Guest Comic By William Tallman Of Reptilis Rex

I’m at Emerald City Comicon RIGHT NOW having a motherbuttshaking PARTYPARTYPARTYPARTY!!! If you are in Seattle, come to booth 1106 (the Blind Ferret Booth) and SHAKE DEM HEALTHY BUTTS!  (also buy stuff from me)


In my absence you are presently being treated to a guestual type comic from William Tallman, creator of Reptilis Rex. It is uncomfortably clear from the panels above that W.T. gets my sense of humor, gets my characters’ sensibilities and draws my characters better than I do. I’m not even going to ask if you enjoyed this comic (BECAUSE YOU DID), so in your pursuit of more haha-yuckyucks by Mr. Tallman I will direct you again (THAT’S RIGHT, TWO LINKS!) to his comic about a deposed Reptoid king from our very own hollow Earth who comes up to the surface and has a pretty shitty life. The cuteness of the pictures is designed to distract you from the undeniably honest sadness of the human reptoid condition. It’s funny!

COMMENTERS: Have you ever explored the expanded universe (novels, comics, CCG’s, whatever) of any particular popular culture element? Did you find comfort in delving into a larger universe which concerned a thing you already loved, or were you saddened when you found out Han Solo used to be partners with a space rabbit?

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  1. I was crazy into those early 90s ST TNG novels. I think my favorite was the one that had Wesley Crusher accidentally discovering a way to forge gold-pressed latinum bars. There's a massive auction for some old inventors magic weapons, and somehow Wesley is pressed into service with some Ferengi, while Picard bids for the Klingons and Worf bids for the Federation. Zaniness!

    Also the insanely long one where Riker and Troi met, because it had no less than two sex scenes and I was but a mere 12.

  2. As a kid I discovered the Star Wars EU novels. I was lucky and started with the good ones like Thrawn. I can't recall which other ones I read but if it was any of the terrible ones I was too young to notice.

  3. I tried reading the Red Dwarf novels put out by the series creators but just couldn't get into them. They lacked much of the light hearted whimsy of the show. In my opinion anyway.

  4. The Star Wars and the Star Trek novels (post Nemesis) have both been good overall. Most of the 90's Star Wars books couldn't mess with the overall universe until after Episodes 1-3 came out. The Star Trek Destiny Trilogy should be turned into movies…if not live action, then definitely animated.

  5. DUDE!! I TOTALLY read that TNG Mirror Universe novel with the dolphin crew-member! Commander Hwiii (pronounced "Weee"). Riker doesn't bone the dolphin, but he TOTALLY screams a filthy word at it. Well . . . he whistles very loudly to get its attention, and the dolphin tells him that it's a filthy word in his language.

    Also, Picard threatens to jam a phaser up Riker's nose and push the button. Really happens.

    I also love the Peter David Star Trek novels. All of them. Especially the New Frontier series. I own every one. USS Excalibur, bitches. We've got a warlord in command, a counter-Borg intelligence agent as first officer, a Romulan science officer, a horny Vulcan doctor, a hermaphrodite chief engineer, a stone mountain as security chief, a poisonous yeti and a giant cat and a three-legged alien on security staff, a fallen prince as diplomatic liaison, an immortal woman IN the computer, her daughter at ops, and a FUCKING GOD at navigation.

    And I think it goes without saying that – seeing as the expanded universe offers the ONLY good material to come out of Star Wars since . . . well, the original trilogy – anyone who hasn't delved into the greater canon of the Star Wars universe has been living in a state of prequel-induced misery for the last decade and a half for NO GOOD REASON. Seriously, play KOTOR, you'll thank yourself afterwards, you may even start to forgive Lucas . . . wait, no, don't put in the Special Edition Blu-Ray, stop, YOU FOOL!!!

    • Yup, I was wondering if anyone else would recognize Hwiii. One of my favorite OCs of all time.

      (Also, mirror-universe Troi was rutting TERRIFYING.)

      • I read that one too. He was the expert in string theory that helped them figure out how to reverse the mirror universe's invasive technology.

        I'm ashamed I didn't recognize him at first 🙁

  6. I still read the Star Wars EU novels. They keep writing more of them, and I generally find them to be pretty good. At this point I've read a sizable chunk of the newer ones, but not so much of the old ones from the 90's. I'm trying to work my way through those as well, but anything from the Sith era always grabs my attention first.

    • My roomie is an obsessive collector of Buffy and Angel novels. They kind of function like licensed, professional fanfic, and the quality seems to vary about as much as that would suggest. My personal favorite is Go Ask Malice, which is a great origin story for Faith.

      We've found that even the crummy ones are good for reading aloud while the other one of us levels up for hours on end in an RPG.

