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Lifelike

Dara Naraghi's graphic novel Lifelike is now available in both digital and print editions. Click here for more info.

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Archive for the ‘star trek’ Category

I’ve been watching Star Trek: Enterprise on Netflix lately, and man, is it uneven. Every time I get sick of the show, they throw me a great episode or a great concept. And every time I’m about to quit it, they throw me a real stinkeroo.

Man, this show has so much potential, but everything needs to be about 20 percent better to succeed. If the writing’s just 20 percent better, or the acting is 20 percent better …

I dunno if they thought they were recreating the legendary original cast, but it’s really no sin to drop characters that suck. I said this in my “Once Upon A Time” post, but it’s plenty true: you don’t have to be a better actor to be in a genre piece, but it’s definitely a specialized skill. And I know if I keep watching, I’ll get to the season finale where the human race is at stake but we’re dealing with Hoshi’s feelings of inadequacy.

Dang, I spend a lot of time writing about TV and movies that I only sort of like. I gotta stop that.

Anyway, I was looking through ST:ENT’s page on imdb.com, and I notice John Billingsley (Dr. Phlox) gets second billing, behind Scott Bakula. Phlox is (IMHO) the best character and the best actor on the show, but he also seems to have had the best career post-ENT.

Keep on trucking, you long-tongued polyamorous alien swinger, you.

dr-phlox-triumphant

I feel bad for Connor Trineer, who definitely worked hardest, but at least he seems to pop up on Suits and NCIS and stuff like that.

A few months ago, someone asked if I was going to pick up the Dr. Who/Star Trek crossover, going on now from IDW. And I answered them with the geekiest thing I could possibly say:

“Not my Doctor … and not my Trek.”

 

Call me when Kirk meets David Tennant … or, better yet, Jon Pertwee.

Seriously, I want to throw myself into a locker and take my lunch money right now.

 

One subgenre of children’s book is the “book of opposites.” In these books, you teach children words by leveraging words they already know, like “high” vs. “low.” So naturally I was intrigued when I saw the Star Trek Book of Opposites.

Naturally, they’re using 40-year-old stills from a show that was never intended to be the source of a children’s book. So some items work OK:

AppearDisappear

 

And here’s “Many:”

But they soon start getting odd, as such:

Furry and Scaly used the Gorn and Mugato, just in case your child isn’t able to come up with nightmare fuel on her own. Here’s Calm and Surprised:

Calm is (if you will permit me) a logical choice, but I’m pretty sure Captain Kirk is being possessed by an alien consciousness there. Sleep tight, kiddos!

Apart and Together is the sequence from my origin story, and then here’s Hot and Cold.

I’m not sure what’s happening with Chekov up there, but I’m sure it’s mortal peril. Sulu is close to freezing to death on an alien world in the second one.

So, to round out this journey into childhood trauma, let me leave you with Angry.

Baby's first Pon Farr

Because it’s never too soon to talk to your child about pon farr.

 

 

My friend Erica tells me that Star Trek is referenced in the American Medical Association’s Manual of Style:

That’s page 265, if you’re following along with your own copy.

Recently, while looking for comic covers to post as part of the Weekend Versus feature, I ran across several more books from a publisher called Spoof Comics. You may remember them from this previous edition of Weekend Versus, featuring their oh-so-clever Wolverbroad vs. Hobo book, or this one, featuring Spider-femme vs. Denim.

Well, I’m here to tell you that judging by the covers of their other books, it’s a testament to the strength (and insanity) of the 90s era speculative market that they lasted as long as they did. Again, I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t read a single one of these comics, but honestly, I can’t imagine any of them actually being funny. For example, we’ve got O-X: Cow O’ War:


Because nothing’s funnier than recasting Valiant’s successful X-O: Man O’ War as a cow. Cow’s have udders, which are funny, right? Ugh. Or how about The Punish-her Score Journal:

First of all, the character’s name doesn’t even make sense, other than it’s the best they could come up with that would somewhat rhyme with Punisher. I don’t even want to know how they wove in the theme of dating and sex and “punishment,” because I have a feeling it’s a bunch of frat house juvenile humor. But hey, check out the early Dave Johnson cover. At least he went on to bigger and better things.

