Enterprising Young Crew…
Fans of the backstories of their favorite Star Trek characters will be thrilled to learn of IDW Publishing’s just announced Star Trek: Starfleet Academy mini-series.
Slated for launch in December 2015, IDW says the Star Trek: Starfleet Academy books will not only tell the school days tales of Kirk, Spock and Uhura, but will also offer an adventure that ties in the “current” crop of cadets from everywhere in the galaxy.
IDW editor Sarah Gaydos likens the stories to those of Harry Potter’s Hogworts days, as well as the young X-Men’s tutledge under Professor Xavier, and they are suggested as a good entry point for new readers. The 2009 movie reboot has already shown us Cadet Kirk could be quite a problem child, so I expect lots of rule breaking and some detention in the offing. Maybe even an intergalactic “breakfast club.”
Mike Johnson and Ryan Parrot will write the series with Derek Charm handling the artwork. Johnson, Charm and Gaydos will be part of a panel discussion at SDCC on July 10 at 4pm with plenty more to relate about this series and other IDW projects. Walt Disney fans will also want to check the IDW booth (#2743) schedule for when Charm is signing convention exclusives of his Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse issues.
Silver Anniversary Reflections…
The academy series will launch right on the heels of IDW’s 50thStar Trek issue that promises to be loaded with special content, and begins a three parter that brings the plot line of the classic TV episode “Mirror/Mirror” (Oct 1966) into the new ST universe.
Writer: Eric Shanower
Artist: Gabriel Rodriguez
Colorist: Nelson Dániel
Lettering/Collection Design: Robbie Robbins
Editing: Chris Ryall & Scott Dunbier
Release Date: June 17, 2015
Sweet Dreams ’til Sunbeams Find You…
As namesake of a famous Disney character AND coincidentally the best ever playmate of the Princess of Slumberland young James Nemo Summerton finds himself spirited into a series of nightly adventures when summoned to replace the original Little Nemo. This IDW Publishing release compiles the first four issues of Little Nemo: Return To Slumberland (begun in August 2014) into a single 88 page, digest-sized (6” X 9”), full color trade paperback.
Like Alice in Wonderland, Nemo enters a topsy turvy dream terrain where the laws of daytime physics do not apply. It’s the deftly drawn and daftly scripted handling of the premise that made cartoonist and writer Winsor McCay’s character so popular from its beginning in the pages of the New York Herald in 1905. A bold draftsman McCay often broke the fourth wall in his cartoon strips (Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend) and even went so far as to destroy the panel frames in his classic Little Sammy Sneeze. Stars Fading But I Linger On…
Sharing creative duties on Return To Slumberland are writer Eric Shanower and artist Gabriel Rodriguez. Return To Slumberland represents a new series of stories which contemporize the lead character but do not lack the visual grandiosity or inventiveness of the McCay strip. Slumberland’s architecture remains rooted in McCay’s homage to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition (AKA Chicago World’s Fair) and fin de siecleLuna Park of Brooklyn’s Coney Island. Each panel is absolutely spectacular in detail and vibrant coloring (by Nelson Dániel), not only honoring the stylized work of McCay but later 20th Century work by Max Fleisher and Maxfield Parrish. Escapades in the “tessellated tower” give Rodriguez a chance to render his best M. C. Escher inspired dreamscapes. At one point our adventurers find themselves in a lake of india ink surrounded by dip pen spires and stacks of paper that I believe are a whimsical wink to the thousands of individually drawn pages McCay created for his early animated opuses, including Gertie The Dinosaur (1914). SkeletonPete Says…
This all-ages, Eisner Award nominated, book will be enjoyed by those who are read to, as well as those who read it to them. I believe it will be a keeper in any library and returned to often over years.
Little Nemo: Return To Slumberland is also a really wonderful way to introduce youngsters to the rich heritage of the graphic novel, fantasy art from Gustave Doré through Frank Frazetta, and a jumping off point to explore early cartoon animation. Go find Gertie the Dinosaur on YouTube, I had to buy it on 8mm reel.
The story’s updating has the added benefit of eschewing the extremely unfortunate sexist and ethnic characitures that, while “of their times,” mar some of the original strips for a modern audience. That said, those collectors who become enchanted by the little dreamer might avail themselves of Winsor McCay: The Complete Little Nemo the entire run of 549 strips in full color as a gigantic magnum opus from Taschen Publishing.