Friday, June 18, 2004

The Star Trek comic strips time forgot

... but Rich Handley didn't.

Back around 1998 or 1999, Star Trek Communicator, the official fan club magazine, ran an article by Rich on a couple of series of Star Trek comic strips. The American syndicated newspaper comic strip from the era of Star Trek - The Motion Picture is a story for another day, though it was covered in that article. Today's news is about the other strips Rich wrote about back then: the British strips published in various places from 1969 to 1973.

These aren't the UK Annuals that reprinted American Gold Key stories. These are stories that appeared in British publications only and rarely made it across the Atlantic. They've been hard to find; I've never even made an effort. And now I don't have to.

Rich is selling scans of his complete collection of these old British Star Trek strips on CD ROM. The price is reasonable, and it's not a for-profit deal. He's just trying to recoup the cost of getting all of the old comics. And it's not as if there's going to be an official reprint of these any time soon. The much more recent American strips aren't being reprinted because of issues surrounding contracts and other legalities; those factors are likely even more complicated for material from a decade earlier and outside the USA.

I've just ordered mine. For more information, check out Rich's web page at

In other news...

We finally got around to watching the new Battlestar Galactica.

I was pretty excited about Battlestar Galactica in the summer of 1978. I bought the novelization, then saw the premiere as a theatrical release, bought the photonovel, the second novelization, all the Marvel comics... but as the season wore on, the doubts that were conquered during the premiere by the whizzbang special effects came more to the fore. The stories were, to put it bluntly, pretty dumb, for the most part. And I was 15 before the season ended and was developing my bullshit detector. Before the end of the season, I'd given up on Galactica as a potential source for good science fiction entertainment. Galactica 1980 really wasn't that much worse than the average Battlestar Galactica episode.

As a result, I didn't really care much about the new Galactica until I heard a couple of key things about it. First, that Star Trek writer Ron Moore was doing it; second, that he was not adhering to the original series continuity but was just using it as the basis for his own vision.

I liked the new Galactica. I liked most of the casting, I liked the characters having normal names, I liked the fact that they dropped most of the silly words like "centon," I liked the fact that the Cylons were completely reconceptualized, I liked the fact that everything looked a lot more realistic and gritty, I liked the fact that the characters had a little more depth and complexity and the acting was better... yep, I'd watch more of this. It's certainly a better start in many respects than The Gathering was for Babylon 5, and that led to some of the best SF TV we've ever had. I'd watch more.

(Now playing: Sonic Youth, "Pattern Recognition," Sonic Nurse


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