Neilalien : A Doctor Strange Fansite : A Comic Book Weblog  

Neilalien's Favorites of MoCCA 02008

Not Available The big thrill of this year's MoCCA Fest for Neilalien was finally meeting Steve Ditko biographer Blake Bell in person. There's always that risk of disappointment, and the "For years I've been praising/linking to this a-hole?" when meeting one's heroes- but Blake was awesome! Unfortunately, due to printer-shipping snafu, Bell's big new Ditko book Strange and Stranger was not available at MoCCA! With debuts and signings scheduled and everything. Bummer. And Neilalien still does not have his tentacles on it, due to this month's craziness- but he's been carrying the cash around for the moment he spots it. Bell did have other great news at MoCCA: his next project is a Fantagraphics book on the life and art of legend and Sub-Mariner creator Bill Everett [PDF of press release].
Doctor Strange by Jerry Ma Every year Neilalien tries to get a Doctor-Strange-related illustration from one of all the great artists at the MoCCA festival. Preferably from one doing sketches for donations to support MoCCA for the win-win, but not this year. This year, Neilalien's favorite Doc illo snag is from artist Jerry Ma [see the sweet full scan]!

Check Out These Non-Autobiographical Plot-Possessing Comics

Johnny Hiro Johnny Hiro #1-3 by Fred Chao
The tagline says, "Half asian, all hero", but this delightful book's real combination is half charming young romance, half absurdist action, all lovingly drawn by Fred Chao [weblog]. The Author's Note in the back of #3 from a year ago in which Chao (a) thanks nearly everyone else already under the sun for positive reviews of the book, and (b) announces that he's taking a break from the book, might make you think that Neilalien is late to the game discovering and pimping it- but he's late like a fox! because Chao announced this Spring that he's working on #4. [Chao interview at Talking with Tim (O'Shea)]
AAAA Action Team AAAA Action Team #1 by Pat Lewis
Desmond Alaska. Dr. Pearl Abidi. Kyle Abernathy. Mrs. Appleby the dog. These four heroes will save the world. Why? Because they're first in the phone book, duh! And this fun mini should be in the first alphabetical spot of any comic lover's longbox, too. It's just the latest on Lewis' resume of acclaimed comedy-adventure cartoony minis- check out his new IDW book The Claws Come Out collecting many horror-comedy minis. [Pat Lewis' LiveJournal]
Kitty Hawk Kitty Hawk, "The Sting of Defeat", by Braden D. Lamb
If you like your lead heroines spunky, your adventure pulpy, your science weird, and the storytelling and art of your comics strong, (and if you liked Jet-Pack Jenny,) then let this minicomic be your gateway drug to the upcoming Kitty Hawk webcomic by Braden D. Lamb.
Curse of the Wendigo Curse of the Wendigo by Chris Brimacombe
There's a new comics publisher in town, Brooklyn's own BQE Press, and Neilalien wants to support it. BQE Press' debut book, debuting at MoCCA, is a solid minicomic genre work with clean art, a yarn of creepy cannibalism in the wintry wilderness. A distracting bit for a comics guy: the Jacques character (both when Wendigo-ized or not) might simply mine the same husky Canadian-frontier man and animalistic-clawed Wendigo archetypes, but when one includes a horned haircut/hat, fast healing, etc., one's approaching the Curse of Wolverine. Lettered by now-DC letterer Sal Cipriano. BQE Press doesn't have a proper website up yet (at least forward the URL to the Blogspot for now!) to tell everyone it's publishing Cipriano's backlog of his The Adventures of Bio Boy sci-fi book (which had a previous life at Speakeasy [Broken Frontier review of #1]). [Chris Brimacombe on ComicSpace]
Fragment Fragment by John Lang
Neilalien enjoyed this one-shot comic from 02006 of a classic noirish figure, complete with fedora and painful past, navigating a future totalitarian dystopia, with some great chunky art heavy on the black and light on the words. There's a secret project on the way from this creator. [John Lang illustration blog] ["Colossus of the Deep" 5-pager online in same art style]

