SPIDER-MANDATE: The Lowe-down on "Secret Wars," Tie-Ins and Stacey Lee
Neill Cameron is many things: an accomplished cartoonist, author of How to Make Awesome Comics, artist in residence at the Story Museum and now, it appears, master of the Parks and Recreation/Star Trek: The Next Generation mashup with “Parks and Trek.”
As we brace ourselves for the Jan. 13 premiere of Parks & Rec‘s seventh and final season, Cameron is rolling out his renditions of the crew of the U.S.S. Spirit of Pawnee, beginning with Captain Leslie Knope, Commander Ronald Swanson and Chief of Engineering Tom Haverford (with Ensign DJ Roomba).
Did you see that Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day raised $1.4 Million on Kickstarter for an Internet series called Tabletop, in which they’ll introduce board gaming to various “geeky guests”? (To you kids out there: “Board gaming” is like video games, but not on a computer. I know, right?) This was apparently some sort of crowdfunding record, as no one previously had raised more than $1 million for an online series.
Some people see this as evidence that geek culture has become an economic power. I see this from another point of view: People just want to see Wil Wheaton playing games. What if I told you, dear reader, there’s a webcomic out there that can deliver that very experience? It’s Wheaton as Wesley Crusher playing some role-playing games with the rest of the Star Trek: The Next Generation crew in Josh Millard’s LARP Trek.
Artist J.K. Woodward, who has worked on comics like Star Trek The Next Generation / Doctor Who: Assimilation2 and Fallen Angel with Peter David, lost his home and everything he owns because of Hurricane Sandy. If you’d like to help him out, he’s made it easy–he’s selling some wonderful prints and a bunch of his original art to “get us back on our feet.”
My wife and I recently suffered a huge loss from Hurricane Sandy. Our home was lost along with almost everything we own. I’m currently coming up with some fund raising ideas to get us back on our feet and into a home where we can start to rebuild. The first of which is to sell some original pages from my work on the Star Trek TNG/DoctorWho: Assimilation2 series. I have pages and covers available through Cadence Comic Art. There are some great deals to be found there if you act quickly.
The second wave is to make prints from previous works and commissions to sell as prints. This will be a limited 2 week sale and all prints are signed. These are what I have made available for now. More will be added in future blog posts. They are all 11 x 17
To hear more of his story of dealing with the hurricane, check out this podcast.
Because we live in an age of reboots, revamps, retcons and relaunches, by now we know the issues involved. Mostly they boil down to a balancing test: How faithful is the new material to the established work, and how compelling is it otherwise?
Of course, corporate-controlled superhero comics have had more than their share of reboots, revamps, retcons and relaunches, in all shapes and sizes, going back at least as far as the first Superboy stories. I’m not here today to dissect any particular one. Instead, the calendar gives me the chance to talk about one of the most successful sequel series in sci-fi history.
This week marks the 25th anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation. (It aired on different days in syndication, so I saw it first on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 1987.) For many fans, TNG was the gateway into an ever-expanding 24th century. Three more sequel/spinoff series followed, as well as four movies featuring the TNG cast, such that the saga of Jean-Luc Picard and his intrepid crew spanned 15 years, including seven TV seasons.
You would think that the digital landscape would be thoroughly covered by now, but IDW Publishing broke some new ground this week: Its Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation #1 is the first single-issue comic to be released simultaneously in print and digitally via iBooks, according to IDW’s director of e-publishing Jeff Webber. As of this writing, it’s No. 1 in the Comics and Graphic Novels category, outselling The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones books that make up the rest of the Top 10.
The comic is also available for Barnes & Noble’s Nook.
In a way, this brings IDW full circle. Back in the day (2008), the company published Star Trek comics as single-issue apps in the iTunes store. That’s how everyone did it, in those primitive times before in-app buying. Now IDW has its own branded app and also sells comics through comiXology’s comics storefronts on the web and mobile devices. That makes sense, because it’s likely different customers shop in the different venues — comics fans in the comics apps, Star Trek: TNG fans who might be open to reading a comic in the iBooks store.
While Marvel publisher Dan Buckley has been denying that Marvel does crossover events, IDW has been celebrating them. Its zombie series Infestation crossed over with four well known properties: Star Trek, Ghostbusters, Transformers, and G.I. Joe, and they paired two unlikely bedfellows with their Star Trek/Legion of Super Heroes crossover as well. Now they are playing matchmaker again, and this time the two properties sound like like they might be natural partners: Doctor Who and Star Trek: The Next Generation. And it’s not just the good guys who are teaming up: The Borgs and the Cybermen will be forming a partnership (excuse me, “unholy alliance”) that will force The Doctor and The Captain to work together against the common enemy. The writing chores will be shared by Star Trek: Infestation writers Scott and David Tipton and Doctor Who writer Tony Lee, and the artist will be J.K. Woodward (Fallen Angel).