You probably already know about me (and if you don’t, read some of my biography blogs here). But my illustrator Mark McCrary is still a mystery to most fans. Not anymore! I felt that Mark deserved a decent interview to finally tell the fan film world a little bit about himself.
And so, without further ado, the man who made my Axanar fan fiction story look totally amazing…
Yes, folks, I wrote an Axanar short story…and you’ll get to read it in just one more week!
Inspiration hit last spring when another Axanar super-fan, Trey McElwain from Texas, announced that he would be releasing a three-page (plus cover) original Axanar comic book story. I interviewed Trey back in June (read it here) and was really excited to see the finished product…which would debut in July. But I also thought about how much fun it would be to write an Axanar comic book myself.
The first thing I needed to decide is what the story would be about. Space battles with Starfleet fighting the Klingons seemed obvious…perhaps too obvious. After all, Prelude to Axanar had already given us quite a bit of starship combat, and so had Trey’s Axanar comic book. I didn’t want to simply do more of the same.
To me, the most interesting aspects of the Axanar tapestry were the characters themselves and also the world of the Federation a short 20 years before Captain Kirk’s five-year mission. At the time, I hadn’t seen the script for the full Axanar feature or the two 15-minutes “mockumentary-style” fan films being planned. So I didn’t really know what I could and couldn’t do with the characters…even if I set the story during the events of Prelude.
So that left the world of 2245 and where the United Federation of Planets was at that point in its history. Yes, there was a four-year-long war with the Klingons going on. But for me, there was something even more significant, and it all came from a single line from Prelude…
I know I usually cover fan films, but today I’m looking at a full-length COMIC BOOK…written by well-known fan filmmaker MARK LARGENT.
Mark gained notoriety as the creator of the hilarious STALLED TREKseries of 3D-animated Trek parodies using puppet/muppet versions of our favorite characters. The first Stalled Trek was the 15-minute episode “Amutt Time” and the other was the award-winning “Prelude to Ax’d-We Are” (which I worked on, as well). But before there was Stalled Trek, there was a comic book!
Well, actually, the comic book existed both before AND after Stalled Trek. Let me explain that statement. Back in late 1991, Mark Largent and his friend Mark McCrary both wanted to break into the comic book industry, Largent as a writer and McCary as an artist.
TNG had just aired the 2-part episode “Unification,” which featured the elder Spock trying to bring the Romulans and Vulcans back together. A month later, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country came out and looked to be the final appearance of the original TOS crew. No one imagined that the seventh Trek feature would bring back Kirk (and the kill him off) or that Scotty would appear in a TNG episode called “Relics” a year later.
Fans might not remember that, back then, the TNG episode “Yesterday’s Enterprise” was the only hint anyone had of what happened in between the two series. So after seeing “Unification” and then Trek VI, the two Marks decided to create a story that would fill in the missing 78-year gap of time between Trek VI and the beginning of TNG…leading up to Spock’s decision to go to Romulus and showing the final fate of James T. Kirk. (Remember, this was years before Generations.)
Largent wrote the script, and McCary pencilled some 60-odd pages. They created Starfleet uniforms that seemed to be a reasonable guess of what was halfway between the “monster maroons” of TOS and the jumpsuits of TNG, and the story featured most of the main TOS characters. They photocopied the pencilled pages and mailed them to DC Comics, which was publishing Star Trek comic books at the time. But they never heard back.
Then came the TNG episode “Relics,” and it completely screwed up their story since they had featured Scotty along with Kirk, Spock, and Bones. Now only an “imaginary” story at best, the comic book project was abandoned—until something happened nearly a quarter century later…