Honorable Mentions & Update Space

Repo Repo by Rick Spears and Rob G
The TPB collecting Repo, the Image Comics five-issue mini-series from the team behind acclaimed darling Teenagers From Mars, debuted at this year's MoCCA. A mix of Repo Man, Lethal Weapon (funny action buddies), The Island (clones wanting to be more than organ farms), Blade Runner (bad sci-fi future), and a lot of crazy violent shit and one great shit-crazy violent dame. Hits an over-the-top false note in a couple spots for Neilalien's delicate tastes, but an overall entertaining read. All the info you need pre-purchase: [Comic Book Resources preview] [Newsarama interview with the creators] [Read About Comics review] [Entertainment Weekly review B+]

Update: Darnit! Neilalien knows he misses good stuff at every MoCCA, but the angst-twinge of knowing these two whiffs: According to this loot list, there's a sci-fi minicomic by Vasilis Lolos called Lunar around (Neilalien enjoyed Nebuli last year)- and his meticulous table-by-table Festival scouring somehow completely did not see his bud Attentiondeficitdisorderly Too Flat selling his comic called Murder.

Update: Looks like artist Joe Quinones did a neat Doctor Strange illo for someone at MoCCA this year.

Ah, another great Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art Festival. Shout-outs to (month-old memory don't fail Neilalien now!): Duckie (now blogging comics at Q-Nerd), Earth Minds Are Weak (with a new book and the mojo with the ladies!), BeaucoupKevin, Alex and Joe, Jog, Chris Mautner, Brian Cronin, Tim Leong and Myriad Issues of Comic Foundry, GinaFirstSecond, Fred Hembeck, Metrokitty, and also finally meeting creator/critic Rob Vollmar (good luck with those historical projects) and The Surrogates' Robert Venditti (good luck with the Bruce Willis movie- news: comics prequel of miniseries to come out with the movie next year!).

Posted 30 June 02008 - Permalink

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Wizard World Chicago Secret Invasion Panel [Newsarama]:

Q: Where is Dr. Strange?
Brevoort: Ultimately, in the New Avengers issues, Dr. Strange had been trying to cover up his injury. So went off to reconnect with magic.
Bendis: I actually saw Dr. Strange on the floor of the convention. You might want to ask him how he's doing.
Q: Is Dr. Strange in upcoming issues of Secret Invasion?
Bendis: Next question.

Ten Reasons Why I Like Steve Ditko Just A Little More Than Jack Kirby [Occasional Superheroine]

DC's Final Crisis #1 160K fails to beat Marvel's Secret Invasion #2 200K in summer crossover sales war; dam holding back calls for DC head's Dan Didio's head bursts
Massive voice of reason re: Final Crisis performance, DC, fanthink [Steven Grant's Permanent Damage at CBR]
Folks more upset about Didio than Robert Mugabe; they don't have the stake in it that fan entitlement thinks they do; Didio firing would have unforseen collateral damage [The Hurting]
Update: Only a $15,000 difference at the publisher level [BeaucoupKevin]

Comics Industry Screwjob, Exhibit One Zillion: Platinum Studios versus DJ Coffman (Hero By Night) [DJ Coffman #1, #2, #3, paid] [Simple Machines Forum] [The Beat #1; must-read #2] [Joey Manley]
American-Idol-type comics contests like Tokyopop's and Platinum's have apparently just been evil grabs for young creator's properties [Stephen Bissette]

"I was greatly depressed by some of the things being said [at the Heroes Con Covering Comics Panel]... seemingly with little awareness of or concern for the ethical and journalistic implications" [Comics Comics]
Welcome to the world of "comics journalism", where rumormongering is news, criticism in an insular community of friends nowhere, and the fastest access to promotional press releases trumps all.

