The Art of Stuck On Star Trek
Joe Corroney is stuck on Star Trek. The popular artist and illustrator really has been in Trek mode lately. He lent his talents to Federation: The First 150 Years and the current Hive comic book series, and on Feb. 26 he’ll be represented by Stuck on Star Trek, via Universe. Stuck on Star Trek, as previously reported on StarTrek.com, is a 10-page, spiral-bound book that provides an imaginative and interactive way to beam into the Trek universe using the magic of familiar backgrounds and "Kling-on" pieces/stickers to reenact favorite scenes from TOS or to create new scenarios. StarTrek.com recently caught up with Corroney for an exclusive interview about Stuck on Star Trek, and we addressed his other projects as well.
How did the opportunity to do Stuck on Star Trek come about?
Corroney: I was actually contacted by the art director at Becker & Mayer! Books a few years ago when they wanted to pitch this project to CBS. I think I got recommended for the project by my friend and author Scott Tipton, who was working on Star Trek Vault at the time. Scott and I worked previously together on many Star Trek comic books for IDW Publishing.
What excited you most about the project?
Corroney: I think it was because the project brought me back to my childhood days of playing with Colorforms and Presto Magix, if anyone remembers those. I used to draw a lot as a kid, of course, but those activity sets and games really inspired my imagination quite a bit, too. They allowed me to relive movies and TV shows like Star Trek and Star Wars and make my own comic-book-type adventures in full color with backgrounds and props and so on. Nowadays kids demand much more stimulation for their imagination because of the advancements in video games and big-budget filmmaking and the allure and spectacle of other multimedia, so something like Stuck on Star Trek is kind of a throwback really. It's really geared for the collector market and the fans who grew up with Star Trek already, but hopefully their kids or new Star Trek fans will get a kick out of it and find some enjoyment with it, too.
Which iconic bits of Trek did you have the most fun rendering?
Corroney: The Enterprise bridge was really fun to illustrate. I hadn't really gotten the chance to draw the entire bridge for the The Original Series-era Enterprise in the comics before, just parts of it, so I was excited for this illustration. It was challenging but also an honor to draw such a classic, iconic setting in Star Trek history. I actually had to adjust some of the features for the bridge, though, increasing the distance between Captain Kirk's chair and the command consoles to allow for more playability for the clings.
What's up with the dancing Kirk?
Corroney: I think dancing Kirk looks cool! It does look like he's doing the cha cha cha I guess, but remember, Kirk is a man of action. He needs to look like he's ready to rumble for a playset like this. Also, his arms are raised in an action pose since his hands are designed to hold phasers and other objects for the clings. I do seem to recall Kirk doing some dancing in the classic episode “Plato's Stepchildren,” though...
What else is in the ballpark of dancing Kirk?
Corroney: Well, Spock looks like he might be ready to cut a rug, too, and you could make it rain with Tribbles since there are a quite a few of those clings in the book.
In general, what kind of stylistic approach did you take? We you trying for semi-realistic? For the Animated Series look? Something in between?
Corroney: I worked with my friends and frequent collaborators, Hi-Fi Colour Design, on this project and they really knocked it out of the park with the artwork. I think the style evolved naturally since we work primarily as comic book artists in the industry. The general idea was to definitely retain likenesses as much as possible for the characters, but also keep them fun and animated-looking. It's just something we're really good at doing, having worked with Star Trek and other licensed properties for so long now.
If there are more Stuck on Trek books in the future, what would you like to realize?
Corroney: Wow, that's a good question. I would definitely love to do a second book featuring The Next Generation series. That would be especially cool. I love Picard, Data, Riker, Worf, Geordi and the rest of the crew. I think it would be really great to adapt some classic TNG episodes like “The Best of Both Worlds,” “QPid,” “The Big Goodbye” and “All Good Things...” There are definitely some great characters, costumes and environments in all of those episodes that would lend themselves perfectly for another Stuck on Star Trek book.
You've been a busy man lately on the Trek front, with Federation and Hive. How pleased have you been with the reaction to those two projects?
Corroney: I'm really thrilled the fans have responded so positively to both of those projects. It was great contributing artwork to Federation: The First 150 Years and to see my work featured alongside so many spectacular illustrations by friends of mine in the industry who also contributed art for the book. But I'm especially proud to see Star Trek: The Next Generation: Hive getting some really great reviews and positive feedback online. I worked really hard on my art for that series with my friends at Hi-Fi and Star Trek writer/producer Brannon Braga to make a truly memorable Star Trek adventure for the fans since the story felt like a true sequel to Star Trek: Nemesis. I can't wait for the fourth issue to come out shortly, so everyone can see how this epic final battle with the Borg ends for the TNG crew.
Trek-wise, what else are you working on at the moment?
Corroney: Currently, I'm doing some sketches for IDW Publishing's upcoming Star Trek Volume Two Deluxe Limited Edition book for their "IDW Limited" line. This will be a very rare, limited release for this collection of Star Trek comic books and each book in the black label edition will come with a unique, hand-drawn character sketch inside that I've drawn. There are also rumblings of a new Star Trek series on the horizon at IDW that I might get to draw, so I'm hoping that works out for me later this year.
Stuck on Star Trek will come with wire-o pages and a foldout stand for easy display, and play, in a cubicle or on any surface. It’ll be available February 26 from Universe. Click below to pre-order and HERE to visit Corroney's official site.