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(written from a Production point of view)
The Trek Life is a humorous webcomic created, written and illustrated by David Reddick, published on StarTrek.com and republished in print in Star Trek Magazine and as a backup feature in the Star Trek-related comic books released by IDW Comics. The strip follows Carl, an ardent Star Trek fan. New strips were added to StarTrek.com three times a week: on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
The three major characters in the series wear colors relating to the three main Starfleet uniform colors.
The first three The Trek Life comic strips were published on StarTrek.com on 25 July 2005. It became a regular feature two weeks later and was updated every Monday between then and 1 October 2007 when it became a thrice-weekly feature.
This regular schedule was occasionally interrupted, including one instance where the online publication of the strip was moved forward to a Saturday in order to coincide with and commemorate the launching of James Doohan's ashes into space on 28 April 2007.
A special edition of the strip was also included in the program book for the 2007 official Las Vegas Star Trek convention. This strip was published online, alongside the regular strips, on Thursday 9 August 2007. This strip is unusual in that it is in black and white rather than color.
As with all other content on StarTrek.com, The Trek Life was suspended when the website's staff were laid off on 14 December 2007. The Trek Life was even discontinued part way into a story arc, although the entire run of the arc was published on Reddick's official site.
- Carl Jennings
- Carl is the central character of the series. His character is a satire of obsessive Star Trek fans. Carl has been a fan of Star Trek since he was very young and has been able to speak in Klingon since the sixth grade. Carl fetishizes Orion slave girls. In his own words, he is a "red shirt in the Star Trek episode of life." His thoughts almost solely consist of Star Trek, green women and cheese dip. He is in a romantic relationship with Eve Hoople, complicated by the fact that she is his boss' daughter. He also has J.J. Abrams' e-mail address and phone number. Carl's color is wine-red.
- Steve Williams
- Steve is Carl's friend. He has been a Star Trek fan since college. His color is mustard-gold.
- Kate Stevens
- Kate is another of Carl's friends. She is the least fanatical of the three main characters. Her color is teal-blue.
- Mr. Hoople
- Mr. Hoople is Carl's boss at Hoople Industries. He cannot appreciate Carl's obsession with Star Trek, although he himself has a comparably considerable obsession with golf.
- Sylvia Jennings
- Sylvia is Carl's mother and is also a devoted Star Trek fan. She favors Archer over Kirk and appreciates both for their "buff bods". She is the source of Carl's love of Star Trek.
- Eve Hoople
- Mr. Hoople's daughter. She is also a Star Trek fan. She is romantically involved with Carl.
- An employee at Hoople Industries. He is the stereotypical sports-loving, macho man; "the office stud". Eve Hoople says if you squint your eyes and use your imagination, he looks like a Gorn.
- Snuggles is Kate's pet cat. Snuggles is particularly vindictive and violent towards Carl, who calls Snuggles a "tribble" (though Snuggles identifies more with the Klingon race).
Several real people involved in the Star Trek franchise have appeared as cartoon characters within the strip. These include the following:
- J.J. Abrams
- He is the producer and writer of Star Trek. Carl sent letters to him with movie ideas in the May 1st, 8th and 15th strips. Abrams appeared in the January 15th strip where Carl sent him 1,263 e-mails and called him and left 437 phone messages on his answering machine.
- Avery Brooks
- Carl met Brooks only in an imaginary sequence in 2005, but then finally got to meet him in person at the 2006 convention in Las Vegas (August 21).
- Menina Fortunato, Bobbi Sue Luther and Crystal Allen
- Carl only just missed meeting three of the actresses who played Orion slave girls, much to his despair (August 22 2005).
- Kate Mulgrew
- Carl, Steve and Kate went to see Mulgrew's one-woman show Tea at Five (September 26 2005). She also appeared when Carl met several 'captains' at the 2006 Las Vegas convention. At a convention in 2007, Carl "planted [a] 30-second smooch" on Mulgrew (July 9 2007; off-panel).
- William Shatner
- Shatner appeared alongside Stewart in the February 6, 2006 strip in which he is asked to make a ridiculous personalized statement on a photo for Carl. Carl also bid on Shatner's kidney stone. Carl met William Shatner at a convention in Las Vegas and even sat on his lap during a photo opportunity session in the fashion of a child visiting Santa Claus at a mall/grotto (August 14th 2006).
- Patrick Stewart
- Stewart appeared in the February 6, 2006 strip, where Carl requested a personalized signed photo in which Stewart calls Carl "Borgalicious". Carl also met Stewart in an imaginary sequence in 2005 (August 15) and in person at the 2006 convention in Las Vegas (August 21).