Sunday, June 2, 2013



 A portion of the Pin Collection in its revolving glass display case habitat.


Welcome back for another exciting entry in one of the longest-running series of blog posts on this Sanctum Sanctorum Comix blog; wherein I showcase my collection of DOCTOR STRANGE and "6-Dimensions" related apparel (hats, ties, shirts, unmentionables…).

This time, we're in the 2nd entry of a sub-series of posts which feature assorted Ancillary Accessorizing Artifacts; (patches, buttons and assorted bling).
While in our previous outing, we looked at my collection of PATCHES [HERE], in THIS post, we’re taking a look at BUTTONS and PINS (or “badges & pinbacks”, if you prefer that nomenclature).

And, of course, because there's no such thing as "a-button-is-a-button-is-a-button", there are several sub-sub-categories which we will break them down further:

Buttons, Cloisonné Pins, Badges (and of course, all separated into 2 categories each; "DOCTOR STRANGE" and then "6-DIMENSIONS" characters), and even a few custom-made items.

Once again, the best way is to go chronologically, by manufacture – and broken-down by type (Organized? –or- OCD? – YOU decide!).


First up, we'll take a look at...


A part of the membership package from the MMMS

A whopping 3.5" wide, this giant pin let its wearer proclaim to the world that they were TRUE BELIEVERS!

With the heads of some of the more popular characters of that time, each taken from their respective comics, we do see a Steve Ditko drawn head of Doctor Strange.

As you can see from the pic, mine has some age spots.
I got this one in the pre-internet years (some time in the late 1980's - early 1990's iirc) via an ad in a comic trade newspaper. (You'd check the buy/sell classified ads, and contact the seller, oftentimes buying items sight-unseen. Checks were mailed, and then the long wait for the item to arrive. I prefer ebay.)

Anyway, I'm sure I'll get a pristine copy sooner or later.


While not exactly "pristine", I have recently obtained a "very good" (maybe close to "near mint") condition pin.

The only thing that degrades this copy is some minor defect on the left (near Daredevil's head).

It's quite a nice one, notwithstanding, although, I guess that means I STILL will be on the lookout for a "pristine" copy.


1977 "gumball machine" pin.
Measuring about an inch wide, this item was also manufactured and sold as a ring and a keychain (see pic below).
These were available as prizes from carnivals, theme parks and yes... gumball vending machines.


1985 - 1.5" wide.
artwork by Steve Leialoha from DOCTOR STRANGE; Master of the Mystic Arts # 67.


1987 - 2.25" wide
artwork by Frank Brunner from MARVEL PREMIERE # 10
Yup. Nothing sells buttons more than an obscure panel wherein Shuma Gorath taunts our hero with a vision of his death.


1987 - 2.25" wide
artwork by Kevin Nowlan from the cover of 
DOCTOR STRANGE: Master of the Mystic Arts # 57


1987 - 3" high x 2" wide
artwork by Marshal Rogers from the cover of 
DOCTOR STRANGE: Master of the Mystic Arts # 49


1988 - 1.5" wide
Eye of Agamotto - original artwork made for the pin
As far as I can tell, this is an exceptionally rare button. I've never seen another like it.
(it could be from 1986, but it's very hard to tell since the copyright date is slightly obscured by the metal backing plate.)


Alright... you got me. THIS isn't an actual Marvel produced "Eye of Agamotto" pin.
It's actually a CBS Television lapel / hat pin. Made of golden colored metal (sorry, the pic has the shiny surface of the pin reflecting the black cloth all along the top half) and measuring a little more than a half-inch wide, it is the CBS "Eye" icon.

These were made over the years, apparently, to be worn by CBS employees, but somehow some of them made it out into the secondary marketplace (presumably by pages, interns and mail-room clerks looking to supplement their income).

However, since Doctor Strange's Made-for-TV movie pilot was made for (you guessed it) CBS, I thought this would make sense as a tribute to that event...
(and also a nifty, ersatz "Eye of Agamotto" as well).


2011 - 1.25" by Dark Horse / Marvel

Displaying an image drawn by Steve Ditko of Doctor Strange from his 1st appearance in 'Strange Tales' # 110, this pin-back button came packaged with the "Marvel Classic Character" syroco statuette manufactured by Dark Horse Comics (Doc was # 5 in the 1st series [- and yes, I'll showcase that soon when I continue my series of Dr. Strange figures & statues]).


2011 - 2.25" wide by Stussy / Marvel
As I already blogged about [HERE] there was a special edition of shirts and artwork of Marvel characters, licensed by design/apparel company; STUSSY.
One of their t-shirt designs was used as their overarching emblem for the event and, as such, was also used for promotional materials (like, for instance... BUTTONS).

