TREY and TREY’s excellent INTERLUDE commercial!

TREY McELWAIN has been one of AXANAR‘s staunchest supporters. He shows up each week for the Axanar Confidential livecast. He was the first (and second) to create an Axanar Universe comic book and launch the Axanar Comics website. In fact, Trey inspired me to write and publish the first Axanar Universe short story, “Why We Fight,” and later to create my own Axanar Universe comic story, “Stardate 2245.1” (currently being released one page per week).

A few months ago, Trey launched his own Axanar Comics Youtube channel. Initially, it simply featured updates on the latest developments in the world of Axanar Comics and Axanar itself. Then Trey began doing stop-motion versions of his comic stories. Most recently, Trey has expanded his offerings to include interviews with folks in the Axanar and fan film community, including THOMAS RAUBE and MARK PAYTON.

Trey already has an impressive 445 channel subscribers (not bad for three months!). And with each new release, Trey improves and expands his skills using his video editing software. His latest offering pushed his abilities to tackle a new challenge: being in two places at once!

The catalyst for attempting this feat was my Axanar Universe fan film INTERLUDE. Trey wanted to create a “commercial” on his channel in support of my GofundMe campaign (have you donated yet?). And as a way of playing off my whimsical “ask” video—where I interview myself—Trey decided to go one step further and appear next to himself, using green screen compositing. He even went so far as to comb his hair differently and put glasses on one of him, similar to what I did in my “ask” video.

The finished product looks very impressive, considering this was a first attempt at a new skill. And it was actually much more difficult to execute than Trey makes it look. (In other words, it looks slick and polished despite having a lot of moving parts.) Keep in mind, as you watch, that Trey needed to follow a script and leave himself enough of a gap each time one of his characters stopped talking for the other Trey to say his lines (since each Trey is a continuous shot). And that’s not easy! Wait too long, and there’s an awkward moment of silence. Come in too soon, and the Treys might end up talking over each other.

So kudos to Trey for pulling this off, and thanks to Trey for helping to promote my GoFundMe campaign (currently just $172 short of the half-way point…hint, hint):

https://www.gofundme.com/interlude

Take a look at Trey’s video below (and “marvel” at his new opening sequence!)…

Just posted: PAGE 5 of the INTERLUDE comic “STARDATE 2245.1”!

Another week, another $700 for the ol’ GoFundMe campaign for INTERLUDE. We’re just about half-way, and at this rate, we’ll make it to our $19,500 goal by mid-October. But we don’t have until mid-October—more on that situation at the end of this coming week.

In the meantime, we’re just $442 away from passing the $10K threshold. So if you haven’t donated yet or would like to increase your donation a weeeeee bit, operators are standing by…

https://www.gofundme.com/interlude

And now, the blog…


SPOILER ALERT!

By now, you know that the spoiler alert is there because this comic book one-shot tells the same story as INTERLUDE. So if you want to be completely surprised by the fan film when it comes out, then completely don’t read the 5 pages (plus cover) at the end of this blog.

Heed my words, humans.

Okay, if you’ve stuck around, you might be wondering how close the comic will be to the final fan film. The dialog is pretty darn close, but it’s not an exact match. The comic book needed to be truncated in places in order to keep it at just seven pages and not have all of the artwork covered up by word balloons.

But there’s also two places where you’ll discover that the comic and film will diverge quite a bit. One of those two places is at the end. But since we’ve still got two pages to go, I won’t spoil that for you just yet. I’ll discuss that divergence in two more weeks.

The other place where the two versions are different comes closer to the beginning—in fact, it’s right after the opening VFX sequence. Originally, the shooting script matched the comic book much more closely. But after VICTORIA FOX, my producer and the co-director for Interlude, read the shooting script, she had some feedback.

Now, I’ll be honest with you, I wasn’t looking forward to making any more changes. I’d already sat with this script for nearly two years, tweaking it here and there, and I was pretty happy with it. So was ALEC PETERS. Why mess with “perfection”?

Well, it turns out it wasn’t quite perfect just yet…

Continue reading “Just posted: PAGE 5 of the INTERLUDE comic “STARDATE 2245.1”!”

