Saturday, October 11, 2008

LO! THERE SHALL COME... A BEGINNING!

So.
Finally.

My first post on my own blog!
(and... be wary. It's going to be a LONG ONE.
No way around it, really.
They won't all be, however. I promise.)

For those of you who may have followed my assorted postings (ramblings) in the comment sections of other (better) blogs and message boards, you may very well be thinking one of three* things;

- "Crap. Now he's going to be running his long-winded 'typey-fingers' even MORE than before."

- "Maybe if he's spending his time here in his own little corner of the web, he'll leave the rest of us the heck ALONE."

- "Awesome!** This guy roxx! He always makes GREAT comments and I subscribe wholeheartedly to the though-processes that he pontificates - Now who is passing around the Kool-Aid?"


It'll take me a little while to refine my blogging-style.
I'm used to making very hastily-typed, energetic comment-posts on other blogs, so my writing here might reflect that, until I get myself to a less frenetic rhythm.
Please bear with me.

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I should try to give an overview of the "mission statement" for this blog.
At first, I was a little torn between having it be a place wherein I blog about ALL my comic reading, likes, reviews, thoughts, nerd.alt.obsessiveness, or not. However, I feel it's best to possibly do all that on a separate blog and JUST focus this one on my personal collection. I'll make the separate blog known as soon as I get it going.

I need to design a logo for it, perhaps.

(note: that, for a guy who didn't think he had time for ONE blog, now suddenly may have multiple. I guess that's just the way it works, somehow. And I'll probably be able to manage them since, at best, I'll aim for WEEKLY postings on each. More if possible, but weekly is all I can hope to maintain with any regularity.)


THIS BLOG will be the repository for pics, descriptions, stories, reviews and thoughts of my extensive personal "keeper" collection.

My main focus in comic collecting has always been the "misfits" of comics, usually within the mystical/ horror genre, but I'll admit to being an X-Men fan in the early to mid 1980's.
Over the years, however, as you may very well know from ANY post I have ever typed out on any other site... my inner geek is reserved for the very few:

- DOCTOR STRANGE -
&
- MAN-THING -

I do have other 'inner geek' stuff, but as my wife has readily surmised, it ALL pretty much has SOMETHING to do with Doctor Strange. Even some of my non-Marvel, non-comics stuff.
Taking a page from the "6-degrees of Separation" theory (usually attributed in pop-culture to Kevin Bacon), she applied it to my collection of all things remotely tangential to DOC***.

"6-degrees of Doctor Strange" she called it.

So, then I re-dubbed it (more appropriately):
"6-Dimensions of Doctor Strange"****.

Those 6-dimensions will lead us to many varied and unsuspecting planes of reality (and the escapism from reality). I will try to be entertaining, 'educational', thorough, and, if possible, humble, while showcasing all the swell swag that approximately 30 years of hyper-active comic-character collecting has brought down upon my head.

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I now want to take a few lines to thank those who have inspired, pushed, or cursed me to this end.

- John D.: My old friend from high-school who first introduced me to the concept of COLLECTING comics. Damn it, John. You have NO idea of the fate to which you have condemned me. Once bitten, I was hooked. I have no doubt that he'd be ashamed and saddened by my present state. But this was a guy who could, off the top of his head, tell you what villain appeared in ANY issue of Amazing Spider-Man, if all you did was give him the issue number. I'm sure he left comics behind him after college.

- My parents - who actually loathed the idea of my buying, reading and/or collecting comics. So much so that I had to smuggle them into the house. Which probably made this forbidden fruit all the sweeter. However, since I didn't have any disposable parental-cash, like my other comic-collecting friends, but just what I could earn from my paper-route, I was restricted to the 25cent bins. It was there where I discovered the 1970's MAN-THING series and then Doctor Strange, as well as other, non-Marvel supernatural goodness. So, for me it was a WIN.

- NeilAlieN : who was the first Doc-centric web-site I found.
Heck, he's the grandpa of blogging, so he could be one of the FIRST blogs out there... period.
THE source for Doctor Strange related NEWS items (as well as DITKO updates and comics in general). We have since become "internet friends" and I look forward to one day meeting him in the intergalactic, pan-dimensional flesh.

