"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 in 35 daily installments by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate in 1981. The story was set after TOS movie: The Motion Picture, depicting events from Captain Kirk's second five-year mission aboard the refit USS Enterprise. 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.
- 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.
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 the Enterprise settles into orbit, Nyota Uhura is unable to contact the colony. Beaming down, Kirk, Spock and Williams discover that a recent earthquake took out the subspace communication transmitters at the thermium mine. Its 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.
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 a 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."
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.
- Pavel Chekov • Cobb • Marcella DiFalco • James T. Kirk • Leonard McCoy • Harry Mudd • Montgomery Scott • Spock • Hikaru Sulu • Nyota Uhura • Max Vargas • Jo Williams • Argus IV creature • unnamed Humans (miners)
- Referenced only
- Heihachiro Nogura
Starships and vehicles
Races and cultures
States and organizations
Science and classification
- geology • inertial platform • mining • photon drive • radio • Richter scale • seismic probe • sensor • sensor probe • transmitter • transporter • tricorder • turbolift • viewscreen
Ranks and titles
- alien • assignment patch • beam • bridge • century • clothing • comic strip • contract • day • earthquake • egg • encyclopedia • engineering • extradition • Federation Starfleet ranks (2260s) • headache • honor • hour • kilometer • lifeforms • log entry • minute • officer's lounge • police • quadrant • rat • sector • Starfleet ranks • Starfleet uniform (early 2270s) • sun • thermium • tree • warp factor (warp six) • year
- 22 March – 25 April 1981
- Published in daily newspapers. (Los Angeles Times Syndicate)
- 25 December 2012
- Collected in the omnibus The Newspaper Comics, Volume 1. (IDW Publishing)
- 23 November 2017
- Collected in the omnibus Graphic Novel Collection #24. (Eaglemoss)
- TOS movie: The Motion Picture – Described the starship refit, crew changes, and technology updates that occurred prior to the events of this story.
- Harry Mudd and mining were also featured in:
- This was the eighth of 13 story arcs set after the events of TOS movie: The Motion Picture with the crew wearing the early 2270s Starfleet uniform, and the third of eight set in 2274.
- It was the shortest story in the series, running just 35 days (5 weeks), and was writer Thomas Warkentin's final story. He would later provide art assistance for Ron Harris in "Quarantine" and "The Nogura Regatta".
- Reporter Jo Williams said Starfleet was "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 interviewed Kirk in two strips, discussing his love for his ship and the image of Starfleet. What became of the Nogura-authorized documentary was not revealed in this story.
- Ron Harris was credited with an art assist on April 12, 1981.
- Duke Riley (a pseudonym for Thomas' son Karl) and Kurt Warkentin (Thomas' other son) were credited with art assists. (http://www.hassleinbooks.com/pdfs/TrekComics.pdf) They were credited on April 19, 1981.
- Kirk: I hope your documentary will correct the popular image of Starfleet. We're just people, doing a job... But the public views us as heroic figures, battling mysterious alien forces... like characters in a 20th century comic strip.
- Williams: You could have fooled me.
|Media featuring Harry Mudd|
|Episodes||"Mudd's Women" • "I, Mudd" • "Mudd's Passion" • "Choose Your Pain" • "Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad" • "The Escape Artist"|
|Miniseries||The Return of Mudd • The Return of Harry Mudd|
|Novels and collections||Mudd's Angels • Mudd's Enterprise • Mudd in Your Eye • The Light Fantastic|
|Short stories||"The Business, As Usual, During Altercations" • "A Sucker Born" • "Dilithium Is a Girl's Best Friend"|
|RPGs and Video games||25th Anniversary • 25th Anniversary (NES) • Starfleet Academy (game) • Through a Glass, Darkly m • Trexels • Star Trek Timelines • Fleet Command|
|Comics||"Operation Con Game" • "It's a Living" • "When You Wish Upon a Star...!" • "Mudd's Magic!" • "Mission: Muddled" • "The Sky Above...The Mudd Below" • "Target: Mudd!" • "Made Out of Mudd" • "The Survival Equation" • Discovery - Succession, Issue 1 m • Year Five, Issue 15 • Year Five, Issue 16|
|m : Mirror universe|
#7: Heads of State
(US Comic Strips)
#9: The Savage Within
Heads of State
Heads of State
|Memory Beta Chronology||Next adventure:|
Eclipse of Reason
The Business, As Usual, During Altercations
|The adventures of Harcourt Fenton Mudd||Next story:|
When You Wish Upon a Star...!