Just posted: PAGE 4 of the INTERLUDE comic “STARDATE 2245.1”!

As usual, a quick check on the GoFundMe campaign. While donations have slowed, they’re still coming in and inching us closer to our $19,500 goal. Right now, we’re 45.3% of the way there and 118 donors, with some promotional pushes planned over the next couple of weeks. Fingers crossed!

In the meantime, if you haven’t donated yet, have a little extra to spare at the moment, or simply want to help us spread the word, here’s the link…

https://www.gofundme.com/interlude

And now, the blog…


SPOILER ALERT!

The spoiler warning is there to remind you that this short comic book story is pretty much identical to what you’ll see in INTERLUDE when it’s finished…only the comic is two-dimensional drawings without sound or motion or all the other cool stuff you see in fan films.

Interestingly enough, we’ve reached the point where I need to start being very selective in choosing which panel(s) to show at the top of the blog entry. I always like to show some thumbnail, as it increases the visibility of the link when I post to Facebook and Twitter. Also, if I don’t set the thumbnail, Facebook and Twitter will use their mysterious algorithm to decide for themselves with thumbnail to use…and that could inadvertently end up giving away an important spoiler.

So as you can see from the image at the top, I’ve chosen something very ambiguous to display while still showing off the amazing artwork of my illustrator DANIEL FU.

And speaking of Daniel, I’d like to take a moment to point out something that many of you might not have noticed. Sure, his art looks awesome…with great composition that moves the eye around the page, dramatic expressions and poses, confident line work, and contoured contrasts of light and shadow.

But did you notice the colors? I mean, they’re bright and vibrant and all, which is important for this era of Star Trek (before things got darker and less saturated in the later TV series like Discovery and Enterprise). But it’s more than just that.

When Daniel and I discussed the story and pages, I art directed him that I felt it was important to distinguish the two bridges—Ares and Artemis—which are, of course, identical. And they’re both at red alert, meaning they both should be colored to reflect that emergency battle status. So how could Daniel make two identical bridges, both tinged red for battle status, look different?

Continue reading “Just posted: PAGE 4 of the INTERLUDE comic “STARDATE 2245.1”!”

Just posted: PAGE 3 of the INTERLUDE comic “STARDATE 2245.1”!

First, a quick check on the GoFundMe campaign: another three days, another $320 for a total of $8,651 from 111 donors. There’s also another $50 from Paypal donations, bringing us 44.6% of the way to our $19,5000 goal after three weeks. It’s all good, folks.

To donate or if you’d just like to help spread the word, here’s the link:

https://www.gofundme.com/interlude

And now, the blog…


SPOILER ALERT!

Once again, a friendly reminder that this 7-page (plus cover) comic book story is nearly identical to what you will see when INTERLUDE is completed and released. So if you don’t want to know anything about my fan film—and that’s fine!—please stop reading now and don’t look at the page artwork below…’cause that wouldn’t be quite as fine.

Let’s talk briefly about the captain of the USS Artemis: Imari Jakande. When I first wrote up my “alternate” script for the two Axanar sequels, I’d named the captain of the ArtemisKyle Donovan,” and I didn’t really think about his race or background. I just needed a person in the center seat of that starship. Kyle could just as easily have been Kylie, as well. Race, gender, ethnicity…they just weren’t as important to me at that moment as getting my thoughts down on paper (well, keyboard) before they faded from my mind. Initially, I don’t even think the original three or four pages of the scene with the Artemis and Ares took me more than 15 minutes to write.

So when I first expanded that sequence into a seven-page comic book script, I left the character’s name as Kyle Donovan. My illustrator, DANIEL FU, suggested making him a black man, and I had no problem with that. Good idea! And when the page artwork came in, I loved what I saw.

A few weeks later was when I first showed the artwork to ALEC PETERS. I had already gotten his thumbs-up to do the comic, but I wanted him to be able to review the progress. After all, it was important to me that this story be acceptable “head canon” for the Axanar “universe.”

