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December 27, 2009


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Note: comment edited to rot13 a word that's a total spoiler for "Presumption." --Susan

I read that aggges before I started watching Buffy (though I grew up in a house where she was hot stuff, and so I was well aware of the background) and fairly enjoyed it --I know Righteous was one of my favourites, as was Presumption. (I like traqreshpx, what can I say)

I should keep an eye out for Fray. I should also finish watching Buffy (I'm in season 4) and Angel (season 1)


I'll make a confession... I never could get into the whole "Buffy" thing. I tried twice, maybe not hard enough. Not sure why.

That's okay. Variety, spice of life, etc.

Thanks, Susan. Speaking of Dracula and related blood-drinkers... Are there still any of them around in Marvel's Reality? I remember a Doctor Strange story (from the 1990s, I think) where the Master of the Mystic Arts used a superduper spell that cancelled whatever magic allowed vampires to exist. Of course, nothing is ever permanent in comic-books, so I thought I'd ask.

By the way, back in the 1980s, I came across a story where the X-men duked it out with Dracula. At some point, Wolverine tried to stop the Count by making an 'X' with his claws, but that didn't work because Logan was an atheist.

That was the Montesi Formula, with which Doctor Strange removed all the vampires. It was undone at some point, I believe, but I'd stopped paying attention to Marvel by then. A quick google around suggests that it at least has been given loopholes.

Loopholes? Who ever heard of loopholes in comic-book Realities?

I should really get around to reading Fray -- really, most of the Buffy comic stuff; I've never gotten around to it, and kinda curious as to what Whedon did with, say, Season 8 and the Angel sequel.


I have avoided reading the follow-up comics until I've actually seen through the end of the TV shows. But Fray, as far as I can tell, does not even require any knowledge of how Buffy ended. It jumps centuries forward; Buffy just gets a sideways mention in a longer list of Slayers ("a girl in a sunlit city" or somesuch). And I thought it was excellent. You should definitely read it.

Speaking of Whedon himself... In the process of researching my "Steakpunk and Hollywood" talk, I found out that his grandfather was a writer for "Leave it to Beaver", and that his father wrote "Golden Girls". From the Beaver to the Slayer... Makes pefect sense.

He did mention in his talk at Wesleyan that he was a third-generation screenwriter.

My friend Matt (of Christmas Carol motion-capture) is the son of one of the writers for I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched, but he chose the acting path rather than the writing one.

Susan... Oh, right. I found out who his elders actually were when, during my research, I got NetFlix to send me Disney's Island at the Top of the World and I noticed a very familiar name in its credits.

Speaking of Hollywoodian dynasties...

Michael Westmore was the makeup artist on ST-TNG, right? Rixo's visitors may have noticed that quite a few old films shown on Turner Classic Movies have the name 'Westmore' as the makeup person. Yes, they are all related. It's my understanding that, early in the 20th Century, the first Westmore who went to Holywood arranged to place each of his offspring as makeup artists, but not in the same studios.

It's strange, coming across an old movie and see Fritz Leiber's dad, because they looked so much alike.

I caught parts of Sanctuary on the Skiffy Channel. Apparently Nichola Tesla was a vampire. Makes sense, considering where he was from. By the same token, they'll probably do a riff on Dracula's Brides and call it "Einstein's Relatives".

This really makes me want to give the show another try.

I'm considering seeing the new vampire flick Daybreakers, which I'd heard nothing about but got a decent short review in the NYTimes. I'll have to see how my movie-seeing time goes this winter.

By the way, on my latest visit to the comics store, I picked up most of the set of Doctor Strange issues that include the Tomb of Dracula crossover. Most of those issues have been collected in a Marvel trade paperback, but I like having the originals. This includes the Montesi Formula stuff.

Susan... I have some of those Doctor Strange trade paperbacks, but so far I've read only the first one. I should probably dig out the rest. Strange is one of my favorite Marvel characters. Alas, very few people feel that way, it seems, considering that he never has a book of his own for long. Still, when I go to the comics store, I usually look under letter "S", hoping for yet another attempt. This week though, my hopes were fulfilled as I found ar miniseries, of which two of four issues have already been published. Yay! In this one, Strange can't do much magic anymore, but he has found himself a new novice, whom he discovered during a baseball game when the young lady conked him on the nose with the ball.

Doctor Strange is where I first started with Marvel, oddly enough. I went from there to Tomb of Dracula and then stumbled onto X-Men.

One of those costume pairs I've always wanted to do: Strange and Clea, though probably in alternate-costumes rather than canonical ones, since I'm not that into wearing a pinkish-purple bodysuit. Be fun to do a wedding scene or something.

Susan... One of those costume pairs I've always wanted to do: Strange and Clea

What a coincidence.
So would I.

The WashPost didn't like Daybreakers. The Post gives up to four stars and this got 1.5.

