Monday, August 30, 2010

ANGELS on Earth.
-or-
BEHOLD... METATRON!

THINGS that MUST be SAID.


I have had the pleasure of being a recipient of some recent good - becoming acquainted - via the internet - with someone who brought forth pure, kind light to my small corner of dim reality and showed me that sometimes, good does happen to good people - because of good people.

Reader, (and online presence) SUSANNAH had felt my grief several months back, when, after my job downsizing, I lamented my loss of laptops with which to post content on my blogs. I have tower machines, and had been trying to keep up a pace of blogging, but due to my life situation; looking for jobs, taking care of things around the house, packing for a relocation, most of my "free" blogging hours were late at night, tapping away on laptops - since my towers are hard to access while the household sleeps.

Susannah perhaps saw, in me, a good enough person with a worthwhile enough message, ( - hey, some of my posts are positive and spiritually uplifting - when I'm not bashing Bendis' latest handling of Dr. Strange ... or maybe she prefers it WHEN I'm doing that,) dealing with a fan-site of Doctor Strange, a character usually favored by those with a more, spiritual, mystical nature (as well as the Man-Thing, an empathic, tortured soul, and ROM - an ultimate do-gooder and hero), and saw that perhaps such a blog and blogger might be aided by an act of kindness.

More likely still, she was - in herself - a good person with ample kindness to share.

Such a good-natured soul, she stated that she really did not desire/require any public mention or acknowledgment, now or ever. It was "no big thing" to her.
However, what she thought of as "no big thing" was, to me a gesture of pure goodness.

After a few emails, where we shared some thoughts on the deeper meanings of things, Susannah sent me a huge box - filled with technological delight.

BEHOLD... METATRON!

"Dude... you're getting a DELL!"

Susannah awed me with this complete blogger's dream.
She gave me an AWESOME package of things that she said she was no longer using and that they would be better served by me than languishing in a closet or being sold off.

I want her to know that even if the system wasn't as wicked cool as it is, even if it were a broken down clunker - it would still be an amazing and most appreciated act of kindness.

However, it isn't a clunker at all.
A Dell Inspiron 6000, 1.86 GHz Centrino, with multiple USB ports and DVD-RW drive.
It's hefty! Weighing about 7 lbs, so I don't have to handle it with kid gloves.
And she included a flat USB-powered fan that can be placed underneath (my lap thanks her even more for that - ouchie! Hot! Hot! Hot!).

With a dedicated graphics card, It has a 75GB HD, 2GB of RAM and a wireless modem in it.
The 15.1" WXGA screen is hi-res (1920 x 1024) so it's good for doing Photoshop and Illustrator work and watching DVDs (which, I will admit to doing).

Even though I spent most of my time over the past several years on MACs, this Dell PC's OS is WinXP Pro SP3, which is a close enough approximation to Mac's OSX that I fell seamlessly into it.

But that wasn't all!
Aside from the machine that was loaded with software, she also included an 600GB External HD - jam packed with goodies, AND wireless mice and wireless USB adaptor.
That, (and some swell comic-themed books) all inside a beautiful carry bag.

To perhaps better illuminate her more 'spiritual' nature, I should note that she named the system; Metatron.

For those who are unaware, Metatron has been referred to as one of the (if not "the") highest of the Seraphim (and, not merely the "Shields of the..." kind); the highest choir of Angels, and is the scribe and message-bearer of Heaven under God.
(For comic-book fans, see the Kevin Smith movie; DOGMA. Alan Rickman plays Metatron - for some laughs.)

She told me that I could rename it, but why would I?
That is its name and I honor that.
(I also don't rename pets if I take in one that already has a name. I may give added nick-names, but you are who you are. Not who I want you to be.)

Sadly, due to my packing up the house the past few months, I hadn't had a chance to use Metatron as much as I'd have wished.