Alec liked the artwork, but suggested that, since the captain of the Artemis was black, perhaps he should have an African name. By this, Alec didn’t mean African American but rather from the African continent—like Uhura—with an authentic African name.

As Alec did with the Axanar character of Sam Travis, who was named after a famous military leader, I wanted my character to have an African name with some historical significance.

Turns out that was much easier said than done!

Continue reading “Just posted: PAGE 3 of the INTERLUDE comic “STARDATE 2245.1”!”

Just posted: PAGE 2 of the INTERLUDE comic “STARDATE 2245.1”!

A quick check of the GoFundMe campaign before we begin. After two weeks, we’re already on the cusp of 100 BACKERS(!!!) with a total of $7,901—more than 40% of the way to $19,500. That’s FANtastic progress! If you haven’t donated yet, or if you’d just be willing to help spread the word, here’s the link:

https://www.gofundme.com/interlude

And now, today’s blog…


SPOILER ALERT!

If you do NOT want to know what my Axanar Universe fan film INTERLUDE will be about, if you want to want to go in completely cold with no idea what happen, then stop…

reading…

NOW.

Seriously. This far. No farther. Go to a different website or read another blog. Final warning.


Okay, for those brave/curious/impatient souls who are left, what IS Interlude about anyway? So far, I’ve kept things pretty vague. Here’s what it says on my GoFundMe page:

INTERLUDE is an exciting vignette story that shows fans whom those D7s were shooting at, and why those targets were so important.  The story is about honor an sacrifice, bravery and duty in the face of a surprise sneak attack that leaves no time to plan or react with anything other than one's true self.

I’ve mentioned previously that the reason for the story was to explain the absence of Admiral Marcus Ramirez from the Axanar sequels. The real reason, of course, is that actor TONY TODD no longer wished to be a part of the production going forward. So there’s a point in my script where Ramirez gets severely wounded, but beyond that, I’ve given few details.

The reason for the vagueness is that Interlude is actually a pretty fast-paced story. It starts in the middle of a space battle and spends most of its (estimated) ten minutes in that same tense situation. While there’s drama and action, the majority of the dialog happens between just two characters…one of whom is Captain Kelvar Garth of the USS Ares.

I always thought of this story as a small but important part of the tapestry of Garth’s life…a tapestry that includes PRELUDE TO AXANAR, my short story “Why We Fight,” another short story I haven’t written yet called “Why We Explore,” the two upcoming Axanar sequels, and perhaps even the TOS episode “Whom Gods Destroy.”

Combined, all of these stories help to piece together the puzzle that is Kelvar Garth, the victor at Axanar and the personal hero of Captain James T. Kirk. Who is Garth? We only saw a fleeting glimpse of the true man at the end of “Whom Gods Destroy,” and I for one want to learn more.

So here’s Page 2—along with the cover and Page 1—of another piece of the Garth puzzle (click to enlarge the images)…

Read mor

Just posted: PAGE 1 of the INTERLUDE comic “STARDATE 2245.1”!

The GoFundMe campaign for my Axanar Universe fan film INTERLUDE launched a week ago, and it got off to a very exciting start! We’re currently nearly 1/6 of the way to our $19,500 goal with $3,089 from 52 donors (including me). And although donations have slowed a bit over the last few days—that’s to be expected on most crowd-funders—they’re still coming in. So…YAY!

What this means for YOU is, if you haven’t donated yet and want to see Interlude get made, please consider making a donation (or at least share the link with friends whom you think might be interested in helping us out).

What this means for ME, of course, is that I have to find ways to keep fans excited about this project! And that brings us to today’s blog entry…

As many of you know, Interlude got its start as “feedback” for ALEC PETERS after I read his first draft of the two 15-minute Axanar sequel fan films (shortened from the originally-planned 90-minute feature length production). I noticed his script contained no scenes on the bridge, and so I wrote a few for him. I didn’t know at the time that Alec wasn’t sure if the USS Ares bridge set would ever be completed (this was back in June of 2017), which is why he left out any scenes on the bridge.

