It's A Living is a Star Trek: The Original Series comic strip. It is the eighth story in the US Comic Strips series, published by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate. The story was set after TOS movie: The Motion Picture, depicting events from Captain Kirk's second five-year mission aboard the refurbished USS Enterprise (NCC-1701). In this story, Captain Kirk runs into Harry Mudd on a mining planet.

Summary[edit | edit source]

After a brief layover for recalibration of our inertial platform, we are leaving Starbase 22 on a heading for Argus IV, to investigate seismic disturbances that may imperil a mining colony there.

Commodore Cobb of Starbase 22 calls as they are leaving orbit, alerting Kirk that a long-range shuttle has just arrived with a VIP passenger, endorsed by Admiral Nogura himself.

Our mission to investigate seismic disturbances at the Argus IV mining colony is delayed by orders to take on a passenger, with a letter of transit signed by Admiral Nogura.

Mudd returns

Joining the crew is Jo Williams, "best-known broadcast journalist in the quadrant," who is preparing a documentary about Starfleet after budget cuts "left Starfleet under-allocated." Six days later, as Enterprise settles into orbit, Uhura is unable to contact the colony. Beaming down, Kirk, Spock and Williams discover that a recent quake took out thermium mine's colony. Foreman and previous owner Max Vargas introduces them to the new owner of the planet... Harry Mudd. Another violent quake hits, and Kirk orders everyone off the planet. Though he is a wanted man, Mudd warns Kirk that he cannot be extradited from this sector.

Public perception of Starfleet

Spock detects massive life readings below the surface. After a few more quakes, the planet begins to break apart, with massive tendrils extending outward and unfolding at least 30,000 kilometers wide. The planet is an egg hatching the huge creature. Spock theorizes the egg could have been put in orbit by a parent for solar warmth, and its motive power appears to be "heliogyro, photon drive."

A creature hatches

Mudd sells back the planet before Vargas knows its fate. But Spock points out that with the planet's crust now scattered, its thermium can now be towed away without having to mine it first, making Vargas very wealthy. Mudd thwarted himself. As the creature moves off, the Enterprise launches sensor probes to follow it. Kirk jokes that he doesn't want to find out firsthand what it eats.

References[edit | edit source]

Characters[edit | edit source]

James T. KirkSpockLeonard McCoyNyota UhuraMontgomery ScottPavel ChekovHikaru SuluCobbHarry MuddMax VargasJo WilliamsArgus IV creature
Referenced only 
Heihachiro Nogura

Starships and vehicles[edit | edit source]

USS Enterprise
Referenced only 
long-range shuttle

Locations[edit | edit source]

Starbase 22Argus IV

Races and cultures[edit | edit source]


Science and technology[edit | edit source]

craneinertial platformRichter scalethermiumtransmitter

Other references[edit | edit source]

broadcast journalistcon artistcontractextraditionheadacheletter of transitquadrantsectorspace program

Timeline[edit | edit source]

Published Order
Previous comic:
#7: "Heads of State"
Star Trek: The Original Series
(US Comic Strips)
Next comic:
#9: “The Savage Within
Previous story:
"Heads of State"
Stories by:
Thomas Warkentin
Next story:
Last story
Chronological Order
Previous adventure:
"Heads of State"
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
"Eclipse of Reason"

Appendices[edit | edit source]

Related stories[edit | edit source]

Information[edit | edit source]

  • This is the eighth of 20 story arcs set after the events of TOS movie: The Motion Picture, and is set during Captain Kirk's second five-year mission aboard the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701). It is the shortest story in the series, running just 35 days (5 weeks), and is Warkentin's final story. He would later provide art assistance for Ron Harris in Quarantine and The Nogura Regatta.
  • Williams said Starfleet is "under-allocated" – even after saving Earth from VlGer – but Kirk said it’s “practically a tradition” for the space program to be that way. Williams interviews Kirk in two strips. Kirk discusses his love for his ship, and he asks Williams to present an image of Starfleet as people doing their jobs, not as heroes like “characters in a 20th century comic strip.” What became of the Nogura-authorized documentary is not revealed in this story.

Background[edit | edit source]

  • Ron Harris is credited with an art assist on April 12, 1981.
  • Duke Riley (a pseudonym for Thomas' son Karl) and Kurt Warkentin (Thomas' other son) are credited with art assists. ( They are credited on April 19, 1981.

Images[edit | edit source]


External Links[edit | edit source]

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