- wrong dimension boy : A great "internet-friend", whom I also look forward to meeting. Before I encountered Howard, I was CERTAIN that I was the preeminent Doctor Strange collector in the world.
(I mean, seriously. How many could there BE?! And with my collection, I was SURE of it.)

Well... it turns out, that he may very well be the MOST dedicated Doc-collector-fan in the history of ever. He buys original artwork, which is a line I won't cross. Dude's a phenomenon.
I'm most likely # 2. A very CLOSE # 2, but still, not the top slot.

- Erik Elzenaar. HIS is a FABULOUS site and one that I would love to come CLOSE to, but sadly, may fall short of reaching. He lists many, if not all, Doc-related goodness, complete with pics and has some great info on the stuff, but it's more of a "catalogue" web-site. Fabulous for reference! I hope to add a somewhat more personal touch to my site since I actually OWN all the stuff. He's a great guy, and true "internet-friend" (until I can get to the Netherlands and meet him in person. Hmmm... maybe a mind-expanding trip to Amsterdam?).

- the Defenders Message Board - the place where I first cut my chops, and spent more than half a decade answering every weird question about the 40+ year history of Doctor Strange that my all encompassing collection, and memory for stupid minutia allowed me to tackle.

- Dave Campbell (of the defunct Dave's Long Box blog). He showed how it's done and entertained me with the idea that any semi-evolved chimp can do this.

- Mike Sterling. (at the aptly named Progressive Ruin) Seriously. Aside from Neil's site, it's the one blog that I HAVE TO read every day. No matter what. But, more importantly, he shows the WORK that goes into a daily blog. His only failing is that he prefers SWAMP-THING to the far superior MAN-THING, but hey... no one am perfect. Otherwise, he's FanTASTic.

- Pillok. The thinking-man of blogging.
Whenever I get too full of myself, I read his stuff and realize that I know nothing.
Deep. Insightful. And, oh yeah. FUN. Dive in.
He encouraged me to step up my commenting to a level that was near-blog worthy. I may have to steal - er - borrow some of my comments from his site for my OTHER comic blog. When and if I get around to it.

- Darren (of the Man-Thing's Swamp blog) - I send him all manner of Man-Thing related sightings, and anyone who would take up the banner of Manny can't be bad. He can expect Man-Thing goodness here as well.

- Googum (of Random Happenstance), for no other reason, than that he was the first blogger that I know of to state that I "really, really should" have a blog.
(he did so here. So... anyway, maybe a discerning nature isn't his thing.)
Really. That's why he's on the list.
OK, he is ALSO an entertaining blogger whose blog features fumetti-style action figure comic strips, and insights and reviews of toys, comic books and the stuff we all dig.


- Scotty C. My very good friend, and the guy who, quite literally, continually said to me; "Dude. You should blog". His last email to me was pretty much; "Just do it." So. I am.

- My Wife. People... she knew I had a ton of this stuff when we met. That was over 20 years ago. I've only added to it all since then.
I wasn't AS nutty with the all-encompassing collector mentality then, but even when my mania grew, she didn't tell me to stop. Sure, I'm quite sure she wishes she had put a stop to it when it was possible. But she's been awesome about it - for the most part.
She let me have one of the largest rooms in the house for my collectibles to turn into my own "Sanctum Sanctorum". How is that not crazy-cool?!

So. To all those people, and the many more that I would love to mention, but really, need to draw this to a close, I give thanks.

----------

And so I feel that I should end this Inaugural blog post.
Really. Stan Lee, as verbose as he was/is could have told the origins of the Inhumans, Silver Surfer, Watcher and Galactus in less time.

Please feel free to stop by and follow along as I dig into my very own, collection. Which I call my:
SANCTUM SANCTORUM !

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* NEXT ISSUE : The TOWER of POWER! *
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*(Aside from the obvious fourth thing which would be; "Yeah. So what. Who cares?)

** (NO ONE is saying this.)

***And you have to trust me... it's not all Marvel stuff, and it's not all COMIC stuff either.
Just as a 'fer-instance; I have a LINENS-n-THINGS catalog because one of the photo-spreads showcases some comics on a nightstand, next to a cool lamp that they're hawking, and the comic on top of the pile is an old Marvel Team-Up guest-starring... yup. Doctor Strange.
So, expect some stupid shit here.

