Neilalien : A Doctor Strange Fansite : A Comic Book Weblog  

Reports are coming into the orbital HQ: Dr. Strange fans might want to check out today's X-Factor #203: Mindless ones, the mouth-clamp spell, and a certain member of Doc's rogue's gallery are all present

Also out today: The Creeper by Steve Ditko hardcover [DC Comics]
Now, for the first time, DC collects Ditko's Creeper epics from SHOWCASE #73, BEWARE THE CREEPER #1-6, 1ST ISSUE SPECIAL #7 and short stories from WORLD'S FINEST COMICS #249-255.

"Christ, what an asshole." is the winning answer in every single New Yorker Magazine Caption Contest

iPad app turns the tablet device into the tablets seen on Star Trek: The Next Generation [Mashable] [Gizmodo]

Pink Floyd's "Us And Them", on the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System [YouTube] [via Waxy]

Posted 31 March 02010 - Permalink

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Doctor Strange pin-up by Barry Windsor-Smith Barry Windsor-Smith Week at Stormantic includes early crazy-lovely Power Comics pin-up of Doctor Strange

Barack Obama Looking At Awesome Things [by Dean Trippe]

It's been another fine year of March MODOK Madness
And one of Neilalien's all-time fave comic zines The Journal of MODOK Studies is now posted online!

Indiana University Professor Abandons Grades for Experience Points [Technoccult]

"[T]his book simply proves my point that the Punisher is only as interesting as the people he kills... the best Punisher stories of the last few years seem to use the actual character of Frank Castle sparingly. Like the shark in JAWS." [Comics Con Queso's positive review of Occasional Superheroine's Punisher MAX: Butterfly]

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Great blog-discussion burst re: thought balloons, their usage, the actual cloud-like object in the comics panel, and vs. thought/narration captions:
The Problem with American Vampires Is That They Just Don't Think; Marvel editors tell Stephen King thought bubbles have been phased out; the immediacy of manga's bubbleless portrayal of thoughts [Jog at Comics Comics]
That Hand on Your Shoulder; traditional thought balloons are a patronizing "he thought"; Dr. Strange panel used [Scott McCloud]
Some words (and pictures) in defense of thought balloons [Hereville]
Word Balloons in Visual Space [Jeet Heer at Comics Comics]
A Claremont X-Man thinking three thought balloons while throwing a punch nukes all realistic sense of time, distances the reader instead of draws her in [Nijomu]

Neilalien thinks that the comics pendulum has swung too far anti-thought-balloon in the recent decade- no device in the creator toolbox should be eliminated willy-nilly- it's a neutral technology dependent on how it's used (although the above discussion re: some perceived inherent flaws of the thought-cloud itself is neat). But it's an understandable pendulum-swing: a chunk of the modern negative reaction seems because they were used too much for too long, too many words bringing too many stories to a screeching halt, and as storytelling crutches (thinking "I'm so sad" instead of simply drawing a teary face well) and characters thinking things for the reader's benefit that people would never think ("Is that my wife Joan, the writer and alcoholic, sitting at her desk?"). And it generally goes against the modern-comic meme to be more 'cinematic'- it's uncommon and cheesy for movies to reveal character thoughts via voice-over, monologue, or narration.

Posted 30 March 02010 - Permalink

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The Mystic Hands of Doctor Strange #1: Braindump

Neilalien delighted in the entire 70's black-and-white Marvel magazine (complete with short prose story) aesthetic. Having it in larger magazine dimensions would have been too much to hope for.

