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An Interview with Vivek J. Tiwary, Writer of the Star Trek: Enterprise-Comic The Fragile Beauty of Loyalty

by Mike Haberfelner

April 2017

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Your Star Trek: Waypoints comic The Fragile Beauty of Loyalty - in a few words, what is it about?

 

On the surface, it's a time-travel sci-fi story set in the Star Trek: Enterprise universe. But it's really a boy-and-his-dog human story, about loyalty and coming-of-age. I'm particularly honored that I've written the first Enterprise comic ever!

 

How did you get involved with the project in the first place, and would you consider yourself a Trekkie to begin with?

 

I'm definitely a Trekkie. My parents loved Star Trek (the original series), so I've literally been a fan since birth! And growing up in NYC, I've also been going to Star Trek conventions and Creation Conventions featuring my Trek heroes since I was a kid. So when I started talking with IDW Publishing about potential comic work, I was beside myself with excitement when they asked if I'd be interested in writing for Star Trek!!

 

What were your inspirations for writing The Fragile Beauty of Loyalty, and since Star Trek as such is such a multi-million Dollar franchise to begin with, were there any limitations as to what you could and could not write or pressure to keep it canonical or the like? And since a dog plays a pivotal role in The Fragile Beauty of Loyalty - so basically, what do dogs mean to you privately?

 

My inspirations for The Fragile Beauty of Loyalty are called out in the dedications at the end! Laika Kudryavka, the fearless Soviet space dog who was the first animal to orbit the earth - and Sukhi Sioux, my fearless four-pound papillon!

As for keeping to canon - at the pitch stage I had to make sure my story proposal fit within the general continuity... but as a Trekkie, addressing those concerns came naturally. And once my story idea was approved, I never felt any pressure to conform to anything or narrative limitations. IDW Publishing, the folks at Star Trek, and my editor Sarah Gaydos are all wonderful to work with.

 

As far as I know, The Fragile Beauty of Loyalty is the first ever Star Trek: Enterprise comic - so do you have any idea why, and what's your personal take on the series?

 

I honestly don't know why I was the first writer to have been approved to play in the Star Trek: Enterprise world - but it's certainly an honor! I'm a huge fan - it might be my favorite Trek after the original series...

 

Do talk about The Fragile Beauty of Loyalty's artist Hugo Petrus for a bit, and what was your collaboration like?

 

Hugo is amazing. His work speaks for itself - it's gorgeous! He's also incredibly easy to work with with, has great ideas, is up for trying anything, and never missed a deadline. AND he's a super cool, sweet guy. It was a joy to work with him - and colorist Fran Gamboa, too - from start to finish. I look forward to working with them again!

One thing I'll never forget is Hugo's willingness to jump right in and attack the difficult double-page-spread that I wrote as the centerpoint of the story. I thought he was going to hate me for it! But he instead approached the task with excitement and drew a masterpiece there in the middle!

 

The $64-question of course, where's your comic available from?

 

Star Trek:Waypoint #4 is available at comic stores everywhere, and digitally at Comixology.com. To find a comic shop in your area, visit ComicShopLocator.com or FindAComicShop.com

 

Based on your experience with The Fragile Beauty of Loyalty, could you ever be persuaded to do another Star Trek comic?

 

Twist my arm! I'd LOVE to do another Star Trek comic!

 

You come from a film and theatre background actually, so how did you get into comics, and how does writing for comics differ from working on movies or for the stage?

 

I've been a comic fan since childhood - I literally learned to read from reading comics. My earliest memories of reading are sitting on my mom's lap reading Tintin books!

Of course, the style and format of writing for comics differs from that in other mediums - there are things that work on the page that don't work of the stage or screen (and vice-versa). But at the end of the day... it's all about storytelling! The story comes first, then you pick the best medium for telling your story.

 

While we're talking, we also have to touch upon another project of yours, The Fifth Beatle, which I believe has also had a comicbook incarnation, right? So give us the lowdown on that one!

 

The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story is based on the untold life story of Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein. It's happily received worldwide critical acclaim and won a number of prestigious literary awards - including the Will Eisner Comic Industry Award for Best Reality-Based Work and two Harvey Awards, including Best Original Graphic Novel! It's also a Lambda Literary Finalist for Best LGBT Graphic Novel, an American Library Association Great Graphic Novel for Teens, and has been added to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library and Archives Permanent Collection. As you can imagine, I'm very proud of it!

The Fifth Beatle is now being adapted into a multi-part TV event series, and I'm proud to report that we've secured unprecedented access to Beatles music!! I'm writing the scripts myself and serving as executive producer...

We'll be announcing director, cast, and other details soon, so please follow us at facebook.com/TheFifthBeatleTV, on Twitter at @FifthBeatle, or join our mailing list at FifthBeatle.com to get breaking news.

 

Any other current and future projects in whatever medium you'd like to share?

 

I'm adapting Dave Roman's hit comic series Astronaut Academy for television. Think Harry Potter in space! It's about a charismatic loner named Hakata Soy who must rally a group of disparate kids at a school for space explorers to stop a megalomaniac President from waging interspecies war. Stay tuned (see below for how) for more details!

 

Your/your comic's website, Facebook, whatever else?

 

 

To keep in touch with me and my projects, please follow me on Twitter at @VivekJTiwary, at facebook.com/TiwaryEnt or join our mailing list at TiwaryEnt.com

 

Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?

 

I have another life as a Broadway producer, and I'm working with Alanis Morissette and Tony + Pulitzer Award winner Tom Kitt to adapt Jagged Little Pill for the stage! Please stay in touch (see above for how) for creative team and opening night news, coming soon!

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

Thank YOU!

 

all Star Trek Waypoint #4 art by Hugo Petrus

Vivek's portrait and The 5th Beatle cover by Andrew C. Robinson

 

Special thanks to Richard S Barnett, founder of IIWYK!!!

 

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