Friday, June 12, 2009

Wired for Trek!

The May 2009 issue of "Wired" magazine is guest edited by JJ Abrams - and contains a six page comic spin-off to his new "Star Trek" movie!


Sometime it pays for a collector to keep one's irons in the fire. A bit of pre-planning was needed. Until a while ago, I hadn't heard of this magazine before but, panicking that it the "Star Trek" issue might be too obscure to find here Down Under, I immediately went off on a scouring/scavenging mission to see which stores already stocked "Wired". To my horror, the Pitt Street Mall locale of Borders, in the CBD, is now gone, just weeks after the huge Angus & Robertson closed. Massive rebuilding of the old Mid City Centre, Imperial Arcade, Centrepoint - and I presume, eventually, Sky Garden?

Borders and Angus & Robertson's city stores were usually a great source of "air freight" copies of many international magazines. Local newsagents often only get sea-freighted issues, and stocks can be several months behind the USA. Mmmmm. Where to now?

Anyway, I did find a batch of the April issue at a Nepean Square newsagent (also one city store), and I asked my local shopkeeper about getting an issue of the June "Wired" put away for me. The tricky thing was, there's also a magazine titled "Wire" - and that's not the one! On spec., today, I dropped into the store - on the way to a (ugh!) dental appointment - and I was in luck! Yay! "Star Trek" reading matter for my stint in the waiting room!

Just as "Countdown" was IDW Publishing's four-part prequel to the 2009 movie blockbuster, showing how and why Nero and Ambassador Spock time-slipped back to the 23rd century, so this six-page story, "When Worlds Collide" by Paul Pope & K/O* (pp 112-117, bound into the 138 pp magazine, not an insert), also ties-in to movie: it's set during Ambassador Spock's enforced sojourn on the icy planet, thanks to Nero, and involves Spock having brief flashbacks to his youth, serving on the Enterprise with Uhura (in TOS), playing his Vulcan lyrette and 3-D chess, battling Khan in ST II, and pondering a puzzle toy given to him by Sarek, his father.

It's only six pages (now online!), but it's fun, and definitely not a Trek collectible I wanted to miss! It seemed like they had no issues for the shelf? Were they all already snapped up?

And speaking of puzzles, the issue is filled with mysteries, codes and ciphers, starting with Abram's brown-paper-wrapped "Mystery Box", purchased many decades ago by his grandfather, from one of those amazing old magic stores Aussies only ever used to read about in mail order catalogue pages on the back covers of US comic books in the 60s! (Well, until we found Weirdo's Magic Shop in Centrepoint in the mid 70s.)

I haven't had the time or patience to work out all the myriad of clues scattered through the issue - many more than "47" that's for sure - but now I am curious: did JJ ever open his mystery box?

* Screenwriters Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci.

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