Questions to Mr Andrew Steven Harris

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Questions to Mr Andrew Steven Harris

Postby GustavoLeao » Mon Sep 03, 2007 3:31 pm

Andrew, I already made the following questions to editors Dan Taylor and Chris Ryall and the answers were posted at TrekWeb

http://trekweb.com/stories.php?aid=45cd024ab4f40

Now, I wish to submit these questions about IDW's Star Trek line to you. Here they are :

1-The Marvel series (and specially Early Voyages) has ignored the Pocket Books novels events because they are not "canon". What about IDW ?

2-Why noy use comics creators like Peter David, Jerome Moore or Mike Collins who are not only fan favorites, but are very familiar with the franchise ? A New Frontier mini series by David would be very welcomed.

3-Do you plan to adapt the William Shatner novels like DC Comics did with the Ashes of Eden Graphic Novel in 1995 ?

4-Regarding the post-Nemesis controversy, since Pocket Books is now publishing their new post-Nemesis novels, what about a post-Nemesis comics ?

5-Any chances of a TOS series featuring Captain Christopher Pike and his crew ?

6-IDW got comics legend John Byrne to do the Romulan issue of Alien Spotlight ? How about a TOS or TNG mini-series from Byrne ?

Thank you,

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Re: Questions to Mr Andrew Steven Harris

Postby Andrew Steven Harris » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:51 pm

GustavoLeao wrote:Andrew, I already made the following questions to editors Dan Taylor and Chris Ryall and the answers were posted at TrekWeb

http://trekweb.com/stories.php?aid=45cd024ab4f40

Now, I wish to submit these questions about IDW's Star Trek line to you.

Okay, I'll do my best to answer as many of these as I can:

GustavoLeao wrote:1-The Marvel series (and specially Early Voyages) has ignored the Pocket Books novels events because they are not "canon". What about IDW ?

We're not specifically planning on spinning stories out of the Pocket Books stuff, mostly because we're primarily interested in telling our own stories. All of our material will be compatible with official canon, but compatibility with non-official canon is another matter entirely. For one thing, there's just an enormous amount of it: Are our writers and editors really going to read every ST books out there, and then meticulously conform our stories to the contents of every single published page?

That wouldn't improve the quality of our storytelling, it would dismantle it -- spending hours upon hours fact-checking against every Trek book, all for the sole purpose of actually limiting the stories we want to tell, and for the sole benefit of those number of our readers who had also read all of the Trek novels and actually remember each particular event. Attempting to conform our material to every single non-canon story out there is really not desirable, and probably not even possible. Continuity with non-canon sources is most certainly a virtue, but it's not the only virtue.

The second problem with attempting to conform to all of the non-canon material is that some of the material already contradicts itself. As you pointed out, the Marvel Comics titles ignored the Pocket Books events; so which one do we follow? You seem to feel that the Pocket Books are more authentic -- and that's a perfectly legitimate view -- but, at the same time, someone else might feel that as a fellow comics publisher, IDW should regard the Marvel issues as more quasi-canonical; and that's ALSO a perfectly legitimate view. So... which one do we pick?

There's no really good answer for that, and no way to please everybody, other than simply working hard to tell the best stories that we can. We try to comport with all sorts of non-canon continuity whenever possible, and we never go out of our way to intentionally invalidate someone else's story; but if non-canon continuity paradoxes occur, well -- that's just what happens sometimes when you use the warp drive.

GustavoLeao wrote:2-Why noy use comics creators like Peter David, Jerome Moore or Mike Collins who are not only fan favorites, but are very familiar with the franchise ? A New Frontier mini series by David would be very welcomed.

Hmmm.

GustavoLeao wrote:3-Do you plan to adapt the William Shatner novels like DC Comics did with the Ashes of Eden Graphic Novel in 1995 ?

No plans at this time, since right now we're interested in telling our own stories. Of course, like any plans, they're subject to change, so don't discount the possibility entirely, but don't look for it in the immediate future.

GustavoLeao wrote:4-Regarding the post-Nemesis controversy, since Pocket Books is now publishing their new post-Nemesis novels, what about a post-Nemesis comics ?

I suppose that's a greater possibility than question #3, and I have plans to raise the subject with some of the higher-level decision-makers here and elsewhere. I have, in another topic, posted what I see as some of the potential obstacles to it, though it's still something I'd personally love to do.

GustavoLeao wrote:5-Any chances of a TOS series featuring Captain Christopher Pike and his crew ?

