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Old May 29 2013, 03:21 PM   #76
Steve67
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Re: DC Comics' Star Tek (1st Series)

DC's Star Trek comic ended in November 1988 but resumed in September 1989 as series two. What was the reason for this? Was it because Paramount didn't want the original characters created for series one in the comic and therefore a year was needed in order to "reboot" the comic sans the likes of Bearclaw, Bryce, and Konom? Memory Beta states that old storylines and characters were done away with or rewritten. I've not read series two but I am quite fond of series one as it is the first time Star Trek in comic form was imo truly done well.
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Old May 29 2013, 03:37 PM   #77
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Re: DC Comics' Star Tek (1st Series)

Steve67 wrote: View Post
DC's Star Trek comic ended in November 1988 but resumed in September 1989 as series two. What was the reason for this?
I believe it was that DC's contract was up and they needed to renegotiate to extend it. Bob Greenberger's column in issue #1 alludes to a negotation that took longer than both sides wanted.

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Was it because Paramount didn't want the original characters created for series one in the comic and therefore a year was needed in order to "reboot" the comic sans the likes of Bearclaw, Bryce, and Konom?
I think it's really just a coincidence that the contract negotiations happened to hit at the same time that Richard Arnold's "Reign of Error" began to be felt.
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Old May 29 2013, 03:43 PM   #78
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Re: DC Comics' Star Tek (1st Series)

My impression is that Arnold's dislike of the comics' continuing characters and storylines (and his dislike of Peter David, to hear Peter David tell it) was a point of contention that delayed the contract renewal.
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Old May 29 2013, 04:02 PM   #79
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Re: DC Comics' Star Tek (1st Series)

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
I think it's really just a coincidence that the contract negotiations happened to hit at the same time that Richard Arnold's "Reign of Error" began to be felt.
No coincidence. Richard spoke at conventions about that time - at the time.

During the hiatus between TNG Seasons 1 and 2, Paramount pulled in all existing licensing contracts and did extensive renegotiations to better incorporate TNG into the franchise. Pocket's contract was renewed quickly. FASA's was revoked and not renewed. Lengthy negotiations for DC Comics.

Initially, DC was told that only Bryce, Konom, Sherwood, Bearclaw and Bernie had to go and Peter David wrote his issue #1 TOS (Series II) script with an opening scene featuring M'Ress. (He had previously announced plans for a controversial Arex story arc - presumably the rejigged story that saw Mr Fouton ousted from Starfleet and the comic; note that Arex eventually did transfer to Security in "New Frontier".)

When that set of art was sent to Richard for approval, He vetoed the use of TAS characters as well, and M'Ress was famously redrawn as an antelope-like alien, M'yra, named after PAD's then-wife, Myra. TAS "does not cross over with the movies", stated Richard. Although 1989 was also the year that Filmation was wound down, and the ownership of all of its output was in contractual flux.


M'Ress by Therin of Andor, on Flickr
"Amazing Heroes" magazine #170 (Aug 1989, page 99)


M'Ress redrawn as M'yra by Therin of Andor, on Flickr
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Old May 29 2013, 07:33 PM   #80
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Re: DC Comics' Star Tek (1st Series)

This 2008 article from Comic Book Resources discusses the Peter David-Richard Arnold drama and the comments sections include remarks from PAD himself. I guess the hiatus isn't the big story here! Thanks to everyone for their replies. Keep 'em coming!
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Old May 29 2013, 07:59 PM   #81
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Re: DC Comics' Star Tek (1st Series)

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
I think it's really just a coincidence that the contract negotiations happened to hit at the same time that Richard Arnold's "Reign of Error" began to be felt.
No coincidence. Richard spoke at conventions about that time - at the time.

During the hiatus between TNG Seasons 1 and 2, Paramount pulled in all existing licensing contracts and did extensive renegotiations to better incorporate TNG into the franchise. Pocket's contract was renewed quickly. FASA's was revoked and not renewed. Lengthy negotiations for DC Comics.
I have to be honest, Ian, I'm not sure I believe this. I'm not saying that your recollection of what Arnold said is incorrect. But at the same time, he's not a disinterested party and, given the politics of the time, it was in his interest to promote the view that Roddenberry was wresting back control of the franchise from the infidels who had pillaged it in his absence.

