Friday, January 28, 2011

"Dr. Spock" Probes Unknown

This article, clipped by me sometime in 1977 from the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel (I didn't preserve the date), was difficult to scan by virtue of the fact the the first column ran pretty much the length of the newspaper page, meaning I had to scan it in three parts and photoshop it back together. Poor layout, methinks. But the worst thing about it is that whoever added the headline made the tired old "Dr. Spock" mistake. Come ON, people! Poor Leonard must have been so very, very tired of this happening. I added the photos to take up the empty space left when I clipped the article from the paper.
(Click images to enlarge.)
Below is a funny comic panel from fanzine "Enterprise Incidents"(#6, September 1978) that illustrates the frustration that Nimoy (and Mr. Spock) must have felt over the mistake! Another thing that used to get under my skin, and was certain to elicit a quick (and snarky) correction from me, was someone calling the show "Star Track."

Too late the poor schlub learned that Vulcans can turn violent with little provocation under certain circumstances.

Bonus: Below, a nice publicity photo of Nimoy as "They Call Me MISTER Spock" from Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan."

"Did... you just call me... DR. Spock? Because unless my ears deceived me, you did. And these ears do not lie."

Bonus #2: A verra nize b&w publicity photo of Kirk and Spock from the glory days of the original series. This is one of my favorite shots of them together, for the memories it brings back to me. Scanned from the same issue of "Enterprise Incidents" as the cartoon above.

Kirk and Spock commemorated their friendship with a visit to their Sears photography department.

And, because I'm in a generous mood today, yet another bonus below, this time a great pen and ink by Ralph Fowler (see his tag link for more) from -again- the same issue of E.I. I love this guy's work, and wish I could hear from him!

I used to wonder occasionally, upon hearing an ignorant person use the "Dr." title for Spock, if the actual Dr. Spock ever got tired of dealing with kids asking him where his pointed ears were. One can only hope.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Monster Times #2 Article: Writing Star Trek Comics

Anyone reading this blog for long knows of my affection for "The Monster Times," a newspaper-format monster magazine that was little-remembered by most, but fondly by those that found it. I picked my first issue up in 1973, and it really fanned the flames of the fire that had begun in my pre-teen life for Star Trek, and to a lesser degree, Planet of the Apes. Of course, I had loved monsters since I was a tyke, so this publication really hit the spot with its coverage of all these areas. I didn't buy the issue I'm covering this time from the newstand; I found it much later at a genre collectables shop. But I was thrilled to come into possession of it, as it had been one I had wanted since seeing it in the back-issues ad in TMT itself years before.
I've featured material from issue #2 of TMT before, here and here; but it was so chock full of Trek stuff that it could be awhile before I'm done. This time we feature an article about Star Trek comics, from a well-known writer that contributed stories to the Gold Key version; Len Wein.
(Click on images to enlarge.)
Although the Gold Key comics were my first Star Trek item ever purchased, and really, my entry point into fandom, I never really cared for the art or the stories; I could tell even at that early stage in my appreciation for the show, that the comics really didn't reflect it very well. They still have a nostalgic attraction for me, however, and I enjoy my old issues that bring back good memories. In this article we find out how one man swam against the tide to try and correct come of the most glaring departures from the show, and bring up the level of the writing as well.
The pages from the British comic strip were the highlight of the article for me, boasting as it did superior art and much more accurate depictions of the characters (read more about them here). I came across more pages of this comic later when they were reprinted in various convention booklets and such, but never a complete set containing a whole story. The article kicks off with a look at the book that the author used to help bring the Gold Key people in line, and one that holds a wealth of wonderful memories for me as well; "The Making of Star Trek." Never have I been more excited to get a book than when I did that one!
And, as a bonus, below we feature another item from the same issue, the photo-story parody "Star Drek." It actually uses a couple of publicity photos I've not seen anywhere else, before or since; the cowering Uhura and the Tellarite in the Jeffries tube.
As for the photo of Uhura recoiling in fear against the wall, this is another example of the sexism rampant during the time. I didn't mind the sexism as expressed in the mini-skirts... but what if you had photographed a male crewman cowering in fear the same way?Yet to them at the time it seemed a natural thing.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

DC 25th Anniversary Comic Issue

Today we look at the cover and inside bonus material from the 25th Anniversary issue of DC comic's Star Trek comic. The 25th Anniversary of Trek in 1991 yielded a lot of material for fans, and the text and art tributes by various writers and artists in this comic are nice. Enjoy the ones I have picked to share! First the nicely-done cover art, illustrating the interior story which concerns Harry Mudd. The story art is extremely well done, also.

(Click on images to enlarge.)

Next, below are two pages with tributes by Chris Claremont, award-winning comic book writer and novelist; and author Michael Jan Friedman.

