The Cheshire Tardigrade

The Cheshire Tardigrade - a Star Trek Discovery and Alice in Wonderland mash up

The Cheshire Tardigrade

Sometimes when doing commission pieces a unique request will arrive in my inbox with a challenge.  A long time supporter of Star Trek Scribbles and Lee Draws Stuff sent me a tentative message over on Etsy asking if I’d be interested in some kind of mash up.  After seeing Michael quote Alice in Wonderland on Star Trek Discovery she was delighted as it is her favourite book and it really resonated with her.

I was heading off to Tasmania at the time so we discussed it, she locked in the request and I gave her the month I was away to really think about what sequence from the book she’d like to see.  I’m familiar with it, I’ve read it and I’m a fan of the novel but I’m not a devotee and not really up to the challenge of capturing that without guidance.

Flash forward and after clearing a few commission pieces I checked back in and was given three sequences from the book to see what I thought.  Well the Cheshire Cat was already admittedly marinating in the back of my head whilst I hiked through the wilderness. So when the conversation with the cat in the tree came up I jumped at it.

Fortunately it was her favourite as well.

So then it was to decide how to mash these two together and this was left to me.  Should Michael be dressed as Alice, should Alice’s world be merged more into the Discovery universe or vice versa?  Some quick research into the classic look and feel of the Cheshire Cat and I saw the page that the passage appears on and everything clicked into place perfectly.

One last decision though and I think I went the right way, should the Tardigrade be smiling?

Of course he should, can’t you see it?

Day Eight – Favourite Federation Enemy – 30 Day Star Trek Challenge

Day Eight – Favourite Federation Enemy – 30 Day Star Trek Challenge

We are the Borg.

This one is a no-brainer because frankly at any given point any of the “enemy” species on Star Trek can flip and become aligned.  We’ve seen it with the Klingons and the Romulans but there are one species that do not give a shit about peaceful cohabitation and that is the Borg.

Also, it’s really fun to draw them.

Whilst I do appreciate all that they did with the Borg I do feel that deep down they weakened them as an enemy by adding the Borg Queen.  Up until that point, they were a relentless assimilation machine that couldn’t be reasoned with.  I mean it’s possible that Locutus also chipped away at this terrifying oppressive force but I get why they did it, some sort of concept of facilitating assimilation more readily to avoid wasted resources as misguided as that may have been.  I try to imagine that they’ve done it in the past and other Borg figureheads have been created and reabsorbed.

But the Borg Queen added a convenient weak point, an interactive point to engage with the Borg and try and reason or negotiate.  The Borg were in my opinion much more terrifying when they were a blank wall of assimilated faces.But don’t get me wrong, the Borg Queen is a great character still and there are patterns in nature that are reflected in this so it’s not unprecedented.

Fun fact: This is actually the 100th Star Trek illustration for this year.

I’ve also posted over on Patreon a video showing the complete process of drawing this – from pencil line to the final touches – only $1 a month gets you access to these kinds of things plus helps me buy ink!!!

This is part of the 30 Day Star Trek Challenge – check out the details here.

Day Seven – Favourite TNG Episode – 30 Day Star Trek Challenge

Day Seven – Favourite TNG Episode – 30 Day Star Trek Challenge

The Inner Light

I remember watching this episode when it first aired and being struck by how brilliant a concept this was played out extremely well by Patrick Stewart.  It’s a shame my favourite episode wasn’t one that used the entire cast but this is just a great story and it’s only able to be told so effectively because of all of the episodes that come before it.

It’s a bit of a mind fuck when you realise that Picard has lived a whole lifetime, it has to mess with you.  I’ve only lived forty years and it’s completely shaped me as a person, now imagine living out another 40 years in a different life and having those memories and experience.  The character himself must be forever changed and I appreciate that the flute becomes a regular reminder of this throughout the remainder of the series.

It really does paint Picard in an extraordinary light, the mental fortitude of having survived complete assimilation into the Borg collective, living out an entire life, helping to shape Klingon politics and witnessing the birth of warp drive first hand amongst so much else.

A really nice episode to rewatch for this challenge.

What’s your favourite TNG episode?

This is part of the 30 Day Star Trek Challenge – check out the details here.

 

Day Six – Happiest Event – 30 Day Star Trek Challenge

Day Six – Happiest Event – 30 Day Star Trek Challenge

My friends, we’ve come home.

I struggled with deciding this one and then went for the first thing that kept popping into my head.  I remember beaming (excuse the pun) when newly-demoted Captain Kirk sees the Enterprise-A for the first time and says “My friends, we’ve come home.”  The music swells with the original series which to this point has largely been absent from The Voyage Home soundtrack and it adds a nice happy ending for the last three films.

The end scene as they all settle into their roles on the bridge just tops it off and declares that the crew is ready to go off boldly going where no one has before again.

So that’s my pick for the happiest moment in Star Trek, there are plenty more but it’s the one that jumps to mind first.

This is part of the 30 Day Star Trek Challenge – check out the details here.