From a business standpoint, Arnold's story doesn't make any sense. Voiding all of their existing licensing contracts would cost Paramount a lot of money; it would be like the Activision lawsuit of a decade ago, but spread across dozens, even hundreds, of licensees. Admittedly, much of the money Paramount would have to pay out to abrogate the contacts would be paid back if the licenses re-upped after renegotiations. But you're talking about an immense amount of work and an immense amount of money, to say nothing of legal billable hours involved in sorting through the Gordian knots of hundreds of contracts. It just seems... staggeringly, incompetently insane for a company to do this for such marginal benefit given that the products before and after didn't materially change.

The reason I used the word "coincidence" deliberately is that DC Comics' first series ended where you would have expected it to end if they had a five year contract with Paramount and the contract had come to its end without renewal.
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Old May 29 2013, 08:11 PM   #82
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Re: DC Comics' Star Tek (1st Series)

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
The reason I used the word "coincidence" deliberately is that DC Comics' first series ended where you would have expected it to end if they had a five year contract with Paramount and the contract had come to its end without renewal.
Although it ended about 2 months and 4 issues short of a full five years' worth. So how do the contracts define the time period? Is it from the publication of the first issue or from a calendar month specified in the contract? Maybe the discrepancy could be explained if the first issue was delayed a bit.
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Old May 29 2013, 08:29 PM   #83
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Re: DC Comics' Star Tek (1st Series)

Christopher wrote: View Post
Although it ended about 2 months and 4 issues short of a full five years' worth. So how do the contracts define the time period? Is it from the publication of the first issue or from a calendar month specified in the contract? Maybe the discrepancy could be explained if the first issue was delayed a bit.
Balls, I left the word "about" out. The thought was "ended about where you would have expected..." *grumble*

I assumed it was a five year/sixty month contract. And since DC would need to get up and running -- find a writer, find artists, etc. -- before they could publish their first issue, then they wouldn't get 60 issues out during that period. But they did get fifty-eight issues out in those sixty months, if you count the Star Trek III and Star Trek IV adaptations which slotted into the monthly issue slot in 1984 and 1986.
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Old May 29 2013, 08:56 PM   #84
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Re: DC Comics' Star Tek (1st Series)

Okay, that explains it.

Hmm, I wonder what that says about DC's TOS Volume 2 and TNG, then. They both ran for 80 regular issues and, let's see, 78 months for TOS and 77 months for TNG (they did some brief biweekly runs in there). So maybe they finished one 5-year contract and got cancelled not quite a third of the way through the second one? Or could it have been, say, an 80-month contract that wasn't renewed?
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Old May 29 2013, 09:31 PM   #85
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Re: DC Comics' Star Tek (1st Series)

I always thought the second DC contract was ended prematurely (and Malibu's Deep Space Nine and Voyager contracts as well, the latter of which they never even published an issue) and rather abruptly because at the same time Marvel announced their partnership with Paramount. That deal was Marvel throwing stupid money at Paramount, which ultimately led to the cancellation of the whole line when Marvel's new accountants realized that they were never, ever, ever going to make money on the deal. I don't blame Paramount for taking Marvel's money, but you have to wonder how different Star Trek comics history would have been, and how much more stable, if Paramount had stuck by the steady hand of DC.
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Old May 29 2013, 10:01 PM   #86
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Re: DC Comics' Star Tek (1st Series)

Of course, I forgot about Marvel taking over.
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Old May 30 2013, 01:46 AM   #87
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Re: DC Comics' Star Tek (1st Series)

Steve67 wrote: View Post
This 2008 article from Comic Book Resources discusses the Peter David-Richard Arnold drama and the comments sections include remarks from PAD himself. I guess the hiatus isn't the big story here! Thanks to everyone for their replies. Keep 'em coming!
From the replies to the above linked article...

