Thursday, 6 June 2013

MIGHTY MIKE NOBLE'S STAR TREK - FINAL PART...


Copyright relevant owner

As KIRK and SPOCK's battle with the malevolent COLLECTOR reaches its climax, note once again what a dynamic artist and natural sequential storyteller MIKE NOBLE is.  I doubt that any comic strip version of STAR TREK was ever better drawn, even ones hailing from the TV series' country of origin, the good ol' USA.

TV21 was practically on its last legs at this stage, with only 61 more issues to go before merging with VALIANT in 1971.  A sad end to what had once been Britain's best-selling comic by a wide margin.  It went out not with a bang or even a whimper, but merely the ghost of a sigh.

Alas, poor TV21 - I knew it well!  However, its memory lives on, and I'm glad to be able to share these fantastic pages with you here.  Hope you enjoyed 'em - and look out for more soon.


9 comments:

PhilSee said...

Very impressive. You asked a couple of posts back if there was a preference between Noble and Turner - too close to call - can I like both? Their styles have a lot in common, or maybe it was 'the style of the times', but the sheen and solidity in the depiction of all things mechanical is to my eye a trait at which they both excel. Thanks for posting.

Kid said...

No bother at all, Phil. Glad to see that you're so discerning when it comes to appreciating good art. I think I lean just slightly towards Noble, incidentally.

Comicsfan said...

Out of curiosity, did TV 21 come out monthly? If so, 61 additional issues before the merge seems like a pretty healthy amount to me--those last legs still had plenty of kick in them. :)

Kid said...

Weekly, CF, as was the custom with most British comics for kids back then. (I thought the 'Every Wednesday' on the cover might've been a clue.) So it only had just over a year to go. No doubt its lower circulation figures towards the end of its life would be regarded as a huge success nowadays, which just goes to show how things have changed.

Anonymous said...

Oh, yes, you are right. Mike Noble's seemingly effortless art flows from one panel to the next. This is not series of static panels. You do not even need to read the words (To be honest I did not read the text, I just absorbed the artwork).

Strangely, the story seemed familiar to me, especially the one-eyed alien. Maybe I had seen these pages online before, or there is a possibility that I actually had the comic as a kid.

But, I would have viewed things differently back then. For me as a kid to consider this as good art, Spock and Kirk would have needed to look exactly as they did on television, that would be the most important criteria to me, no matter how well drawn everything else was. If someone drew Mickey Mouse, it had to look exactly like Mickey Mouse. So, at the time I could not fully appreciate artists such as Noble or Bellamy.

Kid said...

I think the alien is a sort of cross between the Mekon and an Astran (the jelly bean-type creatures in a 1965 TV21 XL5 adventure), which may be why they seem familiar to you.

Lee Sullivan said...

Hello guys; thought I'd add my two pennith - just got back from Andercon convention where I was proud (and bewildered) to sit next to Mike, selling prints of a joint artwork we cooked up (at Mike's behest) of Zero X. I loved this story so much at the time of its publication and still do - the art is magnificent. I recently rediscovered the stash of TV21s I have left and of all of them, the issue with Kirk, Spock and their Phaser rifles was the one I chose to get him to sign. As far as Kirk's blue hair issue - I think it may be instructive to think back. This is 1970. There were NO colour images generally available of Star Trek back then. It was shown in black and white on BBC1 and the first colour images of Trek as far as I can recall were the Sugar Puffs badges, which I can't imagine Mike chomping his way through endless boxes of the crap - unsaleable otherwise - serial to obtain. The earlier Noble Treks were based on very few photos and Spock's eyebrows were arched to begin with! Something else I noticed: Palnak - the blue one-eyed meanie here - is an anagram of Kaplan - the no-eyed jellybean from the earlier Fireball XL5 strips :)

Lee Sullivan said...

This is just a personal view, obviously, but Turner - though gifted and capable of terrific graphic designs (and Daleks) is not on Noble's level. Turner's figures are child proportioned, baby-faced and his machinery made of soft butter. He's a great comics artist, but in terms of storytelling, technical construction, figure-work, clothing, finish, Noble wiped the floor with just about everyone. Still does :)

Kid said...

I'd have to agree with you about Mike Noble. His action storytelling even exceeded Ron Embleton's, I'd venture. If you look out some of the Noble Fireball XL5 posts on this blog, you'll see that he's thought of very highly indeed - by myself and others. Thanks for commenting, Lee - feel free anytime. Incidentally, I've added your site to my blog list so that people can drop in and admire your art.



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