One of my favorite comics back in the 1980s was an independently produced gem called Eagle from writer Jack Herman and artist Neil Vokes. Neil’s carved out quite a career for himself since then working for all of the big publishers and becoming a fan favorite.
Coming up in February, Neil teams up with writer Roger Stern (Amazing Spider-Man) for a Dr. Strange one-shot called Doctor Strange: From The Marvel Vault #1.
Going back into the continuity archives, this issue tells the story of Dr. Strange’s first night in the house that would become his Sanctum Sanctorum for many years (the weird old brownstone at 177-A Bleecker Street in Manhattan).
Marvel’s solicitation copy says “But what eerie secrets does the building hide? What lurks within its walls? Is it...haunted? Now, at last, the full story of Doctor Strange's first night in his Sanctum Sanctorum stands revealed.”
Hopefully, Dormammu will make an appearance behind one of the doors!
Vokes has a nice, spooky style that’s perfect for Dr. Strange and since the story is set back in the Manhattan of the 1960s (the Ditko version of Manhattan), I wanted to find out more.
If you took the time to read through the nearly 250,000 documents released this week via Wikileaks, you’d find a comic book connection in several of them. We at Comix 411 have nothing but free time and did the heavy lifting for you. Here are the comic book-related highlights from the document dump:
When visiting with US President Barack Obama, the CIA codename for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is “Bucky.”
Interrogators at Guantanamo routinely asked prisoners to choose: Betty or Veronica?
Supreme Leader of North Korea Kim Jong Il sometimes dresses up as Wildcat before he tours a factory. In other news, North Korea still has factories.
Marvel Studios, the movie-and-TV division of the vast Marvel Comics empire, is on the prowl for a new season’s worth of interns.
These are part-time, unpaid positions, 20-30 hours per week and involve things like script coverage, internet and comic book research, “typical office duties,” and quick errands (I’m guessing coffee, dry cleaning and picking up comics at the LCS on Wednesdays).
But since this is part of Marvel, you’ll be reading early scripts for Marvel’s upcoming movies and shows, reading comic books and surfing the interwebs. How bad can any of that be?
Marvel Studios is responsible for for the Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four movies, as well as the upcoming Avengers and Thor so there's really no cooler place to want to work right now. Departments looking for interns include: Film Development, Marketing, Legal, Animation and Interactive.
Thank you internets, you’ve been great this week. So let’s share that bounty with others:
Mighty Samson: Writer J.C. Vaughn has a preview of Mighty Samson #1 at his blog. Shooter’s involved, Patrick Olliffe is the artist. Dark Horse is the publisher. I’m in!
Here’s a little more about the series at Comic Attack.
Shadow: Novelist James Reasoner has a Forgotten Book that’s a must have for fans of Maxwell Grant’s The Shadow: Gangland's Doom: The Shadow of the Pulps, by Frank Eisgruber Jr.
British Comics: Matthew Murray at Comics Beat goes all out for the new Dandy and breaks down its contents.
Peanuts: Zach Weiner finally lets Charlie Brown kick that football.
Peppers: Mark Evanier lives the sitcom life.
3-D: Ricky Sprague at Project Child Murdering Robot tells how Marvel Comics (in 3-D!) turned him into an atheist. Bonus: 3-D artwork on the internets!
It’s been a great internet this week, so let’s take a look!
Comics & Media: There’s someone out there who believes that The Walking Dead comic books and trade compilations won’t see a boost in sales despite the tremendous success of the new TV series. Dirk Deppey delivers the smackdown and makes me wish I could write like that. (Scroll down a little.)
I only have anecdotal “evidence” about the book’s success from this year’s San Diego Con. I saw The Walking Dead booth doing tremendous business, and by Friday afternoon, they’d sold out of all the Volume 1 compilations they’d brought to the show (which still had more than two days to go).
And speaking of smackdowns, Lynda Carter tells Megan Fox to STFU.
P. Craig Russell: Want to have a sneak peek at his upcoming digital comic, The Gift of the Magi? I know you do.
Can you imagine if iPhone apps were named after characters from the Marvel Comics Universe? I can...and here they are:
Doctor Bong - A constantly updated map of medical marijuana clinics and how far they are from you right now, man.
Fin Fang Foom - A restaurant locator for sushi bars, steakhouses and White Castles.
Impossible Man - An app for ladies with low self esteem. Automatically uploads photos of wealthy, handsome and available men who just aren’t that into you.
Mr. Fantastic - Lets you enhance photos of your junk before you email them to women you find attractive. Also known as The Favre.
Unless there’s an iPhone app for X-Men continuity, there’s no way I can keep track of what’s going on. Who’s dead, who’s alive, who’s good, who’s bad, who’s banished, who’s lost their power or gained new ones. I can’t rattle off the names of the current X-Men or the books they appear in.
That’s not a criticism. Plenty of people know all that and more, and more power to them. As I’ve gotten older, I like the books that pop up on the fringes, usually with apes or zombies or alt cartoonists.
However, I still like the X-Men characters and will still occasionally pick up a title outside of continuity where I don’t have to know a lot going in. (I was like that with my college courses, too.)
Coming in January 2011, Marvel’s got something that fits my interest. Howard Chaykin is writing a one-shot X-Men tie-in book, Magneto.
I’ve made no secret of my fan-crush on Howard Chaykin’s work. I love how he’s able to bounce between his own projects and corporate work with relative ease, as a writer, an artist and sometimes both.
Remember that whole digital thing that’s supposed to knock off the printed comic book? Oh wait, that’s still happening!
If you want to be part of the industry now that we’ve passed “peak comic book,” ComiXology the “digital comics leader” is looking for a couple of new people.
First up is a LAMP Developer, someone with “2+ years of experience with Linux, Apache, mySQL and PHP. Additional experience with AJAX/JavasScript/HTML5 (jQuery), XML, HMTL, XMLRPC, SOAP and other development environments is preferred.”
A big week on the internets, so let’s get right to it.
For me, the big news is that my pal Jerry Bingham is illustrating a 5-part story in Batman Confidential, starting in issue #50 that went on sale this week. If you’re on the fence about it, here’s a multi-page preview of it that’ll make you wish Jerry drew more comics. Fans of Batman: Son of the Demon rejoice!
Batman: Over at Project Child Murdering Robot, Ricky Sprague comments on the upcoming Christopher Nolan Batman movie with some language that might be NSFW but SWR (still worth reading)! Bonus shout out to Batman: Year One: “It was among the first of the modern age comic book character reboots that now seem to occur every other year or so. Mr. Miller's hardboiled writing was at its peak, and Mr. Mazzucchelli is one of the best illustrators ever.”
Biff! Bam! Pow!: Bob Greenberger at ComicMix tackles the eternal question: Is Legends of the Superheroes any good? “You have to love kitsch, bad writing, awful acting, and comic books to enjoy (or endure) these specials.”
Happy Halloween to all of you!
My costume this year is simple - I’m going to walk around with my iPad and call myself The Future Of Comics. Which, I admit, is something I do pretty much every day.
First off, congratulations to my pals at Boom! Studios and their sales on Stan Lee’s Soldier Zero #1. And kudos to Boom for sharing their actual numbers.
And if you’d like a 10-page freeview of the November release of Stan Lee’s The Traveler #1 by Mark Waid and Chris Hardin, Scoop has that for you too.
Let’s see what else is out on the internets...
Zombies: Pop culture historian Jim Beard writes about the Walking Dead phenomenon that will soon be sweeping the nation thanks to the new AMC TV series.
Beard, by the way, is the editor of a new anthology that looks back at the Batman TV series of the 1960s, Gotham City: 14 Miles.
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