Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by ryan123450, Jul 20, 2010.
The wider issue for me is how shocking mediocre all of IDW's comics are.
Ha, yeah, I was very enthusiastic when IDW first got going with Trek but over time I've gradually come to expect that something really amazing from IDW is just a rare treat among all the Captain-Kirk/Picard-visits-a-planet-we've-never-heard-of,-gets-in-a-(minor)-spot-of-bother,-but-quickly-sorts-it-out stuff. It especially stands in contrast against the quality of really interesting stuff Pocket keeps putting out, and against John Byrne's little pocket of IDW stuff which is consistently amazing!
That last TNG series was particularly poor, em.. Ghosts?
It was alright by the last issue :P But yeah, I nearly gave up on that one, I really had to force myself to read the middle issues; which seems quite bad for something one pays for to enjoy :P
The comics read like they have they are trying to read stories that could be filmed on a tv budget, why do we have more chicken-nugget-on-head aliens? It's a comic, you can be as creative as you like!
Yeah, why have a chicken nugget when you can have a giant chicken instead like Dr. Chu-Sa of the USS Surak!
That's all well and good, but they should be servicing BOTH markets instead of making the "diehard" fanbase feel like they've been dumped.
This is the same thing that happened with Marvel comics under Jemas and Joey, it happened with nuGalactica, and now it's happening with Trek: the PTB are saying to the fans whose devotion and support MADE Trek the valuable franchise that it is in effect "We don't want you any more...we want the NEW fan...we want the 'mainstream' fan..."
Haven't they heard it's rude (and wrong) to not dance with the date who asked you to the ball?
Well give them some slack, we're being told here that they might include some prime-TOS in the mix still, which in effect is giving something to the Really long term fans, and only abandoning what's left of the bunch of mainstream fans that jumped on with TNG and the gang :P
^They can't be said to be abandoning the TNG-era fans, since the fans aren't buying their TNG-era comics in sufficient numbers for them to be profitable. You can't "abandon" a group that's already gone away on its own.
The general public doesn't go in comic shops. And IDW's comics aren't available on the newsstands. IDW's trade paperbacks are available in bookstores (though my completely unscientific observation is that they're difficult to find on the shelf new, but they are common on the remainder tables), but trade sales are just gravy; if the comics don't sell in the first place, more comics aren't commissioned even if there's a market for the trades. So, Ian, it's diehard comic book readers who are also Star Trek fans that are buying IDW's output. And judging by what they've bought, TNG and DS9 aren't where it's at for them.
I'm bummed out that IDW doesn't wanna try to do Titan as a series. I have to say we artists that want a series should make are own and then see what happens. If IDW does decide to stick with more TOS I won't buy Trek comics from them anymore. I honesly think TOS needs to be put to rest and focus on the movie era alittle and the good old lost era.
I think the other problem is that their approach is out of step with modern comics publishing. They are stories where nothing of consequence happens and there is nothing to keep you reading. Now you can argue that nothing of consequence happens in comics like Batman or Superman, but they at least provide the illusion of change. Even most licensed properties (Buffy, Star Wars, Serenity, Angel etc) now have on-going series or arcs where we can see the characters in new situations, relationships etc.
I don't see anything like that from IDW (maybe it's the terms of their license?) and their 'lost episode' approach doesn't seem to appeal to most.
Ok, wrong phrasing, but their TNG has been at the poorer end of what they put out, it's no wonder it doesn't sell. So perhaps it would be better to say they've let down TNG fans to such an extent that they can't even find a market with them anymore.
Yeah-- Intelligence Gathering is still IDW's third-best selling mini, and the tNG-centric Countdown is first. There plainly are a lot of tNG fans who buy comics.
^Well, Countdown is the top seller because it was heavily promoted as a direct prequel to the movie, not because it was TNG-centric. No other IDW title, TNG or otherwise, has sold anywhere near as well.
Buffy, Serenity, and Angel are being written by or under the auspices of the creative rights holder, who can approve dramatic shifts of the status quo. Star Wars mostly concerns itself with the EU, well away from anything that Lucas might be doing.
Trek, however, is firmly caught in the "protect the franchise" trap. The main characters have complete script immunity because of the property owner's desire to "not confuse" readers by allowing them to be killed or permanently changed in any way whatsoever.
That's why the EU is the way to go in Trek. Create NEW characters that don't have to be preserved for the sake of the "franchise". Hell, write a story where NONE of the characters we are introduced to at the beginning are still alive at the end of it.
That's why I prefer, frankly, Vanguard (and did prefer New Frontiers before Peter went off the rails stylistically)...there is legitimate risk, and therefore legitimate drama. I DON'T know what will happen to the heroes next, because they don't have script immunity.
Exactly, hence the trades.
Well, I can only speak for Australia but, here in Oz, a new local distributor, Wilkinson Publishing, has just bought the rights to distribute (reprint?) IDW trades in our regular bookshops:
They have been servicing both markets. They had actually held off on buying the DS9 license because IDW was concerned it might not be viable. When they did risk it and do a DS9 mini-series, it seems they were disappointed in the eventual sales. There's been lots of IDW TOS and TNG stuff, just none of the stories have been to your liking, I guess. The "Spotlight on..." one-shots have been (mostly) great. The Byrne stuff has been critically acclaimed.
This type of thing is cyclic. They've been giving us lots of TOS, TNG and JJ spin-offs, but only the JJ stuff has sold gangbusters. So they'll supposedly concentrate on the JJ stuff for a while.
But no one's been officially "dumped" yet, have they? It's doubtful they'll be doing JJ sequels yet if Pocket Books can't play in that sandbox yet, and surely IDW's writers have mined the prequels to the first JJ movie by now. Perhaps IDW don't plan to renew their TOS, TNG and DS9 licenses next time the contract is up? If they do renew, then they'll do more for those series. If they don't, those licenses are available for other comic publishers to pick up. If they believe there's a viable market.
Maybe Andy Mangels, Tim Russ and others from here could start a new independent line and buy a "Titan" license?
But clearly at least a degree of that is allowed in the books (for example,
Spoiler: Recent TNG spoilers
Picard becoming a father
so I'm not sure why they can't or will not do that in the comics?
I think this is partly true, although I enjoy seeing stories about the characters I love. You can mitigate against this problem by introducing a strong recurring supporting cast instead of just focusing just on the TV shows' leads. Lower Decks was a fun TNG episode for example I wouldn't have minded seeing those characters again and again.
I think TOS suffers more because of the tendency only to explore Kirk/Spock/McCoy alongside [insert guest character here]. I'm enjoying the McCoy stories, although they are too short, fluffy, and inconsequential for me to be really wowed by them.
I'd still be a fan of a series doing a serious examination of the second 5 year mission with an ongoing plot arc and multi-issue missions. I realise that the uniforms aren't popular but look at the Rec Deck scene to see how many characters you have to work with in addition to the 9 recurring characters. I'm even trying a fan fiction story where the overreaching arc is about returnees restored by V'ger so that I could add Decker and Ilia back into the mix.
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