to believe that Xandu was killed in this incident. Xandu's too capable of mystically teleporting away and depoisoning himself. No irrational fanboy clinging though- if Xandu's dead, it's no big loss in the full scheme of things- the next writer can show him teleporting away anyway, or just make us a fresh new villain. We probably should have never even seen Xandu again after Doc's mindwipe in their first encounter anyway!

Neilalien does feel a slight fanboy concern though: one complaint has always been that Doctor Strange's rogues gallery of enemy human mystics is short. Xandu may be Stilt-Man-funeral worthy, but he was one of the better ones we had- a halfway decent member of that gallery. It's not wonderful to see him get killed off in a nonmystical way with Doc nowhere in sight.

Posted 7 March 02007 - Permalink

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Captain America apparently killed by sniper in issue #25 out today; mass media and political blogopundits expected to overreact, see zeitgeist, relevance, "liberal America-hate" or allegory for the waning imperial power of the United States in Marvel sales stunt [New York Daily News]

Interesting quote from writer Ed Brubaker:

"What I found is that all the really hard-core left-wing fans want Cap to be giving speeches on the streetcorner against the Bush administration, and all the really right-wing [fans] all want him to be over in the streets of Baghdad, punching out Saddam," Brubaker said.

A list of nine previous Captain America deaths and resurrections [Filing Cabinet of the Damned]

Posted 7 March 02007 - Permalink

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Wow! Graphic novels have been outselling the pamphlet format since 02005 [ICv2]
Huge change for the industry.

According to the ICv2 White Paper presented at the Conference, graphic novel sales through retail stores in the U.S. and Canada were around $330 million at retail last year, compared to $310 million in sales of comic periodicals. This is the first time since the origination of the comics medium that book format comics have outsold traditional comic books. The $640 million total also represents the highest sales for the comic and graphic novel market since the early 90s.
A number of factors contributed to that trend, according to Griepp, including the rapid growth of manga (Japanese comics translated into English), the increasing numbers of female readers, greater acceptance of graphic novels as literature, and the growing TV and movie exposure of graphic novel material.

02006 a banner year for graphic novel sales in both the bookstore and direct markets [ICv2]

Marvel reports 4Q 02006 results [ICv2] [Newsarama]
Publishing revenues up big 22%, $5.2 million ($28.6 million versus $23.4 million in 02005; $108.5 million for 02006 versus $92.4 million in 02005), fueled by Civil War and more TPB and bookstore sales. The cost of doing that publishing was down 4% (operating margin improved), which also helped. But overall profits down: licensing down big as expected; awaiting huge movie releases of Spider-Man 3 and Fantastic Four 2 and Marvel doing its own toys again.

Update: Marvel Details Publishing Increases For 02006 [ICv2]

Marvel's R&D publishing machine impresses investor [Motley Fool]

Ghost Rider rolls to $100 million box office take [Marvel Comics movies at Box Office Mojo]

Month-to-month sales January 02007 at The Beat [Marvel] [DC]

Writer Jeff Parker finds his Agents of Atlas downloadable online; discussion ensues [Parkerspace] [follow-up]
"The consensus here is that, as with the music industry, the piracy tends to help low selling, less accessible books, while hurting or at least doing nothing for the big sellers."

Posted 5 March 02007 - Permalink

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Dr. Strange and Clea by Frank Brunner

Partial scan of elegant Frank Brunner Doctor Strange and Clea sketch that Neilalien got at NYCC from the man himself [larger image] [Brunner official website]

Posted 4 March 02007 - Permalink

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New Avengers/Transformers miniseries announced at NYCC [Comic Book Resources] [ News]
The series, out in July to coincide with the Transformers live-action movie, will feature the pre-Civil-War New Avengers lineup. So Dr. Strange will not be meeting Optimus Prime. Neilalien would have had a fanboy breakdown! :)

Posted 2 March 02007 - Permalink

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Marvel Magic to get revamped in Mystic Arcana miniseries [announced at NYCC Cup o' Joe panel [Comic Book Resources]] [interview with "event mastermind" David Sexton at Newsarama w/the four covers by Marko Djurdjevic] [ News]
To do what Annihilation did for Marvel Cosmic. The four books:

The miniseries has a companion/spine back-up story:

DS: Ah... The back-up. Well, we are drawing readers in with major superhero star-power A-players like Magik and Wanda in the main story...and hopefully everyone will be star-satiated enough to check out a character that is perhaps a little on the obscure side. His name is Ian McNee. He was this teenage magic prodigy created by Roger Stern and Charles Vess (good pedigree) who appeared in one issue of Marvel Fanfare (issue #7), where little Ian challenged Dr. Strange for the title of Sorcerer Supreme...oh yeah, at Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum... Mr. McNee suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Dr. Strange, but I always thought, how cool, what hubris! Ian is older now, well into his 20's. Ancient. And he has a vision that starts him on a quest to retrieve four mystic items that are also connected to the Elements and Tarot and Marvel. Together the items are known as the Cornerstones of Creation.


"In the back of my mind," says Sexton. "I am really hoping MYSTIC ARCANA can also start rebuilding or redefining the structure of Marvel Magic because I think some important details have been lost or forgotten over the years. During their remarkable run on STRANGE TALES, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko established a very eloquent and equitable set of rules that applied to Dr. Strange, Mordo, even Dormammu. Marvel Magic used simplified components of Ritual Magick (like Incantation and Ceremony) to draw power from Stan's freshly imagined extra-dimensional pseudo-deities like Agamotto, Valtorr and Cyttorak... Some of Stan's incantations were truly poetic and his ornate alliterative images were always provocative! The Flames of the Faltine... the Moons of Munipoor... the Winds of Watoomb! Wow!"
"Ian has been influenced by a great power to find these objects and use them to attempt to save a corrupt magician named Heka-Nut," explains editor Mark Paniccia. "What makes the event unique is the fact that we're not only focusing on Marvel's magical characters, but also the realm in which they operate, much like ANNHILATION did with the cosmic characters. We're exploring and revealing things about magical objects and heroes that expand and enhance Marvel's already extant magic community... By series end, we'll have two very powerful sorcerers in the Marvel Universe."

Neilalien wouldn't mind a magical miniseries, a better Witches or Brother Voodoo thing. But it boggles the mind that this is supposed to be a major reworking of Marvel Magic, and Dr. Strange is apparently involved not in this at all- Sexton says "I am not dealing directly with the Big Toys". And re: Doc uber-fan Sanctum's recent question:

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa mentioned that a big, magic epic is coming up- is it Mystic Arcana, or something separate?
Cebulski: It's something different, but Arcana sets up the world where what Sacasa is talking about.

The miniseries begins in June- to be preceded by an installment of The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe focused exclusively on magic-using or magic-based Marvel characters.

Posted 1 March 02007 - Permalink

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