Day Five – Saddest Event – 30 Day Star Trek Challenge

Day Five - Saddest Event – 30 Day Star Trek Challenge

Terra Prime

The natural choice here is almost immediately to go to the death of Spock.  It is one of the most iconic death sequences and funerals not only in science fiction but in film in general.  But so far this list has been very TOS heavy and I wanted to highlight a scene that took me completely by surprise and I will unashamedly admit that bawled like baby when I saw it.

At the end of Enterprise they have done such a good job at being so likeable a cast that it doesn’t matter if the first two seasons were wasted with troubled writing.  In the episode Terra Prime Trip and T’Pol’s child is dying and Dr Phlox leaves them alone with the child and speaks to Captain Archer on his way out:

When you invited me to join this crew, I thought it would be an interesting diversion for a few months. Some time away from the complications of family, which on Denobula can be extremely complicated. I didn’t expect to gain another family. (close to tears) It hurts as if she were my own child.

Even reading that makes me well up a little.  It is a beautiful scene, it is perfectly executed by both Phlox and Archer and it deserves a mention.

This is part of the 30 Day Star Trek Challenge – check out the details here.

Space pals – a Star Wars illustration

Space pals - a Star Wars illustration featuring Han Solo and Chewbacca

Space Pals

The commission request was for Han and Chewie from any of the films “as long as they are cool bros” which I love as an instruction!  So I thought of instead of them on a planet somewhere or even in the cockpit I’d have them just hanging out at “home”.

The thing that took me the longest was Han Solo’s hair LOL.

It’s always nice to visit the “Wars” star universe 😉

 

Day Four – Best Captain – 30 Day Star Trek Challenge

Day Four - Best Captain – 30 Day Star Trek Challenge

Captain James T Kirk

Look, I love all the Captains of Star Trek and the idea of who’s best is an argument no one can ever win, all you can go with is your own personal preference and if the Earth is in danger and we’re sending one starship out to save us (which happens way too often in Star Trek) then I’m sorry but I want Captain James T. Kirk in command.

People throw a lot of shade at the Kirk character and frankly most of it is gross exaggeration and generalisation.  Also to break the fourth wall slightly, to suggest that Shatner can’t act and is rubbish as Kirk is pretty much the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.  Sure there’s some hokey stuff going on in Star Trek but then there’s some amazing work as well and the amazing outshines the crap.

I always maintain the true measure of the character is shown in Star Trek IV The Voyage Home when in a patched up captured Klingon vessel with a skeleton crew on their way home to face court martial they encounter a threat to Earth. To save Earth they have to undertake a ridiculously dangerous mission that they are completely ill equipped for.  Kirk doesn’t hesitate, not for a second because the other way is to let Earth perish.

It’s how he does everything.

This is part of the 30 Day Star Trek Challenge – check out the details here.

Thoughts on the actual drawing will be over on Patreon.

Day Three – Favourite Starship – 30 Day Star Trek Challenge

Day Three - Favourite Starship – 30 Day Star Trek Challenge

USS Enterprise NCC-1701

NCC 1701, no bloody A, B, C or D.

This was a hard one for me actually because I really loved the Enterprise refit / A.  It’s a beautiful refit of the original Enterprise and to be honest if I hadn’t seen Star Trek Remastered then I might have still gone with it.  There’s nothing more majestic than the Enterprise limping home in Star Trek III however I am going with the original Enterprise.

Classic TOS Enterprise, it’s hard to go by her and with updated special effects she looks amazing.  It’s the original, end of story.

A close second apart from the Enterprise A would be the Klingon Bird of Prey – particularly the HMS Bounty.  Some very fond feelings for that ship, especially the awesome shot of her hovering above a whaling ship, sadly a problem we still have.

Scene from star Trek 4 The Voyage Home

This is part of the 30 Day Star Trek Challenge – check out the details here.

What’s your favourite Star Trek ship?

Day Two – Favourite Federation Race – 30 Day Star Trek Challenge

Day Two – Favourite Federation Race – 30 Day Star Trek Challenge

The Vulcans

The Vulcans are synonymous with Star Trek and I always enjoy Vulcan storylines (more so than Klingon ones) so it was hard to go past them.  I enjoy drawing them the most, though to be fair Andorians and Tellarites are also pretty damn fun to illustrate.

They’ve had a pretty rough run of it especially in Enterprise where they were painted in a very different light and in my opinion probably a little too harshly.  Their stoic logic was supposed to be the thing that gave the impression they were arrogant and superior not actually being arrogant and superior as a culture.

It just feels like a disingenuous and lazy way to handle them writing wise.

The Bajorans were a very close second for me, a race that has a rich culture that is explored throughout seven years of Deep Space Nine, they are a really interesting race and I hope if they ever actually get back to making post Voyager Star Trek that we see the Bajorans integrated into the Federation.  And yes I know technically they weren’t in the Federation.

This is part of the 30 Day Star Trek Challenge – check out the details here.