One of the very best parts about Star Trek, is the franchise lends itself to so many media. It’s not just for television or movie audiences. There are Trek video and role playing games, Trek books, and of course, Star Trek comic books. And in the world of comics, nearly anything can happen.

Case in point is the series which the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise joined forces with the Transformers. This unlikely pairing created a great adventure for James T. Kirk and crew, and also for everyone who picked up a copy of these great stories.

Phil Murphy’s take on an animated U.S.S. Enterprise or two. Courtesy of IDW
Phil Murphy’s take on an animated U.S.S. Enterprise or two. Courtesy of IDW

We caught up with the artist who was able to bring these two proud franchises together in comic form, Phil Murphy. He’s a fan of both Trek and Transformers, so getting to work on a project like this was a dream for Murphy. The Irish artist says that he broke into comics about ten years back, first working on comics that were spawned from Cartoon Network shows. These books were for Uncle Grandpa and The Amazing World of Gumball.

TREK REPORT: Tell us a little bit about the process of creating the art for the book:
PHIL MURPHY:
It usually depends on project, studio or title, when dealing with established [intellectual properties] some studios will like to see how you will handle the project. That could include character designs, maybe a few cover mock ups, or page layouts. Sometimes I have to learn and entirely new style to work on a project. Those I find really fun and challenging to work on.

When I do get a script to work from I usually do a quick layout of the pages in rough. That way, the studio and editors can look it over give their feedback for any adjustments. Then I can move onto final pencils/inks.

Murphy took inspiration for his Star Trek crew from The Animated Series. Courtesy of IDW
Murphy took inspiration for his Star Trek crew from The Animated Series. Courtesy of IDW

TREK REPORT: What are your tools?
PHIL MURPHY: I use a Wacom Intuos 4 and Photoshop CC. I made the full jump to digital a few years back. I find it easier to make any corrections or changes in a matter of minutes when on a tight deadline.

​TREK REPORT: When was your “First Contact” with Star Trek?
PHIL MURPHY:
Well, my first contact was definitely TNG. I was born in 1986. That was the show I grew with. I was so enthralled with the whole idea of Star Trek.

I had action figures T-shirts anything Trek my folks could get their hands on. Then I was able to catch The Original Series on reruns when Voyager and Deep Space Nine started airing.

TREK REPORT: Tell us what you felt when you were assigned the Star Trek / Transformers project?
PHIL MURPHY:
Gosh — it was definitely a dream come true! I am also a huge animation fan and Transformers was one of my favorite shows growing up. When I was asked to try out for the project, I was over the moon, to say the least, getting the chance to work on two of my favorite franchises at the same time!

Murphy took the designs from the 1984-88 series for the look of his Transformers. Courtesy of IDW
Murphy took the designs from the 1984-88 series for the look of his Transformers. Courtesy of IDW

​TREK REPORT: Tell us about some of your prior projects that you’re proud of:
PHIL MURPHY:
I’ve gotten the chance to work on some amazing titles over the years — The Powerpuff Girls, Disney Comics, Teen Titans Go!, The Addams Family, Adventure Time, Star Wars, and more. They all are out there at the moment, so hopefully you will pick them up! I have been very lucky.

TREK REPORT: What advice would you give for someone who wanted to break into the comics industry?
PHIL MURPHY:
Practice and keep trying! The usual things, as they say. It’s very difficult to get your name out there, but when you do, it’s a lot of fun.​

TREK REPORT: What are some of your dream jobs?
PHIL MURPHY: Oh Gosh! Wow. What don’t I want to work on? I would definitely like to do my own story someday. I have a few ideas on the back-burner. I am always tinkering.

I would love to work on more Trek. Scooby-Doo, Looney Tunes, and Goosebumps are all franchises I have grown up with and love. I am actually working on a Spider-Man book the will be coming out soon. Be sure to keep up with IDW Publishing/Marvel news.