Encouraged by Alec, however, I decided to create an Axanar comic book using one of my bridge scenes, following the lead of super Axanerd TREY McELWAIN, who was already publishing the second Axanar comic in his “Tip of the Spear” series. In fact, he let me “borrow” his artist, DANIEL FU to illustrate my short story.

It would be a 7-page one-shot—beginning at the exact moment that PRELUDE TO AXANAR ended on its cliff-hanger: “Stardate 2245.1 – The D7 enters the war!” Three D7s approach the camera, the lead one firing a torpedo. The comic would show their target…and why that target was so critical to the war. The story is about honor an sacrifice, bravery and duty in the face of a surprise sneak attack that leaves no time to plan or react with anything other than one’s true self.

The comic is now complete—ready to be shared with all of you. Over the course of the next seven weeks, I’ll be releasing one page per week. Many of you have already seen the cover, so this week is page 1.

Continue reading “Just posted: PAGE 1 of the INTERLUDE comic “STARDATE 2245.1”!”

TREY McELWAIN releases the latest two pages from AXANAR COMICS: “Arcanis IV”!

It’s been nearly four months since AXANAR COMICS fans have seen any new pages of the current story “Arcanis IV.” The plan from writer/publisher TREY McELWAIN was initially to release one new page per month until the current storyline was completed.

So what happened?

Well, actually, I happened. With Trey’s permission, I had “borrowed” Axanar Comics illustrator extraordinaire DANIEL FU to draw my fan comic Axanar story: “Stardate 2245.1” (which will be turned into the fan film INTERLUDE…hopefully!).

My collaboration with Daniel began in mid-2018, and initially, he had time to create page artwork for both Trey’s story and mine. But then fate intervened with a full-time paying gig for Daniel. And while Trey and I were both happy to know Daniel would be able to put food on the table, his available spare time for our projects all but vanished…and production slowed considerably.

Eventually, Daniel felt that he had to choose one project or the other to complete first, and Trey graciously offered the lead spot to me. This wasn’t just generosity on his part (although that played a big part, since Trey’s a very generous guy). It was also a logical decision, as my project was a 7-page one-shot story with just 3 pages left, while Trey had many additional pages for “Arcanis IV” still awaiting illustration.

Daniel finished my story on May 1…and it looks incredible, by the way! You’ll be able to see it, one page per week, beginning later this month. Daniel was then able to complete two additional pages of Trey’s story, and those are being released to the public today, finishing up Act II of “Arcanis IV.”

Daniel is now going to take a well-deserved break from drawing Axanar. Trey isn’t certain when Daniel will be back doing additional artwork, but he’s just pour his heart and soul into a combined SIXTEEN Axanar comic book pages plus two covers for Trey and me in less than a year—in his spare time!—and the guy needs a little down time. So it’ll hopefully be later on this year when you see the concluding Act III of “Arcanis IV,” but probably not later on this summer.

In the meantime, Trey has been keeping himself busy with his new YouTube Channel and regular podcasts about the comic series and Axanar in general. Click here to check out some of the videos (they’re fairly short, and Trey gushes in each one).

And now, since it’s probably been a while since you’ve seen the story, here are all nine of the pages published so far plus the cover…the full Acts I and II of “Arcanis IV.” (Click to enlarge each page.)

Enjoy…!

Continue reading “TREY McELWAIN releases the latest two pages from AXANAR COMICS: “Arcanis IV”!”

AXANAR fan comic begins PART TWO of “ARCANIS IV”!

AXANAR has inspired several fans, including me, to “expand” that universe. Whether you consider it “Prime” or the “Axa-verse,” for some of us, it’s FUN to play in this particular sandbox. ALEXANDER RICHARDSON (the designer who created the console graphics on the USS Ares bridge set…along with many other graphics for Axanar Productions and Ares Studios) is currently working on full blueprints of the USS Ares. MARK PAYTON has written a multi-chapter Axanar novella titled The Inverness Revision.  And I myself wrote an Axanar short story “Why We Fight,” illustrated by the amazing MARK McCRARY.