Home of longtime "Psychic Nosebleed Zen" feature has examples of ear canal bleeding too [Polite Dissent]
Update: Venture Bros. Dr. Strange homage Dr. Orpheus had a recent moment of Psychic Nosebleed Zen [Polite Dissent]

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Michael Turner, comics artist, creator of Neilalien-once-guilty-pleasure Fathom, has died way too young [Comic Book Resources] [Update: Comics Reporter obituary]

Posted 29 June 02008 - Permalink

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"Ditko is the strident hermit king" of comics [LA Times reviews Blake Bell's new Ditko book]

Reasons Why Stephen Colbert Should Play Doctor Strange [Sanity Is Not Statistical]

Long examination of why the X-Men of the 01970's were so popular- and it's not the race-relations metaphor [Comics Reporter]

Marvel dirty pool: shipping tons of books on same date as Final Crisis #2 to overwhelm it? "the sort of cash-flow crunch that can put a retailer right out of business" []

What the Direct Market wants (good promoted profitable on-time comics); Marvel kicking DC's ass and could do even better if not for no-overprint policy and out-of-print backlist; Tokyopop's unsustainable explosive growth now a 50% publishing cutback [Brian Hibbs Tilting at Windmills column (now at CBR)]

No, let's not muse upon what GG Allin would have put in the ink of his comic [Progressive Ruin]

Posted 28 June 02008 - Permalink

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Dr. Strange: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love this Character [Meanwhile... Comics!]
Long roundtable-type essay musing on "fixing" Doctor Strange and the general "magic problem" in supercomics, brainstorming story ideas for Doc, and advocating and musing upon many things for Doc that Neilalien has for years in this space, including: a larger and better rogues gallery of human-based mystic and supernatural threats like mummies instead of fighting Gods, or Satan, or Concepts like Eternity, or Dormammu for the zillionth time; a more horror/mystery tone than superheroic; a better or better-used supporting cast, with love interest and possibly an apprentice, especially so Doc can have a personality; and somehow adding back a sense of non-omnipotence, challenge, drama and danger- either through explicit depowering in a way that keeps Doc's dignity, confidence and competence intact, simple unspoken depowering implemented through a new writer's reinterpretation of the character, adding some elegant definition or limitation to the magic system (possibly articulated to the reader via training/explaining things to an apprentice; but not too much to nuke the sense of wonder or zaniness; stuff like 'hands must not be bound', 'must be able to concentrate'? but what about sorcerers with ten tentacles?), writers being another higher layer of creative again to have Doc use his brain and imagination to solve interesting foes and problems rather than use ever-increasing magical energy-blast brawn to solve the ever-increasing zillionth threat to the entire Multiverse, threatening some Buffy/Doctor-Who-like unpowered companions, etc. Although the essay continuously lurches Neilalien into disagreement with its promotion of the Scarlet Witch as a candidate for apprentice and/or love interest- a character this weblog finds wholly uninteresting, as it does any rehash of her House-of-M instability or love-triangle stuff.

Posted 23 June 02008 - Permalink

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Blue Hat Man Doctor Strange word search puzzle from Pizzazz Magazine (May 01978) [Lady, That's My Skull]

New custom Doctor Strange Mego figure [Mego Museum] [thanks Howard!]

Fanzine Comic Fan #3 has Doctor Strange vs. Mordo cover, said to include a chat about Doc comic books [ComicList]
Alas, the "not unbiased" review is not a review or examination of the book's content at all, and the link to where to buy it is not working.

When comics meet Dungeons & Dragons alignments [Mightygodking] [via Myriad Issues]

Atomic Robo inspires outbursts of "Holy crap, I love comic books!" [PopMatters review]

What should I do with comic books after I read them? [Ask Metafilter] [via LinkMachineGo]
"Bag and board them, then store them forever in longboxes- this is the only right answer."