Claremont wondered about a new show 20 years hence from 1991... but it didn't take that long to see another show based on Star Trek!

Next we have reflections by fan favorite author Peter David, and writer Howard Weinstein, who penned an animated series script, "The Pirates Of Orion."

And below we see some of the special art in the back of the comic by various artists.

Friday, January 21, 2011

1989 Newspaper Article On Star Trek Fans

When you have such dedicated fans like Star Trek has inspired, sometimes the media focus goes from the show to the followers; after all, they are fun to write about. This time I'm bringing out an old article from the Friday, June 23, 1989 edition of the Charleston Gazette about the members of the local fan club in nearby Huntington, West Virginia, which I lived near at the time. This one had to be scanned in three sections then photoshopped back together. I hope you appreciate the work. :)

These fans had a lot more guts than I would have, to appear in a newspaper photo in costume. I was more of a closet Trekker, having been forced there of necessity by my step-dad while I was living at home. Even after getting married and out on my own in 1981, very few co-workers or casual acqaintances knew of my interests. But that's not to say I was any less interested than these fans; I simply kept my enjoyment to myself. I did, however, attend a couple of meetings of their club, and a convention in Charleston where Walter Koenig and Marina Sirtis were the guest stars. Star Trek: The Next Generation had premiered in 1987 and public interest was high.

There are actually two articles on the front page, and they are continued on separate pages which are posted under it; one focused on the franchise, and the other on the fans.

It would be so easy to poke fun at these un-self-conscious fans, but we're all in the same boat. If they were Star Wars fans, now, that would be different. We could laugh then.

I bet getting the lady in the wheelchair in place for the photo at the local strip mining site was difficult. If you are one of the fans in the photo, or were a part of the Huntington or Charleston fan club, and merely even lived in the area and remember the activity, leave a comment, I'd like to hear from you!

I can certainly relate to the quoted fan Jonathan Jones, who, according to the article, moved to WV from Florida, which was also my case exactly. I strongly echoed his sentiment that "West Virginia is Star Trek hell." Which meant that finding material there was a real challenge. Fans had to stick together, because collectable items were almost impossible to find.

Below, one of the movie ads that ran in the same edition of the newspaper; from them we can see that the article above was probably ran to coincide with the release of the fifth movie. Also out that week were "Batman," and "Honey, I Shrunk The Kids." The ads for those can be seen along with many others from my collection at the blog "Held Over!" at

Bonus: Below, cover art by one of my favorite genre artists, Bob Larkin. This was the cover for the 1982 Marvel comics paperback collection of issues from their monthly comic series. His covers were not only faithful to the characters, costumes and settings, but were always dynamic and colorful.

An alien, having determined the human's weaknesses, used the music of historical villain Britney Spears to incapacitate the crew.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Star Trek Giant Poster Magazine #3

There were two publications that came out in the 70's that really were incredible to find back then... the Star Trek Fotonovels (which came out in 1977, and which we'll tackle soon) and the Giant Poster Magazine. Finding a new edition of either of these on the newstand was a major event in my little world!

I've posted the complete scans of issues #1 and #2 of the poster magazine, and will continue to feature them occasionally until they are all covered. This time we look at issue #3, (published in October of 1976) devoted to covering the more humorous aspects of the show. First, the cover... unusual for the fact that his uniform tunic appears purple rather than blue. This is probably because a colored gel was being used on one of the lights illuminating the scene.
(Click on images to enlarge.)

As always, I scan these pages in sections and then photoshop them back together, which is why the posts of the various issues are spaced apart as they are. It's a big job! If you had these issues, but don't any more, these posts will restore them to you, in a manner of speaking, and refresh your memories of them. If you missed them, they will be new to you! And if you still have them, but haven't looked at them in awhile, the posts will save wear and tear on your issues.

Next, the two pages that it opened up to first; one featuring images from the blooper reel, and the other the rules for playing the game Fizzbin, made up by the captain on the spot to confuse and distract the guards in "A Piece of the Action."

Next, page three, which was twice as large as the previous page, when the magazine was opened up further. A nice writeup on the most famous episode, "The Trouble With Tribbles."

Below, page 4, from the opposite side of the page above; on the inside fold. A nice look at the humor of Star Trek, much of which came from Dr. McCoy.

And then there's the back cover, interesting because of the ads for the two exciting items, the Tech Manual and the Blueprints. Take the trivia quiz if you think you know Star Trek! Answers given next issue.

Bonus: Below, a contributed item from a reader! Although I primarily featured material from my own collection (hence the "my" in "My Star Trek Scrapbook") I have decided to share material sent in by readers, if, of course, I don't already have that item. This time, we have a real rarity; a movie magazine page featuring DeForest Kelly way before his role on Star Trek. Contributor Kristie pointed out that since it mentions his involvement in the then-current film "Variety Girl", that this dates the article to 1947. Bet some of you didn't know his career went back that far! Kristie is an active contributor to a blog dedicated to Kelly, which you should visit! There are some awesome and rare photos of De posted there.

