We’re winding-down the year on VisionaryTrek.com and, wow – what a year we’ve had; both – on the site, and – with IDW’s spectacular run. I’ve really gotta hand it to the folks over at IDW for bringing us some of the best Star Trek comics in the history of the franchise. It’s been one great series, after another; and we’re already getting geared-up for 2015. We’re still looking at the finale of The Q Gambit and the TPB of The City on the Edge of Forever, as-well-as, The Primate Directive; which will be a crossover with the classic TOS and The Planet of the Apes. So, it’s looking to be another banner year for us, the loyal readers, and I can’t wait to get going on it!
Over on The Holodeck, Bunny Summers and Michael Clark are going to recap the year, too, and I’ve been invited to pick my favorites for the year. I’m going to add a category to my list: Star Trek Comic of the Year: my pick is the aforementioned The City on the Edge of Forever. Folks, as I’ve said throughout this series’ run, these guys have really outdone themselves. I want to thank Harlan Ellison for letting his story be told, Chris Ryall, for never giving up, and never surrendering, Scott and David Tipton for adapting this brilliantly-written, if-not controversial teleplay to comic book format and JK Woodward for bringing Harlan’s story to life, in the best possible way. It was one of the highlights of the year; plus – again, how truly honored I am to be included within its pages.
Best Story: Parallel Lives – It was fun, original and it kicked-off the ongoing crew’s 5-year mission in a great way. Plus, it opens up new ideas for future issues. I loved the switching of the genders, the humor and story itself. Kudos to Mike Johnson and his team.
Best Art/Artist: JK Woodward for The City on the Edge of Forever. His paintings were just beautiful and he really went above-and-beyond. I am amazed…
Best Cover: (Tied) Joe Corroney’s Lost Apollo #33. It really encapsulates everything great about the ongoing series, and – Star Trek, in-general. Spock was dead-on and I liked the vibrancy of color and detail. Joe just rocks! Paul Shipper’s The City on the Edge of Forever #5. By using Uhura and Bones on the cover (which I loved), Shipper pays homage to the aired episode; while using Rand, he reminds us that she was a pivotal character in this series’ early moments. It was a great cover.
Best Interior: I broke this down into two categories: drawn, and – painted art. Tony Shasteen takes the former, because his work on The Q Gambit has just been phenomenal; plus – he’s working with so many different aspects of Trek: TNG’s Picard, the ongoing movie characters and DS9 – (Sisko and Dukat, people); plus – let us not forget Q, the star of the show. Tony has really just blown-me-away. I’m loving his work, more-and-more, with every new issue. Painted Art goes to JK Woodward, because…my God, his City work is the best he’s done, to-date. I was especially impressed by Lebeque’s drug-addled shift on the Enterprise bridge, the Guardians, Kirk and Spock jumping-back through the vortex, the use of black and white to set the somber mood, during Spock and Kirk’s conversation about Keeler’s ultimate fate, and – damn… Beckwith’s eternal-demise in that supernova was brilliant.!! His detail, likenesses, and depth of feeling in Kirk, Spock and Keeler are just amazing; the look on Edith’s face as she realizes she’s about to die and the anguish on Kirk’s face, at that same moment, is just astonishing work.
Before I go on to the next categories (and, I’m sure Michael, Bunny, Roz and Jon will agree with this), I want to give Joseph Berenato a well-deserved nod from VT, as well. New Life and New Civilizations: Exploring Star Trek Comics has held a special place for us here, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t say, Thank you, to everyone at Sequart for allowing Joe to bring this book to us, so that we can examine Star Trek comic’s nearly 50-years of history, and how the genre has evolved into what it is today. Thanks, also, to its contributors: David Gerrald, Scott Tipton, Julian Darius, Alan J. Porter, Kevin Dilmore, Rich Handley, Jim Beard, Colin Smith, Ian Dawe, Robert ‘Bob’ Greenberger, Tom Mason, Dayton Ward, Keith R. A. DeCandido, Mark Martinez, Martín A. Pérez, Cody Walker and David A. McIntee. Outstanding, guys! Thanks, for mentioning me, and the VT gang, in the introduction; and – for my multi-signed copy, too. Priceless…
Best Convention (Comic Related): Since, I’ve only got FanX and SLCC to go by, and – as I’m part of their press corps, I guess I will just HAVE to be biased, here. I’m sure, those other conventions were great, though…
Best Show Guest: For comics, I’m going with Joe Corroney. He was absolutely terrific; he was exceedingly gracious and humble, always made time to chat and answer questions; plus – he gave me a gift that I will treasure forever. I can’t speak highly-enough about Joe, and I’m honored to call him friend. For Celebrity Guest, I have to go with Vic Mignogna. He was cool-as-hell, got our comic con in Salt Lake City fired-up and he made my day; taking a selfie with me on-stage (while I stood there with my jeans ripped-open and my ass [literally] hanging-out), so I could report back to VT. Mission Accomplished.
I don’t read a lot of comics (other-than Star Trek and Batman, of course), so – for Best Non-Trek Comic, I’m going with The Six Million Dollar Man: Season Six, by James Kuhoric. No, I wasn’t impressed by a lot of the art, (that said, I thank the artists for their efforts); but James managed to take me back to my childhood, to 1976, and his story was everything I hoped for! I was even-able to give James feedback, and he accepted my gripes with courtesy and professional aplomb; plus – I made a new friend in the process. Dude! I loved MASKATRON!! My all-time favorite toy (never-seen on TV, mind), reunited with Col. Steve Austin, Jaime Sommers, Oscar Goldman, Dr. Rudy Wells; and James threw in a slew of familiar faces and references that are iconic to that classic TV series. And, man… Those Alex Ross covers were incredible! I only hope that James can pick up the threads at a later time and give us some [additional] closure to this epic story-arc…
In closing, I just want to say, these were tough choices to make; the caliber and scope of this year’s comics was impressive, to say the least. I applaud all of the folks involved and wish them continued success, as we warp into the next year. I’d like to wish each of You, VT’s valued fans, the very best in holiday greetings, as well. May you all be blessed, and may all of your yuletide traditions be merry and bright. Merry Christmas!
‘Til, next-time, see ya ‘out there…’
Lt. Eric Cone