I'm still intent on wrapping up my remaining reviews, and showcasing more swag from my SANCTUM collection (which, truthfully was the main reason for my starting this blog), but since things are mostly packed up in boxes (from a relocation that was aborted - after I already moved half of our house to the new place - ugh - more on that craziness later), I've been doing little hit-and-run posts here and there for the past month or so.

Still, before I could even start to get back in the swing of things, I had to give thanks where thanks are most honestly deserved.
I needed to give this glowing post to honor a "fan"/ friend/ kind (kindred) soul who has gone way above and beyond the call.
I should not fail to also give thanks
to Susannah's husband, who - when she said that she'd be giving this stuff away said "OK" and even packed it up to be shipped out to me.

And, they are not alone.
I often get notes, comments and emails expressing good thoughts and kind wishes - from all corners of the web. There are good people out there, often drowned out by the snark and grousing.

But I wanted - NEEDED
- to give thanks to those who helped me out for no other reason than that they are awesome.

Thank you.

"Tamam Shud!"
~P~

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Long Live The KING

---
Today is the birthday of comics legend (heck, ART and STORYTELLING legend);

JACK "KING" KIRBY!

Kirby either created, co-created or drew nearly every comic character / property that existed at Marvel and DC to the point of his passing in 1994.

Oddly enough, while he DID draw Doctor Strange in a few issues and spots here and there...


Fantastic Four # 27


---
Journey Into Mystery # 108


---
...and the occasional cover blurb for Strange Tales...


I particularly like his very heroic and traditionally ruggedly drawn rendition of Doc for the cover of Strange Tales 126.Seeing the Dark Dimension decked out with almost art-deco buildings blows my mind.
And Doc's little orange ankle boots just WORK for me.



...and also designing the little corner box drawing of Doc that would appear on many covers (wherein as he would often do, draw Doc's cloak as more of a poncho or robe so his hands could emerge from within the deep folds)...

---

...while also tossing Doc into a few other group shot images here and there (one odd entry being an old 1966 issue of Esquire magazine when the publication ran a story on college kids reading Marvel comics)...

(I have the issue and while I did steal borrow these scans from the web, I'll post about this issue in time - with nice full-size images.)

---

...I think the only time he drew Doc on a full cover was...

Strange Tales # 130

I absolutely LOVE old comic covers that have that mottled coloring style.
---

Strange Tales # 130 was also distinctive as it was the very FIRST time that Doctor Strange got the full cover! (and with a Beatles reference as well! Awesome)!

The Doc portion of the cover reprinted for Strange Tales # 183


Sadly, Kirby never drew Man-Thing that I can recall.
How freaky-cool would THAT have been!
And a Kirby-drawn ROM: Spaceknight would have been the absolute BEST thing to happen in the history of EVER... but alas, that did not happen.

---


I met Jack Kirby at a convention when I was a comic artist - this would have been 1991 I believe.
He was walking the con with his wife Roz, and as I spied him approaching my table in the 'artist's alley' I flustered a bit as to what to do to show this man my appreciation for all that he had done.
I quickly grabbed a hand-colored copy of a drawing of Captain America that I had done, and vaulted over my table to go and meet this iconic industry giant.

Gently shaking his hand, I gave him the illustration of the comic character that HE had created - and bestowed upon the world - as a gesture of my thanks and admiration.

I embarrassingly asked for an autograph, but his wife explained that he was under strict orders to rest his hands and that if I gave my name and info, he would mail one to me at a later date.
I happily did so, saying that autograph or no, this was indeed an honor that I would never forget.

Well, I never did receive the signature, and within a few years he was gone.

I was working at a comic shoppe / antiquarian bookstore as Creative Director (and Sales Associate) when I heard the news of his passing.
Needless to say the entire mood of the store changed.
It shifted from fans bickering about whose favorite character could beat whom and what comics were out that day to a 'brotherhood' sharing tales and remembrances of the best and most favorite Kirby works.

That was the power of Jack Kirby's work.
He could unite the multitudes of discordant thoughts, views and arguments into a shared vision of what was GOOD about this hobby / industry / lifestyle.

The King is dead, but his works live on.
Long live the King!

