Just updated the comic’s archives for the first time since… geez… 2017. The archive, for those who don’t know, compiles the strips into comic book page form. I’ve added “Mudd Slide”, “The Word of God”, “The Motion Picture Redux”, and even the published portions “Red Meat”. It’s a great place to reread, remind, and catch up. Check it out in the top menu!
My TOS Vaccine poster has always been hit. I created it back during the measles scare in 2015. Who knew it would be so much more horrendously relevant today? That’s why I’m back at it with a TNG Version starring Mr. Worf. Click on the image to get a poster sized version suitable for printing.
For those curious about my comic drawing process, I created a time lapse video of the creation of yesterday’s strip. You can see what apps I use (Final Draft, Illustrator, and Photoshop) and the whole assembly from text layout to sketching to color. It’s three hours of work condensed to nine minutes. And, if you’d like to see what every sketch looks like and get the strip a day earlier than the rest of the world, check out my Patreon!
I spent a little time today touching up and adding detail to the final crew shot of The Motion Picture Redux. It makes a really great wallpaper for your desktop! Click the picture to get the full size image.
Guess what folks? We’re moving across the Bay, to Alameda!…County! We’ll be East Bay citizens in four days. Due to all the packing and unpacking and settling I don’t know when the comic will be coming back, but I’m guessing two weeks the latest.
So, what’s with that exquisitely rendered scene from Star Trek: The Motion Picture on the front page? That’s the beginning of a new interim project I’m calling TMP:Redux. It’s something to tide us all over while the next original comic storyline is being worked on. Mixing what we saw on screen with concepts from Roddenberry’s novelization of the film, I’m attempting to create an ending for The Motion Picture that I think makes more dramatic sense. Part of that means recasting Decker. Besides the fact that Stephen Collins the man is fucking gross, as an actor he’s also terribly bland with all the emotional impact and sex appeal of an over-cooked lima bean. I replaced him with Glynn Turman, a much more attractive and dynamic actor who is the same age as Collins and also did much of his work in the 70s and 80s.
There’s going to be a lot of changes besides just the visual, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise. Even though The Motion Picture is a polarizing film with most fans considering it a slow-moving mess, there are many, like myself, who really dig it. To those who hold the film sacrosanct, know that I do love it. That’s why I want to play with it. Shitty things you hate just aren’t worth the effort. For the rest of you, maybe this will give you a new appreciation of the slow-moving mess.
The first week of my daily live read of Star Trek: The Motion Picture’s novelization was a sexy blast of hot Roddenberry futurism and boner alerts. You can check out the fun archived in the threads posted below. If you want to join me live, the next read is about an hour. You can catch it here.
Day One – The Forward and Catching up with Kirk and Spock.
Day Two – Kirk get’s back his ship and the Enterprise prepares for launch.
Day Three – Ilia arrives, Kirk and Sulu get stiffies, and the Enterprise finally launches.
Day Four – The Enterprise nearly hits an asteroid and phaser bypasses are discussed to death.
Day Five – The crew face the cloud head on and Ilia bites it trying to save Spock.
The comic may be on a bit of a hiatus, but Ryan and I are definitely on it. In the meantime, while you’re stuck sheltering-in-place, why not join me for a live reading of Roddenberry’s novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture on Twitter. Every weekday, starting Monday March 23rd at 1pm EDT/10am PDT, I’ll be reading a few chapters from the book and giving my notes on the various interesting aspects and total deviations from the movie. TMP’s novelization is a cornucopia of often bizarre and sometimes brilliant Roddenberryisms that this comic has drawn from on occasion. In some ways it’s superior to the movie. In others you can tell Gene’s a TV writer who can’t quite summon the energy for a 400 page book. It’s a must read for any Trek fan. Start following @trekcomic, #TMPRead, and join me daily. What better stuff do you have to do anyway?
I’m sure most of you already know from my recent batch of posts that I haven’t been particularly excited about the new Star Trek series, Picard. Sitting down to watch it felt very much like a job, not unlike going to see the final Star Wars film, The Rise of Skywalker. And in some ways the two have things in common, the biggest among them being an over abundance of plot based on old story lines.
Picard comes off less like a show than a collage of old plots and cannon pieced together with elements of Ronald Moore’s Battlestar Galactica. The first episode rushes us through a bunch of exposition disguised as a news interview where we learn the events of Nemesis and the 2009 Abrahams movie have interwoven together with a robot uprising to give us the gloomy Federation we have today. From there on we get a ton of name and concept drops, like Bruce Maddox, Lal, rogue “synths”, skinjobs, and dum, dum, dum, the Borg. We know in up coming episodes we’ll get Seven of Nine and Hugh. It’s all just a sort of Star Trek word jumble.
It also bothers me a lot that Picard is continuing the introversion of Star Trek. Nearly all the Star Trek films are guilty of this obsession with staying within the Federation’s orbit and keeping all politics local, but the series have been largely immune. However, Discovery’s first season was about a war between Klingons and the Federation. Its second season was more exploratory, but was ultimately about a rogue AI created by agents of the Federation that wants to destroy the Federation. Season three may well be about putting back together a future broken Federation. Picard, again, is a very local show, set in known space with known players dealing with very local Federation politics. In fact, the Federation itself, not just the plot, has turned in on itself.
It’s interesting to compare Star Trek: Picard to what we expected when the character first arrived in The Next Generation. Picard’s opening lines in “Encounter at Farpoint” promised us the “great unexplored mass of the galaxy”. When episode two rolled around fans were furious that it was a direct sequel to the Original Series episode, “The Naked Time”, instead of a new premise as we were promised. Taking a look at The Next Generation’s original first season story outlines (many of which you can read in this thread) we’re lucky that’s as bad as it got. Roddenberry had to be quite vigilant and insistent about making sure the new series stood on its own, because nearly every single episode referenced Kirk and his Enterprise in some way or another.
Yet today we’re perfectly ok with getting what is essentially an exercise in nostalgia. When I heard Fred Steiner’s Romulan theme I couldn’t help but smile, but I knew I was being played like a fiddle. Especially because it was tracked over Romulans building a Borg cube with Data’s daughter. I don’t think that sentence could be any fan-wankier. I feel like when Picard chastises the Federation for no longer having the curiosity to look outside itself that he’s really talking about the franchise.
Also, it’s the 21st century and we’re still killing the black guy first? Sigh…