Star Trek comics have been around almost as long as the TV series.
Beginning with Gold Key in 1967, the adventures of the Enterprise crew (and, later, the crews of Deep Space Nine and Voyager) have appeared in comics from a variety of publishers, including both Marvel and DC, because nothing can bring together two corporate rivals like utopian science fiction.
During the wilderness years between the original series’ cancellation and the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture comics were one of the few sources of officially sanctioned stories available to fans. On December 2, 1979--five days before the feature film debuted--Star Trek comics went where no (American) Star Trek comics had gone before: newspapers.
The comics page in newspapers were shrinking in those days, and what little space remained was usually given to humor strips like Garfield and Peanuts. Classics like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers (bolstered by a new TV series) were mainstays, and the popularity of the recently launched Star Wars strip overshadowed the return of Star Trek. As a result, the strip only appeared in a handful of newspapers.
It’s too bad. Comics give the creators something the producers of the TV series or the movies never had--an unlimited budget. Even the strictures of the comic strip format can’t contain the creative energy inherent in the Star Trek universe. These aren’t heady, serious stories, and they certainly aren’t canon, but they are a lot of fun, and a perfect way to while away the hours during the height of Summer Challenge.