    • I read a significant number of the Buffy novels. The one where she met the Vampire Slayer Vampire? I would watch THAT!

      Some of them were a bit….meh…they didn't really get the characterisations right, but others I felt were worth the time. Why is it that the only title I can actually remember is Resurrecting Ravana which is an Ethan Rayne focused one?

  7. I used to borrow those early 90s TNG novels from the only other Trekkie I knew back then (the pre-teen, hyperintelligent, smartass son of Mom's co-worker), and devoured them. They were the first books I ever read in English. I still have two dog-eared paperbacks (not borrowed ones, these I bought): "Q in Law" by the excellent Peter David, and "Survivors" by Jean Lorrah. They are my favourites, for very different reasons. "Q in Law" is just brilliantly funny (one word: Lwaxana. I'll let you read the rest.), and "Survivors" gives you a lot of background on Tasha Yar, and made Data daaaaamn sexy to me.

    • They really could've made "Survivors" into an episode…don't know if "Q in Law" would've worked as one, but some of the writing & imagery is pretty damn awesome

      • I always thought Q in Law would have made a nice two-parter. It's too long and intricate for a single episode, but should definitely have been filmed, if only for Wesley's slave girl scenes. Oh, the cringing… 😀

  8. A long time ago I used to read the Star Trek TOS novels. Some of them I really enjoyed, particularily those in which the story didn't follow the 'main cast' at all.

    After the Stargate movie came out there was a series of novels (four or five maybe?) that I thought took the story in a very interesting and exciting direction, but which were utterly and completely incompatible with the SG1 tv show. I preferred the books and ignored the show.

  9. I was just going to mention Q in law! Though, that one was priceless as an audio book! Read by Majel and DeLancie!

    • Q In Law was pretty solid.

      For sheer Q awesomeness, it's hard to beat Q-Squared. Honestly, I thought the Track A timeline, with Jack Crusher still alive and a broken Picard, sounded more interesting than our regular one.

  10. I love the Star Wars EU books, at least the early ones they did. If they'd wanted to do a decent series, as opposed to the prequels, then filming the Thrawn trilogy in the mid 90s would have been awesome!

    My favourites which I heartily recommend are the X-Wing novels. There are only 9 of them, but they're solid gold. The first 4 feature your traditional heroic gang of fighter pilots trying to over throw the remains of the Empire, while the next three are a sort of Dirty Dozen squadron called Wraith Squadron which feature things like a genetically modified Gamorean who's super smart, or the younger brother of Biggs Darklighter who's trying desperately to get out from under both his brother, and Luke's shadows.

    The comics from the Star Wars EU are pretty good also – especially the Crimson Empire and Star Wars Tales stuff.

  11. When I was younger I read a bunch of the Star Wars novels, I enjoyed the hell out of them but for some reason never continued reading them. The "Young Han Solo" trilogy was pretty good and somewhere I still have the "Tales from Mos Eisley" and "Tales from Jabba's Palace" that give backstories to all those characters you see. I also have the comics from the show Supernatural (not good) and I was just given a few of the novels to read for a book review site. I'm hopeful that they're at least better than this last season has been.

  12. Well obviously I've read the Hitchhiker's Guide books. All awesome though the last two were somewhat tacked on. I enjoyed a couple of the Red Dwarf ones, but they were mainly based on the early series anyway.

    • Honestly, the Eoin Colfer one was arguably my favorite. I hope Douglas Adams doesn't beat me up in the afterlife for saying that. (Sorry Mr. Adams!)

  13. The bronies are bemoaning the upcoming MLP:FiM EU picture book Under The Sparkling Sea, which will introduce both the Seaponies and the Mermares, along with their King Leo, who sits on the Cosmic Council with his cousin Princess Celestia.

    They're almost as saddlesore about the kid-quality illustrations as they are about being mocked as trolls in the comic book's issue 2.

  14. I was always a big fan of the Star Trek novels that explored the nonhuman cultures, particularly John M. Ford's Klingon novel "The Final Reflection", and Diane Duane's Rihannsu novels.

    Of course, for every "My Enemy, My Ally", there was a "Fate of the Phoenix" – nothing's perfect…

    • What was really good about these novels was that they filled the "dark time" between Spockalypse Now and TNG coming out.
      Some of the novels were also the foundation of the old FASA Star Trek:RPG game from the 80's, as far as concepts and internal fiction, and made the game as high quality as it was.

  15. I read Alan Dean Foster's Alien novelization before I actually saw Alien (I wasn't allowed to watch an R-rated horror movie, but books were fair game). I was 14 when I finally saw the movie, and since I couldn't remember the protagonist's name from the book, I spent the first hour trying to figure out which of the two female characters was the main character.
    In hindsight, I have no idea how my fourteen-year-old self thought Lambert might be the protagonist. Guess I wasn't such a keen observer of heroic character traits.

