Monday, January 20, 2014

Day 07 - Jespah's Enterprise

Janet Gershen-Siegel, or Jespah as she usually posts as on forums, has been a mainstay of TrekUnited right back to the beginning and has always pushed the envelope of what we can do. She has been a tireless worker, editing the adult anthologies and bringing her professional experience to spearheading the promotional campaigns that make our work visible to as wide a slice of Star Trek fandom as possible.

This isn't the only reason why I publish her work, although it is absolutely correct that someone who is an active contributor to the work of getting everyone's work out should be shown every consideration to have their own work put out. The fact of the matter is that she is a good author, technically and creatively. She writes imaginative material regularly and at length, exploring different moods and styles, she blogs on a wide variety of subjects as well as writing and she reads the work of others and comments supportively. By immersing herself in the writing community, her work has developed, gained depth and improved with the feedback of her peers.

The major Star Trek series that Janet writes in is the NX-01 Enterprise era, with original characters (OC's) mixed in with canon crew, which we used as the major theme for her covers.

Music: Phantasm from Calls and Echoes by Kai Engel

A PG-13, ENT fan fiction novel: written by J. R. Gershen-Siegel Lili has found the man of her dreams... dreams that soon become nightmares! What starts as an erotic fantasy turns into deadly danger that spans the polar opposites of good and evil. Should she trust her feelings for this lover from the Mirror Universe who haunts her sleeping hours? Can love wash the blood from his hands? 395 p. 'A' MMP format, released February 23, 2011

A PG-13, ENT fan fiction novel: written by J. R. Gershen-Siegel There are women coming to the Enterprise! Travis Mayweather proposes a friendly competition with his friends – whoever gets the girl first wins. But then the winner gets more than he bargained for, and learns just how much he can take. How much can you tolerate? 180 p. 'A' MMP format, released May 9, 2011

A new fan fiction anthology from Janet Gershen-Siegel! The Daranaeans, the only sentient marsupial species in the Milky Way galaxy, have a hierarchical society whose difficult First Contact leads to an eventual friendship. Just as they emerge from their mothers' pouches, the Daranaeans as a society, and as a species, are emerging from their Dark Ages. 276p. 'A' MMP format

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Day 06 - Standalone Novels

Whilst we have focused on publishing series at TrekUnited Publishing, the idea is eminently suitable to publishing a standalone novel.

Retribution is a PG-13, Star Trek: The Next generation fan fiction novel by T.L.Shull set four months after the end of the Dominion War, that melds canon characters with Original Characters (OC's) to tell a dramatic and powerful tale. 290p. 'A' MMP format, released October 4, 2011.

I'm surprised there are not more video trailers for books such as the one that I have compiled above. Every book needs a promotional text - the 'blurb' that you usually see on the back cover or inside dust jacket flap - just as every book needs a cover. Get the author or a voice actor to record the promo, do a little creative video mixing and for an afternoon's work you have a book trailer for Youtube that you can embed on your website or social media like Facebook.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Day 05 - Graphic Novels

If comics had a hard time gaining respectability, graphic novels have come full circle and are now knocking at the door of 21st century popular culture.

Although Michael Cavna rants that graphic novels should be accepted as books in schools, frankly, the graphic novel can transcend the book because of the addition of another artistic component, the graphic element, which can allow the graphic novel to go one step further than the limitations of the written word. Consider how George Orwell's Animal Farm used anthropomorphic characters to tell a blatantly political parable in Animal Farm. Then consider how Art Spiegelman uses that same device in his graphic novel Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History. Just as Animal Farm won critical acclaim in its time, so has Maus with a Pulitzer Award. Will 'Maus' be studied as a classic in years to come as Animal Farm is now?

Even if they are not recognised as literary giants, many are already pop culture icons. Look at a list of the top fifty graphic novels and count how many have been made into films, in fact many authors specifically create their graphic novels as a treatment for a TV or movie deal. In fan production circles, graphic novels have been seen as adding value to other productions since the ill-fated Star Trek: Phase II The Illustrated Adventures. Star Trek; Starfinder is the latest, backing up their audio drama and prose series with a three issue graphic novel arc which is to be followed up by another in the new year.

One of the mainstays of TrekUnited Publishing has been Madison Bruffy's graphic novel series Nova Trek which features another Kirk as the captain of another Enterprise in a universe subtly different from the one you are used to watching on TV and movies...

