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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old November 26 2009, 07:39 PM   #1
Saul
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Star Trek A Comics History, worth the buy?

Forgive is there is already a thread on this. But it's nearing Christmas and Santa Saul is making a list for himself and checkin it twice. I was wondering if this is worth buying? Haven't heard anything about it since the release date. Wondered if it's worth the price tag.
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Old November 26 2009, 07:43 PM   #2
Steve Roby
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Re: Star Trek A Comics History, worth the buy?

As I said on my blog:
Alan Porter's book is the first guide to Star Trek comics and comic strips in print. (If you're interested in Trek comics and aren't already familiar with Mark Martinez's Star Trek Comics Checklist site, go check it out and bookmark it already.) This is a large trade paperback, well illustrated with comic covers, sample panels, and original artwork. Each section of the book begins with a page or two providing background on the publisher and the series described, followed by entries for each issue (or storyline, for the comic strips) giving the stardate, title, issue number (where applicable), writer, artists, and a synopsis. The chapter "Creating Trek: The Interviews" includes material from interviews with over a dozen comic creators.

I should point out that this is a US$40 paperback, which strikes me as a bit much. I paid C$27 at Amazon. Shop wisely.
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Old November 26 2009, 08:18 PM   #3
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Re: Star Trek A Comics History, worth the buy?

I generally enjoyed the book. The recaps of individual issue storylines are very helpful when I want to go back and re-read stuff I vaguely remember from 25 years ago...

But I can't help thinking its quick production schedule led to embarrassing blunders: a great many responses in the "Creating Trek" section attributed to Mike W. Barr only make sense as being from Michael Jan Friedman. And Alan Dean Foster's responses seem like a long series of variations on "I don't know, I never wrote Star Trek comics! Why are you asking ME?"

There are some other goofs, but I'm cookin' Thanksgiving dinner, and I don't have time to pull the book off the shelf and refresh my memory.

I also agree with Steve Roby: $40 seems steep for a 192-page paperback.
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Old November 27 2009, 01:02 PM   #4
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Re: Star Trek A Comics History, worth the buy?

Agree with above about the price point and the sloppy editing of the book, but I still enjoyed reading it. Nice insights into the bizaare early years of Trek comics, fairly solid summaries of individual issues and the book itself is well-made (though with a slim page count). If you have the Star Trek comics DVD-ROM, this book is an excellent companion piece -- I use it as a sort of guide to suggest what to read next on the DVD.

Ultimately, I would recommend buying the book. On sale.
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Old November 27 2009, 01:55 PM   #5
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Re: Star Trek A Comics History, worth the buy?

It sounds like it'd go well with that Star Trek comics DVD. Is it Voyages of the Imagination for the comics? I'd love if it had a timeline at the back - the footnotes trying to make any sense of the Gold Key and old UK Trek comics would be a laugh.

If only they'd release the damn Comic Collection DVD in England.
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Old November 27 2009, 02:08 PM   #6
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Re: Star Trek A Comics History, worth the buy?

KingDaniel wrote: View Post
I'd love if it had a timeline at the back
There are several references to a comics timeline that is supposedly available on the publisher's website.
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Old November 27 2009, 02:20 PM   #7
F. King Daniel
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Re: Star Trek A Comics History, worth the buy?

^Can't find it on anywhere on http://www.hermespress.com/, but I must admit i'm not the sort to search for hours.

I remember old TNG DC comics occasionally had timelines at the back (one of which was "all wrong") Maybe some brave soul will one day try to intergrate them into the VoI timeline.
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Old November 27 2009, 03:04 PM   #8
Steve Roby
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Re: Star Trek A Comics History, worth the buy?

Porter's been doing the timeline in bits and pieces on his livejournal, starting here.
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Old November 27 2009, 04:55 PM   #9
mmtz
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Re: Star Trek A Comics History, worth the buy?

It's a good coffee table reference for Star Trek comics. There isn't an index, so if you're looking for something specific, you have to browse. The summaries of each issue are pretty thorough. This is where the author, Alan Porter, spent most of his time. The British Star Trek comics get a very good treatment. The comic covers and original art are nice to see in print. Most of the original art reproduced in the book can be found on the web. I found the chapter with interviews less interesting than the rest of the book. Maybe it was the email interview format. The disconnected answers kind of disconnected me from the chapter. Writing elsewhere, Porter said that he had to leave out the timeline and info about foreign reprints. IDW comics were also omitted. I purchased a copy from Amazon for about $27.

Steve already mentioned Porter's timeline project. You can follow the timeline blog entries with this link

http://gothamajp.livejournal.com/tag/timeline

and you can find the TNG stardate guide mentioned above by KingDaniel, here:

http://homepage.mac.com/mmtz/stcomix...#stardateguide

Another history of Trek comics was published this past summer. Comics International Star Trek Special 2009 is a British magazine with a detailed look at Star Trek comics in 106 pages. The articles focus on publishers, events and trends in the comics rather than summaries of each comic. There are also many interviews with comics creators and art reproductions. If you can find a copy, it makes a good complement to Porter's book. I bought a copy on eBay for about $8 plus shipping.
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Old November 27 2009, 09:04 PM   #10
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Re: Star Trek A Comics History, worth the buy?

I asked my local comic shop to get me a copy of that when I saw it listed in Diamond Previews, but it has yet to materialize, and I don't remember seeing it show up in Diamond's weekly shipping lists, so I don't think my store slipped up. I wonder if they dropped it.
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Old November 27 2009, 09:50 PM   #11
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Re: Star Trek A Comics History, worth the buy?

Steve Roby wrote: View Post
I asked my local comic shop to get me a copy of that when I saw it listed in Diamond Previews, but it has yet to materialize, and I don't remember seeing it show up in Diamond's weekly shipping lists, so I don't think my store slipped up. I wonder if they dropped it.
I tried to "reorder" it from Diamond, via my comic shop, the week it shipped to comic shops (ie. when it was first announced here) and was told the next day that Diamond had been so disappointed with the preorders they had decided not to restock it. A common problem with the smaller publishers. And thus, it was already "sold out" at Diamond.

I immediately got onto Amazon (thanks to your post, IIRC) and paid much less than it would have cost through Diamond in the first place.
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Old November 27 2009, 09:52 PM   #12
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Re: Star Trek A Comics History, worth the buy?

Steve Roby wrote: View Post
I asked my local comic shop to get me a copy of that when I saw it listed in Diamond Previews, but it has yet to materialize, and I don't remember seeing it show up in Diamond's weekly shipping lists, so I don't think my store slipped up. I wonder if they dropped it.
Diamond shipped the book in mid-September, and it's still in stock.
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Old November 27 2009, 09:56 PM   #13
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Re: Star Trek A Comics History, worth the buy?

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
Diamond shipped the book in mid-September, and it's still in stock.
That's not what my comic shop was told. Yes, it did ship, but they weren't taking reorders.
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Old November 27 2009, 10:01 PM   #14
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Re: Star Trek A Comics History, worth the buy?

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
Diamond shipped the book in mid-September, and it's still in stock.
That's not what my comic shop was told. Yes, it did ship, but they weren't taking reorders.
No, that's what your comic shop told you. That's not necessarily what your comic shop was told.

ETA: It does occur to me, Ian, that Australia may have gotten a single shipment of the book, and that Diamond's not shipping the book any longer across the Pacific. Which makes what you're saying and what I'm saying both true, even though they're also mutually contradictory. *shrug*
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Old November 28 2009, 01:56 AM   #15
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Re: Star Trek A Comics History, worth the buy?

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
That's not necessarily what your comic shop was told.
The managers are close personal friends. They don't have to lie to me.
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