  16. I love the Star Wars expanded universe books. I started with the Yuuzhan Vong wars and read until a few years ago, when I sadly fell behind. About 40 books I think. Pretty well written and I loved development of the old characters, the second and third generation ones, and all the completely new ones. It really made that galaxy far far away seem more alive.

  17. I was raised on the Star Trek TOS novels (mom is a huge SF fan), so I'm pretty sure I have read most of the ones published during the 80's. Though I've gone back to a few of my old favorites recently and realized much of the fanfic I read now is actually better written…

  18. You pretty much can't go wrong with anything Star Trek written by David or DeCandido. Likewise, any Star Wars by Zahn, Stackpole, or Allston is a fairly safe bet.

  19. I remember reading some of those. I stopped once I realized that they made no effort to keep continuity with the shows.

    As for the dolphin, that was an actual idea they had for TNG. They were swept up in the whole new agey "whales and dolphins are smarter than humans" insanity, as evidenced by Star Trek 4. The idea was that dolphins were as intelligent as humans and that the dolphin crew member was a navigator because dolphins are adept at swimming in three dimensions. There was even supposed to be a big aquarium dedicated to the dolphin navigator.

    • Regarding continuity, I think it's pretty much the other way around. The books generally try really hard to stay true to the canon of the shows and movies as it is at the time of writing. Unfortunately for those of us who enjoy the EU stuff, the opposite is not true in the slightest. Heck, in some of his more recent stuff, you can see Peter David trying harder and harder to write plausible ways for his previous books to still jibe with the overall Star Trek universe.

      • No, I'm pretty sure that they didn't try that hard to stay true to the show. For example, I remember reading a book where the Enterprise had to go up against a Cardassian warship and they said that the Cardassian ship was much more powerful than the Enterprise even though Cardassian ships were always shown to be much weaker than modern Starfleet ships since their first appearance in TNG, they were only effective against crappy 100 year old Starfleet ships like the Miranda class.

        • Note, I said generally. There are always going to be aberrations, depending on the author.
          Also, I'm pretty certain that, until later seasons of DS9, Starfleet ships never really went head-to-head with Cardassian warships. In the Next Gen episode "The Wounded," the Phoenix takes out some freighters, a cruiser of unspecified class, and an unarmed station, but there's never really a real fight.
          Really, when it boils down to it, relative power levels of various ships aren't even consistent from episode to episode, so having a super-powerful Cardassian warship show up when the plot calls for it can hardly be considered a glaring diversion from established canon.

  20. I actually just started reading the Star Trek novels of David Mack this year and I really, really like them. He sticks true to the characters I know and familiarizes the ones I don't (from DS9, etc.). I've also read/listened to a fair amount of Doctor Who books, which are a lot of fun.

    Am I wrong, or is Who the only franchise to reference its expanded universe in the core show?

  21. I've been readin' Star Trek books since junior high, which was about twenty years ago…just finished David Mack's Cold Equations trilogy yesterday. And I used to have all of the Quantum Leap books, too.

    I will occasional pick up a Star Wars book, but I think the last complete series of those I read was the trilogy with the insects…? I thought the cover art was cool, so I bought 'em.

  22. I usually can't be bothered with all the extra stuff that's not part of the main collection, but after firefly I just HAD to find out the Shepherd's origin story so I got the graphic novel…

  23. I've read loads of Star Trek books, mostly Next Generation but my favourites are the ones that Shatner did with Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens (who are good Trek writers in their own right), the 2nd life of Kirk.

  24. There is an online comic I like. So when I heard they had a podcast I was stoked! I listened to it and was…horrified.


    RAGE JOIN AGAIN! Argggghhhhhhh!

  25. So I don't tell people this very often, but I had a very boring job a couple years ago, and listened to audio books all day.
    At some point, desperate for more material to listen to, I decided that I would listen to all the Star Wars novels in the universe's chronological order.
    I didn't bother with young reader stuff, short story collections, or series that weren't finished yet. I borrowed and downloaded all the ones I could find, and bought and checked out others that were never recorded (like the Republic Commando series) and read them on my own time. But I got in 40-45 hours a week of audio books.
    And I did them all in one year. ALL OF THEM.
    At the end I counted and it was around 125. Now I am one with the Star Wars EU.

  26. The Doctor Who audio dramas by Big Finish. Brilliant stuff. They only do classic Who stories, since they're not allowed to mess with the new series, but it's brilliant. They've got the origninal actors for the Doctors, sometimes the companions, sometimes new ones. All the actors are wonderful, and, since it leaves so much to the imagination rather than an FX budget, they do so much that the show never could.

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