-

Jump to content



Sign up for a free account!

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and you won't get the popup ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
- - - - -

Star Trek novelizations and comics discussion


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
21 replies to this topic

#1 of 22 Nelson Au

Nelson Au

    Executive Producer

  • 11,122 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 16 1999

Posted April 26 2009 - 05:46 AM

Since there was some off topic discussions about comics on one of the Star Trek threads, I thought it might be fun to discuss that here in it's own thread.

I don't know anything about the comics, but it looked interesting from what I saw. And I believe there is a CD ROM coming out that has all of them in that disc? Perhaps someone can enlightnen me. It looks like an interesting item and pretty cool that a company was able to create a digital archive of all those comics. I'd be curious if it goes all the way back to the 1960's when GoldKey(?) did those comics.

I also selfishly started this thread for another reason. During the early 1970's, we saw the very first output of novelizations of Star Trek TOS episodes being written as short stories from the actual scripts by James Blish. These were published by Bantam Books here in the US. I collected those back then. So I am pretty pleased that I still have them!

What got me interested in posting this thread is my curiosity as to who the artists were who painted the covers of those books. Two of my favorite cover paintings is for the Star Trek 6 and 8 of his early series of these novelizations. Here's a image:

[IMG][img]http://img527.imageshack.us/img527/7537/startrekjbcovers1.jpg[/img][/IMG]

What I liked about the art here is the style of the painting and the feel of the 1950's. Really cool work! It's a cool mix of Star Trek but with a new look at it. I wonder if anyone knows the artist and where to find higher quality images? I really appreciate and enjoy this type and style of paintings.

I've also read many of the original novels from that late 70's and 80's and short stories, lost some steam there. I never read the later ones, though I heard some are good. Perhaps some recommendations could be made. I think one was called Federation, but I seem to recall a fairly big one that covered a large time span. Could be Federation.

#2 of 22 Ric Easton

Ric Easton

    Screenwriter

  • 2,812 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 06 2001

Posted April 26 2009 - 08:14 AM

Nelson,

Yes, I've probably hi-jacked that other thread long enough!

I also loved those covers on the Blish adaptations. I wish I still had the books! I'm not sure if I ever even had them all.

I also remember fondly the Alan Dean Foster adaptations of the Animated series. In these, the author took another route and greatly expanded upon the scripts. There were usually 3 stories per volume with the final few being episodes that would take up a whole book. Those last few were less successful, in my opinion. And the covers were not as impressive as the Blish ones, but most of them did feature cell paintings used for the backgrounds...

Posted Image

While I really hungered for new fiction which was just beginning to appear, these books were great. Especially since these were the days before VCRs and the books were an excellent way to re-experience the episodes, anytime!

And let's not forget the Star Trek Fotonovels!

Posted Image

Anyway, yes, I also wish I knew who did those paintings for the Blish covers and better yet, where I could get a hold of some original prints! They were beautiful.

I'll talk about the comics later!

#3 of 22 Ric Easton

Ric Easton

    Screenwriter

  • 2,812 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 06 2001

Posted April 26 2009 - 09:03 AM

Oh and yeah, Federation was great! It spanned 3 different eras: TOS, TNG and the Warp drive inventing days of Zephram Cochran!

Posted Image

Of course when the movie "First Contact" came out a couple years later, well... it basically made the story about as non-canon as you can get.

As a matter of fact, it was really too bad that you couldn't accept most of the expanded Trek Universe as canon. Unlike the Star Wars novels and comics which at least try for a bigger continuity, it's always been said that if it wasn't "filmed" trek, then it's not canon. I think that with the possible exception of "Yesteryear" the animated series was also relegated to the non-canon dept.

Of course I believe there are some folks that would like to dismiss Star Trek V!

Anyway, its a shame that some of the comics and novels would never be considered canon, because there have been some really good tales over the years. My position has been, its canon (if its good) until some filmed version comes along to prove otherwise.