This 2.25" wide pin features images of multitudes of Marvel characters. However, for the interest of this blog, obviously Dr. Strange is included.
However, in a bizarre twist, take a look to the left and the right of Spider-Man.
To the left is Doctor Strange's BODY, but to Spidey's right is Doc's HEAD!
(Talk about a magic-trick!)

While some other characters were allowed to protrude over the boundry of the double "S" Stussy logo (Spidey, Silver Surfer, Dr. Doom, Hulk, Captain America and more...), obviously, having Doctor Strange's HEAD covering the end of the inverted "S" was the last straw, and as such, he had to be beheaded.


That wraps up the "Dr Strange" section of BUTTONS (but fret not, there's more Doctor Strange Cloisonné and badges to come further in this post). Now we turn our attention to some "6-Dimensions" characters' buttons in my collection.



1976 - 2" wide

Howard the Duck artwork by Bernie Wrightson
Believe it or not; in 1976 Howard the Duck was an actual (write-in) candidate for President of the Unites States. Among the mail-away promotional materials you could get to support the "All Night Party" candidate was this spiffy pin touting Howard's slogan; "GET DOWN, AMERICA!"

Issue # 8 of his series dealt heavily with his campaign and this pin was shown therein (as well as in mail-away ads in the Marvel Comics of those months surrounding the election).


Here's a small smattering of "6-Dimensions" character pins from my collection. I've many more buttons and pins of my "6-Dimensions" faves than this, but most have been removed from the active collection and will go up on the eBay when I get around to it.

All these are the same size 1.5" and are from 1986 and 1987 (except the Dr. Doom one from the 2099 line of comics - which is from 1995).

Left to right, top to bottom:
DOOM 2099, Moon Knight's Ankh (from when Dr. Strange altered MK's modus operendi), Gargoyle, Cloak & Dagger and just Cloak solo (While C&D partnered with Doc - and shared a title with him - Cloak was also a special team-up during the time Doc's Cloak of Levitation was shredded - in case you wondered why I have these.)


I've also recently obtained a SCARLET WITCH pin. One that I've seen online now and again.
It's from a carded set of AVENGERS pins.

 I haven't taken her out of the wrapper, so... I guess that means I'm still in the market for either another set or just another one of her, loose.


1987 - SHIELD (LOGO?!?) 2" high x 3" wide

This is a weird one.
No SHIELD comic out at this time. A 6 issue deluxe edition mini-series (Nick Fury vs SHIELD) would start the following year.
This could have been a promotional item to herald the new project.
If I recall, the series dealt with Nick Fury discovering that SHIELD had been infiltrated and corrupted at its highest levels by shadow-agencies, so he had to re-start a new SHIELD with only a select core group of trusted individuals.
I'll have to dig out the issues to see if this is a new design for that core team.

(If anyone knows the origin of this one and can save me the time digging around, please do so in the comments. Thanks!)


The only buttons & badges that I (somewhat) regret selling off was my super-rare STARMAN badge and Cloisonné Enamel Pin!

These two items were in my collection for years, until they sold on ebay [HERE].

Ah, well...



Now we return to items featuring DOCTOR STRANGE - this time showcasing Cloisonné Enamel Pins! Unlike all the rest of the buttons in the collection, these Cloisonné Enamel pins use a push-pin type of fastener (like a tie-tack).

1988 - 1.25" wide
Doctor Strange logo from Strange Tales v2 and his "Sorcerer Supreme" series of the late 1980's.


 1989 - 1.25" wide
Doctor Strange in flying position.
(note: the eye patch over Doc's left eye)
I searched for the source of this image in comics from several years prior to, and up to the month of its release, and could not find any that were a match finally FOUND it.
It looks like the work of Mike Mignola, (but could also be that of Paul Smith or Art Adams) and I am now of the mind that it was drawn as a promotional pose and used, seemingly exclusively, for this pin (perhaps the eye-patch being added after-the-fact, since it was a small window of time wherein Doc wore one).
It turns out that the original image is from SILVER SURFER ANNUAL # 2 (1989) and drawn by Ron Lim. The line work was simplified slightly for this pin (which is what gave it the Mike Mignola/ Paul Smith vibe, but I am 100% sure that I have found the source.
As I guessed, the eye-patch was added after the fact (it seems the head as a whole may a fix, as it is the only aspect that does not quite match the art from the annual).


 1990 - 1.25" high
Doctor Strange "spellcasting", taken from artwork of Dale Keown from 'Incredible Hulk' #370
(although, in that issue, Doc was in his astral form.)


