Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Exclusive : Scott Tipton on Writing Star Trek Comic Books for IDW and Much More

TrekWeb talks to comic book writer Scott Tipton regading his work on IDW Star Trek line of comic books and other subjects.

•1. What Star Trek period/series is your favorite to write for, and why?

You know, it's hard to say. NEXT GENERATION kind of comes the easiest, I think, because I watched the show as it was new and was able to experience it as it grew. THE ORIGINAL SERIES material also feels very comfortable, having grown up with it. And DEEP SPACE NINE came as a real surprise, in that the voices were so clear for the characters when I was dialoguing.

•2. Voyager and Enterprise haven't been done by IDW yet. Would you take a stab at one over the other?

If forced to choose, I think I'd probably go with VOYAGER, as it's closer to the NEXT GENERATION vibe and probably a little more in my wheelhouse. And characters like Tuvok, Neelix and Seven of Nine would be a lot of fun to work with.

•3. What alien would you like to see in an Alien Spotlight series that hasn't been done? Why?

We've been really lucky in getting to work with our top three picks on the Spotlights, the Gorn, the Orions and Q. Although having just gotten a taste of writing for Quark on DEEP SPACE NINE, I think a Ferengi spotlight could be very entertaining. I also don't know if he technically counts as an alien, but I'd write a Nomad special in a heartbeat.

•4. Which captain would you like to write for that hasn't been done for Captain's Log? Why?

Again, we got lucky in getting our first choice with Sulu. I'd love to do something with Captain Bateson, the Kelsey Grammer-played character from the TNG episode "Cause and Effect." And I think exploring the career of Captain Styles after his Excelsior humiliation in STAR TREK III, finding some redemption there, would be very interesting.

5. Which character's voice out of the entire Trek canon do you think you do best? Which one causes you the most trouble?

I think Picard's comes the easiest. I can just hear Patrick Stewart's voice in my head when I'm writing. Spock is like that too, particularly in the REFLECTIONS series. Sisko came as a surprise to me; I thought he'd be more difficult to capture, but Avery Brooks had a very specific rhythm to his speech patterns, and once I locked into those, I was able to find my way with it. The ones that always worry me are the ones that rely more on dialect, like Scotty and Chekov: you want to keep the recognizable flavor to it, but you don't want to overdo it such that it becomes a parody of itself.

•6. You've had some outstanding artists support your stories. Any artists you haven't worked with who'd you like to collaborate with?

Our artists have been first-rate, no question. Talented creators like David Messina, Elena Casagrande, Federica Manfredi and Fabio Mantovani are an absolute dream to work with, always bringing more to the page than you expected. I've been wanting to work with Franco Urru (artist on IDW's ANGEL books) for quite some time. I'd also love to have John Byrne drawing one of our books, but he keeps busy enough drawing all his own STAR TREK stories.

•7. Is there any aspect of Trek that you think has been done so often, you would try to avoid it while writing a story?

Time travel! In fact, that's become a running joke between my brother and co-writer David and I whenever we begin brainstorming for a new story: The conversation always goes like this:

"So what are you thinking for this one? Any ideas?"

"Hey, how about time travel?"


•8. Deep Space Nine: Fool's Gold seems to be a hit with the fans. Any plans for sequel if sales warrant?

We would love to go back to DEEP SPACE NINE for another miniseries. I really felt like we just scratched the surface of what we could do with those characters. So if you'd like to see more, make sure to vote with your wallets by buying the issues, and the eventual trade!

•9. Not counting all the fine products from IDW, what comics do you read for the stories?

Honestly? I read just about everything. Along with most of IDW's output, I read the majority of releases from Marvel and DC, quite a few of the Dynamite books, a few from BOOM!, some Image stuff, you name it. These days I'm really enjoying POWER GIRL, JONAH HEX, the BLACKEST NIGHT stuff, all the AVENGERS books and INVINCIBLE IRON MAN, just to name a few.

•10. What's the last book you read?

That would be Cormac McCarthy's THE ROAD. However, if you want to get technical about it, the last book physically in my hands was a re-reading of Glen David Gold's CARTER BEATS THE DEVIL, probably my favorite novel of the last decade.

•11. What's the best comic (issue or book) that you've ever read?

"Best" will always be subjective, but my favorite remains STARMAN #37 by James Robinson and Tony Harris. No big fight scenes, no action, just beautiful art and strong characterization of some of my favorite comic-book characters. Just great, emotionally loaded stuff.

•12. Would you consider writing a monthly Trek series if offered? If so, what time period?

Most definitely! As for the time period, I think we could handle whatever was thrown at us...

•13. If you could own one piece of Trek memorabilia, what would it be, and why?

No question - Nomad, hands down. They used to have him on display at the STAR TREK EXPERIENCE in Las Vegas, and whenever I'd go I'd eye him greedily. Someday, Nomad, you will be mine...

•14. What are your future Trek projects ?

We have a couple of very exciting projects in the works, but nothing that can be announced quite yet - stay tuned for future announcements! In the meantime, keep picking up DEEP SPACE NINE: FOOL'S GOLD!