The Original Series Returns In Comics

By Michelle
April 25, 2007 - 9:47 PM

In two new articles, Star Trek comic creators Scott & David Tipton interviewed one another and artist Steve Conley explained what he thought made the franchise so successful both on television and in graphic novels.

Newsarama printed the IDW feature in which the Tipton brothers explained how they worked together on the Klingons comic, including the Klingon language special issue released today. Scott told his brother that he believes much of the ongoing popularity of the villains-turned-allies can be attributed "to the charisma of the three actors who played the most famous Klingons in the Original Series; John Colicos, William Campbell and Michael Ansara", who "all really chewed up the scenery in those episodes (in a good way, mind you)." But the transition of the villains into a full-blooded fictional culture on The Next Generation made the aliens much more interesting, and Scott said that he enjoyed "applying the modern Klingon mindset to the original appearances" in the comic.

David revealed that the brothers had studied the animated Klingon episodes as well as the original series installments. "To my mind, that was always the fourth season," said Scott, citing the presence of most of the original cast and many original writers. He was less impressed by early efforts at Star Trek comics, though he conceded that pink vests on the Klingons on the animated series was probably a mistake.

As for their upcoming work, "I freakin' love the Gorn," admitted Scott when asked by his brother why shift focus to those aliens. "The Gorn was something special, a full-figure alien who looked both truly inhuman and really cool. But it wasn't just the visuals. The Gorn also had character -- he was clearly intelligent (after all, he was a starship captain), went toe-to-toe with Kirk and had him beaten handily, and it took a goddamned diamond cannon to bring him down." He was very disappointed that when Mego made a Gorn action figure, they simply painted a lizard figure and put him in a Klingon uniform.

David said that he believed there were many approaches to creating a good Star Trek comic, though "those that do it best emphasize storytelling and character development while also paying attention to the issues of continuity." He picked Kang to win in a fight among Kor, Koloth and Kruge, but said he hoped to work on a non-humanoid alien in the future, "the Tin Man or the Crystalline Entity. I like stories that show humans trying to understand a very foreign form of intelligence." The interview features several scans from the upcoming Klingons comic miniseries.

In a separate issue also available at Newsarama, Conley discussed Star Trek: Year Four, the six-part series that picks up where the original televised Star Trek left off, with a scheduled release in July. "I watched the original Star Trek series on a loop as a kid," Conley said. "High point for me in my Trek fandom was volunteering at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in the '90s when they had their Star Trek exhibit...a chance to get a good look at many of the original props, costumes and miniatures."

Conley called the original Star Trek "excellent science fiction" that addressed contemporary problems in new contexts, declaring that the original series cast "might just be the best ensemble cast in TV history. The chemistry of the actors could be the show's best special effect." He enjoyed watching the second-generation shows but "they don't hold a candle to the original."

Asked to compare his work on Star Trek comics to previous efforts, Conley explained, "I think our goals might be considered more ambitious. Year Four is meant to be just that—a continuation of where the original series left off", which includes the Animated Series, as Arex and M'ress both make appearances. "The emphasis is on getting the characters and spirit of the original show correct," he added.

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