1993 - 1.25" high

This is the "trade dress" logo for the 'Midnight Sons"' line of comics that Marvel had during the 1990's. Centered around the dark and  mystical characters (mostly the Dan Ketch Ghost Rider who was wildly popular at the time), the Midnight Sons was a favorite branding for me (if only the quality of the comics was any good).
This pin is also copyright Marvel and Planet Studios (who seem to be the manufacturers of the Cloisonné pins made  after 1990).

As is the case with many of the items in my personal collection, I've obtained a 2nd of this pin.
Just because I like it.
I'd have sworn I also had duplicates of a few of the other cloisonne' pins, but for the life of me, I don't know where they are.


Now we switch it up to take a look at CLOISONNE OF "6-DIMENSIONS":

1993 - 1" wide
The Ghost Rider "mystic gas cap" (don't ask) icon.
As much an integral logo as the 'Midnight Sons' one above.
(Planet Studios)


Here are a few of the "6-Dimensions" Cloisonné  pins that I still have in my personal collection. I do have others, but they're probably going to hit eBay one day soon as well (perhaps even a few of these).

Here's what I have here clockwise from top-left:

Johnny Blaze - 1992 Planet Studios
Warlock - 1993 Planet Studios
Morbius - 1993 planet studios
Generation X - 1996 Planet Studios (OK. GenX isn't Cloisonné , it's a gold-toned metallic)
Galactus - 1989
Marvel Super Hero Island - 1999
Doctor Doom - 1988

Each of these utilize artwork from their various comics.
Blaze - Adam Kubert
Warlock - Tom Rainey
Morbius - Andy Kubert
Galactus - John Byrne
Doom - John Buscema


OK. Let's take a quick look at some...


1996 - 1.75" wide

OK. This is my ONLY Clip-On / Badge featuring Doctor Strange.
Near as I can tell, it's the ONLY one there ever was.

Packaged with the Doctor Strange action figure in the Amazing Spider-Man animated series line by ToyBiz in 1996, this is made of plastic with the image embossed in high-relief.
There's a plastic clip on the back that can also flip back to transform this badge into a mini standee/sign.



Well then, how about some Clip-On Badges featuring others...

1995 - ToyBiz
Similar to the one above for Doctor Strange, these came packaged with action figures in that same Spider-Man Animated Series action figure line.
I got Mysterio (because he's freakin' cool, that's why), Morbius and a SHIELD one that came with a Nick Fury figure.


1" wide - Tin Clip-On Badges
These type of badges are seen frequently as promotional materials or premiums.
In this case I have a few; the Two for Marvel vs DC crossover event - 1995, and DC Zero-Hour - 1994


Alas, no. This is also not an "Eye of Agamotto" badge, but instead, one that I received as an entrance badge during a visit to the Museum of Natural History - or the Metropolitan Museum of Art (I forget which) many years ago. But I keep it with my Doc buttons because it's an Eye. So sue me.



If you take any issue with my keeping a non-official "Eye of Oshtur" badge in my collection, then you may also have reservations about what follows: Custom-Made buttons...

3" wide - custom button

This button is one that I keep as a "Cautionary Tale", to remind me about the perils of items for sale online.
Y'see, I saw this as a small, out-of-focus pic on an eBay auction, which touted it as something from an "estate sale". Was this a button that I was unaware? Surely, no one would try to pass off a blatant fake as a real item, would they? I needed to have it for the collection!
Well, once it arrived, I saw it for what it was. A blatant fake passed off as a real item. It was a Dr. Strange sticker (from the 1960's Topps Marvel sticker/card series) adhered to a paper backing and made into an otherwise nice-looking button.

Heck, it could be worse...


2.25" - art by Don Perlin from an issue of 'Defenders'

THIS one is worse. But only because I've never been a fan of the art of Don Perlin in Defenders.
Made especially for me by a friend (who did not know of my Perlin views) when my buddy got a new button-making kit (around 1988). I keep it because it was made as a gift and heck... it's DOC!


What follows are several 1" wide pins.

These were all purchased online (ebay, etsy) and, like the Don Perlin button above, are made of clippings from actual comics (SHOCK! CALAMITY! Oh, the HUMANITY!).

The Doctor Strange one up top was drawn by Sal Buscema and is taken from a Christmas-time subscription advertisement (Doc's head is in a wreath), Dormammu's head is drawn by Steve Ditko and is from the splash-page to the classic 'Strange Tales' # 140 ("Pincers of Power").
Dr. Doom is from the cover to Fantastic Four # 5 (his 1st appearance. [I sure hope this was clipped from a reprint!])

