Sunday, November 22, 2015

British Star Trek strips to be reprinted in 2016

Just a heads up for any of you who may have missed the news on Down The Tubes last week. Next year, American publisher IDW is to publish collections of the UK Star Trek strips that appeared in British comics almost 50 years ago.

Volume 1 of Star Trek: The Classic UK Comics will contain all of the Star Trek stories that appeared in Joe 90 Top Secret in 1969 and the strips that appeared in the merged TV21 and Joe 90 in 1969 to 1970. (Volume 2 will presumably reprint the strips from Valiant and TV21 from 1971 to 1973.) 
The first UK Star Trek strip from JOE 90 No.1 (1969).

A number of top British artists worked on the strip, including Harry Lindfield, Mike Noble, and Harold Johns. IDW have a great reputation for producing books of high quality so I'm sure we'll be in for a treat. 

Readers need to bear in mind that the the storylines and dialogue of the UK Star Trek strips are very much in the tradition of British adventure comics of the time. For example, Mr.Spock tends to be far more hot-headed in the strips, and the characters don't always 'sound' like their TV versions. The first two episodes (from Joe 90 Nos.1 and 2) even call the lead character Captain Kurt! It'll be interesting to see how American readers react to these stories but hopefully they'll accept them as the fast-paced fun strips they were intended to be. 

To read more about the project, see John Freeman's Down the Tubes website here:

(All the scans above are from my collection, not from the book.)


benpeter johnson said...

This and the previous Dan Dare post:
I assume the artists penciled and used something like watercolours or poster paints and then inked as a final part of the process. But what methods did they use to print? The colours and shades are so subtle for old style magazines.

Lew Stringer said...

Although most comics were on cheap newsprint back then, some such as Tv21, Eagle, Joe 90, were printed photogravure which allowed for the reproduction of painted artwork.

Manic Man said...

IDW are good for reprint books. for new stuff? I have no love for the company.. but while they are sometimes a bit pricey, they do good reprints of old stuff so I can't fault them for that..

some of the Old Star Trek UK strips were a bit iffy on lack of reference Photos and such, but solid enough work. I wonder if they will do volume 2 as you guessed. or 'volume 2 and volume 3' ^_^. depends on how well it sells I guess.

Lew Stringer said...

I imagine they've already mapped out how many Star Trek books they're doing. Yes, it's likely to be three or four as each year would be at least 100 pages. I think they'll sell ok. If the golden age newspaper strip books that IDW do can make a profit I'm sure Star Trek will.

IDW have done some excellent books; the Superman Sundsy strips, Dick Tracy, Rip Kirby, the horror books with Craig Yoe, etc, so I'm expecting the Star Trek ones will have the same high standards.

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