The first issue Groombridge Log is finally here! Check it out!
The prologue covers events that take place before, during and after Star Control I and touches the beginning of Star Control II.
The comic begins with describing a nuclear war that takes place in the near future and and the creation and rise of the Androsynth, a slave race of human clones with genetically enhanced speed, strength and intelligence. In the comic, a female Androsynth appears. There was a post on the UQM forums quoting Paul Reiche regarding the Androsynth culture and genders:
Good question! My initial intention was that, yes, they were gay, or more properly, strictly monosexual. About the time Fred and I were working on Star Control II, I had my first friendships with openly gay folks. It always has felt good to me to discard a prejudice and I hoped to share that opportunity in teeny‐weeny little way with the people who played my games. BUT, when I shared this notion with our publisher, some folks took this to mean that they should use stereotypes for humor, as for instance the "fashion designers of space" crap that ended‐up in the manual. I feel like I should have been more courageous getting that comment edited out and if it offended anyone, I feel really bad about that.
Hopefully as the future unfolds, we will find our species more accepting of others and more appreciative of individual expression... either that or we should all get jetpacks. I'm cool either way.
‐ Paul Reiche
Ps. By the way, now I am not so sure that all the Androsynth are male. I imagine they might descend from a few clonal lines, so I expect there would be both male and female and perhaps some neutrals.
Groombridge Log does a great job at pointing out how significant the Androsynth are in the timeline and shows that they have a mind of their own. The Guardian ship is very powerful and has a unique set of strengths and weaknesses just like every other ship. Their disappearance remains a mystery and has received various theories involving the Orz, “mysterious fingers” and even the possibility that some other Quasispace race was involved. Their superior genetic enhancements, hatred of humans and unanswered questions make them a very interesting and different race. The whereabouts Androsynth is probably one of the most desired questions to be answered in a sequel to Star Control II.
One great idea they used for this comic was using the starmap with arrows to show off how the different races were moving around in space; the boundary circles of Star Control II also moved around as time passed by. For example, when the player continues to check the starmap, he or she will notice certain events such as the Pkunk moving towards the Yehat and the conflict between the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za and Kohr-Ah. It gave the impression of a tactical report.
I asked Tiberian a few questions about Prologue:
- What did you use to create the comic (materials, software, etc.)? I draw the pages with pencil and paper. One page is one A4. Then I scan the sketch and send it to Glory Device, who draws the black outlines over the sketches. I don't know what program he uses but I know he has a graphic tablet which he got for this project. When he has "inked" the page, he sends it back to me and I open it in Photoshop. Then I use the basic colouring tools to finish the page. I also have a graphic tablet which I use in the colouring. Some panels are random photos found from the internet with some Photoshop filters on them.I have to note that I don't like the colouring part. I'm not very good at using the tools and I don't find it very enjoyable. I would just want to focus on drawing the sketches. So if anyone is skilled and interested in joining the project as a "colourer" (does that word exist?) I'd be happy to let him try.
- What are your favorite drawings in the comic and why? I like the Star Control logo. I created it before I had started this project.The Androsynth in the last panel of the second page (or third page in the index) turned out really well. It is a very emotional panel. The shape of the head is from the cover of my old webcomic's third chapter: http://good-influence.net/strips/76The exploding spacecraft on the third (fourth) page is also one of my favorites. The explosion in the background is from a random image I found from google, but it blends well with the ship. When starting to colour that panel I was afraid that the beam wouldn't look good. There was originally a Star Control logo in the side of that ship, below the cockpit, but it looked better without it.On the eighth (ninth) page the Ur-Quan and Spathi are the comical relief of the prologue, which is quite serious and "heavy" with so much text. Someone might notice that I used one of Zarla's drawings as reference for the Spathi on the right. I guess this is my favorite panel.The last panel of the eleventh (twelveth) page is a "population centre" traffic sign at least in Finland. I don't know if it is used in other countries. I think the flames make a really good atmosphere. Although some of the "flame-bits" look a bit too much like hearts.One last note from the panels: The one on the second last page with the Syreen, Arilou, Shofixti and Yehat. I made myself a wallpaper version of this panel. When I had already sent the sketch from this page to Glory Device, I noticed that I had completely forgotten about the Arilou. So I added the Arilou later and sent Glory Device a fixed version. He then inked the old version by accident and sent me the one without the Arilou. So I had to draw the Arilou on my tablet without a sketch to follow. This part I did not enjoy.
- In the last page of Groombridge Log, is the character on the right Commander Hayes? Yes. I am happy to hear that he bears at least some resemblance.
- What events in the Star Control storyline interest you the most and why? Like many of the fans, I specifically like the Androsynth-story. Exploring the ruins is really spooky. Their fate goes beyond the boundaries of our known universe. It shows the limitations of human imagination (although not Fred and Paul's limitation). I hope I can continue this project for so long that I can get into the Androsynth's situation.
- Is there anything we can expect to see in future comics? You can expect to see a certain ship approaching the starbase.I'd like to point out that the Groombridge Log you are seeing now is only the prologue chapter. I have already finished the first version of the script for the first chapter. It still needs some tuning, but the plot is clear. It will take a lot of time to finish the chapter so don't hold your breath yet. I will keep the community informed on the progress.
It’s a great comic and I would love to see more. It stays very close to the storyline and makes me want to play through Star Control 1. The characters are very easy to recognize and the drawings and coloring is excellent. I’m glad that there was no yellow boxes behind the text because it would make the background images more difficult to see. Ethan is also working on a comic of his own and I can’t wait to see that too. Fan art contributions are always awesome and really show how strong the fan base is; anybody can write about how awesome Star Control is and how we deserve a new one and a picture will always grab more attention.
Thanks Tiberian and Glory Device for working on the Groombridge Log. We’re excited to see more of your great work. Take your time! :D