"The Cure" by Kieron Gillen and Frazer Irving. The go-to first story is the strongest. Really enjoyed the "mind-muddled utopia via the Devil" story concept. Many have a problem with Doc making a deal with Mephisto that dooms the cult leader- Neilalien understands that- who has moaned more about Doctor Strange acting unheroically over the past years (pre-emptive strike on Skrull homeworld anyone)? But he didn't have a problem with it. The leader was probably too far corrupted to be rehabilitated at that point, Doc's move saved all the innocent lives, and it felt more like a way of "navigating the dark arts" which can be a welcome move for the Doctor Strange character if done well. There might have been some way to trick Mephisto out of the leader's soul too, but once you paint yourself in the Mephisto corner instead of a more minor demon, "The Prince of Lies" has no credibility if outsmarted by Doc once again. What bothered Neilalien more is that the story didn't stay confined to a small utopian cult or commune- by making the love-in an apparently planet-wide phenomenon, the story stumbles into much larger stakes while Doc nonchalantly cuddles with Clea. The art is great overall- Clea could have been less button-nosed and doe-eyed (but it fits the timing of the story in Doc's continuity)- but Mephisto looked fantastic. One page giveth with the "globule" Alcala Eye but also sadly taketh with a Cloak-including astral form. 22 pages that could have been a comic in itself.

"Melancholia" by Peter Milligan and Frank Brunner. Neilalien can add nothing more to Sanctum's review of this disappointing nostalgia piece (the story is about a man haunted by a memory, much like Doc's first-ever tale, and the art is by the legendary Brunner). The missed opportunity of Wong in the time-altered room. Was a battle with Nightmare edited out? Are we expected to believe that after Doc's wisdom against wiping the man's painful memory from his mind, Doc pulled a Dr. Light on himself? Brunner's art feels a little too stiff in some places and too loose in others, but the man has such a superb sensibility of what a Doctor Strange tale should look like that there can be no real complaint.

"So This is How it Feels" by Ted McKeever. Neilalien's never really grokked McKeever, including his Doc in Ultimate Marvel Team-Up. Neilalien's in love with the concept that Doctor Strange is much more wide-open to very weird stories and art interpretations than Cyclops, but McKeever's isn't one that floats the boat.

"Duel in the Dark Dimension" by Mike Carey, with Marcos Martin (The Oath) art pieces (teases!). Knocked out of the park. Remember when things used to scare Doctor Strange- and his readers? However, out there must be an alternate dimension where Marcos Martin drew this story in its entirety and it worked. [Marcos Martin pin-up from Mystic Hands]

Bottom line: It's a real joy that The Mystic Hands of Doctor Strange #1 exists. If the meme's going to be that (1) every creator has a Doctor Strange pitch in them, and (2) Doc can't support his own monthly title, then we'll take running with Mystic Hands as an anthology series with a #2. And a #3...

Notable reviews, collected as found:

The Mystic Hands of Doctor Strange #1: An In-Depth Review [Sanctum Sanctorum Comix]

"The Mystic Hands of Doctor Strange serves as a true testament to the character's lasting appeal"; 8.4 out of 10 [IGN review]

"If you're a fan of Dr Strange, you should enjoy this return to his glory days" [Too Dangerous For A Girl review]

"[A]ppeals to all tastes... Highly recommended" [Pink Kryptonite review]

"I now count this as one of the highlights of my collection, the art is stellar, the stories are at worst readable, and the whole package just works"; 8.5 Night Girls out of 10 [Comic Book Revolution]

A couple pages posted with some comments; "does seem to sort of show a complete lack of confidence in their 'Doctor Strange isn't the Sorceror Supreme' storyline" [Scans_Daily]
It's definitely a simple relief that this one-shot isn't bogged down by Doc's current storyline and has him wearing the Cloak and Eye.

Only "okay... An old school treatment that leaves all the toys in place" [Hannibal Tabu's Buy Pile]

"[R]eading 'Doctor Strange' comics is always going to spell disappointment sooner or later" [Comic Book Resources negative review]

"So a real mixed bag here... worth it for Brunner and McKeever... something of a disappointment" [Chuck's Comic of the Day]

Posted 28 March 02010 - Permalink

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Legendary comics creator and DC executive/editor Dick Giordano has died [Comic Book Resources]

Update: Obits/More: [Comics Reporter] [Mark Evanier]

Posted 27 March 02010 - Permalink

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More yummy photos and outtakes from the Megan Fox Rolling Stone Mark Seliger photoshoot with the Doctor Strange comic book [Megan's A Fox] [thanks David!]

