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.


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 called as they were leaving orbit, alerting Kirk that a long-range shuttle had 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 was 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 settled into orbit, Uhura was 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 introduced them to the new owner of the planet… Harry Mudd. Another violent quake hit, and Kirk ordered everyone off the planet. Though he was a wanted man, Mudd warned Kirk that he could not be extradited from this sector.

Public perception of Starfleet

Spock detected massive life readings below the surface. After a few more quakes, the planet began to break apart, with massive tendrils extending outward and unfolding at least 30,000 km wide. The planet was an egg hatching the huge creature. Spock theorized the egg could have been put in orbit by a parent for solar warmth, and its motive power appeared to be “heliogyro, photon drive.”


A creature hatches

Mudd sold back the planet before Vargas knew its face. But Spock pointed out that with the planet’s crust now scattered, its thermium could now be towed away without having to mine it first, making Vargas very wealthy. Mudd thwarted himself. As the creature moved off, the Enterprise launched sensor probes to follow it. Kirk joked that he didn’t want to find out firsthand what it ate.



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

Starships and vehiclesEdit

USS Enterprise
Referenced only 
long-range shuttle


Starbase 22Argus IV

Races and culturesEdit


Science and technologyEdit

craneinertial platformRichter scalethermiumtransmitter

Other referencesEdit

broadcast journalistcon artistcontractextraditionheadacheletter of transitquadrantsectorspace program

Timeline Edit

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"


Related storiesEdit

Information Edit

  • Williams said Starfleet is “under-allocated” – even after saving Earth from V’Ger – 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

  • Ron Harris is credited with an art assist on April 12, 1981.

Images Edit

External LinksEdit

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