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Yvette - Bookworlder

Just a middle-brow reader who loves a good story, recipe or how-to.

 

The City on the Edge of Forever by Harlan Ellison - graphic novel review

Star Trek: City on the Edge of Forever - Harlan Ellison, David Tipton, J. K. Woodward, Scott Tipton

Though my oldest sister was always the trekkie of the family, I believe I have seen every episode of the original Star Trek series at least once, though some possibly not since the 1970's.  There are a few episodes, however, that stick out in my mind (if a child ever starts saying "bang-a-rang" around me, I might freak out, just sayin'...) and it turns out that the episode that was based on Harlan Ellison's The City on the Edge of Forever, was one of them.  So, expecting a never produced teleplay then discovering part way into the graphic novel that it was an episode I clearly remember was a nice surprise, as it slowly became more and more familiar.  That out of the way, let's talk briefly about the graphic novel itself.

 

The art is fantastic.  Either the artist has an incredible talent for realistic and detailed depictions or someone was busy with photoshop.  I choose to believe the former.  My experience of graphic novels is not vast, but others I have read where the characters were depictions of actors have not come so close to exact likenesses, clear down to Joan Collins' fake eyelashes.  At times this graphic novel has the appearance of a fully realized story-board.  At others there were some great stylistic choices that helped frame the mood of the scene.

 

The story is very much the episode I remember, but with a more intriguing set-up. Gritty is the word that keeps coming to mind, with greed and addiction being the catalysts for the conflict.  The differences between this and the televised version would make for an interesting study in contrasts.  Some of the changes are small and subtle, and I am sure I missed others as I haven't viewed the episode in quite some time.  I don't remember, for example, Yeoman Janice Rand being such a strong character.  Ellison's Yeoman Rand is a badass.  And that in itself made reading this worthwhile, downloaded as a "Read Now" ebook courtesy of NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.