"Tamam Shud!"
~P~

Friday, August 27, 2010

NOD - repeatedly - before ORPHEUS.
An Ancillary IDOL PURSUITS Entry

Lately, it seems that I'm just a corporate shill, whoring out my blog out for "the man" to hawk his products.

Well, THIS is another of those times.

Newly arrived at my SANCTUM SANCTORUM is this sweet little item.

DR. ORPHEUS (Venture Bros) Bobble Head!

Mint in package.
---

For those who may (or may not know) Dr. Orpheus is a character from the VENTURE BROS animated show - airing on the ADULT SWIM programming block on CARTOON NETWORK.

The VENTURE BROS. is a loving pastiche of the original Johnny Quest show, the original Scooby Doo and some other fantastic shows from yesteryear.

Dr. O is (and has been officially stated by the show's creators; Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer, as being) an homage to DOCTOR STRANGE. And an AWESOME homage it is.

To watch Dr. Orpheus in action
it is IMPOSSIBLE to not read any Dr. Strange appearance
without "hearing" his lines spoken in
Orpheus' over-the-top melodramatic delivery.

Impossible, I say!

To help prove that point, check out this old blog post - HERE.

The swell fellows at BIF! BANG! POW! Entertainment (found HERE) are the license holders for producing the Venture Bros swag and their first releases are the bobble-heads of the various show characters:

- Dr. Rusty Venture
- Brock Samson
- Hank Venture
- Dean Venture
- The Monarch
- Dr. Girlfriend / Dr. Mrs. The Monarch
- Henchmen # 21
- Henchmen # 24
and
- Dr. Orpheus.

So, to the point of my blog and personal collection-of-all-things-Doctor-Strange, I HAD to get this one.

Here is a stock image showing what it looks like out of the package.

(No. I'm not taking mine out of the package. I truly WANT to,
but honestly have NO place to put it where its "bobble-action" could be utilized.
Instead, it will sit, M.I.P. (NRFB) in a display case. Weep not for Dr. Orpheus - he is still loved.)

*UPDATE*
OK. A buddy of mine sent me a 2nd one of these and so... YES... I busted one of the package!
So, he's still loved, but now also on full display!

The bobble heads are authentically detailed and stand roughly 7 inches tall.

The base upon which Dr. Orpheus stands is emblazoned on the front with the Venture Bros. logo, on the back with the name of Dr. Orpheus and atop with the stylized logo of Orpheus' mystic team; The Order of the Triad.

The symbol of The ORDER of the TRIAD.

The ORDER of the TRIAD includes Dr. O and two other mystic heroes;
Jefferson Twilight - Blackula Hunter (an homage to Marvel character; BLADE)
The Alchemist (possibly a Dr. DRUID homage, but not an outright one)

I can only hope to see bobbleheads of those characters soon enough.

---

OK. I took a few other shots to give you folks an idea of the whole package.
Packaging is "antiqued" and "distressed" looking as a part of its retro design.


Jealous much?
Well, don't sweat it.
You'll be able to buy your very own.
They retail for about $12.00 US.

Just shoot over to Entertainment Earth and order yours online.
Or check out BifBangPow.com for a list of retailers near you!

Tell 'em PTOR from the Sanctum Sanctorum Comix blog sent ya!
(not that I'll GET anything...)

Doctor Byron Orpheus thus commands!


"Tamam Shud!"
~P~

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

DORMAMMU in Marvel vs Capcom 3

DORMAMMU, one of DOCTOR STRANGE's mightiest and most malevolent mystical menaces has been chosen to be a playable fighter in the new Marvel vs Capcom 3 : Fate of Two Worlds video game.

This is Dormammu's first-ever appearance in a video game, and he seems to have been given top-notch service.

Decked out in the armor he wore in the Keith Giffen / J.M. DeMatteis / Kevin Maguire DEFENDERS series (2005), he has never looked better!