An omnibus edition of the first two issues of Nova Trek: A TOS Series set in a parallel universe. In this universe, the Federal Starship Enterprise is commanded by Janet Kirk- James' older sister. Being the first woman to command a starship, Jan not only has to deal with Renagade Andorians, but a madman's alteration of the timeline as well! From Starship battles to the Guardian of Forever and beyond, the Omnibus is an introduction to a universe one step away from the one you knew. Contains issue 1, "Gains & Losses”, issue 2, “Guardian's Child” and bonus material. 165 p. US Letter

A non-canon TOS era graphic novel: written by MD Bruffy. Jan and Tamera Kirk return to 1978 and work with two old acquaintances to stop agents from the future from making a change to Earth history that could stop Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets from ever getting started! 91 p. US Letter

As events move closer to war with the Romulans, the FSS Enterprise takes on a new helmsman- an old classmate of Jan's with a tragic past. Created by MDBruffy- a fan produced graphic novel.

The first of a three part story arc within Nova Trek: Captain Janet Kirk must make a decision that could affect the fate of not just the Federal Union of Planets but the entire known galaxy! Who should she trust? The Romulan commander who offers to betray the Star Empire in the name of peace or the man from another reality who wears a face from her past. 72p. US Letter

Part two of MD Bruffy's three part Nova Trek story arc: War comes to the Union. With the Federal Union of Planets on the brink of interstellar war with the Romulan Star Empire, can Captain Janet Kirk raise the alarm in time or will the Romulans storm across the Neutral Zone to final victory? Watch out for the surprise guest stars! 59p. US Letter. 

Part three of MD Bruffy's Nova Trek trilogy: Captain Janet Kirk and the FSS Enterprise are all that stands between a massive Romulan fleet and a quadrant unprepared for war! Aid is coming but will it reach them before they pay the ultimate sacrifice? 129p. US Letter

MD Bruffy's Nova Trek series continues in pdf paperback!
Following the events in "A Tale of Two Captains", Commander Kang finds himself in a position to complete the alliance with the Union that Chancellor Gorkon wants. But Klingon Ambassador Kochon is dead set against it.
Kang has fought and won many battles in his years of service to the Empire. Can he survive this one long enough to complete his mission- or will his own people be the death of him? 74p 'A' Mass Market Paperback format

Madison Bruffy continues his Star Trek fan fiction graphic novel series with NovaTrek 8, Special Report. In eight stories covering a sixteen month period following the events in "A Tale of Two Captains", the Enterprise has returned to Earth and a hero's welcome. With the ship undergoing repairs, Jan and company must deal with issues and conflicts both personal and public while they await the ship's relaunch. 132p US Letter graphic novel

Tam's first mission aboard the Georgetown could be her last as the crew discovers a world where the natives are frozen in time. Can the crew free them or will they become trapped themselves? This story takes place during the events of Nova Trek: Special Report. 90p 'A' Mass Market Paperback format

M.D. Bruffy returns with the ninth graphic novel in his epic series, Nova Trek. For Twenty-two years, the fate of the FSS Sundown and her crew has been a mystery. Now, two years into the Second Romulan War, solving that mystery is only part of the story...186p US Letter graphic novel

For more artwork by Madison, browse his deviantART gallery.

Day 04 - Adult Graphic Novels

Modern society has a love / hate relationship with comic books and graphic novel. Chris Couch in his exhaustive and scholarly The Publication and Formats of Comics, Graphic Novels, and Tankobon, draws a cultural distinction between comic strips and comic books. "...Comic strips were and remain superior in tacit cultural hierarchies to comic books. Comic strips are associated with journalism, family readership, and publication in books and sale in bookstores. Comic books are associated with sensationalism, child and adolescent readership, and sale on newsstands. Although now eighty percent of comic books are sold in comic book shops, the public perception of such stores is perhaps even less positive than that of newsstands."

Times change and so do attitudes. Americans, perhaps influenced by the European and Asian experience, accepted comics as a legitimate form or literary media with the creation of the graphic novel, a term coined by Will Eisner in 1978. In the 21st century graphic novels are the halfway mark between books and video, TV and movies. It is a telling point that graphic novels are seen as a viable pitch for a movie treatment, moreso than a book.