Hmmm.

GustavoLeao wrote:6-IDW got comics legend John Byrne to do the Romulan issue of Alien Spotlight ? How about a TOS or TNG mini-series from Byrne ?

That would be awesome, but it's probably not in the cards. John has been a big-time Trek fan for years, but for a long time he's also been open about the fact that he doesn't enjoy drawing books with likenesses in them. (Of course, he easily has the skill for it, just not the creative desire.) The Aliens Spotlight titles, being fairly unusual among ST comics, finally gave John the chance to draw a Trek book without having to worry about the approval hassles, etc., that sometimes go along with actor likenesses.

Okay, hope all that helps!
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Thank you

Postby GustavoLeao » Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:24 pm

Thank you very very much for your answers, Andrew. Great stuff. I hope you live long and prosper as IDW Star Trek editor.

I posted your answers at TrekWeb at

http://trekweb.com/articles/2007/09/03/ ... rris.shtml

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Re: Questions to Mr Andrew Steven Harris

Postby Ro-Dan » Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:12 pm

Andrew Steven Harris wrote:All of our material will be compatible with official canon, but compatibility with non-official canon is another matter entirely. For one thing, there's just an enormous amount of it: Are our writers and editors really going to read every ST books out there, and then meticulously conform our stories to the contents of every single published page?

That wouldn't improve the quality of our storytelling, it would dismantle it...
I agree with this stance. I don't read any of the Star Trek novels and am not really interested in a Trek version of an "expanded universe". IDW sticking with established TV and film canon is all that matters to me.


Andrew Steven Harris wrote:
GustavoLeao wrote:5-Any chances of a TOS series featuring Captain Christopher Pike and his crew ?

Hmmm.
Let's hope that "Hmmm" turns into a "YES!" sometime in the near future.

Excellent questions, Gustavo! I'm glad you threw in that Christopher Pike question too. Above all, I'd love to see a mini-series featuring the crew from "The Cage"
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Postby 8of5 » Tue Sep 04, 2007 3:13 am

*waves flag for Pike and crew comics*

I want Pike comics more than just about anything else in the Trekverse. There's a decade of Trek history there that has barely been touched by anyone. There's so much potential for stories and expansion of the trekverse, and without having to worry about butting heads with other stories, be they the single canon story from that era or the handful of comics and novels.
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Re: Questions to Mr Andrew Steven Harris

Postby Beachcomber » Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:54 pm

Andrew Steven Harris wrote:Hmmm.

I see your master has trained you well...

;)
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The Adventures of Captain Pike

Postby GustavoLeao » Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:23 am

Andrew, thank you for the "hmmmm". I am really excited at the possibility of IDW doing a TOS mini-series set in a time before James T. Kirk becames the captain of the Enterprise. A storyline featuring Captain Robert April, Captain Christopher Pike, a young Lt. Spock and even Jim Kirk's dad, Commander George Samuel Kirk.

I was a big fan of Marvel's Star Trek Early Voyages and also the Robert April novels by Diane Carey, but I think there still a lot to learn about the early adventures of the USS Enterprise.

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Re: Questions to Mr Andrew Steven Harris

Postby 8of5 » Thu Sep 06, 2007 1:12 am

Andrew Steven Harris wrote:
GustavoLeao wrote:1-The Marvel series (and specially Early Voyages) has ignored the Pocket Books novels events because they are not "canon". What about IDW ?

We're not specifically planning on spinning stories out of the Pocket Books stuff, mostly because we're primarily interested in telling our own stories. All of our material will be compatible with official canon, but compatibility with non-official canon is another matter entirely. For one thing, there's just an enormous amount of it: Are our writers and editors really going to read every ST books out there, and then meticulously conform our stories to the contents of every single published page?

That wouldn't improve the quality of our storytelling, it would dismantle it -- spending hours upon hours fact-checking against every Trek book, all for the sole purpose of actually limiting the stories we want to tell, and for the sole benefit of those number of our readers who had also read all of the Trek novels and actually remember each particular event. Attempting to conform our material to every single non-canon story out there is really not desirable, and probably not even possible. Continuity with non-canon sources is most certainly a virtue, but it's not the only virtue.