Note: I have begun a Twitter account for those that would like to use it to stay informed when I make posts here. Subscribe at!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Kelly Freas Chekov Portrait

Well, it's been a fun series of posts to do, and this time we look at the last of the portraits painted by Kelly Freas of the Officers of the Bridge. Why is Chekov last? I admit, the order of posting was entirely my own choice, the pictures were not numbered. But in descending order of any list of the bridge crew, poor little Chekov always comes in last. Aside from the fact that he was only added in the second season, Chekov seems to have been the whipping boy of Star Trek, not even showing up in the animated series. Did Freas do him justice in his portrait, though? Let's take a look-see...
(Click on images to enlarge.)

Like his painting of Sulu, Kelly perfectly captures the facial features of Chekov, who actually seems the closest to his 1967 self than any of the others. And oddly enough, whereas most of the others gained longer hair (based as most were on photos of the stars taken at the time, the mid-70's) Pavel's is the same as the series; maybe Freas judged his Monkees haircut shaggy enough already. Nothing added to it for visual interest, as in most of the others, either; a phaser or something would have added a little zing. I would have given it an A+ for character accuracy, but I deduct a bit for the lack of flair here that had been given to the others. But for the very nice starfield background, this would have been somewhat lackluster. Even his expression seems a bit distant and sad; whereas his buddy Sulu looked happy and energetic, Chekov looks lethargic and introspective.

Not surprisingly, painful depression really was inwented in Russia.

Maybe the expression comes honestly... Chekov always seemed to get the crappy end of the stick; a Ceti eel in his ear put there by Khan, an butt-ugly Drill Thrall who wanted to molest him on Triskelion, a plasma-burned hand when V'Ger overloaded their shields, brain injury on an aircraft carrier in Earth's past, shot and "killed" in the Melkotion OK Corral illusion... even his Mirror universe double fared no better, as he end up screaming for hours in the Agonizer Booth. Chekov was famous for screaming in terror and/or torment; that would dial down your enthusiasm level.

Or, perhaps it was taken from a then-contemprary photo reference of Walter Koenig, who probably was depressed at his lack of work after the series, and was forever ambivilent about his typecasting. His interviews and book "Chekov's Enterprise" all bemoaned the fact that he was so underused. The one convention I saw him in, where he was onstage with TNG actress Marina Sirtis, he looked uncomfortable, as if he had been ill, or eaten lunch at Taco Hell. Though, to be fair, I guess years of people asking him to "say 'nuclear wessals!'" would drain the joy from any man. He could probably relate to "Galaxy Quest" more than any others of the cast.

Bonus: Below, the salute to Walter Koenig from Starlog's Trek 20th Anniversary issue #112.

"I wonder... am I helping my career by playing Chekov or hurting it?"

Thanks for sticking with me on this series of posts! Thanks for your comments, also. I love hearing from my readers. Now that you've seen them all, name your favorite!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Kelly Freas Sulu Portrait

For the last five blog entries we have been looking at the Kelly Freas paintings from the "Officers Of The Bridge," as the set was called when it was first premiered in the 1976 New York Star Trek convention booklet. Today we turn the corridor corner and encounter the shirtless sword-and-pec flexing Sulu, and I've gotta say that Kelly outdid himself on this one.
(Click on images to enlarge.)

"Shatner, beware my steel! And check out my abs, your flabby middle cannot compare!"

Looking closer at the face below, highlighting that familiar Takei smile, we see that Kelly simply nails the features on this characterization, and for that reason I have to put this portrait near the top when it comes to accurately capturing the features.

From the swashbuckling sash, which reminds one of the mirror universe (although that was a much deadlier Sulu), to the fencing rapier, Freas seems as though he had fun doing this one, showing Sulu practicing one of his hobbies that makes it more memorable than a pose at his usual station on the bridge. I confess that I would rather have seen Uhura's washboard abs than his... I'm sure, however, that Sulu's fans were thrilled.

This oiled-down and sweaty image brought to you by ""SULU Pour Homme," the cologne for men! Oh-h-h-h, m-y-y-y!

Below we see a publicity still that features Sulu in a similar pose. But for that one scene early in the series ("The Naked Time"), Sulu might never have broken out of the background to become an interesting character. Resisiting the natural impulse to have Sulu stereotypically emulate a samurai, the writer gave him depth and uniqueness by instead having fencing as a hobby, and secretly fancying himself one of the Three Musketeers.


