Trekker creator Ron Randall is about to launch a new Trekker website this Monday! Before all the excitement begins, Ron stopped by First Comics News to catch our readers up to speed on what to expect from www.treckercomic.com
First Comics News: Who is Mercy St.Clair?
Ron Randall: Mercy is a young, gifted, driven bounty hunter in the year 2226. Her past includes a lot of loss, and she carries a lot of anger, which partially fuels her. But even she doesn’t know all that is inside her. Exploring that, and exploring the world of the 23rd century is what Trekker is all about.
1st: Why is this the right time to bring her back?
Ron: One reason is that, while it’s taken me some time, I am now comfortable enough with using websites to be confident that I can bring Trekker here and do so on my own terms. Having the ability to control the way Trekker is presented is extremely important to me. And the website makes that possible. And on some deeper level, the voice inside me just said, “now”. As a creative person, you just have to listen to that voice.
1st: Why is the series called Trekker?
Ron: I wanted a name that had some hard consonant sounds in it- hard “T” and “K”, for instance. Because that seems active, memorable and attention-grabbing. And I wanted a title that connotes a journey, because from the beginning the concept was about both the traveling that Mercy has to do in tracking down the bad guys and also the larger journey she is on, finding out who she is, what her life and world are about. In the long run, this story is as much about self-discovery as it is about nailing the bad guys. Although Mercy sure doesn’t know that yet.
1st: Do you think you will get a lot of Star Trek fans at your site who may not be looking for Mercy St.Clair?
Ron: It’s possible, I am sure. Though that wasn’t in my thoughts when I first created Trekker. I came up with Trekker in 1986 when Star Trek seemed pretty much off the comics culture radar. The original series had been off the air for almost 20 years and I had no idea at the time that they were planning a Next Generation re-boot which came out in ’87. The movies were coming out, but at the time there wasn’t the sort of close cross-over between movies and comics that there is today, and they seemed to me to be a pretty different animal, so to speak. So I thought, maybe naively, that the field was pretty clear. I really had no intention of anyone confusing Trekker with anything to do with Star Trek. If people DO come to Trekker unintentionally, I know there’s a chance they’ll be frustrated, but I hope some of them at least might give it a try and maybe find another sci-fi world they can enjoy visiting.
1st: What will fans find at the Trekkercomic.com site?
Ron: First, they will find weekly updates where I will post all the existing Trekker material, so anyone who wasn’t around for the first “run” of the series can get in on the ground floor. Each post will be several pages–from 5-8– so you’ll get a good size bite of the story every week.
Also, I have a “Gallery” page where I am posting a bunch of illustrations that I’ve produced for Trekker over the years–everything from initial character sketches to finished pieces used for promotion to covers. A pretty comprehensive grab bag.
And there are some links to sites of artists that I’ve drawn inspiration from over the years.
1st: Once the original material is used up will there be new stories?
Ron: Absolutely. I’ve had the next two story arcs outlined for many years, and I am drawing the next story right now. I have never seen Trekker as a work that is done. The story has a long way to go, and I only want to bring it back if I can keep it moving forward. On the website, there’s also a “Spoiler Alert” page where I am posting some “sneak preview” pages of the new stories in progress. I know some people will be anxious to see new material if they already have the existing stuff. And since it will be a while till we start posting a new finished story, I just want to give people a taste of what’s in the works. It won’t really be much of a spoiler since they’ll all be just rough pencil pages, but it’ll be evidence that things are coming.
1st: What is the expected date that new material will start showing up on the site?
Ron: It’s going to take the better part of a year to post all the existing stuff. I think that’s real important because I want new readers to have the chance to find the site and to experience the story unfolding at a certain pace. At the same time, it’s asking for some patience from those who are anxious for a new chapter. That’s why I have the “Spoiler Alert” page and other rare and never-before-seen stuff on the site. I’m hoping to have “guest artists” produce short pieces and illustrations as well, and will make it known when I can add those to the site as well.
Ron: That is definitely my plan. It’s early yet– I’m just concentrating on getting the site launched as well as I can right now, but my eventual goal is to have all the Trekker work gathered in a comprehensive, uniform series of graphic novels.1st: Will the new material be collected into Graphic Novels for paper comic fans?
1st: For the digital comic fans, what digital formats will Trekker fans be able to use?
Ron: The site features JPG images. I’m not discounting other options, but I feel good about presenting it this way as of now.
1st: Is there any fee for the digital comics?
Ron: No. I want people to be able to find and follow Trekker as easily as possible. The digital comic is to share, no strings attached.
1st: What makes Trekker so cool, every comic fan should head over to www.treckkercomic.com right away and check out the series?
Ron: I get to put everything I think is best about a comic series into Trekker– a strong, cool female lead character, a sci-fi setting that is some blend of Flash Gordon and Blade-runner, action, bad guys, genetic mutated horrors, space travel, and a story that begins with gritty street fights and moves over time to larger and larger stages with higher and higher stakes. With both the Mercy character and Trekker the series, the sky isn’t the limit.