Back to Doctor Strange and costuming... I don't think I'd look good in a pink bodysuit. That being said, here is the cover for the current miniseries's 2nd issue.

I don't know from the miniseries, but I had thought of doing something using the colors and patterns of the classic "blue shirt and tights" look and using Clea's colors and patterns as well. Just not tights.

By the way, I'm not sure what Clea is up to, these days. She isn't in the current series, not so far anyway, and wasn't in the previous series. I think she's now the ruler of the Dread Dimension, and that her dad Dormammu was deposed. I think. I got a big laugh some time ago when she showed up in Timothy Hutton's TV series Leverage. Well, not the character of Clea, but in one story Hutton infiltrate some company's big shindig as a stage magician and introduces one of his accomplices as "...my lovely assistant Clea..."

Somewhere in the house is a portfolio of Michael Golden's "Doctor Strange" illustrations.

I saw a feature length Cartoon of Dr Strange over Christmas. There was far too much swords being magicked out of nowhere to stab weird beasts for my taste, but the medium sized children I was herding at the time seemed to enjoy it. One day though I'd like the mystical-powers-though-menial-tasks scene to go more like this:

Ancient Master: You probably wonder why I've had you sweeping my floor every day for the last 6 months
Student: I assume you were teaching me humility, or testing my devotion, or maybe even conditioning my mind and body for the revelation ahead. Anyway, I'm hoping for the secrets of the universe, or at least some kick-ass kung fu.
Ancient Master: Yes. Also my floor keps getting dirty.

After all, we all know what it means when an ancient master of a Tibetan temple sets us stupid and demeaning tasks.

Neil W... I have that DVD. I should probably watch it again. The first time, I was quite tired and kept nodding off. At least I presume that's why I was nodding off. I was bummed that Clea never appeared and was only referred to at the very end.

A few years ago, Marvel published the "Ultimate" origin-story of Strange. I don't think the Ancient One had him sweep the floor, but he did express some enjoyment of Simon & Garfunkel. I seem to remember that yak butter was brought up as a subject of conversation too.

All right... Does anybody else remember 1978's TV movie?

Sorry Serge, I'm afraid I'm not old enough to remember anything from 1978 ;)

The gym I go to is really big on the "Paleo" diet and apparently Yak Butter is considered some sort of healthy fat for that diet... I'm not sure how one is supposed to get Yak Butter in Southern AZ, though, unless one raises their own yak and churns their own butter.

AJ... Were even your parents born in 1978? Heheheh... That being said, the movie was, to put it mildly, quite unfaithful to the original. On the plus side... Wong, not played as the embarassing 'man-servant' cliche. Also, Jessica Walter as evil sorceress Morgana.

I did some Strange shopping yesterday. Volumes Three & Four of The Essential Doctor Strange. Craig Russell's one-shot "What Is It That Disturbs You, Stephen?". The 3rd issue of the current miniseries. All 6 issues of Straczynski's miniseries from 2005, as I appear to have misplaced it. That's about it for now.

Serge, LOL, no they are not quite that young, but they did have peculiar opinions about magic. Labyrinth, DragonSlayer and Xanth books were all fine. Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering and shows like Bewitched were not. I suspect that Doctor Strange either fell on the wrong side of the "magic is evil" line, or perhaps the "crappy TV movies from the 70s that we don't want to subject our children to" line.


It seems like your parents's criteria were that, if it's not set in the Present, then it obviously is made up so we don't have to worry about kids starting to believe in that stuff although I'm not sure why they have that reaction toward D&D too. Regarding Bewitched... You might want to read Kim Newman's story "Witch Hunt".

As for the Doctor Strange movie... In retrospect, I'm amazed they even tried to make a series out of a character whose exploits usually involve stuff that would have required a Star Wars-level of FX. Nowadays CGI could allow it, but in 1978? Well, Hulk was doing very well, so the studio looked at other Marvel characters. That being said, I was excited when the Strange movie came out because, well, it was Doctor Strange. Sort of. Why did they replace the Ancient One with Merlin? Probably because their Mandrake movie was having the young Mandrake's plane crash in Tibet and be rescued by an ancient Asian guy who taught him magic & stuff.

I watched 2007's Doctor Strange today. I agree with Paul A... Too many swords plucked out of thin air. Not enough Bands of Cyttorak. I like the design of Strange's outfit though.


Agreement is always to be welcomed, but in point of fact I've never seen 2007's Doctor Strange movie, and I'm fairly confident that consequently I have never expressed an opinion on the number of swords-plucked-out-of-thin-air or Bands-of-Cyttorak it contains.

Paul A... Oops. It was Neil who saw it some time around Christmas.

Neil W... Oops too.

One other comment about that "Doctor Strange" movie... Yodaa-like Masters are REALLY annoying, especially when you've been working on getting rid of a wall that's suddenly gone.

"What happened to the wall?"

"You perceived it to be there, so it was."

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