The second problem with attempting to conform to all of the non-canon material is that some of the material already contradicts itself. As you pointed out, the Marvel Comics titles ignored the Pocket Books events; so which one do we follow? You seem to feel that the Pocket Books are more authentic -- and that's a perfectly legitimate view -- but, at the same time, someone else might feel that as a fellow comics publisher, IDW should regard the Marvel issues as more quasi-canonical; and that's ALSO a perfectly legitimate view. So... which one do we pick?

There's no really good answer for that, and no way to please everybody, other than simply working hard to tell the best stories that we can. We try to comport with all sorts of non-canon continuity whenever possible, and we never go out of our way to intentionally invalidate someone else's story; but if non-canon continuity paradoxes occur, well -- that's just what happens sometimes when you use the warp drive.


Gustavo I find your question rather odd. You phrase it as if Marvel was out to ignore Pocket as much as they could where as the basic fact of it is none of the comics Marvel did crossed over with any Pocket output and if there were any contradictions they were very minor. And indeed in the time since then Pocket has integrated many elements of marvels comics into the "pocketverse", including of course Moves-With-Burning-Grace from Early Voyages which you seem to think has so notably contradicted Pocket's book.

Andrew, no one in there right mind would expect you to conform with every novel ever published. Heck, Pocket don't with the earlier more outdated ones. But if you are planning to post-Nemesis TNG, or post-What You Leave Behind DS9 comics, you'd be well served to embrace the work Pocket has already done in that era rather than setting up a whole other continuity.

The last Trek comics publisher Wildstorm worked with Pocket on two miniseries set after DS9 which work with Pocket's books in that time. Many of Wildstorm's writers were/are also authors for Pocket. If for instance you ever fancied doing a Titan series, I would hope you could find the time to look through the three whole novels Pocket have already done, I would hope you'd use the design for the Titan design Pocket got from it's competition, and I would think it a pretty good idea for you to use Andy Mangels and Michael A Martin, who have written Trek comics for Marvel and Wildtorm, and Titan novels. But I would also hope you IDW would add something wholly new and orginal to the Titan series.

Outside of places where you're stepping on Pocket's toes you could go bananas with stand alone stuff like you already have and like Wildstorm and Marvel did before.
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Postby GustavoLeao » Thu Sep 06, 2007 4:46 pm

8of5, thanks for the info on the Marvel / Pocket Book relationship. I really was not aware about some of those facts. You know, I am biased when the subject is Star Trek novels and my question did not help the controversy.

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Re: Questions to Mr Andrew Steven Harris

Postby Trek » Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:14 am

Andrew Steven Harris wrote:
GustavoLeao wrote:1-The Marvel series (and specially Early Voyages) has ignored the Pocket Books novels events because they are not "canon". What about IDW ?

We're not specifically planning on spinning stories out of the Pocket Books stuff, mostly because we're primarily interested in telling our own stories. All of our material will be compatible with official canon, but compatibility with non-official canon is another matter entirely. For one thing, there's just an enormous amount of it: Are our writers and editors really going to read every ST books out there, and then meticulously conform our stories to the contents of every single published page?

That wouldn't improve the quality of our storytelling, it would dismantle it -- spending hours upon hours fact-checking against every Trek book, all for the sole purpose of actually limiting the stories we want to tell, and for the sole benefit of those number of our readers who had also read all of the Trek novels and actually remember each particular event. Attempting to conform our material to every single non-canon story out there is really not desirable, and probably not even possible. Continuity with non-canon sources is most certainly a virtue, but it's not the only virtue.

The second problem with attempting to conform to all of the non-canon material is that some of the material already contradicts itself. As you pointed out, the Marvel Comics titles ignored the Pocket Books events; so which one do we follow? You seem to feel that the Pocket Books are more authentic -- and that's a perfectly legitimate view -- but, at the same time, someone else might feel that as a fellow comics publisher, IDW should regard the Marvel issues as more quasi-canonical; and that's ALSO a perfectly legitimate view. So... which one do we pick?

There's no really good answer for that, and no way to please everybody, other than simply working hard to tell the best stories that we can. We try to comport with all sorts of non-canon continuity whenever possible, and we never go out of our way to intentionally invalidate someone else's story; but if non-canon continuity paradoxes occur, well -- that's just what happens sometimes when you use the warp drive.


I understand the reasoning behind not conforming to every Trek book (hell even the the Trek books don't do this), but I really would like to see the expanded universe stuff used. I'd love to see comics based on the Post Season 7 Deep Space Nine Relaunch, Star Trek: Titan, Star Trek: Vangard or Star Trek: New Frontier.
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