Star Trekker Fitness Program: The Original Series and More

by Patrick Bain

Star-Trekker-300x157 Star Trekker Fitness Program: The Original Series and MoreIt’s not exactly a New Year’s resolution, more like a New Year’s activity.  I resolved to exercise on the elliptical every day while watching every episode of Star Trek in order.  You understand the regimen.  Personally, I’m not tabulating, but supposedly Gene Roddenberry and company produced 797 shows in thirty-seven seasons.  And still counting.  According to the new math, that’s over two years of workouts!  It’s a grind 😉 but I’m still ‘sweating with the oldies’.  I’ll complete the first season of The Original Series tomorrow.  But you didn’t access GoCollect to hear an informercial on the Star Trekker Fitness Program.  Let’s detour from my exercise regimen and focus on Star Trek: TOS collectibles that may take you on a five year mission to go where no collector has gone before!

Star Trek: TOS Collectible Health Check

Star-Trek-9-Published-by-Gold-Key-198x300 Star Trekker Fitness Program: The Original Series and MoreFirst, I know someone wants a clarification.  Am I watching every episode in order of broadcast, or in order of the official Star Trek timeline?  Well, I don’t have the fanaticism for the second option, and I’m trusting the streaming service order on the first option.  So, chances are I’m not doing either.  Nonetheless, I do feel I am experiencing Star Trek for the first time like people who faithfully watched in 1966.  Undoubtedly, the BEST benefit of the Star Trekker Fitness Program!

The earliest issues of the Star Trek comic series featured photo covers.  Often, 1960s TV-based comics utilized this strategy.  Check out the painted cover art later in this article and let me know which cover style you prefer!

Star-Trek-18-198x300 Star Trekker Fitness Program: The Original Series and MoreI’m happy to direct you to Peter Daddone’s articles on a possible Star Trek Bump and particularly interesting, Star Trek Whitman variants.  Peter’s articles should energize your phaser banks for some excellent collectible ideas, particularly for the first Trek series.  I’ll focus on early TOS art as well as some other interesting items.  We may highlight a few comics from the Gold Key 1967 series as well.  The emphasis for my first article is Star Trek: TOS.

Art Museum Walk or Star Trekker Fitness Program?

George-Wilson-Star-Trek-10-Cover-Painting-218x300 Star Trekker Fitness Program: The Original Series and MoreSome may not enjoy exercising in a stationary position.  And I can understand if you would rather get in your 10,000 steps at the art museum rather than in front of the TV.  This first section highlights Star Trek: TOS art that could enhance any museum.

George-Wilson-Star-Trek-23-Cover-Painting-218x300 Star Trekker Fitness Program: The Original Series and MoreLet’s begin with Gold Key’s Star Trek #10, the premiere issue to feature a painted cover.  Lambiek Comiclopedia credits George Wilson with painting 32 Star Trek covers, including issue #10.

Star Trek #10 cover art by Wilson fetched   $10,755 in 2016 while a graded 9.6 copy of the comic raised $1,700 in 2020.  The painting for Star Trek 23 sold for $2,868 in 2015.  A couple GCG 9.8’s sold for $534 average in 2020.

Magnus-Robot-Fighter-1-by-George-Wilson-201x300 Star Trekker Fitness Program: The Original Series and MoreIn fact, Wilson painted hundreds of covers for Western Publishing during the fifties to seventies.  I’m fascinated not only by Wilson’s Star Trek art, but also the Lost In Space-based series Space Family Robinson.  Also, Wilson worked on covers for Magnus Robot Fighter and the Phantom.  His TV comics credits include multiple paintings for covers of Twilight Zone, Boris Karloff, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, and even Dark Shadows.  Can you imagine a museum featuring a cornucopia of masterpieces like that?

Cover art for Magnus Robot Fighter 1 by Wilson sold for $54,970 in 2015.  The 1963 comic rings in at $15,500 for GoCollect 9.8 FMV.

Checking the Fitness of Star Trek Interior Art

Al-McWilliams-Star-Trek-48-Complete-23-Page-Story-229x300 Star Trekker Fitness Program: The Original Series and MoreSometimes with these older comics, cover art starkly contrasts with interior art. It’s kind of like the difference in results between Cross-Fit Training and the Star Trekker Fitness Program.  Interior artist Al McWilliams impressed me, though.  Similar to Wilson, Heritage Auctions hosted many sales of Gold Key Star Trek art by McWilliams.  With comics featuring known real-life people, I hate it when there’s no resemblance.  As can be seen in the splash page from “Murder on the Enterprise”, McWilliams did a very nice job.  Particularly good, Spock and Bones.  This 23-page complete story from issue 48 sold for $13,200 in 2019.  By way of comparison, issue 55 complete story art sold for $4,063 in 2017 while Issue 52 art sold for $4,541 in 2015.

Albert-Giolitti-Star-Trek-31-Page-1-215x300 Star Trekker Fitness Program: The Original Series and MoreAnother artist, Albert Giolitti sold title splash art in 2021.  The page from Star Trek #31 raised $3,360.  This art, like the others, is not from the sixties.  Nor did an odd quirk of time-travel create this art in the forties or fifties.  However, the fact that relatively obscure artist works from 1975 command solid prices tells me early Star Trek comics and art are thriving!

Since several lots of Star Trek art have sold through Heritage Auctions, individual pages may be available.  Keep your eyes open!  If you’ve watched 700 plus episodes of Star Trek, why wouldn’t you want to grab some of the old Gold Key comics and related art?

If you enjoy old TV show comics and art, check out my Six Million Dollar Man article.

P.S. If you want to promote my Star Trekker Fitness Program, my daughter “Inspirational-Skai” wants some royalties for the name!

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Mark Oldroyd March 17, 2021 - 7:15 am

George Wilson was really prolific and always of a high standard. I recently put together a complete set of Gold Key Doctor Solar: Man of the Atom, and George Wilson’s cover artwork is stunning.

Patrick Bain March 17, 2021 - 2:10 pm

Yes, I was impressed with George Wilson’s paintings (and prolific output) beyond just Star Trek. I had never heard of Wilson before researching for this article so it was nice to see many examples of his work both sold as art and comic books. Did you have an interest in Doctor Solar: Man of the Atom that drove you to collect the complete set? Or were you specifically interested in collecting the comics for Wilson’s cover art?


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