Posted 17 June 02008 - Permalink

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Magic Super-Skrull Cool Magic Super-Skrull in Captain Britain and MI:13 #2
Amalgamated: Doctor Strange shirt, Cloak of Levitation, and yellow dotted gloves; Urthona red skull leggings; Kulan Gath shoulder feathers (Marvel lost the rights to Kulan Gath when it lost the Conan rights, btw, shhh); a Nightmare guantlet; four arms (Neilalien's going to run with when Dormammu was uber-powerful in Sorcerer Supreme, he had multiple arms; maybe when you get superpowerful magically, you physically manifest more limbs as an expression of great ability?); Zom spiked-sphere fists replacing two hands; Magik bicep jewelry?; and a flaming horned head that seems like a combination of Dormammu, Surtur and Satan. (Please email Neilalien to nominate other ideas.) Oh, and the Holy Fucking Grail is part of the creature too! Even the obscure Mortigan Goth is mentioned in #2.

Neilalien enjoyed the issue far beyond the simple appearance of Doctor Strange's tunic (and these Super-Skrulls are trying for Doctor Strange Accoutrement Neilalien Annual Awards!), and after two minutes of Googling positive reviews, this book is definitely on Neilalien's radar. The new ongoing series starts with a magically-oriented tie-in to Secret Invasion- the Skrulls invading Britain and going after its magic and the Siege Perilous- so folks interested in Marvel Magic will want to check it out.

Written by Paul Cornell, scribe of some fine new Doctor Who episodes; art by Leonard Kirk (Agents of Atlas)
Cornell interview about the series on CBR from February
Cornell interview on Newsarama from April
Cornell interview on; Mindless Ones hinted to show up in book
Captain Britain and MI:13 Wikipedia page; #1 very well reviewed, "sold out", continues Cornell's well-reviewed Wisdom mini-series
CBR positive review of #1
About Heroes positive review of #1
IGN positive review of #2; "The best thing to spring out of Secret Invasion?"
Captain Britain and MI:13 getting attention from the UK press
[Thanks Sanctum and readers!]

Posted 16 June 02008 - Permalink

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Uncle Stan says There's Money In Comics! Frank Miller was going to do one more Daredevil story after the classic "Born Again": a two-parter starring Doctor Strange with Walt Simonson art [Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed]
Doc fans lose out again.

Colleen Coover interview; Clea in King-Size Spider-Man Summer Special [Newsarama] [thanks Sanctum!]

Rant: Clea stereotypically degenerated into kidnapping victim [Chelsea/Blade LJ]

Rant: Doctor Strange, Eye of Agamotto should not be useless re: detecting Secret Invasion Skrulls [Fire_Tears LJ]

"Subliterate" dialogue/story of Doctor Strange: Flight of Bones apparently validates man's non-comics childhood, and belief that Star Trek is higher on the geek hierarchy than Marvel comics [Jordan Hoffman]

Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, famous example of early printing from 01499, contains comics and storyboarding elements [Kottke] [Wikipedia]

US Navy distributes manga propaganda to Japanese wary of hosting aircraft carrier George Washington's nuclear reactors [Navy Times]

"Quintessential modern American symbol" Superman turns 70 this month; "superheroes embody a vision of the use of power unique to America"; goody-goody doesn't fly with today's postmodern readers [Agence France-Presse]

Ed Norton wanted longer, nuanced, personal Hulk movie; Marvel wanted commercial action, no Ang Lee sequel; Marvel won
The Incredible Hulk: The Truth About Edward Norton vs. Marvel [/Film]
Marvel creating a shared movie universe: Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, other heroes, appear in Hulk [Wired]
Neilalien's in no rush to see the film, but he surely will over the next couple weeks; expecting a witless downer after Iron Man [Hulk's at 64% as of this writing on Rotten Tomatoes].

The MoCCA loot is being read, the MoCCA blogpost is being written. Developing...

Posted 14 June 02008 - Permalink

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Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA) Festival this weekend in NYC
Probably no blogging for a few days to a week at least (unless something happens that evokes a very strong emotion, good (beyond the general inherent joy of the event) or bad, in Neilalien). List of MoCCA machinations that have Neilalien's attention.