#4 of 22 Nelson Au

Nelson Au

    Executive Producer

  • 11,122 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 16 1999

Posted April 26 2009 - 09:13 AM

Cool Rick! I never got into the Foster adaptations of the Animated series, though I do have Logs One and Two.

And I wished I was smart enough to have collected the photonovels. I have a copy of Star Trek The Motion Picture, Signed too by James Doohan too!

It's interesting that the fans of our generation went through the same kind of experience, during the 70's, that vast period when there wasn't anything of Star Trek other then the syndicated repeats and TAS. So the books were a great way to get into that world! I can't recall them all, in looking at my bookcase, I had forgotten the plots of most. Except one where Kirk is captured by Kor and he uses the mindscanner on him and Spock has to save him, or what's left of Kirk's mind. And the one called Yesterday's Son was a good one too, a sequel to All Our Yesterdays.

And I thought I had a copy of Federation, I guess not.

Looking forward to more discussions. Maybe I can contact Bantam and see if anyone could help out on the cover art, though I'm sure no one will know!

#5 of 22 Ric Easton

Ric Easton

    Screenwriter

  • 2,812 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 06 2001

Posted April 26 2009 - 10:40 AM

Alright, time for a little comics talk...

I never read the Gold Key issues. From what I have heard they were really juvenile.

hen Star Trek: The Motion Picture came out, Marvel comics released a movie adaptation (much like they did for Star Wars) and then continued on with original stories. The problem was that they only had the rights to anything that was in the movie. So they had plenty of Klingons, but no Romulans, Harry Mudd or anything else that was featured on the show. They did introduce some new aliens, but having to keep their hands out of much of the Trek universe weally hurt them and the series only ran for 18 issues.

Then shortly after Star Trek II came out, DC Comics got the license and that's when things took off!

Posted Image

The series was the first to debut without Spock (being dead and all). Saavik was now the Science Officer, I don't quite remember if she was also the First Officer, but that would seem to make little sense. It may have been Sulu.

Some lower deck crew members were introduced and the ship had a pacifist Klingon serving aboard (80 years before Worf!).

Anyway, after Star Trek 3 came out, Spock rejoined the ship and with a multi-part story dealing with the Mirror Universe, Spock got his memories back with the help of the Mirror Universe Spock. And at last we had a confrontation between the two Kirks!

Posted Image

Oh, and did I mention that since the Enterprise had been destroyed (in ST III) Kirk was in command of the Excelsior?!

There was a great 20th anniversary story where the crews from the original show era and the movies era met. That was pretty cool!

Posted Image

Posted Image

One of the troubles with the DC run was that it always had to end up in a spot where the next movie could take place. So just before Star Trek 4 came out, Spock had again lost his marbles and they were back on Vulcan... and in trouble with Starfleet Command. Still, they handled it all pretty well and it was great to have new monthly adventures while you were waiting for the next movie!

BTW, that story you were talking about was Mind Sifter and it was part of an Anthology called Star Trek: The New Voyages. After the Klingons wiped Kirk's mind, they dumped him in the 20th Century. Spock had his work cut out for him searching for his Captain! It was my favorite story in the collection.

Posted Image

I'll talk more about the novels in an upcoming post. Hopefully some other folks will join in. I've been having a blast recalling this old stuff! And I heartily recommend the CD-Rom featuring the Star Trek comics. Heck, I may even look up some of those Gold Key issues!

#6 of 22 Nelson Au

Nelson Au

    Executive Producer

  • 11,122 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 16 1999

Posted April 26 2009 - 11:09 AM

Thanks for that first post on the comics. Wow, I never knew about those or read those. I can imagine it would have been odd to have this comic universe going on between films! And then having to adapt them to account for each film's plots and storylines. Maybe that's why I didn't get into them, they were a sort of a parallel universe.

