Thursday, December 31, 2009
Star Trek 'Potpourri' Spotlight-
1978 Whitman Coloring Books
Item Name: Star Trek Coloring & Activity Books
Manufacturer: Whitman (1978)
The Rundown: Picked up these 2 fine coloring books on eBay the other day. Published by Whitman (the same company responsible for those great quirky Star Trek comics of the 60's and 70's), these books aren't what one would call "higher reading", but they are pretty fun. I didn't scan every page, but I did do enough to give you the outline of the *ahem* stories...
First up... "Rescue At Raylo"! One thing Whitman excelled at was cover artwork, and these coloring books are no exception. Beautiful stuff!
The story starts off with the crew down on the planet Raylo doing a little exploring. Kirk and Spock are stationed near one of the caves. A little ship flies out and zaps Kirk and Spock into unconsciousness.
Spock quickly recovers and calls down Dr. McCoy to help the Captain. Bones revives Kirk, but when he awakens he is bewildered and starts spouting out a bunch of nonsense.
Kirk then gets up and does his best zombie walk right into the cave.
Here's where we get our first look at some of the villains of this piece- the diminutive Mortards, which look kinda like tougher versions of Smurfs. Kirk walks into one of their glass tubes...
...where he joins other captured crew members, as explained by the plot's mastermind, the evil Dr. Rycho!
Why is he capturing crew members you might ask? Why to power his computer of course! Silly. Oh, check out the very first Star Wars/ Star Trek crossover on the little computer tape there:
Yup. This whole thing is George Lucas's fault.
Anyways... The good "Dr." Spock immediately grabs for his communicator to call the ship for help, but Rycho has already cut off all communications to the ship. That makes Spock mad.
And what better way to vent your Vulcan anger than beating up on people smaller than you? Luckily the Mortards are just robots... but Spock didn't really know that when he threw that haymaker.
Spock then puts his foolproof plan into action- Call the Captain on his communicator and the computer will short out. Whhhhaaaaaaat?!? Okay. Sure.
Kirk hulks out of the now malfunctioning machine while a little Mortard gets glass to the eye.
Of course we have to get a happy ending, so Dr. Rycho gets to join everybody up on the Enterprise, where he'll be much happier. Yay!
Oh, and this one is a Color AND Activity book, so there's a bunch of fun crosswords and games and stuff. One of the cooler things is a page devoted to "making your own spaceship diorama", which includes those great crew cutouts up there.
Next we have "Planet Ecnal's Dilemma". Another great Whitman cover!
This one starts off with a bunch of introductory pages for the crew, including this great shot of Kirk. He oozes suave even in a kid's coloring book.
So what exactly is Ecnal's dilemma? Well their planet is losing all life and they have no idea why. Ouch. That's a bummer.
Kirk and the crew promise to do what they can, which includes-
Flying around in the shuttlecraft.
Shooting videos of sad tree guys for submission to AFV.
And Spock putting on a lab coat and playing with a chemistry set.
All of that leads them to find a giant freaking ship sitting on the surface draining Ecnal's power to replenish theirs. Not really sure how Spock working in a lab lead to this discovery.
The people of Ecnal implore the Lerows to stop what they are doing so that the planet can survive. The Lerow's respond by basically saying "screw you". Jerks.
Of course, Kirk has a plan. He drags a big mirror thing over to the Lerow's ship. The Lerow's (being jerks) fire at it. But AHA! It reflects the shot back at them and ummmm.... repowers the ship. Brain hurts....
The Lerows and Ecnals forget about that whole "it's us or you" thing and become friends. A celebration ensues...
...where of course Kirk and Uhura break into song.
All's well that ends well, and the crew heads back up to the ship... all looking just about as confused as I am after reading this.
Fun stuff, huh? I ended up scanning more pages than I originally planned on in the hopes that some of the folks out there with young kids will print them out and have some coloring time with them. Enjoy!