Sunday, October 26, 2014

The "BEST OF" vol 6: 2013-2014



Those words were never more true - at least not on this blog.

This post, while seeming to be merely just the latest in a string of annual "best of" posts, is in truth the reaffirmation post to a blog which came precariously close to going the way of many a fine blog... shuttering.

With ever-less limited time (and ebbing interest in the way certain characters have been treated *cough*... *Doctor Strange*... *cough* in comics), my blogging waxed and waned for many months as I slowed my blogging - and then... came to a halt.

This space grew long dormant for NINE MONTHS.

The lack of posts, less the (oxymoron) by-product of the mixture of lack of time and interest and more the all-too-easy cessation of momentum (see: Galileo's "Concept of Inertia" and Neuton's "First Law of Motion", The "New Year's Resolution Effect" and/or Interweb's "First Law of Blog-Shuttering")... the very fact that I hadn't posted made it easier not to post again.

Still, I always knew that, like Oscar Madison's and Felix Unger's belief for their marriages... I WOULD return to "her"... my blog.

 I’ve somehow managed to make it to SIX YEARS of producing "content" (all of varying quality) for this blog!
(This, on top of the many years - since 1997 - of my being an omni-present commenter/ know-it-all loudmouth on others’ blogs, message boards and random street corners.)  

So, now, in the vein of anniversary episodes of various television shows (or did you think that "ODD COUPLE" reference a few lines back was just going to stick there on the wall like a plate of spaghetti... er... I mean, linguini [and YES, I know that's a scene from the MOVIE and not the TV show - but c'mon, give me a break... ok?]) or GIANT-SIZED ANNUALS of old, I would, once again, produce a “best of” post - thus revisiting a few of the "high-points" of this past year's blog-post entries.

Seeing as how I began my official blogging on one random October day in 2008, any semblance of a calendar-year can be tossed right out the window. So, we will focus on what I blogged from OCTOBER 11, 2013 to OCTOBER 11, 2014.

Feel free to use this opportunity to peruse some of these old posts - whether you have read them already or not, there is actually some really good stuff in here.

Disclaimer: I only posted 7 entries in the last 12 months, so... even if they're not the "best", each one will get a mention here (although, really... these were all pretty darn good).

Let's see:


While this is (primarily) a DOCTOR STRANGE blog, I think it best to start off with a post that has NOTHING to do with him. Instead, this is a wondrous tale of kindness, destiny, original artwork, TV documentaries... and my personal history with JACK KIRBY!

- THE KING and I - [HERE]


But, yes... this IS (primarily) a blog about DOCTOR STRANGE, so I guess I'll add a few of those here as well.

Here's one that showcases a cool DOCTOR STRANGE VIDEO PINBALL GAME (also featuring, Nightmare, Dormammu and SHUMA F#@%!ng GORATH!):

- [HERE]


Although, as a blog that ALSO shows love to a few other heroes, my "Founding Fathers" (ROM; Spaceknight, MAN-THING and DR. STRANGE), this past year I revealed that the Pantheon also includes a Time-Lord from Gallifrey... DOCTOR WHO.

But some times... the two might not be mutually exclusive.



Doctors Across Space, Time & Dimensions        - [HERE]


There were also other articles and entries to long-running series, as well as revisits to previous discussions.

Such as...

Interested in collectibles and comic swag? Sure! In fact, that was the main reason for my even starting this blog in the first place!
I managed to have at least one entry in the SWAG category, which was a New Year's revisiting to my long-running series:


And speaking of “New Year’s Day”, while not quite as extensive (or always as serious) as my essays, there is also a history of HOLIDAY POSTS wherein I might display a little razzle-dazzle (or a facsimile thereof) for your general enjoyment.(Or, in this case, pose a few action figures around snap a photo and add what counts for "wit" around here):

- MERRY CHRISTMAS - (A "not-so" Nativity Scene)  - [HERE]
*Disclaimer: Not for celebrators of Christmas who may be easily offended.


