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Jeff Mariotte Interview

By Christian Höhne Sparborth
Posted at April 14, 1999 - 5:00 AM GMT

Jeff Mariotte - Image courtesy WildStorm Online As you may know, a few months ago WildStorm obtained the Trek comics license via its parent company DC Comics. Recently, WildStorm's Trek editor Jeff Mariotte was kind enough to answer a few questions about WildStorm's plans with its Trek line.

First of all, I asked him about the frequency at which WildStorm will be publishing their Trek comics:

The plan is to have something out every month -- either a Prestige Format one-shot or an issue of a miniseries. Also, the minis will be collected into Trade paperbacks after a while. Some months there will be more than one Trek book, but there shouldn't be any month after November in which there are none.

Although the comics will at least be published regularly, WildStorm will certainly be publishing a lot less comics per month than Marvel did. However, there is actually a good reason for this:

I wasn't part of this decision-making process, but I can venture a couple of guesses. Part of the reasoning might also be the same thinking that went into the decision not to do any ongoing series. By focusing our efforts on quality instead of quantity, we can be sure of getting top-notch talent to work on the books. If we had to fill three or four or more monthly slots month in and month out, eventually the quality would almost certainly suffer. This way, we can give a shot to all those really talented creators out there who might be working on a regular series but have always wanted to do a Trek book, or who maybe aren't fast enough to do a monthly, or whatever.

Quality certainly seems to be one of the main goals here, as WildStorm is already preparing its first comics as we speak:

I'm already soliciting stories from a variety of writers, and reading unsolicited stories from others. These will go through our approval process (assuming I approve them, of course). Once approved, I'll be lining up art teams to draw them, arranging for productions and shepherding them through to the printing process.

As I myself rather liked Marvel's 'Early Voyages' series, which chronicled the adventures of Captain Pike and his crew, I also asked Jeff if WildStorm was considering publishing these stories as well. Unfortunately, it seems that will not be the case, at least for the near future:

We only have a couple of years and a limited number of issues to work with, and at this point it's our sense that people would rather see adventures of the better-known crews than anything that had been created just for comics. that could change, of course, if we hear a groundswell or interest for more "Early Voyages" tales, but nothing's in our plans right now.

Although this certainly is disappointing news, I have no doubt that in the capable hands of Jeff Mariotte the comics will turn out to be absolutely wonderful. He certainly is experienced enough to handle the task:

I own a specialty science fiction/mystery/horror bookstore, Mysterious Galaxy, here in San Diego. I have been selling books for almost 20 years, and know most of the authors in the field. I also am a writer, and have published short science fiction. I have not been a die-hard Trekker, but I've had dinner with Nichelle Nichols (!) and have watched the shows. I'm now in the process of trying to educate myself further with regards to all things Star Trek, though.

Major thanks go out to Jeff for answering my questions - I truly appreciate it. Meanwhile, if you want to find out more about him, check out his biography at the WildStorm site (which is also where I found the above photo).

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Christian Höhne Sparborth is webmaster of the Trek Nation.

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