Friday, November 7, 2008

The method to the madness -or- the 6-Dimensions of Doctor Strange

Even though I touched upon it in my inaugural post, I didn't really explain my "collector's philosophy" (aka; lunacy) that has inexorably taken over my life and that of my habit / hobby (and one of the largest rooms in the house - which my wife, graciously allowed for my use as my "Sanctum Sanctorum Comix collection").

What I have termed "6-dimensions of Doctor Strange" is (and will eventually be readily evident as I progress in my blogging) wherein I have slowly expanded my collecting of items & comics that not only deal directly with Doctor Strange, but of anything that tangentially interconnects with him and his world as well.

So, if Doctor Strange was a part of the 01990's MIDNIGHT SONS "team" (actually he was the "behind the scenes" FOUNDER of said group), then I bought ALL the titles and any interconnecting tidbit that referenced it.
(yes. weep for me, for I KNOW that I was foolish. Although, because of that interconnectivity, I still read GHOST RIDER and that title is stronger NOW than it has been in a long time. So, sometimes this mania pays off some kind of dividend.)

Marvel's website has a weird interconnectivity "3-D" chart that shows links from one character to the many others whose "lives" or adventures cross.
My collection is the real-world (nerd-scape) of that.

Sometimes, it's a fortuitous coincidence. Something that I have interest in (or already read / collect) intersects with Strange's world, and ... BAM! New "dimension".

The NEW AVENGERS is one such instance.
I have always been an AVENGERS reader (Scarlet Witch & Black Knight being the reasons mostly, and THEY, in turn fall within the 6-dimensions purview), but once Doc was the benefactor (albeit a bad fit) of that team, I was glad to have the title in my collection (and then had to add one extra copy to be purchased - for the "Doc-Box"... my chronological appearance boxes, started after the demise of his last series in 01996).

This 6-dimensions way of collecting had helped assuage the ire of having Doctor Strange in limbo for so long (and subsequent misuse) and took the edge off my collection-monkey's jonesing, but soon became all-encompassing and not a little expensive.

Books and statues and minibusts (I recently had to call it quits on those - sadly just as the Nighthawk, Hellcat & Valkyrie busts were announced), action figures, (I have all the DEFENDERS - in multiple forms, NEW AVENGERS & ILLUMINATI members -in Marvel Legends- and many, many others whose stories, for one time or other, became integral to Stephen Strange's) and ... stuff... all somehow linked via whatever logical (usually "canonical" storyline) to the world of Dr. Strange.

Before all of this spiraled out of hand (and I have recently curbed this dangerous aspect of my collecting quite a bit as of late) I had always had a few Doc-centric offshoots to my comic reading / buying / collecting anyway.

I have ALWAYS been a MAN-THING collector.
In fact, it was via the Man-Thing that I first really had a good, up-close read of Doctor Strange's world. Before that, it was just a passing appearance here or there.

I have always had a kick for Scarlet Witch, and thought that she would have been a good choice for disciple / apprentice (and have a few comics where that indeed was bandied about by the characters - sadly, never to be).

The Black Knight, also has held an interest, and so I buy all his appearances.
(thankfully, too, as Captain Britain & MI-13 is AWESOME! Although, that falls within the "mystical" aspect of the 6-dimensions, so I'd be getting it anyway).

Brother Voodoo, too. Pretty much ALL the mystic stuff is in the wheelhouse of my interests.

There are some comics that need not have anything to do with Doctor Strange for me to have loved.

ROM : Spaceknight is one title that even if Doc hadn't guest-starred in it SEVERAL times, I would still have read, bought, collected and LOVED!
(I also have 2 actual ROM "dolls". One in box and one that I do take out and crank up on occasion.)

Howard the Duck, as well. Good thing he "became" a DEFENDER, just so it fit better (although his affiliation with Man-Thing - not to mention the wondrous Steve Gerber - would always ensure a place in my heart and) in my collection.

It doesn't even have to be MARVEL stuff, either.
I have several comics / titles / runs from other publishers if the concepts touched upon, spun out of, or homaged Strange.
Starting off with DC's ARION; of Atlantis (a definite Dr Strange-like comic that I started reading with # 1 when it first came out in 1982) to things like MYSTIC at CrossGen, to a run on SPECTRE at DC and KID ETERNITY as well, when it became readily evident that Marvel ripped off K.I.'s whole look for Doc's 1990's long-haired, young, hippie looking version of Doc (that my co-workers, at the time, back when I was a comic store employee, called "Kid Strange").