Posted 25 March 02010 - Permalink

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Stephen Bissette is sharing the incredible tale of the DC/Marvel Ratings Debacle 01986-87 [Prologue] [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5] [Part 6] [Part 7] [Part 8] [Part 9]
The noble battle by our previous generation of comics creators against having a stunted artform intended only for the smallest, youngest, most susceptible reader. Essential worth-the-time reading, especially for the comics historian or wonk.

Posted 23 March 02010 - Permalink

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Awesome sneering Doctor Strange art by World of Hurt webcomic creator Jay Potts for Neilalien's Blogiversary! [World of Hurt]

Doctor Strange by Jay Potts

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Neilalien's never been able to figure out really why- it's not like he's watching every single game, spending hours with bracketology, running a college basketball weblog on the side, etc.- but somehow March Madness always seems to make this weblog a sports widow. Maybe it's just been an annual post-blogiversary breather/excuse. Posting will likely be light over the next couple weeks- even lighter since Neilalien's particular proclivities will have his scanners on some additional NIT games this year too.

Posted 19 March 02010 - Permalink

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Ten Alternative Cloak of Levitation Wearers

Cloak-Wearing Dormammu

Dormammu [Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme #2]

Cloak-Wearing Howard

Howard The Duck [Marvel Treasury Edition #12]

Cloak-Wearing Kaecilius

Kaecilius [Strange Tales #143]

Cloak-Wearing Clea

Clea [Fantastic Four: The End #1]

Cloak-Wearing Loki

Loki [Thor #576 ("The Reigning" storyline)]

Cloak-Wearing Hulk

Hulk [Defenders #2 (so cute with Doc riding on his shoulders!)]

Cloak-Wearing Rintrah

Rintrah [Doctor Strange #81]

Cloak-Wearing Mordo

Baron Mordo [What If #40 ("What If Dr. Strange Had Not Become Master of the Mystic Arts?")]

Cloak-Wearing Netherworlder of Doom

The demon from the Netherworld of Doom [Strange Tales #136]

Cloak-Wearing Punisher

The Punisher [What If V2 #24 ("What If Wolverine Was Lord of the Vampires?")]


Cloak-Wearing Krugarr

Krugarr [Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1] [Sorcerer Supreme during the 31st Century of an alternate future]

(Is it true that we've never seen the Ancient One wearing the Cloak?)

Posted 17 March 02010 - Permalink

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Searching for comics' first black-white interracial kiss
And navigating all the grey areas. Neilalien wants to know: The first drawn kiss (not just a romance or implied), in mainstream comics, in color comics (black skin looks black, white skin looks white), by contemporary characters (not some sci-fi analogue or metaphor on another planet), by both parties willing, able and aware (not mind-controlled like Kirk and Uhura), part of the story and intended by the creators (not a printing error), balls out, no hedging.

Mal and Lilith in Teen Titans #26, 01970? [Google Books: Dick Giordano: Changing Comics, One Day at a Time by Michael Eury, Dick Giordano] [via]
This caused quite a bit of stir and grief at the time- can't forget that it was gutsy at the time- but it looks like a quick embrace, and it was colored blue as a night scene to make the skin color less prominent.

Young Romance #194, "Full Hands Empty Heart", July/August 01973? [Out Of This World]
Neilalien would give this one the prize- it's a nice contemporary story and the couple deals with racism- but alas, it doesn't satisfy his criteria if it appears she's kissing him while he's sleeping (and then again when he's dead).

Amazing Adventures #31, Killraven, July 01975? [Comic Book Legends Revealed]
Many have anointed this one, by Don McGregor and P. Craig Russell. But the post-apocalyptic venue does nada for Neilalien. The interracial kiss in Warren Publishing's Creepy #43 (01972) was a mistake (writer-artist miscommunication) that appears out of nowhere in the story. (This Don McGregor Facebook page sure takes a lot of credit for interracial kisses nonetheless.)

