STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION #34
I had finished pencilling the last issue, and though I didn't need to, I made the trip down to the Manhatten offices of DC Comics. Lesson number one to all you aspiring comics professionals: never pass up an opportunity to it known you're available for any assignment, otherwise if you're out of sight, you're out of mind.
Since I got down to the offices just before lunch, editor Kim Yale inquired if I was free to discuss matters over at some nearby dining establishment on the corporate expense account. Lesson number two for freelancers: never turn down a free meal from your editor. It's usually a good sign.
While being waited on, Kim expressed her opinion how happy she was with the work I was turning in, and began discussing her future plans for both of the TREK titles DC was then publishing. Deciding to reshuffle the deck, Kim wanted to bring in new talent on the books, and she wanted me as one of the new regular pencillers. Needless to say, I did nothing to dissaude her thoughts along that line. That was lesson number three: when opportunity knocks, you accept it. Creators being replaced on books just like that is a cold, hard fact of life, especially when the company is in the driver's seat. If you don't do it, there's always another body. Technically, the only time you should be safe is if you created the series, but even in comics, that's not enough to save you. (Or in a lot of other professions either, in fact.)
The only sour note Kim mentioned involved office politics, a subject I vehemiently avoided like the plague. It seems there were others in the DC offices who felt they deserved her position more than her, and were looking for any opening to sink her ship. I should have been more concerned than I was, but Kim struck me as a seasoned professional, and more than capable of taking care of herself. What I didn't count on was that those who supported her wouldn't be there when she needed them.
And so I went home with the script for the second installment, ready to pick up where I left off.
Below are pages from issue #34, written by Michael Jan Friedman, pencilled by yours truly, inked by Pablo Marcos, lettered by Bob Pinaha and colored by Mike McCormick.
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