TrekUnited Publishing has been lucky enough to bring you the work of two great author/artists. Paul D. Smith's series, Tales from the Fleet, has shown his talent maturing both as a storyteller and artist and in the content that he portrays ...

PD Smith-Tales of the Fleet 1 : Species 571
The first graphic novel to come from the virtual pen of PD Smith, his 'proof of concept' issue to test out DAZ Studio as a totally new media. It was posed and rendered on a 1.6Ghz computer with 1Gb RAM and 512Kb of video RAM. and then compiled on the same system. 61 p. US Letter

PD Smith-Tales of the Fleet 2 : The Caves of Duality
PD Smith's second graphic novel is another step in his development, both as an author and as an artist. It is a love story with a final twist suggested by Paul's co-writer, his youngest daughter. Artistically, the comic was all about learning depth of field and more dramatic camera angles done 10 months after the beginning of the first issue over a two months period. The issue has been voluntarily rated PG-13 because of some modestly posed nudity. 23 p. US Letter

PD.Smith Tales of the Fleet 3 : 30 Minutes
Paul Smith's third USS O'Bannon story shows how he has mastered the medium to deliver a powerful adult tale. Cpt Katheryn Osterholt of Starfleet Intelligence has a history with an Orion captain, that could save her life or be the death of her! With Orions, Romulans and Starfleet Intelligence playing off against each other this could not be anything else but an MA - Mature Adults - tale of passion and violence. To be continued. 28 p. US Letter

PD.Smith Tales of the Fleet 4 : Virus
Continuing the story started in 30 Minutes, Katheryn Osterholt finds herself on the wrong side of Starfleet as a rogue element in their Intelligence organisation seeks to change the face of the universe and blame it on her! MA - Mature Adults - a tale of love and deception. 28 p. US Letter

For more comics from Paul, particularly his Tales from the Mirror Universe series, browse his deviantART gallery but take care...'s definitely adult fare!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Day 03 - Fotonovels

Publications that use photos, mostly screen-captures from a film or TV screenplay, are a popular item in Europe that only broke on the American market just as they became outdated by the ability of the public to record TV and watch films on video cassette recorders. Known in English as photonovels, fotonovelas or fotonovels, they were known in Italian as fotoromanzi although they are sometimes referred to in the States by the term Fumetti which actually refers to all comics.

Star Trek has a particular connection with fotonovels. Twelve episodes of The Original Series were published in this format between 1977 – 1978 followed by Star Trek: The Motion Picture and The Wrath Of Khan in 1980 and 1982.

The photonovel below sprang from a request in 2010 to Alyson Lee and Pauline Mac, the creative team behind Enterprise S5 for a photo-comic. Enterprise S5 (Facebook) is a scripted video slide-show series, with text subtitles and set to music, which is based on an idea broached years earlier by the co-founder of TrekUnited, Thomas Moore, for an animated continuation of the canceled TV series, Star Trek: Enterprise. The videos were proving to be very popular and, from a creative standpoint, represent a unique media format.

This photonovel is the graphic work of Alyson, who did an amazing job to get the first episode converted into a comic style for me in a very limited timespan. It was to be offered as day 8 of the 2011 Twelve Trek Days of Christmas celebration, not just as a cracking good graphic novel in its own right but as an example of what can be done creatively with screen captures.

It didn't make it in 2011 so I'm balancing karma by presenting it to you now!
Adult Trek Anthology Cover
Click on the cover above to browse or download this free pdf Star Trek: Enterprise Fotonovel created by Alyson Lee and Pauline Mac. A romantic dinner between Starfleet's senior captains is disturbed by disastrous news! Relationships are tested as the ship and its crew stand between the fledgling “Coalition Of Worlds' and those who would destroy it. Originally released January 2, 2012, it's cover has been updated for a second birthday edition in January 2014.32p. “A” MMP format

This entry is of importance this year because fotonovels have made a commercial return! In December, 2013, IDW released a new John Byrnes foto-comic entitled, “Strange New Worlds“. The project originated from Byrne himself who saw the idea of using screen shots as a way of recreating an episode. To be more exact, he envisioned a new episode that would have happened between two of the original canon episodes. We are incredibly lucky in having a chronicle of how Byrnes developed the project in his own words from his blog's forum.