Dormammu appears to have taken the slot previously held by SHUMA GORATH (check him out HERE and HERE); who him/itself was a featured playable character in the previous incarnations of the game:
- Marvel Super Heroes
- Marvel SuperHeroes vs Street Fighter
- Marvel vs Capcom2

I (and many online) am unsure as to why Shuma Gorath was dropped and Dormammu inserted, but it may be that since Dormammu is a higher profile character in the comics (as well as the possibility that if a Doctor Strange film is made Dormammu would be the prime candidate as the baddie), that he would seem to be a more marketable character (since many gamers only know of Shuma Gorath from the previous vid-games - if at all).

Still, check out the sweet visuals of Dormammu incinerating his opponents.



Much like Shuma Gorath before him, the inclusion of Dormammu as a fighting character makes little sense to ANYONE who knows of the character from the comics canon.

Both are nigh-unbeatable immortal demons that don't engage in fisticuffs - preferring to cast insanely powerful spells and enthrall entire worlds (if not dimensions).

However, BOTH of those foes have been handily defeated one-on-one by DOCTOR STRANGE.

While Strange has always defeated Shuma Gorath in purely mystical combat, Dormammu was once defeated in a hand-to-hand battle with Strange (with Doc using Judo and the 'Pincers of Power' back in Strange Tales # 140 - in 1966)!

So, it would seem that having Dr Strange as a playable character would be likely?
Well... sadly No.
Doc has OFFICIALLY been announced as to NOT be in the game.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

SHUMA GORATH looms on the horizon!

STRANGE TIMES INDEED!

Christos Gage is penning SHUMA GORATH into one of his next issues of... something ('Avengers Academy', perhaps?).
He said so himself on the Twitter thingee.

Check it out HERE

Shuma Gorath has ALWAYS been my favorite Doctor Strange baddie.
Heck. He/ It is my favorite comic / fictional / mythical baddie as well!
ANY time we see more SHUMA GORATH it is a GREAT day to be alive.

In celebration of that future event, allow me to re-post this awesome clip-film of SHUMA GORATH pics.

SHUMA GORATH!!!



Set speaker volume to "Bleedin' from the Ears!"




More commentary on current comics and stuff to come.

"Tamam Shud!"
~P~
PTOR

Monday, August 16, 2010

DOCTOR STRANGE in an AVENGERS "PREMAKE" film.

-------------

Dr. Strange greets thee!
Behold! The Eye of Agamotto!
---

If you're a fan of Marvel comics and/or their comic-inspired films, you have assuredly become immersed by the assorted rumblings about the upcoming AVENGERS film.

You may also have read, heard and/or engaged directly in the inevitable bemoaning of whether it will be faithful to its comic roots and fan-base.
You may further be angst-filled for having to wait several years for it to become a reality.

Well, while you and I have been content to sit on the sidelines and do naught but wonder, one creator has taken it upon himself to actually CREATE a "PRE-MAKE" of the film - to the utter delight of anyone who calls themselves comic-movie fans.

Talented writer/artist/editor/director Ivan Guerrero mixed his love of comics and cinema and combined them, utilizing his obvious skills as an editor and director to thus whip up the stuff of nerd-fantasy.

"AVENGERS - 1952" is a delight of sweet eye-candy, with a center of classic film nuget and a delicious covering of the honeyed nectar of comic-nerd love.

It isn't a "Prequel" as it isn't a prelude to the current film in any way.
It IS an ORIGINAL production... albeit while "borrowing" clips from over 50 old classic films and serials and mixing them with modern film-editing software and a fine director's eye.

In fact "eye" is quite apropos as the director has taken to calling himself "eyevan", and his YouTube channel is named "Who is eyevan" (but all one word; whoiseyevan).

While some may decry the merits of fan-fiction, I challenge ANYONE to find fault or criticize this work.
It is truly the inspired stuff of genius.

With nearly 20 Marvel characters and several classic comic locales interspersed within the film this is a joy to watch again and again just to see how layered the production value goes - classic film mash-up, with comic book roots, rewritten dialogue, new voice-overs and sound effects, digitally enhanced effects and details. Easter egg after Easter egg. Hidden gem after hidden gem.

