Warp Factor Trek

The Star Trek Fan Website

How great it must be to artistically breath life into a new series of Star Trek comics. One writer who knows this feeling first-hand is writer Morgan Hampton, who has written the stories for the IDW Publishing comics mini-series Sons of Star Trek. I recently had the good fortune of being able to interview Hampton about this currently ongoing comic.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer and what started you writing comics?

In hindsight, I think I knew as early as eight or nine. I used to make my own comics. From writing to illustrating, to stapling them all together and passing them around to my family. I didn’t make the conscious decision until college, when I realized that it wasn’t just some abstract idea, but an actual attainable goal.

What are your earliest memories of Star Trek?

Believe it or not, I’m a Star Trek late bloomer. But I grew up with my dad being a huge fan of the franchise, and he always used to tell me that he’d watch The Next Generation with me drooling on his lap as a toddler. I was always more of a Star Wars fan, and my dad was the one pleading with me to give Star Trek a chance. I eventually listened, and he was right, because I fell in love with these stories.

Do you have a regular writing process and, if so, what does it entail?

I think I’m still figuring that out. So much of writing for me is staring out of a window and being frustrated. But there are two things I know that help me create as positive an environment as possible for me: I try to write early in the day, and I try to write outside of the house if possible. My mind is sharpest in the morning, and being away from home minimizes my distractions.

How did Sons of Star Trek come about?

Sons of Star Trek started with a lunch with Jackson Lanzing. His and Collin’s Star Trek book had just launched, and I was congratulating him and telling him how jealous I was. We then started talking about favorite episodes, and I talked for probably fifteen minutes about Deep Space Nine’s “The Visitor”.

Jackson told me they might be doing some spinoff miniseries in the near future and said he’d throw my name in the hat of consideration. I thought he was just being nice, because at the time, I didn’t have any published comic book credits yet. But sure enough, a few months later I got an email from Heather Antos asking me to pitch for the project and the rest is history. I’m eternally indebted to both of them.

From initial concept to final comic, which aspects in the Sons of Star Trek story have turned out different to what you originally planned?

Honestly, not much! I pitched a few different ideas, and this is the one that was my favorite. I can’t think of anything that didn’t make it through. The one thing I’m super proud of making it this far is the crew of the USS Avery. When I was pitching the story, I thought there was no way they were going to approve those characters, but they did and I’m so happy about it!

Out of all the characters that appear in Sons of Star Trek, which do you most enjoy writing for and why?

I think I resonate most with Jake. He’s a writer and his father is a captain. I’m a writer and my father was a career marine. There’s a lot of similarities between us.

But aside from that, gotta be Nog. I love him so much and he’s got such a pure heart. Getting to explore and expand upon that in a meaningful way has got to be the highlight of this story for me.

What was the most challenging part of the comic to write?

Learning how to be a Starfleet officer. Without spoiling too much, our series takes place on a ship with characters that aren’t usually part of Starfleet. So they have a lot to learn, and I had to learn it with them. I have a Star Trek encyclopedia that was an invaluable resource when writing this series. From which torpedoes to use, to the inner workings of a warp core. Learning and internalizing these things was the most challenging, but definitely the most rewarding as well.

What guidance, if any, have you received from the publishing company IDW in crafting the story for Sons of Star Trek?

SO much guidance from Heather Antos. I’ve been a lifelong fan of comics, but I’m still new to writing them, so I’m very much still learning. Heather helped me internalize a bunch of things, but it’s the small things that you don’t always think about that really help bind things together and make the process smoother. 

What has been your proudest achievement in writing Sons of Star Trek?

Just getting this opportunity. I get to add something to these characters and their development. That’s a great feeling, and one I’ll cherish forever.

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