But I really want to wrap up this special post with two entries which form important posts of not only the past 12 months, but in the history of this blog:

First, the post that begun not only my revelation of my long love for Doctor Who, but how that character had a unique mirror history with Doctor Strange - and how the two characters greatly affected me - especially at the time of writing - when my interest in comics and this blog had taken a drastic blow, and helped to see me through the dark times into what I hoped would be a new time of personal resurgence:

- I AM the DOCTOR - [HERE]

And finally the latest post (just before this one)... wherein I announce my RETURN (and showcase the comic story wherein Doctor Strange also made a Return after he had first given up the ways of magic):



I would be remiss if I didn't thank the many friends, fans, readers, followers, fellow-bloggers and wonderful souls out there who have helped, inspired, cajoled, cudgeled and commented over the years, but especially over the past 12 months. Thank You all!

And creators without whom this blog would be about my collection of rare molds, spores and fungus':
- Steve Ditko -
- Jack Kirby -
- Stan Lee -
- Steve Englehart -
- Gene Colan -
- Marshall Rogers -
- J.M. DeMatteis -
- Steve Gerber -
- Dan Green -
- Michael Golden -
- Paul Smith -
- Mike Ploog -
- Dan Adkins -
- Steve Rude -
- Bill Everett - 
- John Byrne -
- Peter Gillis -
-Roger Stern -
- Frank Brunner -
- Kevin Nowlan -
- Chris Warner -
- P. Craig Russell -
- Gerry Conway - 
- Sandy Plunkett -
- Alan Davis –
- Jeff Parker -
- Mike Allred -
- Mark Buckingham -
- Howard Chaykin -
- Kurt Busiek -
- Mike Weiringo -
- Al Milgrom -
- Rudy Nebres -
- Tom Sutton -
- Steve Mellor -
- Ian Akin and Brian Garvey -
- Sal Buscema -
- Bill Mantlo -
and many, many, MANY more!

And that should do it.
Of course, there ARE an additional 5 years worth of blog entries.

Many are well-researched, and in-depth articles, while some are hit-and-run bits of nonsense.
Others are to showcase new products or comics that were to be released, and still others are tongue-in-cheek bits of whimsy, or tips of the hat to various holidays.

But if you like that sort of thing, open up the blog-history drop down lists and just jump around.

I'll catch you all in a few.  I DO have more planned for YEAR 7!
Join me, wont you?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

DIMENSIONAL PORTAL... aka - This post has moved (new link below).

Due to a slight posting error * from the original entry, I felt it best to RE-POST it afresh.

* (It's all about URLs and Obsessive/Compulsive Disorders - or maybe I'm just insane [not that the two are mutually exclusive]).

However, I'll leave THIS post here with a link to the new one (AND re-post the new link on the Twitter so as to not confuse anyone who didn't already see THIS f.u.b.a.r. mess....)


Sorry for any confusion or inconvenience.

Saturday, October 11, 2014



(scan taken from Marvel 1980 Doctor Strange Calendar - of a panel taken from Marvel Feature # 1) *

At long last… after many months away…
I AM RETURNED unto you!

After a gestation of 9 months… I am reborn!

Alright… I’ll stop the added melodramatics.
But seriously, I’ve been away from this blog for far too long, but I’m looking to make a return to producing posts wherein I discuss various subjects of nerdity; ie: Doctor Strange, Doctor Who, my “6-Dimensions” philosophy, comicbooks, pop culture, and showcasing my (admittedly awesome) collection.

Just as Doctor Strange has returned from (multiple) cancelations (although the last issue of his last true long-running series was in 1996, and we’re STILL waiting for the 1st issue of a new series), and even Doctor Who came back from his own cancelation (in 1989 – although, the revitalizing made-for-tv movie in 1996 led to nothing [except a series of excellent audio dramas] and it took until the 2005 revival to really “regenerate” the series), so do I return to this blog.

Interestingly (and potentially cosmically-coincidental) is that TODAY is SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11th - the very same day and date which I started this blog 6 years back (as seen [HERE]).
Thus it is a perfect time to return to my blog.

But that isn’t the ONLY return that I am announcing here.
I am ALSO returning to REAL, gainful employment, utilizing my artistic abilities, as an illustrator and 3D designer. 