Heck, it doesn't even have to be comics!
You'll see all sorts of stuff (stupid shit) here.

There are many others, and I'll touch upon all of it here eventually.

I need to get a pace or rhythm to my postings, however...
Toss up some rare stuff, then basic items, then switch gears to other characters, like Man-Thing or ROM or something completely out of left field, then a review or comment and maybe some mp3's.
Switch it up. Show some home-made stuff too.

I've got a ton of crap that fits firmly within the "6-dimensions" framework.

I wasn't always this way, however.
Being a comic reader since the late 1970's, I used to be a reader of a much wider array of comics and such, from multiple publishers, mainstream, indie and underground alike.
However, as I got older and my available time (and storage space) got sparser (and my finances cried "uncle") I had to focus as best as I could.

So, I had to cull many loved titles and interests for this one.
I just ensured that this "one" would be as wide and divergent as possible while still keeping within the parameters of Doctor Strange.

My wife knows that if something is shipped to me, more likely than not, it's something Doc-related (and she even has a pretty good grip on the characters; names, powers and such).

In fact, it was SHE who dubbed the term "6-degrees of Dr. Strange" in jovial reference to my buying ways.
I just made it more Dr. Strange appropriate with the slight adjustment to dimensions.

As long as there isn't some really BIG ticket items that cross over with the realms of Doc (like a real-world, full-sized DEFENDERS van, like from those "Twisted Toyfare Theatre" fumetti strips, OR, worse-yet, having the house remodeled to look like the actual Sanctum Sanctorum - as cool as that would be), I should be able to continue with this hobby without finding myself banished to some DARK Dimension.


Flying Guillotine said...

Awesome idea for a blog. I can't wait to see the articles you come up with.

Dr. Strange rules!

John Sisson said...

I like your definition of "dimensions" of Dr Strange. I tend to collect comics only when he appears in the comic but feel conflicted when a series or storyline is around Nightmare or Dormammu. I tend to like only appearances that are in continuity or might be considered in continuity (lost tales).

I also admire your pursuit of Dr Strange "stuff". I can store comics and other flat things but the 3-d objects either get packed away or limited to only the "best".

Besides a couple pieces of art (and 1 statue) my only manifistation of my obsession is that in my office I have a "secret" altar of different Dr Strange figures around the "Eye"

~P~ said...

intern 156,
Glad you like it.
Take a look around, I'm sure you'll enjoy yourself.


john sisson,

Thanks for the kudos.
Sadly, my mania for "all-things Strange" grew over the years to the point that even if Doc was a tiny little face in a crowd, I HAD to get the issue for the collection.

I have several issues of horrible comics for JUST that reason.

The "strange stuff" also grew out of a deepening mental unbalance wherein if Doc was in it, on it or somehow intimated within... it had to be a part of the collection.

I can't begin to tell you the depths of insanity to which THAT has lead.

You may be smarter restricting your pursuits. I've lost my mind (and a good portion of any domicile) to this hobby.

Still, with a big enough room to house it all, it all looks awesome in the "Sanctum" (and as soon as it's finally set-up to my standards it'll be museum-worthy), and as such makes fantastic blog-fodder.

Tool around the previous posts, and stick around for more.

Good stuff shall be revealed.

Thanks to you both for commenting.

Anonymous said...

I did the same thing for awhile with the Scarlet Witch (West Coast Avengers, Avengers, Force Works (the costume, oh boy. . .), etc. As a teen (mid- to late eighties), I would collect the above mentioned titles and Action Comics, What If, Superman, Swamp Thing, The New Teen Titans, Dr, Strange, Strange Tales, The New Mutants, X-Factor, The X-men, and Wonder Woman before I began to run out of space and I began to sell comics that I didn't really love (I read the ones I love until they fell apart literally). Now I buy some comics now and then like the new Scarlet Witch issues and some Doctor Who. Sometime is good to remember what you loved about the comics.

Leslie Y. Rieger said...

Your collecting style definitely resembles my own. I recently acquired a Dr. Strange tumbler glass - we were checking out the new location of our local comic store when I found it - at which point my exploration of the shop completely ceased while I went to find my husband (I was too short to reach the glass on my own), and I still haven't looked through the rest of the shop. This is in addition to multiple Dr. Strange t-shirts and my rapidly growing stack of comics (I've only been collecting for a few years, and my collection has not yet claimed an entire room of my house). Glad to know it's not just me and happy to have found your blog.

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