@’s by Walter Koenig on
THING TO COME and RAVER!!!
AMBUSH BUG (BUG): I’m sitting here with Walter Koenig, a true legend.
WALTER KOENIG (WK): In his own mind!
BUG: You have a couple of new things coming out from Bluewater Comics. Would you like to tell me a little bit about those?
WK: Sure. I had been working on a treatment for a feature film and I still believe in its potential as a feature. I do know that trying to sell a motion picture is extremely difficult. I wrote and produced a film a couple of years ago and we shot it a couple of years ago and we were able to get distribution through Anchor Bay for this spring, but I know how difficult a process it is and I thought that perhaps a short cut might be to think of it first as a graphic novel since it’s an arena that launches a lot of motion pictures, so that’s what I did. I started checking it out. I was put in touch with Bluewater and we discussed the story and they seemed to find it appealing, so we have a deal to do it as a series of comic books and then a graphic novel and then I’m on my own.
BUG: What’s the name of the project?
WK: It’s called THINGS TO COME and rather than stumble through a…you’re going to forgive me for this hopefully, stumble through a description of what it’s about, I can say it so much more briefly in one paragraph that I wrote.
WK: I’ll read it. “200 years after the apocalypse the human race, buried in the bowels of the earth, is a few tortured breaths from extinction. It offers up one last gift to the poisoned surface and the mutant life forms that survive there, a new species. Up until now the creatures are fiction, these new beings must determine the purpose of their presence. Are they only the violent spawn of mankind’s ego doomed to a soulless eternity or the progenitors of a better more hopeful world? Is it possible for them to tear the throats of their prey, drink the blood, and still pray to God? The story of THINGS TO COME.”
BUG: That sounds really cool. Is there an artist attached to it?
WK: I believe that this is the person who is going to do it. I don’t know them, this was just delivered to me by Crystal (Bluewater PR) yesterday.
BUG: Okay, we will find out soon. So you also have another comic coming out and that one is called?
WK: That’s called RAVER. Back in the 90’s I did a series of three stories for Malibu Comics based on this character that I created. Bluewater seems to think it has some viability at this time and so they are going to reprint the three individual stories and I’m going to write a fourth story and that too will ultimately be a graphic novel.
BUG: How many original stories were there?
BUG: And they were three miniseries or three single issues?
WK: Three single issues with the same character.
BUG: And then there’s a brand new one coming out and it’s all going to be in one graphic novel? Is it going to come out separately?
WK: No, it should come out as a graphic novel.
BUG: So what’s the timeline on these books? Do you know?
WK: 2011 and I’m already feeling a little tightness around the throat here, I feel the pressure mounting. The thing that impresses me about Blue Water is that they are heavily into promotion and if you write it, they will get it out there. I needed an ambitious dynamic organization that will move with it.
BUG: So are you going to be writing this yourself or with somebody? How is that going to work?
WK: I’m going to write it myself.
WK: I have an editor particularly for THINGS TO COME simply because the way it was written, the first act is about the last human beings on earth, the second act is about the species that claims the earth after they are gone, and we both agreed that we needed to do some kind of a flashback to introduce the vampires earlier on.
BUG: So you said that you have filmed part of this already?
WK: No, I haven’t filmed it, but I have a 25 page treatment about the story which is pretty definitive.
BUG: And that’s basically what’s going to be in the comic when it comes out? How many issues is that going to be?
WK: Yeah and I think four.
BUG: So with these two projects, is there anything else that’s going on that you are doing or are you focusing on these two projects right now?
WK: Well I’m certainly focusing on these. I wrote a novel a long time ago called BUCK ALICE AND THE ACTOR ROBOT that has been converted into a radio drama for 45 actors and that’s going to be released in November. The distribution is already set up. The mixing has been done on all of the special effects and the music. It’s just now about putting it out there and getting it done…a distributor is already in place, I can’t think of the name offhand, but that’s being handled by the production company, which is Colonial Radio Broadcasting on the air out of New England.
BUG: So you have had such a long and successful career, what kind of pearls of wisdom can you give people who are just coming into the industry?
WK: I think first of all perseverance, faith in yourself. You have to really have a passion and a belief that will stand the test of the myriad rejections that are bound to come unless you are extraordinarily gifted and recognized for it immediately, it’s a hard course to travel, but ultimately it’s a short life and you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do you know and I don’t believe, now more than ever, in a very pivotal and critical time in my life with events having taken a very tragic turn, I believe that you must live it fully and do what is important to you and if possible not to do what’s simply safe and comfortable you know. If you are creative in any field in any capacity or if you have just a driving ambition in some area, I think you must acknowledge that and respect it.
BUG: Definitely. Let’s talk a little bit about how you came to Bluewater. How did you guys meet? How did this first come about?
WK: Actually this has all happened within a 96 hour period. The people who are doing BUCK ALICE as the radio drama are also working with Bluewater and they recommended Bluewater to me. I told them I was looking for a comic book publisher and since they are working with them and feel comfortable, they mentioned it to me.
BUG: I’ve heard a little bit about the radio shows, do you think that RAVER and THINGS TO COME would be good radio shows too?
WK: I think anything is possible. I no longer reject anything out of hand. 1969 when Gene Roddenberry called us and said STAR TREK was over, I said “right, well what do I do with the rest of my life?” I discovered that things have a way of happening that I have very little control over. I think the most important thing, if you are in the arts is you have to not only be at the right place at the right time, but be prepared and that means if you are a writer or involved in that kind of intellectual pursuit that you have something to show immediately, you know? If you are an actor, you should always be working whether it’s a little theater or workshops or whatever, you’ve got to continue to do that. Nothing happens…nothing just falls into your lap, I don’t believe. You’ve got to work for it and you have got to persist.
BUG: You have done a ton of conventions in your life; do you have an idea of how many you have done in all of these years?
WK: Somewhere upwards of 300, maybe more.
BUG: Wow, that’s impressive. So do you have any last thoughts for the Ain’t It Cool News audience about your new books coming out?
WK: Well I hope they will look for them and I hope they will buy them and find some pleasure in reading them. I stopped writing for television, because I was writing stuff that other people were rewriting. Even though I was getting the credit for it, it was being rewritten and it didn’t look like my stuff and I didn’t see the purpose. I truly didn’t see the purpose of yes I was getting paid for it, my name was in the credits, but it wasn’t mine, so whatever avenue that I can explore where my work remains basically intact is what’s rewarding for me, otherwise there’s no purpose for it.
BUG: Very true. Well good luck to you on the books, both of them look really cool and we will definitely be previewing them on the site here coming up very soon. Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to me.
WK: Thank you.
BUG: Look THINGS TO COME from Bluewater Comics this September (available to order in Previews!)
Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole / wordslinger / reviewer / co-editor of AICN Comics for over nine years. Support a Bug by checking out his comics (click on the covers to purchase)!
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Proofs, co-edits & common sense provided by Sleazy G