As the final days of 2017 inevitably tick away, here's the perfect moment to look back at one of the most coveted Doctor Strange collectibles I know - the Marvel Comics calendar for The Occult World of Doctor Strange from 1980.
I was just a nerdy high school kid in California when this vibrant 12-month calendar was offered by the House of Ideas. As a current crazed collector of all Sorcerer Supreme ephemera labeled arcane and rare, I can tell you without any hint of shame or recrimination that I'm diligently hunting down a near-mint copy with every imaginable resource available.
Between 1975 and 1981, Marvel Comics released seven calendars showcasing brand new artwork of their most popular superheroes, pencilled by some of their most talented and popular artists.
Sold as part of Marvel's ever-expanding lineup of tie-in merchandise, this particular product was special due to its exclusive "Master of the Mystic Arts" artwork by such industry luminaries as Dave Cockrum, Al Milgrom, Bill Sienkiewicz, Gene Colan, Mike Zeck, John Byrne, a young Frank Miller and more.
Each monthly page offered a daily account of fun facts, Marvel trivia, art snippets, gag captions, plot points from the history of Doctor Strange publishing, insider birthdays for Marvel dignitaries and employees, and notable occasions all flavored with that distinctive Marvel charm and style that endeared millions of readers to its cool brand.
It's impressive and somewhat heartwarming to know mighty Marvel took such time and made such an effort to make these classic calendars so original, even to go so far as including "A Mystical Message From Stan The Man." Each deluxe 12-month memento, produced from the 1970s through the 1980s, were spiral bound and printed in-house on high quality glossy paper.
By The Mystic Moons of Munnapor, absorb these 28 magical images from the original 1980 Doctor Strange calendar in the gallery below and let me know if you stumble across one as you surf the wild expanses of the interweb. There just might be a hefty finder's fee waiting!