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from a film or TV screenplay, are a popular item in Europe that only broke on the American market just as they became outdated by the ability of the public to record TV and watch films on video cassette recorders.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!
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.