Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Marvel's ST:TMP comic adaptation

(Click on images to view full-size.)

In 1979, Marvel published their comic adaptation of the new movie, and it was a major item for me when I found it at the corner convenience store near our home in Savannah, GA. Bob Larkin's fantastic painting emulated and updated the famous James Bama original promo art for the TV series (posted below for comparison), and I've wished for a poster of the art ever since.



Below is the title page artwork...
And below is a page scanned in from a scene deleted from the film, where Kirk follows Spock into the memory core of V'Ger and has to be rescued. Since it was put together from only a script and stills, the artists had not seen the film when drawing the adaptation, so there is a disconnect whenever a scene was depicted that required effects from the film. The movie's visual effects had been finished only at the last minute, so the artists had nothing to go on for those many scenes but script notes.

Bonus Stuff : Below is an ad scanned from a December 1977 issue of the Miami Herald. Nimoy had to do something to pay the mortgage, the movie was still several years away!


And next we have a black and white glossy photo from the old scrapbook. I had gotten this from a newspaper presskit (passed along to me by the Entertainment Editor who knew I was a fan), to help promote the series as it ran in syndication in the mid-70's.

And we have below another drawing by me... this was done in pen and ink, a little larger than life-size, as part of a quickly-done banner used for something in the high school cafeteria. My goal had been to capture the likeness with the fewest possible lines drawn. When they were done with it, I cut out the section with the Spock drawing to save.

It was 1974, I was in the 10th grade in South Broward H.S. in Ft. Lauderdale, FL at the time, and I saved my lunch money in order to buy books from the school bookstore (further contributing to my skinniness). I would order paperbacks through the kindly lady there, and that's where I first got my copies of "The Making of Star Trek," "The World of Star Trek," and "The Trouble With Tribbles" making-of book. I was in hog heaven reading them, truly! It's hard to express just how much these books meant to me at the time, and even today when I take those same copies out of my collection case, they take me back to those times.

17 comments:

Jay said...

Another excellent post today, sir. I am kicking myself even now for this - I have literally had that comic book for thirty years and I *never* realized that the cover was an homage to that early piece of Star Trek promotional art, and when you put the two together it so clearly is. *How* cool. I think it was used as the cover for the first James Blish volume of episode adaptions, yes? Kudos to Mr. Larkin for such an insightful choice!

That Marvel series was a bit of a mess, story-wise and art-wise, ut there were some interesting bits here and there. I believe it ran less than twenty issues. Speaking of the "super special" movie adaption, do you remember the section at the end? A few articles with several pictures of the background aliens from the movie? I remember being six years old and completely fascinated looking at those alien make-ups, and the same for the similar photos in the Topps trading card set. I still think its a shame that none of those creations were resurrected for the subsequent series. Even the Deltans have made barely a ripple in Latter-Day Star Trek.

Another very nice piece of art, btw, and a good likeness of Mr. Nimoy. What a great face!

Also, if any readers would like to contract me for modeling in any pager print ads, I am available :)

Frederick said...

Jay,

Thanks for the kind words! This blogging effort is kind of like pulling up a couple of seats in front of one of the collection cabinets and going through some stuff with a friend each day. Fun!

The Marvel series that started after the adaptation was limited, but it was still exciting to me at the time. I got every issue, and except for a couple they were pretty readable. Although they couldn't draw upon anything from the old show, only from the movie, they did manage to sneak in some plots based on the then-new ST Spaceflight Chronology, such as the disasterous early transporter experiments.

I was looking at the photo section last night as I was scanning in these pages and considered adding them to this post, but it was getting late and I ran out of time. They were great to see back then, though and I know they made a big impression on you at six!

J.A. Morris said...

Thanks for posting this!
I was just talking to my wife this morning about how frustrating the Marvel series was,being only allowed to use stuff from the movie. The other problem I had was the ST:TMP uniforms. I always thought they were dull,compared to the red/blue/yellow from the series.
I liked the first two original stories with the haunted planet, didn't get into the rest of the series.

I stumbled on this site a couple weeks back,I love it, great blog.

J.A. Morris said...

I meant to mention this in my previous post, I found this site while looking for a 'National Lampoon' article, I pulled up your post about 'Detente Trek'.

Frederick said...

J.A.,

So glad to have you aboard, and glad you started commenting!

I almost laughed out loud when I read in your comment about talking to the wife about this morning about this very subject. If I brought up a Star Trek comic from 29 years ago as a topic over breakfast, my wife would look at me like I had lobsters growing out of my ears! Unless you were just making a funny joke for the comments box, your wife must be very special. :)

Mine tolerates the collections and stuff but always says that if I died she would put it all out in boxes by the curb with a "free" sign on it. :(

Jay said...

Well that's just silly. Everyone knows a Star Trek fan would have a lobster growing out of his forehead ;)

As for your wife's post-mortem intentions for your collections, you should preempt her by arranging to have yourself interred with all your treasures, like a pharaoh of Egypt :)

Who says you can't take it with you!

Frederick said...

Jay,

sounds good, but the only problem there is, the masoleum would need to have room for about 40 banana boxes full of stuff!

Right now I'm getting my 4 year grandson interested, so one day he might want to inherit it and enjoy it... what I haven't sold on eBay by that time. I'm almost ready to unload some of these things, if I have to MOVE ONE MORE TIME! *%&#$

J.A. Morris said...

No, that's not a joke. My wife is a big fan, she's read a whole bunch of the Trek novels(I've only read one),seen most of the movies more than times I have.
But she's never read any of the Marvel stories(didn't know they existed until today),so I'll probably dig them out of the long box tonight.

Nick Tierce said...

I love the original promo art for TOS that the Motion Picture adaptation cover was based on. Something really classic about that.

Also, I love seeing the old sketches. The likeness on that Spock is amazing. Great story!

Frederick said...

J.A.,

You, sir, are a lucky man!!

Nick,

I too love that piece of art, "flames from the ship" regardless. That one error was perpetuated endlessly over the years on various products.

The art is special to me particularly since I associate it so intensely with the first James Blish novel, which rocked my little (admittedly narrow and sheltered) world back in 1972.

J.A. Morris said...

Frederick, yes I am very lucky man!

Jay said...

A grandson - how great! That can be a special relationship. I know I think my grandfather hung the moon!

As for the "flames from the ship" aspect of the artwork, although its ridiculously inaccurate from the show's standpoint, I do really like that as it has a pulp quality that harkens back to the sci-fi of the '20s and '30s that I assume GR grew up reading and must have influenced the series in its infancy. I love the early Bantam novel covers for the same reason. Its fun to see the Enterprise crew in that rocketship, ray gun, and bug-eyed monster context.

Nick Tierce said...

Here's a ST09 version of that art:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v417/GarySeven/ST09retro.jpg

Frederick said...

Nick,

Great find! As soon as I get more details on it I'll post it in an entry.

I was thinking just today, that I wish someone would do that! Although a photoshop rather than a painting as I was thinking of, it's really what I had in my mind!

Thanks for the heads-up and link!!!

J.A. Morris said...

This is not a Larkin drawing or homage, but I thought it was a cool Trek drawing:
http://tinyurl.com/pv74wd

CMX said...

Wow...that's just bizarre! LOL

Nick Tierce said...

Frederick,
No need to hunt for details ... I made the image! Feel free to post wherever you see fit.