Chapter 8, A Voice in the Dark - November 14, 2018


Commentary for November 14, 2018:

So, yeah, on the last page, I did say that I was trying to distance the Lumina class explorer’s design aesthetic from your typical Starfleet ship that you’d see in Star Trek. While that is definitely true, I can’t really help still being inspired by things like Star Trek. The circular bridge layout with the captain’s chair in the middle and other stations positioned around it just works, after all. And the engine room is partly inspired by the one on the Crossfield class featured in Star Trek: Discovery, with a bit of the Orville (from the show of the same name) thrown in as well. But unlike Star Trek and The Orville, I really wanted to go for the “used future” idea that Star Wars popularised, where spaceships look like places where people live and work; dirty and broken, with slapdash repair jobs here and there. Discovery’s been in space for four years without returning home once, so most repairs have been made in the field. The bridge is fairly tidy, but the captain’s chair got a rip in the backrest somehow that’s been patched with duct tape, and crewmen have occasionally spilled coffee on their consoles. The engine room, on the other hand, is a bit more chaotic, with disorganised stacks of equipment containers wherever there’s room and cables trailing across the floor. Can you tell I’m really proud of my work on this page?

Also, I updated the crew’s uniforms. Not as extensively as I might have, though. They are still basically as they were in Eon’s Comic, which is to say jumpsuits coloured at the upper torso and shoulders. I made the grey darker, though -- originally it was more of a silvery white, which is a terrible idea for uniforms that are going to get dirty -- and I changed the coloured part to reflect crew departments. Yes, another Star Trek thing, but Babylon 5 did it, too (albeit with crew badges, rather than uniforms), because it makes sense to be able to identify crewmen by department. Originally, the colour was red on all the uniforms. Now red is just command; blue is tactical/security, green is science, orange is engineering, and white is medical.

Finally, going back to the length of Discovery’s voyage for a moment, you may notice in the final panel that, under the ship’s name, you can just about read the words “United Nations of Earth”. Discovery launched during the last year of the Union-Imperial War, 3238, two years before the Earth-Mars War of 3240 and was, therefore, already in space long before the Terran Union was even conceived. So, of course it would still say “United Nations of Earth” on the hull. That’s something to update next time she puts into spacedock back at Earth, along with any number of other upgrades she’ll be receiving.

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