Even MORE “return” oriented is that the place where I am to work is the OLD place of employment where I worked back when I started this blog. After being “downsized” due to the collapsing worldwide economy (aka; Armageddon), I was occasionally still being commissioned by that selfsame corporation as a independent contractor / freelancer to produce artworks for them whenever something truly difficult came their way or the shit hit the deadline fan and they needed a miracle save. Luckily, I departed them with an air of professionalism, I continued to maintain my professional level during the freelance projects, and so when it came to thinking of whom to hire for a new 3D design position, my name was top of the list.

It is into this atmosphere of hope that I find myself now and while I will be initially sporadic in my blogging (due to the rigors of the new position and the insane commute / living arrangements where I’ll find myself [I’m living in Pennsylvania and the job is in New York on Long Island]), I do hope to develop a rhythm to my new life where blogging can be fairly consistent.

So, while I ask you to please bear with me during the rough starts and stops, I am not leaving again any time soon.

But, to quote a famous Sorcerer Supreme:

"I have once again picked up the mantle of Doctor Strange... 
And I can never again -- put it down."

*fun fact: the panel scanned atop this blog post is taken from the DOCTOR STRANGE 1980 calendar (which you can view in its entirety in this old post [HERE]) wherein they added a witty, yet apropos caption to a panel from (the back-up story in) MARVEL FEATURE # 1 wherein Doctor Strange returns to the role of Sorcerer after forsaking the role (one year prior [thankfully, I didn't take THAT long to return here], back in INCREDIBLE HULK # 126)… the title of that Marvel Feature story? Why, “THE RETURN” of course.

And as a treat, I’ll post that story here for you now.
(click pages to embiggen)


Thursday, January 30, 2014



First, let me ASSURE you that this isn't becoming the "TARDIS-BLOG"; virtual fan-home of THE DOCTOR (WHO).
It's just that much of my time now is being spent immersed in all-things "Time Lord", and so, while reading of new 12th DOCTOR (or 14th Doctor, depending on how accurate/pedantic/OCD you may be) Peter Capaldi's unveiling of his new Doctor Who costume, I IMMEDIATELY did a double-take when I saw the photo.

Peter Capaldi's DOCTOR is to wear a dark blue Crombie coat with red lining, dark trousers, a white shirt and Doc Martens boots. While not EXACTLY a perfect match, it is certainly an amazing close coincidence to a certain STRANGE Doctor's most previous outfit.

Both of these Doctors looks are dashing, dynamic, decidedly different.
The red-lined coat, the dark coloring, the black boots... interesting coincidence, is it not?

Now, just so you don't think me grasping at straws, look at Capaldi's pose. Close enough to the pose of Doctor Strange above?

Yes? Well... then how about how SPOT ON it is to the pose below?!

This is nearly "the" definitive "Doctor Strange pose", going as far back as his official image for the original "Marvel Universe Handbook" (as drawn by Paul Smith).

Now, before any WHOvians get up in my case about how Capaldi's duds are a nod to the original 3 DOCTORS: William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee (and indeed his look IS a tip of the hat to those three incarnations, to be sure), still.... this fashion trend between Strange and "Who" is a bit odd.

So... YOU tell me.
If not "SEPARATED AT BIRTH", then is it coincidence or an homage (subconsciously or not)?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

DOCTORS Across Space, Time and Dimensions


As I’ve noted in the last post of 2013, I’ve been less than enthusiastic about my DOCTOR STRANGE interests/habit/mania/obsession/fix as Marvel has not been treating the character well at all, and instead, while watching-and-waiting to see how Strange is treated in each month's new comics, have been focusing on RE-discovering my love for DOCTOR WHO.

More often than not, while I’m totally exhausted from my current job, when I come home and pour myself into bed, the last thing that I have energy for is to type out blog entries (even though I DO have the desire). What I DO have energy to do is watch old episodes of DOCTOR WHO – or – peruse other media appearances of THE DOCTOR.

Well, wouldn’t you know that when you cross the 4th Dimension of Time, and the dimensional doorways of Space are ajar, there’s a good chance that OTHER dimensions may be traversed as well.

So, when I was reading some of the Doctor Who Comic strips from Doctor Who Magazine (and other sources), I wasn’t the least bit surprised to see that an alternate Dimensional interpretation of a certain STRANGE Doctor making an appearance.