Bonus: As with the other entries, I am pairing the paintings of the characters with the salute to the actor that brought them to life, from the Star Trek 20th Anniversary issue of Starlog, Issue #112, which came out in October of 1986.

And here we see a photo of George, (from the magazine salute) probably one he had taken himself near the time of the 4th movie, that seems to be directly inspired by the Freas painting.

"Give me a ship of my own or suffer the point of my sword!"

Next: From Russia with love!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Kelly Freas Uhura Portrait

So far, in our look at the bridge crew portraits by fantasy/sci-fi artist extraordinaire Kelly Freas, we've seen Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty. Now, fellows, calm your churning hormones, for the post of the Freas portrait we've been most anticipating is here... Lt. Nyota Uhura! Kelly's ethereal style was perfectly suited to portray the galaxy's most beautiful communications officer. As noted by myself and other commenters, the resemblance to the characters was achieved in varying degrees of success. How does Uhura fare? Judge for yourself...
(Click on images to enlarge.)

"She walks in beauty, like the night."

Aside from the non-regulation silver go-go dancer boots, Uhura's portrait turned out pretty well. Although Nichelle's waist was nowhere near that small, her other assets are nicely portrayed. Her graceful hands and the familiar sexy pose that showed off her legs are faithfully reproduced here. But the bodies of the stars were never the issue. Nichelle's striking facial features are captured nicely, considering that, like several of the others, it is not a head shot but a full body painting, which makes faces more challenging to accurately depict, being smaller. The colors of the panel on her board, and the PADD prop add some visual interest as well. The only way it could have been better would have been to depict her in the mirror universe uniform!

"Message coming in, captain... it says I've been voted 'Hottest Starfleet Officer' for the fifth year in a row!"

Bonus: From issue #112 of Starlog magazine, the Trek 20th anniversary issue published in October of 1986, is Nichelle Nichol's salute pages. (I have decided to retroactively add each star's salute pages to the Kelly Freas portrait page of their character, so look back over them in coming days to see each one.)

Uhura doesn't need a phaser to stun you, just a look.

Such a pose from the scene in Star Trek III makes one wish that Nichelle had been given more such opportunities in the original series. She really was, as the only female regular on the bridge, criminally underused. But, considering the times, I suppose we were lucky she was there at all. Today, she would be a co-star, as evidenced by the character's prominence in the 2009 reboot.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Kelly Freas Scotty Portrait

We've recently been looking in detail at the individual paintings that Kelly Freas did in 1976 as part of a set called "Officers of The Bridge." (You can see all the posts, once they are done, by using the "Kelly Freas Art" tag on the right side of the page.) They were originally created for the program booklet (pictured below) for the New York Star Trek convention at the New York Hilton, held Jan 23-25 in 1976, which, besides the portraits, contained cast and crew bios by Ralph and Valerie Carnes.
(Click on images to enlarge.)

This time we are looking at Mr. Scott's portrait, which is one of the most interesting paintings in the set, in that Scotty is decked out in his dress uniform and traditional kilt. He's holding (what is probably) a basket-hilted Claymore, and the face appears to be based on a picture of James Doohan as he appeared at the time, beard and all. The background depicts Montgomery Scott's Scottish heritage, ranging from the ancient Celtic castle to an early pulp sci-fi-style rocket.

There Can Be Only One.

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, and I'll run ye through."
And below we take a closer look at the chiseled visage of our Scotch-loving Scottish engineer, who looks as if a Klingon just insulted his beloved ship. Seriously, you do not want to mess with a man who is holding a sword and has an expression like that. A great piece of artwork, and one of my favorites in the set. I'm betting that this hangs somewhere in the Doohan household.

"Gr-r-r-r-r! The haggis is in th' fire now, fer su-r-r-re."

Update: Reader Rob Bignell submitted a comment with a link to this photo he found online, of Doohan at a convention in 1975. This confirms that the portrait was based on photos of Jimmy at the time, and it's very accurate! Thanks, Rob!

The fan in the photo still has scars from cigarette ash burns on her arm, which she treasures to this day and proudly shows her grandkids.

Below, a scan of a photo from one of my scrapbooks showing the wearin' o' th' kilt, which gives new meaning to the term "dress uniform."

"Mr. Chekov, if you keep insisting that the kilt was "inwented in Russia," Mr. Scott here is most certainly going to deck you."
Bonus: (Updated on 1-13-10) Here is the salute to Doohan from Starlog issue #112, which celebrated Trek's 20th anniversary in October of 1986.

Bonus #2: Below, a writeup from the same issue of Starlog on the location filming of "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home," which shows Jimmy turning on the legendary charm for a bonnie lass visiting the set.

Update: here's a link to a video found online where James Doohan talks about his encounter with a suicidal fan. Quite touching!

Next: the best legs in Starfleet! You know who I'm talking about.