Thursday, September 22, 2016

Oh, by the way, did I ever tell you the story about the time I got my name printed in the letter's column of the Star Trek: The Next Generation comic book?

Well sit down kids, and I'll tell you a tale.

The year was 1992.  I was 14 years old.  I had a subscription to Star Trek and Star Trek: the Next Generation comic books.
I was a huge Trekkie back in those days.  Not only did I watch the show religiously, I also read the paper back books, and subscribed to the comics.
Being a reader of the books and comics, however, was a bit thankless, because nothing that happened in the comics and books ever impacted the show in any way.  It was purely non-canonical, which means it never really happened.  The reset button would be set at the end of every story.
During this time, I would look enviously over to mainstream comic books, in which continuity actually mattered, and the events of one story would be real and meaningful to the characters.  During the summer of 1993, I would give up Star Trek comics to make the jump over to mainstream comics.

But I digress.  Back in 1992, I was still an avid read of the Star Trek comics.  I had subscriptions to both Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation.  And everyone was waiting for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine to come out in January.  But would there be a tie in comic book to Deep Space Nine as well?  I decided to write to the Comic Book Publishers and ask them.

At this time, Star Trek: The Next Generation comic book was doing its best to acknowledge all of its fans by printing the names of everyone who wrote in a letter, even if they didn't have the room to print the actual letter.  So I got my name printed in the back of the comic book, even though they didn't publish the actual text of the letter asking about the Deep Space Nine Comic.  In parenthesis, after my name, the editor wrote "sorry, not by DC"-- meaning DC Comics would not have the license to publish Deep Space Nine comics.  (The Deep Space Nine comic ended up being published by Dark Horse Comics.)
Because there was a time delay, it was several months later until the actual comic got published, and it didn't show up until the following Spring in the May 1993 issue.

And that's my story.
Obviously I can't entertain too many cocktail parties with this particular yarn, and yet I've always thought it was kind of...something.  These comics become collectibles, and my name is now part of a collectible somewhere.

I don't actually still have my copy of this comic book.  (I got rid of it a long time ago when I was cleaning out junk.)
But with the Internet these days, there are so many websites that host digital copies of comic books, I thought I'd see if I could find it.  And sure enough, here I found it.
(Website here--I should warn you that this is probably in violation of the copy right holders, but I paid good money for this comic back in 1993, so I figure I've paid my dues.)

The comic cover is below.

Letter page is below.

And my name is here:

So there it is folks.  If I get hit by a bus crossing the street tomorrow, let it not be said that I didn't lead an exciting life.


Darrell Reimer said...

Ha! Nice!

The best Letter To The Editor I ever scored was in the mid-80s to some evangelical magazine whose name I no longer recall (publication ended a year or two later) kvetching that Amy Grant's ouevre (covered as "cross-over artist") was no match for the Talking Heads (covered in the same issue). Pretty sad. I feel I should issue an apology to Ms. Grant. It might have been an obvious point, but I didn't need to be so supercilious about it.

Darrell Reimer said...

"His" magazine, maybe? In hindsight, it strikes me they were a real bunch of post-Schaeffer acolytes in their editorial policy -- a forerunner to what Christianity Today has become. Probably just swapped out the editorial staff.

Joel Swagman said...

I'm going to betray my ignorance here but...why was Talking Heads covered? Were they a Christian Band?

Darrell Reimer said...

"Christian" -- certainly not! I'm trying to remember what the Schaeffer terminology for this sort of essaying was ... engaging the culture? Critiquing the culture? His deal was you could enjoy (best done through critique) "secular" products so long as you understood the inferior alternative they offered to the grace of God. That's how I remember the piece, kinda sorta. "Talking Heads are a lot of fun, and very thought provoking. But finally they're still lost."