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Topic: STAR TREK: NEW VISIONS - Origins and Updates Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Aleksandar Petrovic
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Joined: 13 January 2017
Location: Canada
Posts: 2
Posted: 14 January 2017 at 3:23pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

First of all, it's a great joy to be able to directly communicate with the series creator in this fashion (greetings Mr. Byrne - it is both a pleasure and an honour).

I came across New Visions almost by accident. I’ve been a comic book fan since I was a kid, and about five years ago – knowing that I love comic books – a friend of mine showed me his brand new wedding album. It was done by a professional photographer from the photos he took on the spot, and the end result was a hardcover album done in a comic book style. The photos had no speech bubbles, narrative frames etc., but the whole thing definitely resembled the familiar comic book form. The fact that it was actual photographs made it completely real, immediate and immersive, with a narrative done in a way that makes you feel just like you are there.

That instantly got me thinking, so I started searching for actual photocomics (for a lack of a better term) floating out there. The first one that I discovered was Night Zero, an independent production focusing on survivalist horror (see: http://www.nightzero.com/?page=comics), followed by a similarly themed Hellgate (see: http://jeremybales.blogspot.ca/2012/10/hellgate-photo-comic- book.html). Both were somewhat difficult to get in print. 

Star Trek: New Visions came on my radar next.        

Now, this will probably shock everyone here, but…I have never seen the original Star Trek series! When I opened the first collected volume of New Visions, this was my very first exposure to the original series’ world. When I was a kid my first exposure to Star Trek was via The Next Generation (and then Deep Space 9, Voyager). I am perhaps one of the very few who can tell a strange story of experiencing the original series for the very first time via New Visions (I have previously watched the six movies with the original crew, and now I own the original series and animated series at home as well – but I decided that I will not watch them as long as New Visions keeps going!).       

I love everything about New Visions - from the immersive realism of the photocomic format (which I now consider a separate art form from the 'regular' drawn comic books), to the length of the stories, to the fact that these are new tales emerging from the existing footage.

I am north of the border in Canada, and I have been buying collected volumes (I have all four) from the Canadian branch of Amazon. I think there are some distribution issues here with New Visions. In the four comic book stores I frequent here in town I have seen a regular NV issue only once during a random visit. I am not sure why that is the case, so I have been purchasing collected volumes online (btw, I was never able to find collected volumes in local comic book stores either). I heard from a shop owner once that buying collected volumes is bad for an ongoing series (i.e. one should be getting regular volumes as they come out, to help the series continue), but I felt that I had no choice here (and I am glad that I decided on that route once I discovered that second collected volume had that extra story, "Eye of the Beholder"!).

To illustrate distribution problems, I came across another road block when I wanted to get a hold of the Cage special. Assuming that this is a one-off that will not end up in a future collected volume, I tried to order it from Canadian Amazon but it was not even in their system. Comic book shops proved to be equally useless (I think that they did not want to bother too much with this), so I ended up making an account directly with IDW Publishing and ordering it through mail. It ended up costing me more than a collected volume ($20+ US), but it was great to have a single-story issue like this. It is fantastic – I love the story, the format size, the quality of the paper and how photos look on it, and that square binding. Again, I have never seen the Cage so this story is as new to me as the rest of it (also, I think this was the perfect choice for a special NV issue, tied to 50 years of Star Trek - spot on!). Moreover, since the Cage photos come from the same visual source it is all a bit smoother on page in terms of lighting, blending, etc., which is to be expected - great issue to have.     

I sincerely hope that New Visions will keep going for a very long time, on paper of course. It has a special appeal to me; I see it as something truly unique and weird in a beautiful way. I regularly grab what I collected to show and tell to folks, and everyone is blown away by both the overall concept and its execution. I have no idea why NV is not out there in public awareness far more.    

Blending new CGI environments and photographing new people for the scenes is a logical step forward. I am not sure what the future holds, but I hope that those 79 episodes (and 6 movies) will yield enough visuals for a very long run. 

You certainly have a new fan here.

p.s.

I was overseas during the 2016 Humble Bundle, and I hate the fact that I missed my chance to get a printed copy of "More of the Serpent Than the Dove" (I would have gladly participated just to get that, to be honest). I hope that this one will be included in one of the collected volumes down the road – unlike the Cage, conceptually as a new original story it would fit perfectly with the rest of the regular material. Other than that, it is now a total rip-off on eBay (and if I understand this correctly, this is a 20+ page story in a hardcover coupled with another drawn comic book story of similar length, i.e. it is not a full 44-50 pages episode; I would love to have it in print and complete my collection, somehow).

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John Byrne
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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 18 January 2017 at 10:06am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Thanks for the commentary, Aleksandar -- altho I am sure a number of Forum members experienced an Uh Oh moment as they read your words.

So here it is: they're speech (or word) BALLOONS, not "bubbles". The term was coined back at the very beginning of the art form, when they really did look like partially deflated balloons. As the form cleaned up and conventionalized, the term remained. They did, after all, continue to look like a balloon with a little "string" depending from it.

So, keep that vein in my temple from throbbing, okay? Speech/word balloons!*

____________________

* Thought balloons do, indeed, look more like bubbles, but they began as regular word balloons with (THINKS) in front of the dialogue. When they evolved their own distinctive shape, "balloon" continued to be the term.

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Aleksandar Petrovic
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Joined: 13 January 2017
Location: Canada
Posts: 2
Posted: 18 January 2017 at 10:58am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Hi John,

Thanks for the clarification. A casualty of multilingualism, that one... I grew up in Eastern Europe and in a different language, and in it, it is "bubbles" in direct translation. It slipped in unconsciously, as I rarely discuss comic book terminology like this. Balloons it is.    
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