Next, the Doc profile is taken from the "corner-box" of an issue from his "Master of the Mystic Arts" series. There were only a few issues with an orange background there, so I could pin-point it if I were that nerdy (I'll do it later, for sure, but this post is late enough as it is *Dang, I'm SUCH a geek... I just checked and I can state definitively that it came from the cover to # 19 - due to the location of the TM symbol and a green strip of color which are around the back of the pin - all indicators of # 19.). 
The hand is from a Steve Ditko "Mighty Marvel Pin-Up", originally published in 'Strange Tales' #128, and more recently reprinted as the cover of the comic that was packaged along with the Marvel Legends Doctor Strange action figure - which is from where this button was clipped.

These are the only buttons with art clipped from actual covers, as the paper stock is slick.

This batch utilizes Steve Ditko drawn head from 'Strange Tales' # 137 )"When Meet the Mystic Minds). The "Demons of Denak!" word-balloon is from issue #23 of "Master of the Mystic Arts" written by Marv Wolfman  and lettered by Joe Rosen (YES, I flipped through DOZENS of issues until I found it - and it wasn't easy - you wouldn't believe the number of times it is used. But, I found the exact panel that matched the shape of the balloon and the fact that the artwork lines up perfectly [that's the shadow of Doc's jaw at the top and his neck just above the balloon, with the cloak and even the panel border lining up]. Shoot me now).

"Demons of Denak!, indeed..."


We'll wrap up this madness with a few buttons that I made personally over the years...

2.5" wide - Sanctum Window design (1989)

Using a silver paint marker to delineate the window's "bars" and black paint applied directly to the inner side of a plastic "reusable" button (probably intended for photos and whatnot), I made this to wear on the lapel of my black trenchcoat back in the day.
I may have to remake a new one to wear these days. I forgot how much I liked this.


2.5" wide - "Eye of Agamotto" (1989)

Back when I used to frequent comic conventions as a professional comic artist (1989 - 1991) aside from drawing commissions then and there, I also came with pre-drawn and hand colored illos and also had a few buttons, like this one, which were photocopied from my drawings and hand-colored by marker.


3" wide - "Eye of Agamotto" (2012)

Obviously, since the 1989 version was a rough-looking button and a product of its time, I thought it would make sense to remake the Eye utilizing my computer skillz in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.
It looks far more impressive in person (almost like the "real thing") and is merely a print-out placed inside a larger version of the re-usable button kit. I DO have a standard button making machine, so maybe I'll make a permanent one too. We'll see...


2.25" wide - "Eye of Agamotto" (1998)

I'm listing this one last, even though it wasn't the last one made, purely because it's so different (and technically, isn't complete).
Constructed from a metal ball-bearing wheel housing (from some sort of machine - those little nodules are actual ball-bearings,) I painted it with enamel paint and covered it in a clear glaze (with the intent to finalize it with some metallic paint and a final clear-coat).
Sandwiched between the front and back plates is a hologram of an eye.

The effect is that the eye moves and looks around and is recessed slightly behind the outer rim of the amulet.

Before it is officially complete, I'll probably give it some "eye-lids". Maybe movable ones!


However, lest you think that these are the only "Eyes of Agamotto" in my collection, fret not... for I have made at least one other (but it is a medallion!), and I have other medallions and pendants as well!

Remember when I showed this photo-manipulated version of my Eye of Agamotto several years back? An item also shown at the very top of my blog...

I'll be sure to showcase that, along with other medallions & pendants next time...

So, be on the lookout for THAT next installment of this series!


And don't forget to check out any you may have missed of the
Previous parts of the

- part 1 : CAPS and TIES : [HERE]
- part 5 : "THE END" of GARMENTS  : [HERE]

And the sub-series...


- part 1: PATCHES of POWER: [HERE]
- part 2: BUTTONS & PINS: [HERE]
- part 3a: EYE of AGAMOTTO: [next]
- part 4: MAGIC RINGS: [soon]


Cully said...

Very cool. While searching for Hulk toys I came across this. It looks like Doc Strange on the cover.

~P~ said...

Hi Cully,
That's THE MANDARIN pictured on the HULK Rub-N-Play set.

However, DOCTOR STRANGE was indeed in a Rub-N-Play for SPIDER-MAN.

In fact, I not only HAVE IT, but I BLOGGED about it years ago:


Unknown said...

Wow.. It's looking Very special .. children love this types of custom pins......!!

Djadai said...

I needed some really cool looking design for my website. Lapel pins were just the thing I was looking for. I got mine from here

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