(right click to make bigger on the inside)

Seen taking in some culture at an art museum (where the 9th DOCTOR and ROSE [Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper] have just materialized in the TARDIS, we see a familiar looking cloak of levitation being worn by some slug-like creature.

Perhaps, it’s NOT “Doctor Strange”, but perhaps it’s another “Sorcerer Supreme” in possession of the Cloak of Levitation (or, since neither TIME nor SPACE are hindering factors when dealing with either Doctor Who or Doctor Strange, then this might be Agamotto [the FIRST Sorcerer Supreme himself, who also frequently appears as such a caterpillar], or the Sorcerer Supreme of the 37th Century (wherein this story takes place, in an pan-dimensional gallery) resplendent in the cloak.

Either way, this page from DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE # 358, featuring a story; “ART ATTACK” with story and pencils by Mike Collins, shows that perhaps other people aside from myself feel that these two Doctors should have a meeting.

 So, as STRANGE as it is, WHO’s to say that my two current interests are mutually exclusive of each other?

Certainly not either DOCTOR.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Modern Marvel Calendars
*Addendum 4*

Time is relative.

It seems "Time Flies"… (whether you’re having fun or not) and as such, I’ve missed several opportunities to post new blog entries. My apologies.

And so...

Happy (belated) New Year - 2014, 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)

This blog post is just to add two "new" entries into the "Part II - MODERN" portion of that series (these added entries will be added to that post directly, as well)

Occasionally, the "addendums" focus on the new calendar for the new year (new, new, new!). But, of late there have been no new calendars to feature DOCTOR STRANGE. This is made especially “strange” by the fact that, as one of the “Illuminati”, the super-secret cabal featured in Jonathan Hickman’s NEW AVENGERS title, and that editor Tom Brevoort continually touts NEW AVENGERS as “the most important title that Marvel is publishing…” you’d think that group (or any member(s) of that assembly) would be featured on at least one of the 12 months of the calendars over the past two years. But, no.

And so, today’s entry is to showcase some old calendars that I acquired since my last such entry; one from 2005 and the other from 2007. Both of which are of the “Page a Day” desktop variety (of a type which I have exhibited here in time’s past - the 1995 desktop calendar - found with the "Modern" Marvel calendars [see link above]).

With this sort of calendar, each day has its own tear-off page, and on that page is featured some artwork or tidbit of info about a character or comic issue.

The 2005 “Characters of Marvel” Calendar, a “Day At A Time” edition, has DR STRANGE right on the cover page! (With a portion of the cover to “Sorcerer Supreme # 51 showing.) A good start!

The format of this edition was to have sequential pages/days devoted to a character, before moving on to the next. This has several pages dedicated to the Master Mystic!
It also had pages on several of my 6-Dimensions characters; Scarlet Witch, Ghost Rider, Nick Fury, etc… as well as a plethora of other characters, so… a good calendar!

The 2007 edition, is a “Marvel Heroes” “Year In A Box” calendar, and was not as kind to Dr. Strange.

It has Doctor Strange featured on ZERO pages! WTF? Well… he’s not featured solo on any pages, but is seen as a small figure in a few group shots, and is mentioned in some write-ups (for "House of M" and such).

Still, Scarlet Witch is featured on a few pages (solo and as a group member) so… that’s ok.
Otherwise, it’s fairly light on my 6-Dimensions characters.

Except… it DOES have MAN-THING as shown on the cover to “Marvel Comics Presents” # 5, so… alright!


Also of note, is that this year (2014 for any future visitors from the year 2525 [if man is still alive]) features the same day-of-the-week-per-month pagination as previous years wherein a past Marvel Calendar can be reused to perfection!
Such previous years are 2003, 1997, 1986, 1975, 1969, etc… , and I’ve already featured those calendars (well, the ones that actually HAD Marvel calendars) in previous entries of the MARVEL CALENDAR series [see links above].

So, no Doctor Strange in ANY 2014 calendar? No problem. Let me slap my 1975, calendar on my wall.
Heck, I’ll put the 1997 calendar in my study, the other 1997 in my bedroom, the 1975 calendar in my Sanctum Sanctorum, the 2003 in my bathroom....

Time is relative.