Wednesday 23 May 2012

Star Trek comic strips finally to get a book release?

A new listing has appeared on Amazon for Star Trek Volume 1. Slightly confusingly this is exactly the same title used for the first omnibus of the ongoing comics series, but this looks to be something very different. Coming from IDW in November, this 300 page hardback book lists Thomas Warkentin, Sharman DiVorio, and Ron Harris as authors - All of which worked on the 1979 to 1983 (Star Trek: The Motion Picture era) Star Trek comic strip, which was published in newspapers in the US.

One of the Sunday colour pages, featuring the Kzinti
The comic strips are one of the most obscure Star Trek fiction tie-ins, available only in the newspapers and an incomplete and limited run of omnibus collections. Set after The Motion Picture the series saw the return of the Klingons, Harry Mudd, time travel, and even a long story featuring the Kzinti. If this is what it appears it could be the first time they are made available, hopefully as a complete collection (over several books if this is volume one of x), and around the world.

Assuming that is the case, the format of the original comics will provide interesting editorial choices for IDW. There were originally daily black and white, strips, plus a colour version on Sundays. Owing to the mixed audience of daily and weekend newspaper readers there was overlap in the two different formats. It will be interesting to see if IDW attempt to rationalise the stories, and maybe if they recolour the whole thing, as they have done with some previous release.

Hopefully a similar release of the TV era UK comic strips (some of which featured some rather impressive artwork) will follow.

You can find out much more about the US strips on Mark Martinez's Star Trek Comics Checklist, and Memory Alpha.

Update: IDW editor Chris Ryall has confirmed these are what they seem, and will be released as one of IDW's Library of American Comics books. He also noted they'll have a better title! - I guess that means little hope for those UK strips, but it should been a very high quality archival treatment of these American ones.

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