But there’s one Axa-fan who has, in my opinion, topped us all. And yesterday was his birthday…Happy Birthday, TREY McELWAIN!  Trey loves Axanar so much that, back in the summer 2017, Trey released a four-page (including cover) Axanar mini-comic book story titled “Trial by Fire.” Not an artist himself, he paid his friend DANIEL FU to illustrate it…and it turned out awesome!

Not content to simply sit on his laurels, though, Trey set out on a much more ambitious undertaking: to make an entire Axanar comic book SERIES! This would be no small feat, and not at all cheap (as starving artists like to eat, and Trey—not exactly in the top 1%—was paying Daniel out of his own pocket, not crowd-funding).

Trey put up a website, Axanar Comics, and began posting pages there as they were completed. Initially, this was supposed to be one per month, but three pages were completed quickly, and instead of waiting, Trey posted them all at once. Within two months, the cover and six additional pages were released, finishing part one. That was last July.

Unfortunately, about that time, Trey suffered a herniated disc in his upper cervical/spinal column. The doctors and physical therapy bills ate up most of his and his wife’s disposable income for several months. So for the past eight months, no new story pages have been released. But actually, that was good news for me! Let me ‘splain…

Continue reading “AXANAR fan comic begins PART TWO of “ARCANIS IV”!”

AXANAR fan comic COMPLETES part one of “Arcanis IV”!

The latest comic book story based on the fan film PRELUDE TO AXANAR has just completed part one of its first chapter.

Last July, Axanar super-fan TREY McELWAIN released the first-ever Axanar comic story: the four-page (including cover) “Trial By Fire.”  It was a huge hit among Axanar fans, many of whom hoped to be seeing more similar projects from Trey and his illustrator, DANIEL FU.

The wait lasted for ten months.  In May, Trey continued what he called the “Tip of the Spear” saga, with each chapter focusing on a different battle from The Four Years War with the Klingons, as shown in Prelude.  But now the comics would expand from just a few pages to stories with chapters, each about 5-7 pages long.

The first story took a closer look at the battle that began the Four Years War at “Arcanis IV.”  Trey initially released the cover and first two pages of the story, with the intention of releasing one additional page per month for the foreseeable future.  Part one of “Arcanis IV” would be seven pages, and there would be three parts.  Then the next chapter would be “Inverness V,” also divided into multiple parts.  So releasing one new comic story page per month could keep this going for years!

At least, that was the plan…

Daniel finished drawing the next three pages more quickly than anticipated, so rather then holding them back, all three were released last month.  And then Daniel was fast again, so this month has the final two pages being released (see below), completing part one of “Arcanis IV.”

That’s the good news.  Unfortunately, it could be a while before fans see part two.

Continue reading “AXANAR fan comic COMPLETES part one of “Arcanis IV”!”

AXANAR fan comic releases THREE NEW PAGES…

Last month, AXANAR super-fan TREY McELWAIN released the cover and first page of his new Axanar fan comic “Arcanis IV”—part of his “Tip of the Spear” series focusing on some of the major battles of the Four Years War.

Nearly a year ago, Trey released the first-ever comic story based on the hugely-popular Prelude to Axanar Star Trek fan film: the four-page (including cover) “Trial By Fire.”  Trey wrote the comic and his friend DANIEL FU illustrated the story, which looked at a space battle during the Four Years War with the Klingon Empire.

Originally, the plan for this new comic story was to release one new page each month for the next five months until all seven pages (plus cover) were completed and posted.  Then Trey has another two chapters in the saga that will follow, also with one page released per month.

So you might be wondering how, if there’s only supposed to be ONE page released per month, why this blog says that THREE new pages have just been made available.  I wondered that, too, and I asked Trey.

The answer is that Daniel found his professional workload lighter than normal this past month and had more time to illustrate pages.  Initially, he delivered two pages to Trey, but a day later, he had a third one ready, as well.  As you’ll see below, that additional page wasn’t quite as complex as the other two.

Trey isn’t certain how many more pages will be released next month yet, but it’ll be at least one.  If it’s two, then the first chapter will be complete.

Just in case you missed the first page, I’ve included it (along with the cover) below.  The story’s getting really exciting!

Continue reading “AXANAR fan comic releases THREE NEW PAGES…”