And, as you have seen from the still shot I placed atop this post, DOCTOR STRANGE makes a glorious (if brief) appearance!

-------------

Doctor Strange meets Captain America
---

A greeting and a spell is cast.
---

Behold! The Eye of Agamotto!
---


Enough delay!
Watch this and enjoy!



(You can also go to "whoiseyevan's" channel and see it - HERE)

Did you catch ALL the assorted comic-themed cameo appearances of characters and locations?
To watch it again in annotated form, (with all the answers laid out for you,) check it out again here.



(or go to the YouTUBE page for it - HERE)

For MORE Comic-Inspired (and FILM-inspired) remixed movies and cartoons, check out Ivan's YouTUBE channel - HERE

I can only hope the "real" Avengers film is HALF as enjoyable as this!

"Tamam Shud!"
~P~

Saturday, August 14, 2010

ANIMATED MAN-THING? (ANI-MAn-ThingED?)

Sheesh... I keep trying to get back on track with some real posts here, and I keep finding more swell news tidbits to post instead. However, since this is more MAN-THING goodness, I'm fine with it.

File under "Easter Egg", I watched the preview trailer for Marvel/Disney's new, upcoming AVENGERS : EARTH'S MIGHTIEST HEROES animated series and in the first few seconds saw THIS.

See that newspaper's front page?
Check out the right side-column EXCLUSIVE story.

Click pic to make Man-Thing "Giant-Sized"

Note: the classic "Bigfoot" film-footage pose. Nice touch.


Yup.
"MAN-like 'THING' stalks upstate!"

Now, don't ask me what Man-Thing is doing in upstate N.Y. (most likely, since I've never heard of any other state having an "upstate") and away from his Florida Everglades home, but as we've seen with recent developments in the comics canon (as reviewed HERE), Manny is now capable of long-range travel, so... anything goes.

Sadly, that seems to be the extent of his "animated" appearance, but it does provide hope for an actual appearance in the show down the road.

This all-new 'Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes' animated series from Marvel Animation premiers on Disney XD this Autumn 2010.

For your convenience, you can check out the trailer here.




I'm not sure how I feel about the overall look and quality of this production.
This is the closest I've seen Marvel get to the quality of DC's animated series, but it's still a bit... "off".
Not sure why most of Marvel's animated output always look so inferior to DC's.
Yes, I know DC has Warner Bros. studios behind them, but this is Marvel-as-backed-by-DISNEY we're talking about.
I'd expect better by now.
Especially with a big-budget series of films about to be unleashed that will feed directly into and from this.


Well, if MAN-THING (or DR. STRANGE) will appear, I'll be more forgiving.

"Tamam Shud!"
~P~
PTOR

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

MAN-THING to TERROR Down and HERO-UP!

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Since MAN-THING's recent resurgence in the pages of THUNDERBOLTS (a glowing review of the first two issues of Manny's appearances there can be found [HERE]), Manny is ready to come out to play with some extra appearances this OCTOBER 2010 - in time for Halloween! (natch!).

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First, Man-Thing returns to chill your blood in:

TOMB OF TERROR # 1

Legion of Monsters - Redux!


Here's the solicit copy:

COVER BY: Travel Foreman
WRITER: PAUL HORNSCHEMEIER
JOE R. LANSDALE
JOSEPH THOMAS PRUETT
ROB WILLIAMS
PENCILS: JORDAN RASKIN
MARK TEXEIRA
INKS: JORDAN RASKIN
MARK TEXEIRA
LETTERED BY: NEUROTIC CARTOONIST, INC

THE STORY:
Marvel’s most terrifying monsters star in four tales of harrowing horror! Jack Russell, the Werewolf by Night stalks a killer werewolf in the mountains while searching for a cure that will end his curse.
The mal-formed Man-Thing, temporarily in possession of his mind, attempts to save a man from certain death at the hands of racist hunters.
And Son of Satan battles a possessed child killer along with the murderous voices in his head.
All this and much more in this all-new, all-black-and-white one-shot in the spirit of the Mighty Marvel Magazines of yore, but ALL-NOW in style!

