Star Trek Manga Interview (Mr. Mark Paniccia)
Rasmussen: So, how did it all begin? How did Star Trek the Manga come about and who was instrumental to bringing that about? Also what has the reaction been from previous Star Trek holders DC Comics (the longest to date in terms of publishing Star Trek in comic format) and Marvel as per this move by TOKYOPOP to release Star Trek Manga?
Mr. Paniccia: The license for Star Trek comics was up from DC/Wildstorm, and TOKYOPOP thought it would be a great property to do in manga form. It still has such a huge following and we thought we had the chance to do something with it that no one else has tried before. As far as reaction goes from Marvel or DC, we don't really discuss things like this with other publishers, so we don't really know what they think.
[image2]Rasmussen: When I first heard of this title I heard that Star Trek-The Next Generation was going to take the lion's share of each book. Why? And has anyone shown interest in doing stories from other parts of the Star Trek universe for the title?
Mr. Paniccia: I would love to do original Trek manga, but one thing at a time. Globally, Next Gen is the most popular of the series. It makes sense to bust out of the gates with it.
Rasmussen: How much input and participation will Paramount and the people behind the Star Trek franchise play in this title? And have any of the Star Trek alumni (stars) weighted in yet with their opinion of Star Trek Manga yet?
Mr. Paniccia: Paramount approves the stories and art as they do with all Star Trek merchandising, but no one from the television series or movie is involved. However, I came close to having Eric Stillwell, the co-scribe from fan-favorite episode "Yesterday's Enterprise," write one of the stories. His schedule didn't allow but there's always next time.
None of the actors have seen manga takes on them, but I'm sure they'll all think it's the cat's meow when they do.
Rasmussen: In the past Star Trek stars have written for previous incarnations of Star Trek comics for either DC Comics or Marvel, but have any of these stars shown interest in writing Star Trek Manga? And if any of them do show interest what will TOKYOPOP's reaction be?
Mr. Paniccia: We would certainly be open to that in future endeavors. I love it when celebrities get involved. We did a few DS9 projects with celebrity writers back at Malibu, and I think it would be fun to do it again. We'll see.
Rasmussen: In light of the not too strong or stable situation with the Star Trek franchise (Star Trek XI in doubt and Star Trek-Enterprise only doing fairly well on TV) is there any concerns that this title may have come out at the wrong time (at a low point in the Star Trek franchise)?
Mr. Paniccia: It's possibly the best time. This is a fresh take on Star Trek, just when you thought you've seen it all. Fans are excited about this. Star Trek drawn by Japanese artists! What more could you ask for?
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