Koenig On Comics, Stars & More
We’ve been hearing that Walter Koenig has been busy with a whole bunch of projects, so we figured we’d check in with the TOS legend and get an update from the man himself. Sure enough, he was eager to chat about his new four-part graphic novel, Things to Come, part one of which is out now and part two of which, Koenig reports, could use your help in order to reach retailers. He’s also shot roles in a couple of films and is gearing up for a weekend of events set for this fall in celebration of his Hollywood Walk of Fame installation.
Let's start with Things to Come #1. What kind of feedback did you get to it? And, if you can be objective, how pleased were you with how it came together -- the story and the art?
Koenig: The feedback has been limited. The thing I've heard most consistently is that people love the art, are intrigued by the story, but they don’t know where it’s going next. The fact is, the mandate was to release the story in four separate issues first. The problem is it was constructed to play out as a continuing epic story with a beginning, a middle and an end over the length of the entire saga -- and not for each of the issues. In other words, each comic is not self-contained. Character development and plot turns are resolved over the course of the entire graphic novel book and not necessarily within the parameters of a single issue. My feeling is that the art is superb and the story quite fresh. These are vampires not quite like you've seen before. I'm proud of the work all around.
Things to Come #2 is all done. Give us a preview. Where does it take the story and the characters?
Koenig: Things to Come takes place in two worlds: One part deals with the last humans alive and their desperate effort to free themselves from the underworld life they and their ancestors have known for 200 years. The other part deals with the coming of the vampires and their struggle to understand why they are the only sentient creatures on Earth. In each case, conflict rages, blood is spilled and compassion has its own voice. It is hard to ignore the similarities as well as the differences between the two species. In each instance, the stories are evolving in #2, with more to be learned in each successive book.
How far along are the subsequent books?
Koenig: #3 is written, inked , painted and lettered. #4, the last book, is written and the spectacular art is being created as we talk. It should be finished (this month).
Things to Come #2 probably should have been out already. What's causing the delay and what can fans/readers do to help convince Bluewater to get it out there?
Koenig: To put it bluntly, the presales have been weak. In general, single issue books are not faring well in the market for even the biggest comic book companies. The distributor (Diamond) has to be convinced that there is a vociferous, ambulatory buying public out there that is interested in what we have accomplished. I wrote this story first as an outline for a feature film. It is a special story and I still believe it has that potential. I ask the fans to let their comic book outlets know they have an abiding interest in what we are achieving. When that happens and the work has the exposure it deserves, then maybe, after that, we can all look forward to seeing the movie together.
You’ll be attending several upcoming conventions, and there will be a big event in Los Angeles this fall to celebrate you receiving your Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Since we've got you, what else are you working on at the moment?
Koenig: We recently wrapped shooting on a short film I wrote called Handball. It stars Herbert Jefferson, Jr. and myself. I'm proud of the work of all involved. We have just begun to submit it to film festivals around the country. I did a cameo role in an underground movie called The Obsession, which will be released this summer. The Hollywood Walk of Fame installation takes place on September 10th. There will be a convention in Los Angeles in conjunction with that. I hope that everyone who has the means to get there will be able to attend the Walk of Fame ceremony. No one more than the fans themselves are responsible for this happening. I'd love to be able to thank as many as possible in person.