Black Friday: The Modala Imperative!

As an unintended byproduct of the piece, Data is clearly checking out the protagonist.

As an unintended byproduct of the piece, Data is clearly checking out the protagonist.

I had meant to have Data looking back toward Riker, sort of consulting with him about the deal that Ferengi is trying to make. The way it came out, Data is clearly looking at our hero’s butt, in a way that Adam Hughes successfully avoided with a similar composition. Just one more reason to respect Adam Hughes. In addition to that, Hughes’ linework is both distinctive and incredible. Where I may have successfully reconstructed the broad strokes of his composition for the Enterprise bridge, my linework is nothing like his, and I have ZERO idea how he does it.

That aside…I’m pretty happy with the artwork. Considering the size I drew it in, 7″ by 10 ” or so, I produced a high level of detail that I’m quite proud of. Riker especially looks good to me, and that’s because he’s drawn at an angle that I have trouble with. The lower corner cover symbol, with Pony LaForge was sort of a rushed afterthought, but I still like it.

As a matter of comics history, Star Trek: The Modala Imperative and Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Modala Imperative were two four-issue comics mini-series published by DC Comics, running for a total of eight issues from July 1991 until October 1991. The company later released a collected paperback edition reprinting all four issues of each series, with an added introduction by Walter Koenig. The story was presented in two phases, a TOS portion where the USS Enterprise crew explores a pre-contact planet undergoing a dangerous political upheaval, and a TNG portion where the USS Enterprise-D returns to that world 100 years later for the anniversary of its freedom.

Mostly, I remember liking the cover art (each done by Adam Hughes, early in his career) and this one in particular, for having a Ferengi on-screen. Today, is after all, Black Friday, the single largest day of commerce in the United States, with sales everywhere. Traffic is massive, and people actually are injured in stores in the attempt to get Christmas savings. If Thor were talking about it, she would call it “your Blackest of Fridays.” The Ferengi culture was centralized around the concept of greed and profit earning. As Quark (a Ferengi) once put it, “there is nothing beyond greed. Greed is the purest, most noble of emotions.” If there is a poster alien for Black Friday, the Ferengi are it.

In addition, I’m finding myself having to play a large amount of “let’s make a deal” for the return to school. Between other teachers, teachers’ union people, administrators and network partners, everybody seems to need their specific thing, their own greed driven sweetheart deal, to improve our school and actually follow the guidelines in contract and other documents. I just want to go back to a safe place to work, where I can take some time and teach I well executed World Literature class for Grade Seven.

That’s going to be a chore in the coming week, with Suits coming down from the Central Offices. Two days of observations, Focus Groups, debriefs, budget reviews…and that overlaps with the second attempt to “roll out” iPads to our students. The first attempt torpedoed a day of education, for no good reason…I’m imagining that I’ll need to plan around that. Again, like the Ferengi, Apple needs to profit on their side, and the ITD reps from the district need to make their profit…the Union needs to see that it is inefficient, to profit from their own viewpoint, in negative press…and so on.

Navigating this network of profit is a chore. Unlike Klingon Mercenaries, who are motivated by simple concepts, direct profit and honorable dealings, these are agendas within agendas. Still, this kind of profit motive, and shortsightedness is perfect for the overarching Black Friday concept which is happening RIGHT NOW.

The raw artwork.

The raw artwork.

When I became a teacher, I never actually thought I would spend time attempting to work through budgets, or figure out how a business partnership between a school and a not for profit organization might be structured. It didn’t dawn on me that I might have to interpret the motives of the Union as an entity of its own, driven by profit motive as opposed to ideals.

Interestingly, the Ferengi were initially conceived by the early writers of Star Trek: The Next Generation to become a real threat to the Federation, as the Klingons were in The Original Series. In fact, the Ferengi were intended to take the place of the Klingons, who could no longer be used as regular antagonists. It was soon realized, however, that nothing about the Ferengi was threatening at all.

Maybe I should take a lesson from that.

Next Issue: The VERY Edge of Spider-Verse! Be there!


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