Sunday, January 1, 2012

Time Warp :
- The Modern Marvel Calendars

Happy New Year - 2012, Sanctum Dwellers!

In this, the first post of the new year, I once again thought it appropriate to blog about the passage of time. Well... honestly, about calendars.
This post also doubles as an updated add-on to an old post from this time in 2009 wherein I showcased all of the various Marvel Calendars - from 1975 - to the "present"... well... at least the ones that featured Doctor Strange or any of my "6-Dimensions" interests.

The original series can be found at the following links:
(Part I : the "CLASSIC" calendar series can be seen - HERE)
(Part II : the "MODERN" calendar series can be seen - HERE)
(Part III : the 1980 Doctor Strange calendar - in its entirety - can be seen - HERE)

Anyway, this entry is just to post 2 added entries into the "Part II - MODERN" portion of that series
(yes, the added entries will also be added to that post directly, as well.)

Here, I present, the most recent appearances of Doctor Strange in a Marvel Calendar.

(# 4 in the Special Edition series)
(And a POP-UP Calendar, at that!).

Produced by 'Act Responsibly', a Mead Corporation, this is a calendar with pop-up images for each 2-month spread.
By pop-up, I mean, like children's books... when the page is opened, the artwork has been diecut and assembled in such a way that it unfolds and literally is raised up off the surface of the page... it "pops" up off the page.

Each pop-up features a hero and a villain (usually a pairing of a hero and one of his primary foes - or at least a foe who makes some sense to have with that hero), and is in the center of two months worth of date boxes. The date boxes go down the sides of each page's outer edge, which leaves the majority of space for the pop-up art.

The truly screwed up thing is that the heroes shown on the wrap-around cover are not (for the most part) the ones showcased in the inner pop-ups! So, if you're like me, and bought this for one (or more) of your favorite heroes who are on the cover, the odds of that hero being on the inside are slim-to-none.

Left to Right / Top to Bottom:
Ice-Man, Storm, Human Torch, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, (Arch)Angel
Mr. Fantastic, The Thing, Cyclops, Black Widow, Daredevil, Hulk, Iron Fist
Elektra, Black Cat, Beast, Hawkeye, Wolverine, Invisible Woman

The six 2-month spreads feature the following hero/villain pairings:

January/February : Daredevil / Bullseye
March/April : Spider-Man / Lizard
May/June : Hulk / Abomination
July/August : Wolverine / Sabretooth
September/October : Silver Surfer / Galactus
November/December : Hawkeye / Ultron

Like the cover artwork, all of the inner artwork is computer "airbrushed" art either from published comics or promotional / production art. Fortunately, the airbrush coloring helps make so many differently drawn styles of art work almost seamlessly with a cohesive look. Unfortunately, the coloring is so totally over-rendered that everything looks ridiculously artificial.

The wraparound cover is filled with a diverse assemblage of Marvel superheroes. At first glance, it is hard to fathom the method for selecting the characters represented. However, it would seem that many of these heroes are either in already established film franchises, or like Doctor Strange, are to be in up-coming films.

The selection for the interior spreads makes less sense, as most of these featured pairings are either in old (or especially bad) movies or those who may be part of some future project.

Spider-Man / Lizard is most likely the pairing of the upcoming Spider-man flick.
Ultron is probably going to factor into the Avengers film (of which Hawkeye will be a part).
If there is a new Hulk film, the Abomination is the most likely candidate for baddie.
A Silver Surfer film would be awesome - and if so, a non-cloud version of Galactus would be a must.
And so on...

However, I bought it for Doctor Strange, who is on the cover in a heretofore unseen bit of production artwork. Happily for me, he is dressed in his classic garb, and they even got the overall look of the cloak of levitation correct - with the gold embroidered area covering his shoulders. 

Sadly, he is not showcased anywhere on the inside.

Maybe when his own film comes out in 2013 (?).


The next calendar, also for 2012, also showcases Doctor Strange on the cover.

Artwork by Nick Bradshaw, from the variant cover to Marvel POINT ONE # 1 issue
(I blogged a review of the DEFENDERS story therein - [HERE])

A FREE promo item, this calendar showcases images for the upcoming year's publications and events. 
(Sadly, I don't have one, and have made due with scans from online. Anyone have one of these? I'll probably have to hit up eBay or something. I was just told by the fine folks at Horizon Comics in Lancaster, CA that they'll toss in 2 free calendars in my recent order of some discount variants. Thanks Guys!)

Unfortunately, like the previous calendar, although he is shown on the cover, this one also does not showcase Dr. Strange in any of its interior pages.
Still, it does have this spread for March that features the Scarlet Witch - one of my '6-Dimensions of Doctor Strange' characters.

Artwork from Avengers vs X-Men # 0 cover by Frank Cho

Also, as can be seen on the 17th, with the little picture of Banshee on St. Patrick's Day, this calendar also is a tiny throwback / homage to those "classic" Marvel calendars of old (as can be seen in this post [HERE]) wherein most of the days had cool little Marvel art within.

Will we have to wait until 2013 for a calendar to showcase Doctor Strange in the interior?
Not if the Mayan Calendar is to be believed.
(Don't worry. It's not. Maybe. I hope.)


Tamam Shud!


Disciple_of_Strange said...

Speaking of the New Year, have you seen this piece of news? Greg Pak and Emma Rios doing "Doctor Strange: Season One"!

~P~ said...

Thanks for the comment "Disciple",

Yes, I've seen the news.
(No offense, but OF COURSE I've seen it.) ;-)

I have some trepidations about it though, and will be addressing it in an upcoming post.

However, as for the choice of Emma Rios for the artwork, I am sure to be in the minority as I am not too thrilled about it.

She was the artist for the last "STRANGE" mini and I found her work, while good overall, NOT to be the best fit for Doctor Strange.
Still, I can NOT say that she sucks, because her work IS very good! Just that Strange mini... not her best.

My comprehensive review of that series can be found at this link:


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