**** (coincidentally, there is a BOOK... fine, it's a "choose your own adventure" style book, but a BOOK nonetheless - about Doc with almost that exact title. Rest assured, it will be one of the multitudes of items that I nerdgasm about here.)

7 comments:

plok said...

AHA!

What a good idea!

H said...

I pick "awesome"! What took you so long?

wrongdimension said...

Welcome to the blogosphere. May your Amulet never tickle!

plok said...

Let's have some WORST TEAMS here!

I think it'd be fun to do right what Marvel's done so wrong for so long: if you HAD to make an all-new all-different Defenders team...how would you do it?

Starting from square one: Doc is in it, of course. Non-negotiable.

And you can't have any previous Defenders per se, though you can have guest-star Defenders. And you have to have five, besides Doc. And additionally you have to have one Jack-Norriss-style schmuck, who doesn't have any powers. And it all has to be Defenders-y. And it all has to make sense. And you have to beware of poaching from other established teams.

So, my suggestions, off the top of my head...

Quicksilver -- the Namor slot
Thing -- come on, it's the Thing
Black Widow -- known to the Thing
Snowbird -- known to Doc
Guardian (Michael O'Brien version) -- the Yellowjacket slot

And filling in for Jack Norriss, Clea, et al...

A de-powered Janet Van Dyne.

Here's how it shakes out:

The Black Widow is in the original Len Wein Nighthawk slot...also invoking memories of Talia...she runs to Doc's Sanctum having nowhere else to go, being chased by heavy antagonists as yet unnamed. Not the Squadron Sinister, but...Crimson Dynamo and the Titanium Man, possibly? The whole Russian superpowered fleet? And who's with her but Guardian, her current lover/patsy, in the old suspect green armour. And Tony says he fixed it a long time ago...but can Natasha really be sure? Mike's acting awful weird, sometimes...

This issue will be kept hidden for several issues. Gonna get some Swordsman/Mantis action going on here...

Anyway that's a lot of firepower on them, and they're screwed. Natasha's desperate.

Doc is already talking to Snowbird...the thing is, her essence should have dissipated after the Great Beasts were all slain. And it kind of did, after she had her swingin' love affair with Corporal What's-Is-Name of the RCMP. But now she's back, and not tied physically to the North. There's a mystery there. Obviously: the Val slot. She just gravitated to Doc. He is Sorceror Supreme, after all.

And Jan's already there: grumbling. We don't even know why she's there. Why is she there? Why is she de-powered, or apparently de-powered? Why is she so pissed-off? Why is she bringing Doc tea? Where's Wong? Another mystery!

Quicksilver: redemption arc. Let's get this character back into reasonable superhero play. Natasha, operating as she does at the fringes, knows how to find him...they were lovers once, too, and she likes him better than Guardian, in a pure attraction sense. She calls him from Doc's place, when nobody's looking, on the phone...shades of Bruce Banner calling Luke Cage! But it doesn't work -- hold onto yer hat, P-Tor -- because he's shell-shocked, shuffling around in a rooming-house just as Namor was in FF #4. Or was it #3? Or #5. One forgets...anyway he listens to Natasha pleading with him on the phone, but can't quite connect with reality. I have no idea why Pietro's the one she needs to get ahold of...because that's a scripter's problem, and I'm playing Stan...

But obviously Ben is the one to "wake him up". Chasing Pietro down for something he did in some other book, he crashes in through the rooming-house, and then confronted with harm Pietro "flips" to awareness, remembers the Widow, takes off.

Ben, jumping on his sky-cycle: "Yer not gettin' away from me THAT easy...!"

Arrives at the scene of carnage, recognizes Doc's signature window: "Aw, cripes..."

Lands. Jan is there. "Shut up and fight those guys, Ben!" (mutters) "Okay, Reed...always glad to help out, Reed..."

Of course with Ben on board (and Jan's strategic direction), the tide is turned...because come on, he's not only ever-lovin', he's blue-eyed too. And then Quicksilver finally gets the chance to do his MacGuffin-thing Natasha called him for in the first place...I would like, a weaponized version of Hank McCoy's mutation chemical (or something like that), which for some un-predisclosed reason Pietro is the only one on-scene who can neutralize...sorry, being Stan...and then he dies heroically (like Kyle!), but then Snowbird brings him back to life, with Ben and Natasha's help. For some reason Doc can't do it...but Narya can...because Doc just uses magic...she is magic...