And speaking of great cover artists, the folks at Spoof Comics were at least smart enough to know they’d have a better chance of selling their books if they put some recognizable talent on the covers. My guess is the interiors of these comics were drawn by hungry, naive young artists with way more enthusiasm to “break in” than actual alent. You know, the Bluewater model. So if you can get some nice looking covers, you may at least trick some unsuspecting souls into buying your crap comics. Case in point, Swamp Thang:

Oh, Kelley Jones, you must have had a car payment to cover that month. But at least it’s a really good cover. And then there’s Spider-femme:

That’s right, despite the normal looking (and sized) breasts, that’s pinup artist extraordinaire, Adam Hughes. Incidentally, the above cover is from their anthology series Spoof Comics Presents, which, get this, lasted 19 issues! And in that year and a half of publication, they gave us such gems as Daredame:

…Vertigo parodies like Dame Patrol:

…and the super-innuendo of Green Lanterns:

(by the way, I’m pretty sure that’s a Cully Hamner cover on GL)

…and so many other comedy classics, from Justice Broads to Wet Shirts. I’m telling you, Spoof Comics was a veritable (un)funny factory, churning out not just comic book spoofs, but also those of celebrity rock bands. Behold, Kisses:

But even in the early stages of their careers, guys like Adam Hughes and Kelley Jones probably charged too much for a cover (and by too much, I mean “not free,” which seems to have been Spoof Comics’ payment standard), so their other books looked more like this:

That’s right, Youngspud. What’s funnier than a parody of Rob Liefeld’s Youngblood book, than a bunch of potato superheroes? God, I can just imagine all the funny lines in that book: the heroes drink a lot to get “mashed,” or maybe they fight a French supervillain knows as The Fry?

Well, I’m afraid that’s about as much as I can stand to write on this topic. But before I go, I’ll leave you with the best of the bunch. Behold teh funny of Soul Trek:

I don’t even want to know.

I’m not sure this wouldn’t be me.

Animated Kirk says, “You can sort all that out later.”

Star Trek is one of the reasons I’m here — but now all that’s in doubt.

Follow me for a minute.

This is Lt. Uhura, who was played by Nichelle Nichols in the original series.

Here’s me and my friend TJ meeting her at a convention, sometime in the 1980s.

Nichelle Nichols was part of TV’s first interracial kiss, with her and William Shatner. That happened in “Plato’s Stepchildren,” originally broadcast Nov. 22, 1968. That’s this here:

My mom was a big fan of the original show. Then, in 1975, she married a black dude. A year later, I was born. So I owe my very existence to Star Trek.

But.

The new movie establishes an alternate timeline for Star Trek … one in which certain events from the original series may not have happened. So … did the kiss still happen?

Am I still in canon?

Will I cease to exist?

Animated Kirk says it makes his head hurt.

From Kung Fu Monkey, here’s the crystallization of an idea I’ve been wrestling with for a long time.

Captain Kirk has no “arc,” and very little character development.

Neither does Batman or Superman.

And that’s not a bad thing.

BTW — best Star Trek movie ever. I’m probably going to see it again this week, so e-mail me if you want to come with.

Over at the io9 site, in a feature titled Boldly Going Where No Comic Had Gone Before, Graeme McMillan takes a look at the weirdest and lamest scenes from over 4 decades of Star Trek comics. From “Evil Kirk” slapping regular Kirk’s face, to Scotty’s love life, to the infamous X-Men/Star Trek crossover, there’s lots of weirdness to entertain you.

Including this little gem:

As Tony would surely point out, the comic book awesomeness at the link has made animated Kirk a bit verklempt.

A few months ago, Beaucoup Kevin wondered aloud why so many conservatives are Star Trek fans, when the show clearly depicts a multiracial cast existing in harmony in a near-socialistic universe.

My first answer was a little flippant: “Because quantum torpedoes make things blow up real good.” My second answer had a bit more thought: “Star Trek presents the fantasy that a military commander, wielding a mighty starship, can be the ultimate force for good in the universe.”

Think about it: Kirk could usually solve the most ingrained problems with a good bluff and a few phaser shots. The Federation’s civilian leadership was usually depicted as incompetent, to the extent that it existed at all. Kirk was basically David Petraeus at warp speed.

Consider two examples from the Original Series:

The Apple: The Enterprise finds a race of humanoids kept in a childlike state by a computer tyrant named Vaal. The Enterprise destroys the computer with a heavy phaser barrage, leaving the natives to discover self-determination for the first time.

A Taste of Armageddon: The Enterprise finds two planets who have been at war for centuries. But they now handle the war by computer, with the “casualties” reporting dutifully to disintegration booths to commit suicide. Kirk exposes the planets to real warfare, with the prospect of real destruction, and they are forced to find a way to live together.

Those two episodes contain about 75 percent of the Bush Doctrine. Maybe we can run the ol’ corbomite bluff on the Sunnis and Shiites.

Whoops. Nearly forgot something there.

For Tony, especially; but suitable for all geeks:

Found on You Ain’t No Picasso…

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