Iron Fist and Misty Knight in Marvel Team-Up #64, 01977? [Lady, That's My Skull]

Iron Fist and Misty Knight

Posted 12 March 02010 - Permalink

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That time the Absorbing Man turned into cancer [Progressive Ruin]

Posted 11 March 02010 - Permalink

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The Mystic Hands of Doctor Strange #1 out today [Diamond Comics Shipping This Week]
Hopefully all of this calling it "#1" will create mojo for an actual #2 someday.

Dude builds incredible room in his house for playing Dungeons & Dragons [The Acaeum] [via Topless Robot]

Pricing glitch for graphic novels at Amazon, followed by mass order cancellation, creates emotional rollercoaster for comics lovers [ICv2]

Marvel excitedly waits for sales boost from recessioned people stringing $5.98 together to relate to Peter Parker losing his job for two weekly issues [io9]

Posted 10 March 02010 - Permalink

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New Iron Man 2 trailer debuted during the Oscars this weekend [YouTube]

New Tron: Legacy Official Trailer [YouTube]

Neilalien fave comic The Losers is a movie coming out 9 April [YouTube]

Kick-Ass extended trailer [YouTube]

Clash of the Titans extended trailer [YouTube]

Posted 9 March 02010 - Permalink

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A collection of cartoonist and comic-book artist self-portraits [Comic Art Fans] [via Hey Oscar Wilde!'s Twitter]

Colleen Coover

Posted 8 March 02010 - Permalink

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New Dormammu Mini-Bust by Bowen Designs; translucent flaming head begs to be backlit [] [Sanctum Sanctorum Comix]

Dormammu Mini-Bust by Bowen

Posted 7 March 02010 - Permalink

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The best contemporary Japanese novel is a manga [] [via Robot Wisdom]
"The ingeniously satirical Legend of Koizumi tells you far more about the country, far more entertainingly than any novel of recent years."

Neilalien has added links to these topics:
Christopher Handley obscene manga sentencing
Nick Simmons manga plagiarism

Posted 6 March 02010 - Permalink

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Preview of The Mystic Hands of Doctor Strange #1, out next week [Comic Book Resources]

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A huge congrats and raised pint to Neilalien fave LinkMachineGo re: ten years blogging!

Posted 5 March 02010 - Permalink

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A Muppet Wicker Man [mashup by Paul O'Connell lives on Issuu] [via Bleeding Cool]

A Muppet Wicker Man

Posted 4 March 02010 - Permalink

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Doctor Strange by Brunner for Comic Reader #108 Doctor Strange illo by Frank Brunner, cover of The Comic Reader #108, July 01974 [Photon Torpedoes' Flickr]
Doctor Strange by Franchesco Doctor Strange illo by Franchesco [DeviantArt] [via Stormantic]
Doctor Strange by Jenna/spankingfemme Doctor Strange illo by Jenna/spankingfemme [spankingfemme's LiveJournal]
Doctor Strange by Geek Show Ink Doctor Strange illo by Geek Show Ink [Geek Show Ink; part of an "18 Days of the Defenders" series]

Posted 3 March 02010 - Permalink

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Neat large gallery of Silber Grusel-Krimi German pulp horror covers [Mickey The Pixel's Flickr] [via Monster Brains]
Intro research re: what these are: Groovy Age of Horror #1, #2.

Silber Grusel-Krimi cover

Posted 2 March 02010 - Permalink

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Stan Lee appearing on tonight's episode of The Big Bang Theory, CBS 9:30 pm [TV Fanatic]

Jim Parsons, the actor who plays Sheldon, didn't know who Stan Lee was and knows nothing about Star Trek!? Stan Lee is charming [Access Hollywood] [YouTube]

Update: Clip of the show [YouTube]:

Posted 1 March 02010 - Permalink

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