Posted 6 June 02008 - Permalink

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Blue Hat Man Steve Gerber grabbed his run on the craptastic character Son of Satan by the balls and wrote a novel about the nature of evil [Comics Should Be Good]

Having Iron Man issues numbered #1 in shops at the same time the Iron Man movie is in theaters helps overcome industry beached-whale that superhero movies don't improve comics sales [Publisher's Weekly] [by Myriad Issues]

Short blurby bio of Steve Ditko's former roommate, fetish artist and Erotic-American Eric Stanton [Rick Wolf Adult Comic Art; NSFW; new blog for the naughties]

Counterfeit Marvel comics from China exist; puzzling, but not as scary as the counterfeit Trojan condoms [Newsday]

Posted 5 June 02008 - Permalink

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Doctor Strange commission by Michael T. Gilbert Doctor Strange commission by Michael T. Gilbert [Howard Hallis]

A Ditko page with funky panel shapes in Many Ghosts of Doctor Graves #24 (01971) [Ditko Comics]

That curly-q feeling in your knees is The Nearly Complete Essential Hembeck Archives Omnibus, out now [Hembeck interview at Broken Frontier] [ book site]

Chris Hastings interviewed re: his fun webcomic The Adventures of Dr. McNinja [ComicMix]

Posted 4 June 02008 - Permalink

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Red Skull Smokers of the Marvel Universe by Chris Schweizer [Curious Old Library] [via Comics Should Be Good]

Writer Gerry Conway knew what he was doing when he created The Punisher work-for-hire and then crappily never saw a further cent; he gets money from Power Girl toys [Gerry Conway] [via Comics Reporter]

Jim Davis gracious in interview re: deliciously subversive Garfield Minus Garfield [New York Times] [via Waxy]

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Bo Diddley, Who Gave Rock His Beat, Dies at 79 [New York Times obituary]

Posted 3 June 02008 - Permalink

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Marvel Secret Invasion panel at WizardWorld 02008: Philadelphia [Newsarama]:

In response to a question about Dr. Strange, Brevoort said that the Marvel U's master of the mystical arts will play a small role in Secret Invasion. Asked then if there would be any chance of a Dr. Strange ongoing after Secret Invasion, Quesada said it was funny that it was asked, as there has been some talk of it recently.

"Small role"- phooey. Zom poisoning to remove a powerful piece from the Secret Invasion chessboard, as predicted, Doc not in a huge Marvel event again. The ongoing series "talk"- encouraging or illusion?- double phooey.

Posted 2 June 02008 - Permalink

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Uncle Stan says There's Money In Comics! June is Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art Festival month in NYC! Yay! [MoCCA 02008 Programming]
A little early this year- it's this weekend 7-8 June 02008. See you there, Neilalienistas!

Reminder: Blake Bell's book Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko, debuts at MoCCA

Reminder: Saturday 11am first presentation is Blake Bell on The World of Steve Ditko
Note: All programming takes place at the MoCCA Gallery, 594 Broadway, 4th Floor, NOT the Puck Building
Bell also at Jim Hanley's Universe, Saturday 8pm

The Comics Journal's Exclusive Guide to MoCCA 02008

Rocketship kick-off party Friday night 6 June 8pm features creator Jason

More MoCCA-affiliated parties and events collected by Daily Cross Hatch

Post Bang: Comics Ten Minutes After the Big Bang! at NYU during the day Friday looks good if you don't have a 9-5 gig that day

The Electric Mess at Arlene's Grocery Friday night at 9pm
Everything's all at once as usual. Who needs sleep?

Update: Yikes- there's also a Big Apple Con this weekend in NYC! Neilalien probably won't be making that one- even if his to-buy list from convention-dealer back-issue long-boxes needs some attention right now. Guess the indie-art and superhero-collector comics markets don't overlap as much as the 'you must love a wide range of the artform comics blogosphere' would like, so they don't eat each other's money- there could probably be a supportable manga con in NYC this weekend too- all three with 99% the same comics DNA, yet so different in phenotype and populations? The auto industry doesn't have separate SUV and sports car shows on the same weekend in Detroit. Or are comics just that big now? Or just that stupidly fissured?

Posted 1 June 02008 - Permalink

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