That's the story, Mind Sifter, and I do still have that book! Perhaps I'll read it again.

And I found out who the artist was. I scanned in two more covers and whilst tweaking them in Photoshop, I could just see the artist's name on one of the better ones, Lou Feck. He did this one for Star Trek 4 and he did the art for Star Trek 6 and the style looks like his on Star Trek 8.

[IMG]URL=http://img412.imageshack.us/my.php?image=startrekjbcover45.jpg][img]http://img412.imageshack.us/img412/1386/startrekjbcover45.jpg[/img][/url][/IMG]

Should be interesting to see others chime in!

#7 of 22 Greg_S_H

Greg_S_H

    Executive Producer

  • 14,836 posts
  • Join Date: May 09 2001
  • Real Name:Greg
  • LocationNorth Texas

Posted April 26 2009 - 07:11 PM

I bought a compilation of those Blish adaptations in the '90s. The cover wasn't much to look at, though. But, it was a pretty thick book. It might have even had them all, from season one to season three, but I'm not sure right now.

I've read some of the DS9 novels, but nothing stands out right now. Oh, there was a series ending sequel written by Andrew Robinson that dealt with the aftermath on Cardassia. It was pretty good.

#8 of 22 Sam Favate

Sam Favate

    Producer

  • 4,767 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 03 2004
  • Real Name:Sam Favate

Posted April 27 2009 - 01:19 AM

Good stuff, Nelson. I remember those covers very well, and they had an alien-ness about them that nothing in the franchise has had in 30 years. Those images (as opposed to the floating heads of the Pocket Books series) really gave you something that looked like a frontier.

#9 of 22 Ric Easton

Ric Easton

    Screenwriter

  • 2,812 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 06 2001

Posted April 27 2009 - 12:39 PM

Greg, I doubt they could have fit all the episodes in one volume! It was probably a series of 3 or 4. Too bad they didn't use the original art!

Oh and another thing I forgot to mention about the DC Comics run. It was in those early issues that it was established that Saavik was part Romulan!

Back to the seventies... Yes, those were the "Dark Times" for Trek. I would get so excited when a new original novel would appear on the bookstore rack, but they were few and far between. After "The New Voyages" I picked up a book called "Spock: Messiah!" (1976). I remember wondering if the authors had ever seen an episode since Scotty was described as having red hair!

Posted Image

Then, a year later, came one of my favorites, "The Price of the Phoenix" This book started with the death of Captain Kirk! It had me from page 1! And speaking of floating heads... Bantam Books wasn't above it either! At least in this case...

Posted Image

There is a great resource for Trek fiction published up to 2005. It's a big oversized paperback called "Voyages of the Imagination: The Star Trek Fiction Companion. Its very comprehensive and has a lot of interviews from authors and insights into the creation of many of the novels.

Posted Image

#10 of 22 Bob_S.

Bob_S.

    Supporting Actor

  • 594 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 04 2004

Posted April 27 2009 - 12:44 PM

Even though I love the comics and have a boat load of 'em, I always had a hard time getting into the novels (at least TOS anyway). The characterizations never seemed right and they seemed boring, not alot of imagination. I did like Federation and I also enjoyed Vulcan's Glory and The Rift. My favorite ST novels were the Shatnerverse ones. I'm a HUGE Kirk fan and was furious when he was killed off in Generations. So I was happy when Kirk got resurrected (in MY ST universe, these books are canon).

I also have the Best of Trek paperbacks. These were books that had fan articles from the Trek magazine back in the '70s and '80s. Alot of neat in- depth analysis about different Trek topics including movie reviews from the TOS films. Great stuff, I was always hesitant to get rid of these and now I know why. I think I'll climb up in the attic and give these a read again. A stroll down memory lane.

Oh, by the way Ric, GREAT topic!

#11 of 22 Ric Easton

Ric Easton

    Screenwriter

  • 2,812 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 06 2001

Posted April 27 2009 - 12:52 PM

Bob, Nelson started it!