Peter David

June 13, 2008 at 10:41 am

Bart J. has it essentially correct.

The fact is that Richard Arnold’s notes became increasingly ludicrous, such as shutting down a romantic interest for Kirk by asserting that Kirk was no longer interested in women. We were reaching the point where it was becoming impossible to get stories approved. Richard rejected one story with the assertion that there was “too much violence,” even though the violence consisted of a sustained fist fight scene with Kirk (as if they never had those in Trek).

As a test, I submitted a script under a fake name which sailed through the approvals process even though it had far more violence than the previous script which was rejected for that reason. When that was approved, I knew that it had nothing to do with the stories and everything to do with Richard’s enmity toward me (a far longer story to go into.) At which point I resigned from the book since I felt I could no longer do the job I was hired to do, namely provide stories for DC.


Final kicker: The fake name under which I submitted the story that was approved? “Robert Bruce Banner.”

PAD
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Old May 30 2013, 05:07 PM   #88
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Re: DC Comics' Star Tek (1st Series)

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
From a business standpoint, Arnold's story doesn't make any sense. Voiding all of their existing licensing contracts would cost Paramount a lot of money
My recollections are not just of Richard's angle, but also the angry campaign run by some of the Pocket authors at the time (on the GEnie and Compuserv news groups).

I think perhaps they were able to nullify/renegotiate because the original licensing contracts had been signed before TNG was conceived, so special arrangements had to be made to enable Pocket to do those earliest TNG novels, DC to publish its six-part TNG Season One mini-series, and FASA to do two TNG products: an officers' manual and a Season One sourcebook. (Similarly, IDW got special permission to cameo Phlox in one of its comics, despite not having an ENT license.) If the licensees wanted to incorporate TNG after Season One, then they'd have to renegotiate their contract.

Maybe it was coincidence that all the contracts were due for renewal? But Roddenberry certainly took the opportunity to have the rules tightened.

It's worth putting the question to Bob Greenberger. He may recall that the all licenses were voided and everyone was sent back into negotiations. I heard Richard report this several times. DC's Series I comic was ended very abruptly; the lettercol had only just mentioned numerous upcoming storylines that never came to fruition as described. DC certainly didn't expect the hiatus to go on so long. There was also the "1989 memo" (published in full on the old news groups) that was sent to the re-signing licensees, explaining the tightening of the rules of what elements could no longer be used (ie. no TAS, no long-running original characters, no more cross pollination between licensees' products, etc).

Would Paramount have to pay out a contract if it was being renewed anyway? In that case, wouldn't it only be FASA in need of a payout (unless they were at the end of a contract) and FASA had supposedly broken its contract by not submitting materials to be vetted by the Star Trek Office. I recall a few years ago, someone connected with FASA mentioned some of this on this board. There was a lot of anger about their license, from both sides.

I recall that Roddenberry and Paramount were particularly keen to be rid of FASA. The "Officers' Manual" was laden with errors (eg. Betazoids hailed from Haven) and they released it for publication without submitting it to the Star Trek Office.

Ah, I see the conversation has continued.

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
I always thought the second DC contract was ended prematurely (and Malibu's Deep Space Nine and Voyager contracts as well, the latter of which they never even published an issue) and rather abruptly because at the same time Marvel announced their partnership with Paramount.
Yep.
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Old June 1 2013, 03:13 AM   #89
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Re: DC Comics' Star Tek (1st Series)

For anyone unfamiliar with DC's first series, here's a quick overview:

Non-Non Canon: The Strange Case of the 1980s DC Star Trek Comic Books
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Old June 2 2013, 01:48 AM   #90
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Re: DC Comics' Star Tek (1st Series)

I loved issue #40 as a child, in which the crew becomes embroiled in another adventure involving Harry Mudd. This one in which the crew's wishes come true.

I loved the 2nd series, as I started collecting comics about a year into its run and I even had a subscription for about 2 years. However, hunting down issues from the 1st series was a lot of fun. Those comics were a bit more "free-wheeling," while the 2nd series was a bit more serious.
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