Parental Advisory.
PRICE: 3.99
IN STORES: October 6, 2010

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Ooh! Scary!

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But then, just so you don't get the wrong idea about him and forget about his cute and cuddly side, MANNY joins the "SQUADDIES" as he makes his first appearance in the SUPER HERO SQUAD universe.

SUPER HERO SQUAD # 10

Here's the cover image and solicit text:

The "Trick or Treat" part is alright,
but the "smell my feet" portion is gonna be rough!


COVER BY: Leonel Alexis Castellani
WRITER: Todd Dezago
PENCILS: Leonel Castellani, Marcelo Dichiara
INKS: Leonel Alexis Castellani
and Art & Comics Int'l
COLORED BY: Christopher Sotomayer
LETTERED BY: David L. Sharpe

THE STORY:
It’s a spooky party down Memory Lane when the SQUADDIES Costume Up as the Classic Marvel Monsters; Werewolf by Night, Tomb of Dracula, The Living Mummy, and more! But their party plans go awry when a mysterious macabre menace shows up! Who could it be...? Aw, you'll get it when I tell you the title of the story. It's "Whomsoever Knows Fear...! (There! Ya happy?) Oh, plus, there's a Halloween Party at the Baxter Building! C'mon…you're all invited!

All Ages …$2.99

IN STORES: October 13, 2010

Now, the SHS characters are supposed to be squat and cute.
Let's hope that "L'il Manny" is rendered that way.

Hey, Leonel Alexis Castellani... if it helps any, you couldn't go wrong if you emulated the style of Colleen Coover (from the X-Men: First Class series) - as shown, lovingly in this old post [HERE].


Aww.... c'mon. Isn't he ADORABLE?
You just want to squeeze that tooshie!
*ahem* sorry.

If Manny is to be featured in the comic, then I wonder how long it'll be until he's on the cartoon and then... made into a tiny little Squaddie figure?!?!?

OOOOH! I want that so bad I'm AFRAID I can hardly wait.
And you know what that means...
"WHOMSOEVER KNOWS FEAR..." GETS HUGS!

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So, it looks like ALL -TREATS and NO TRICKS this Halloween!

Tamam Shud!
~P~
PTOR

Monday, August 2, 2010

Marvel SUPER HERO SQUAD - ONLINE Game.
As if I don't have little enough free time as it is!


*Sigh*... I'm not much of a video game player.
Don't misunderstand, I LIKE video games, but I have absolutely NO time to play them.
(I still have the last 2 MYST games sitting in the box waiting for my move to a retirement home, so while the other old bats are playing shuffleboard, I can solve weird mysteries and puzzles. Of course, by then, it'll be 3D-HD-SYNAPTIC-ENHANCED VIRTUAL shuffleboard, and my "advanced graphics" computer games will seem quaint and archaic by comparison, truly marking me as "that OLD guy who won't get with the times!" *Sigh*).

Anyway, even if I were able to plunk down some money for a video game, it would be better if it were an actual tangible console game (the last one that I purchased was the Marvel Ultimate Alliance - which I STILL haven't had a chance to finish).
I have absolutely no time or money for ONLINE gaming!
That way leads to madness.

So, now Marvel is teasing me with THIS!
The new Marvel Super Hero Squad ONLINE game - set for release in 2011.

DOCTOR STRANGE is featured in the teaser trailer.

Doc shows up twice. At the
:48 second mark
and again at the
1:17 mark.

And truthfully... he looks pretty darn cool!

See for yourself.
(I re-sized the video to fit my column width. Hopefully my HTML-fu is strong!).)




I'm going to have to win Lotto or something, so I can sit around all day in my underoos playing games and reading comics.
I mean, that IS the message being given to me by the release of all this swell stuff that I want to have. Right?
*Sigh!*