Anyhoo... I read the first "Return of Kirk" book and have yet to read any of the others... Maybe I'll give 'em another shot. I've actually got a pile of Trek books from the last few years waiting to be read!

#12 of 22 Bob_S.

Bob_S.

    Supporting Actor

  • 594 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 04 2004

Posted April 27 2009 - 01:46 PM

Sorry about that! Great Topic Nelson!

#13 of 22 Joseph DeMartino

Joseph DeMartino

    Lead Actor

  • 8,301 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 31 1969
  • Real Name:Joseph DeMartino
  • LocationFlorida

Posted April 27 2009 - 02:21 PM

STAR TREK: The New Voyages was a particularly interesting book. It was an anthology of fan fiction - back in the day when fanfic was still printed in mimeographed or photo-copied "fanzines". Paramount took the unusual step of picking the best of the stories they could find and having them professionally edited and published. A number of writers who first appeared in The New Voyages went on to professional writing careers - most continue to mine the Trek universe, but Jackie Lichtenberg wrote a number of original novels.

Pretty much all of the women who were published in New Voyages (and I think they were all women) were heavily involved in Trek fandon in the New York metro area, and in the New York Trek conventions beginning in 1972. I attended the cons from '73 to '76, and worked "backstage" at a couple of them. I met Sondra, Myrna and Jackie, and probably most of the other New Voyages writers at one or another of the cons. (I also met all the cast members in the flesh except for Nimoy. Talked to him on the phone once, when I was working the convention suite. Also met Gene and Majel, as well as David Gerrold and Harlan Ellison. And lived to tell the tale. Posted Image)

Ah, memories... Posted Image

Regards,

Joe

#14 of 22 Nelson Au

Nelson Au

    Executive Producer

  • 11,122 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 16 1999

Posted April 27 2009 - 02:37 PM

I was inspired by Ric!

Wow Ric! I have not heard those titles in a long time! I used to have all those books neatly in my bookcase in my bedroom when I was a teen!

I just pulled those out of a bookcase I never got around to organizing when I moved into my house. What a trip! I do have The Price of the Phoenix (same cover art too) and The Fate of the Phoenix (the sequel). I also have the original James Blish efforts, Spock Must Die and Mudd's Angels. I also found The New Voyages 2. Those books and a few others were great during that period from 1972 to 1979.

I remember Sondra Marshak and Joan Winston being interviewed at the time and talking about how great it was to meet the cast with Bob Wilkins for his Star Trek special around 1976. Their non-fiction Trek books were great too.

And in my search, I found that book I was thinking about called Enterprise. Written in 1986, its plot is the first mission of Kirk and Spock and the Enterprise. I don't think I finished it, but maybe I'll try to read it before the new movie.

Speaking of the Shatnerverse, I have the hardbound copies of The Return which I did read, and The Ashes of Eden and Spectre. I don't recall reading the other 2! I'll have to revisit those.

Yes Joseph, what great memories! I never worked backstage at the big cons of that era, but a friend of mine somehow became a gopher at a huge con in Oakland California and Shatner and Nimoy was there. We got separated and he somehow got to escort Shatner to his car to leave.

#15 of 22 Ric Easton

Ric Easton

    Screenwriter

  • 2,812 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 06 2001

Posted April 28 2009 - 01:04 AM

Quote:
And in my search, I found that book I was thinking about called Enterprise. Written in 1986, its plot is the first mission of Kirk and Spock and the Enterprise.

Y'know, the first adventures of our favorite crew seems to be a popular story to tell. In the DC comics, the first Annual also featured Kirk's first mission aboard the Enterprise. Of course it was a totally different story! And somehow, I don't think either one will be similar to the new movie!

There was also a book about first contact with the Vulcans called "Strangers From the Sky"

Posted Image

It must've been frustrating for authors to write these stories and then have a movie come along and invalidate them! Still, at the time they were fun reads.

