Hasslein Blog: The British Star Trek Newspaper Strips—Fully Reprinted At Last


Hasslein Blog

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The British Star Trek Newspaper Strips—Fully Reprinted At Last

By Rich Handley

There's satisfying feedback, and then there's satisfying feedback.

As some of you know, I've been working with IDW for the past few years to reprint all of the old Star Trek comic strips from 1969 to 1973 and 1979 to 1983. One of the talented artists on those strips was a man named Mike Noble. A mutual friend, Lee Sullivan, helped me arrange for Mike to receive copies of these books, which reprint his 40-plus-year-old work.

An example of Mike Noble's wonderful artwork from 
the 13th U.K. storyline, "Mutiny on the Dorado."

Lee told me today that Mike is very happy with how the books came out—and specifically with the introductory materials I wrote. That alone justifies all the work that went into writing them. I'm a great fan of Mike Noble's beautiful artwork, so knowing that he thinks we did justice to his legacy is something I'm very proud of.

As it happens, I received a PDF of the fifth and final volume (two volumes reprint the U.S. strips, three for the U.K. strips) just last night, to review prior to printing, and it looks fantastic. The third British volume collects strips that, back in the 1960s, were printed in such a way that they came out a bit muddy and dulled, so I was worried that this volume might not look as impressive as the others. Silly me. I needn't have worried, as IDW's Library of American Comics (LOAC) imprint cleaned them up extremely well, just as they did for the previous volumes—they look far better than I could have hoped.

Volume 1 reprints storylines #1-7 (Joe 90: Top Secret issues #1-34), storylines #8-13 
(TV21 & Joe 90 issues #1-38), storylines #14-17 (TV21 issues #39-64), and the 
Joe 90 Top Secret 1969 annual, with an introduction by yours truly.

The book is now off to the proofreader and then the printer, which means my role in this five-year project has come to a close—which both excites and saddens me, as this was something I've actually been trying to make happen for about 15 years or so. My thanks to IDW's Chris Ryall for giving me the greenlight back in 2012, and to LOAC's Dean Mullaney for doing such an amazing job of restoring these strips. The work Dean and I have done on these books has been a truly enjoyable collaboration that has culminated in friendship, and I'm going to miss it (though not for long, as I'm now working with Dean on another project—reprinting the old Star Wars comic strips from the L.A. Times Syndicate).

Volume 2 collects storylines #18-24 (TV21 issues #65-105), storylines #25-30 
(Valiant issues #1-42), and the TV21 1971 annual, with more supplementary 
materials by some hack named Rich Handley.

For many years, I'd never met a single Star Trek fan besides me who owned a complete run of these old newspaper and magazine strips. Now, thanks to the efforts of Chris and Dean, thousands of fans have the strips on their shelves, and I can actually discuss them with other comics enthusiasts, which is much better than being the only guy on the block. It was my honor to be involved in making it so.

Finally, the upcoming third volume reprints storylines #31-37 (Valiant issues #43-118),
 the TV21 1972 and 1973 annuals, the Mighty TV Comic 1978 and 1979 annuals, 
the 1972 Valiant Summer Special, a Radio Times issue, and additional strips from 
Larami's Star Trek Space Viewer, the Kenner/Chad Valley Give-a-Show Projector, and more, 
with a Star Trek cover gallery and more supplementary materials from that Handley fellow.

Eaglamoss will soon reprint a portion of the UK strips as part of its Star Trek Graphic Novel Collection, and I've been privileged to be a part of that project as well (as discussed here). Eaglemoss has been doing a phenomenal job of repackaging these and many other Star Trek comics from throughout the past five decades, and I'm thrilled to see the U.K. strips being included in that set of hardcover books. Since Eaglemoss is a British publisher, it's only fitting that the strips would end up back in print in the land that first spawned them.
Eaglemoss is reprinting part of the U.K. strips from IDW's U.S. reprints 
for Eaglemoss's U.K. audience. It's Trekception at its finest.

After remaining Star Trek's most obscure comics series for decades, the British strips are finally getting their time in the spotlight. It's much deserved, and IDW, The Library of American Comics, and Eaglemoss have done fans a great service in making them widely available at last.

Gaze upon how cool that looks.
Go ahead... gaze upon it.

Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home