Neither Ben nor Natasha wants to help bring him back to life...but shamed by Narya's idealism, they do.

And hey presto: The Defenders.

And no Yandroth necessary!

Okay, who were they fighting...hmm, new Crimson Dynamo, old Titanium Man with rusty armour, Darkstar against her will (as always), that dude with the hammer and the sickle with the poorly-defined "reflecting" powers...and the brand-new Devastator threatening them all with tales of his dread "master". Yeah, that works: Ben can kick his ass dramatically, to turn the tide. And behind it all, it's the Gremlin. Hence the fixation on the mutagenic chemical. Ah! Sergei died: freeing the secret high-tech supervillain Russia, creating a power vacuum. Gosh, this actually works for a Defenders storyline. And Natasha stole the mutagenic whiz-bang, with Guardian's help. That they got from Brand, suspiciously. And now she's...gotta get it to Quicksilver? For some reason. Because Hank McCoy's not around. It kind of fits, though not well. Still, you ever read those early Avengers comics? Fits better than that, anyway...

Anyway in issue #3 we find out Jan can only grow, and to a minimum of a hundred feet, and she can only stay there for five minutes, and she can only do it every once in a while. Hank Pym is presumed dead. Hank McCoy has recently gone into hiding or something, and can't be found. Yes. Yes. Natasha goes to Doc's Sanctum because Jan is there -- she thinks Hank Pym will be there too, or Jan will know where he is...the whole world espionage community knows where the founding Avengers are who can be found (well, they know where the FF is too, but even I know that, that's not a secret...) Pietro's the last choice for fixing the problem. Ben's a wild card. "Widder-lady", I've been waiting some time to read that again. Maybe Ben mutates again. Maybe something. It's a non-team, but that's not saying it can't have a little glue.

Wong's letting Jan serve Doc tea. Jan didn't go to Doc for help. She went to Wong for help. Through a long and circuitous process. There are whispers of this man "Wong", son of the Hermit, but he's hard to find, may even be a myth...imagine Jan's shock to find it's Dr. Strange's manservant she was looking for. Yeah, we're gonna mess some preconceptions up, here. Jan is Wong's disciple, with Doc's permission, and we don't know why, but eventually we'll find out.

I dunno; you like? Felt I had to do something that equated to smashing a champagne bottle across the nose of your new blog...hope this counts. As crazy as I could get on short notice.

Fortunately for you, I was drinking tonight. Thansgiving, y'know.

plok said...

Uh, I mean Thanksgiving.

Jeez.

~P~ said...

Plok... Plok...

This is payback, right?
Becauase I left crazy-ass comments that were longer than a Stan Lee soliloquy where he's paid by the word?

Is THAT what this is?

Well, WHATEVER it is (besides the BOOZE talkin'), it's pretty darn good for spur-of-the-moment, seat-o'-your-pants flying.

Nice.

Plus, I LOVE Snowbird.
"Doc uses Magic. She IS magic."
FAB!

Truth to tell, I figured you were just winding me up, until the whole WONG thing.

THAT, my friend, is Awesome.
Wong really SHOULD be seen as a custodian of some of the "ancient Chinese secrets" that his father, Hamir the Hermit, knew (especially, since at the end of the "Into Shamballa" graphic novel, we find that while DOC was granted the Ancient One's POWER, Hamir has been given the A.O.'s SPIRIT and WISDOM".

Hamir could grant this to his son; Wong, while Hamir transcends.

Then, Wong becomes a spiritual "A.O" for people to go looking for, but he's hiding right in plain sight, as a man-servant ("the last shall be first", right?)...

Sweet thoughts.

Thanks for the crack of the bottle.

~P~

plok said...

You're welcome!

Hmm, now that I think about it...Jan is in the Patsy slot, not the Jack slot.

Funny how that works! The Defenders is really all about "I need some outcasts...characters no one's doing anything interesting with, but who are kind of cool to play with...maybe one Big Name from another book to draw readers in when they see him on the cover..."

Really, that formula works pretty well. Not too complicated. Amazing how it gets overlooked!

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