Joe, very cool to hear about your convention adventures. I remember hearing about them, but being a few hundred miles away... well it might as well have been lightyears to this teenager!

I did see Shatner in the mid seventies at the Syracuse Civic Center. And years later as a news photog I have come across and interviewed Doohan, and Koenig. I'm disappointed I never got to meet DeForest Kelley! And I'll probably never come across the elusive Nimoy!

#16 of 22 Joseph DeMartino

Joseph DeMartino

    Lead Actor

  • 8,301 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 31 1969
  • Real Name:Joseph DeMartino
  • LocationFlorida

Posted April 28 2009 - 03:41 AM

Quote:
I also remember fondly the Alan Dean Foster adaptations of the Animated series. In these, the author took another route and greatly expanded upon the scripts.

That's right. Foster basically treated each volume as a novel, with an over-all story and each of the adapted episodes as a part of that story. (E.g., the Enterprise is called upon to assist with some alien crisis, but has to make a couple of stops while en route or is interupted by some other event. Sometimes the backstory of the third installment would be narrated first, then the next two stories, and then the final section would be the adaptation proper for the third episode. It made them seem more organic, and he was able to "open up" the stories and add more to them.)

Regards,

Joe

#17 of 22 Jason_V

Jason_V

    Producer

  • 4,640 posts
  • Join Date: May 07 2001
  • Real Name:Jason
  • LocationBothell, WA

Posted April 29 2009 - 07:18 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelson Au
And I believe there is a CD ROM coming out that has all of them in that disc? Perhaps someone can enlightnen me. It looks like an interesting item and pretty cool that a company was able to create a digital archive of all those comics. I'd be curious if it goes all the way back to the 1960's when GoldKey(?) did those comics.

I've been going through mine ever so slowly since it came out last June. (Here it is on Amazon) Everything is there, from the Gold Key books straight through alternate covers, the Wildstorm books and the Paramount stuff.

They scanned the pages, ads and all, for everything. A lot of the early material follows the same exact story formula and they come off as being childish. For instance, every book opens with a shot of an action sequence from later in the story followed by the beginning of the story. Right after the middle part of the story (the "commercial break") the bad guy always gives a page or two of exposition about why they're doing what they're doing.

A decent read, but I'm itching to get to the DC stuff I've never read.

#18 of 22 Nelson Au

Nelson Au

    Executive Producer

  • 11,122 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 16 1999

Posted April 29 2009 - 07:39 AM

Thanks Jason! That sounds like quite an effort to archive all the material.

Thanks for your impressions. I'll add it to my list and I look forward to checking it out. I'm not a really big comics fan, but the stories and the alternative take on Trek is sort of fascinating.

I don't imagine the CD-ROM allows one to create a PDF or something that can be printed? I guess that defeats the purpose and is likely a copyright issue. Unless one could place this in a tablet so it's easier to read.

#19 of 22 Jason_V

Jason_V

    Producer

  • 4,640 posts
  • Join Date: May 07 2001
  • Real Name:Jason
  • LocationBothell, WA

Posted April 29 2009 - 07:41 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelson Au
I don't imagine the CD-ROM allows one to create a PDF or something that can be printed? I guess that defeats the purpose and is likely a copyright issue. Unless one could place this in a tablet so it's easier to read.

I haven't tried since I don't have a printer at home, but I'll try to take a look tonight. The description on Amazon does say completely printable: That's over 500 issues, all in a friendly readable PDF format and all printable.

#20 of 22 Ric Easton

Ric Easton

    Screenwriter

  • 2,812 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 06 2001

Posted April 29 2009 - 07:50 AM

Nelson, I would skip the Gold Key run and Marvel's first run (from when ST-TMP came out) and head right to the first DC run!

As for printing... well that's gonna be a lot of paper!


Back to TV Programming



Forum Nav Content I Follow