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Wild stars cover Wild stars cover volume 3 covers volume 3 covers volume 3 covers volume 3 covers volume 3 covers volume 3 covers volume 3 covers page strips page strips page strips page strips page strips page strips page strips page strips page strips page strips page strips page strips manta ray manta ray manta ray manta ray All words
and images Copyright 2009 Michael Tierney

This is a Little Rocket presentation of Michael Tierney's Wild Stars Volume 3 issue #4 in its entirety. Only the ads have been omitted.

I chose this issue as the best introduction to readers not already familiar with the universe of the Wild Stars.

Why pick an issue from the middle of the story?

Even though Wild Stars is a widely spread and multi-genre story, with each issue I concentrated on a different group of characters, and how they were affected by connected events, giving you a beginning, middle, and ending each time.

There were two exceptions; this issue, and the cliffhangers from the 1988's Volume 2 that this issue intersects with. All of that, plus the fact that there's travel through the Wild Stars is why I chose this issue for a free preview.

Of special note is the cover. Throughout Volume 3,
I made the covers an intergral part of the story. The scene shown here is from an angle not shown on the inside.


One of the advantages of being a former jouneyman printer and division manager turned publisher and comics creator is that I know a lot of the tricks of the trade.

By employing what's termed a 'work and turn' during the printing process, I can print color on the inside covers at no additional expense.

This gave me an opportunity to showcase the landscape paintings of my late mother, Mary Tierney. Being able to reproduce her wonderful use of color was too great an opportunity to pass up on.

Some of her paintings actually tied into specific scenes in the stories. But, other than the fact that part of this issue takes place in coastal waters, not so in this case. These particular paintings are presented mostly for mood and to keep an earthbound perspectve.

That, plus I've always enjoyed her artwork, and wanted to share it with the world.

NOTE: To view larger, easier to read page files, click on the images to the right.

This issue picks up right where the last one left off. Gerogian Raveling had just been punched out by the scuba diver named Carlton MacKanaly, whom he'd been sent to capture.

During the ruckus, a Russian submarine that the Columbian drug lord Ernesto Mendez had been loading with a shipment of Cocaine suddenly exploded.

As you can see, Georgian wakes up to an uncomfortable situation.

This page also shows the hazard of being your own editor. I've always been extremely pleased with how this page turned out, showing the transition from semi-consciousness to waking through the use of the light from the lamp, transitioning from the galactic background to white light. Penciller Dave Simons and I worked so well together on this, that I get lost in the art every time I look at it, and never noticed the typo of a missing "E" on "breathe,"

Put out 20th and 25th Anniversary collections, and still never noticed it until now.

Wild Stars has several mysteries running through it. One of the biggest is; "Who is Carlton MacKanaly?" He looks just like another man who is off in space, calling himself First Marker.

More about First Marker later.

Right now Ernesto Mendez wants to know the answers that Georgian had been sent to South America to find out.

The problem is, Georgian doesn't have the answers.

Only more questions.

One of the questions that I had to ask myself when making this comic was just how far I was willing to take the maturity of the content.

As you can see here, I chose to go mostly with implied violence. There are, however, stronger scenes elsewhere in the series. In the last issue (Volume 3 #3) a man was shown in the mouth of a tiger shark, being eaten alive.

So, while the Wild Stars are more intended for Teens and older readers, dealing some mature material like violence and drug abuse, with some mild nudity but no bad languange, for the most part I tried to keep the series accessable to the widest possible range of readers.

Here's where we come to another reason why I chose to post this issue on the web for free.

This issue is key in answering many of the mysteries that will hopefully motivate readers to continue forward.

If you haven't read Wild Stars before, a lot of the ground work is explained, starting right here...!

This page is a very short recap of the events of Volume 3 issue #1.

When I was writing Under the Wild Stars, the novelization of Volume 3, the content of Volume #3's first issue were only told in flashback, at points like this.

The feedback I got from the first draft of the novel was that readers wished they'd had a chance to see that doomed alternate reality of the First Nations, before it'd ceased to exist. So, I added the Prologue: A Gathering of Chiefs.

Restarting the series with Volume 3 gave me a perfect chance to go back and add retro-material that'd taken place before the events of Volumes One and Two. Although I do have to admit that, before I compiled everything into the Book of Circles graphic novel, it almost required a road map to tell readers the proper order in which to read the story.

And here you have it:

The definition of the Wild Stars.

Of course, if you'd read Wild Stars Volume 1 #1 way back in 1984, you'd already know most of this.

And, just for good measure, I tied it all in with the Hopi Prophecy Rock and explained the reasons for the confusion in Nostradamus' predictions. He saw events unfolding in both realities!

Here's where readers learn more about the activities of the Brothan, also first introduced back in 1984,

Georgian reveals that the Artomiques knew more about the Brothan's designs on Earth, having had an alliance with them in the alternate reality. But once that reality was destroyed, the Brothan changed their plans.

Earth is now slated for destruction, unless the Artomiques can convince them otherwise.

I tried to have a little fun with the reader here, what with the gun shots on the last panel of the previous page, and the order to cut Georgian at the start of this one.

It turns out that Georgian was the person being played.

Now there is one more person who wants to have a confrontation with Carlton MacKanaly.

Penciller Dave Simons did a spectacular job with the scenes of the Russian submarine.

Check out issue #3 for even more.

Pages like this one are good examples of why I was glad that I'd made the decision to hire professional artists.

More artwork by Dave Simons, with story text omitted, is presented down the left-hand side of this page.

The Wild Stars comics are full of scene transitions. And here's another one.

While Georgian was dealing with the affairs of the Artomiques back on Earth, the other two Artomiques who survived the destruction of their reality are traveling deep into space with the Brothan, looking for the man who'd destroyed their world. They think this might be the man calling himself First Marker.

These Artomiques are Achilles Hister and Genghis Champlain, the alternate reality descendants of Hitler (known as Hister) and Genghis Khan.

The flashing light comment is an homage to Star Wars, when in A New Hope Luke is being a nuisance in the cockpit of the Millennium Flacon. Hey, with a series named Wild Stars, I had to pay a tip of the hat to Star Wars!

Plus, I can never pass on an opportunity to inject some humor!

When I first illustrated the traveling space city of Magoria back in 1988's Volume Two #1, I made it look like a pyramid in space, thinking that triangles woud be a good design for any space vehicle.

Then, a few years later, the movie Stargate came out, and also used a pyramid design for a space vehicle. So, with Volume 3, I redesigned the city to look more like a cyrstaline structure. Didn't want anyone to think I'd done a swipe.

But, speaking of Stargate, there were other similarities when Stargate Atlantis came out. I'd already wrapped Volume 3 up a while back, and had readers tell me how familiar they found that series premiere. "It was like I'd already read most of it somewhere else." Their version of Atlantis did bear a resemblence to Dave Simon's illustrations.

Plus, there were many other similar, parallel concepts.

But hey, I was first each time! Check the publishing dates.

1988's Volume 2 #1 had several cliffhangers at the end, and this is where the story intersects with one of them.

This time the scene is seen from the viewpoint of Genghis Champlain.

As mentioned before, this same scene is also shown from yet another, third perspective, on the cover.

This is storytelling with a 360 degree point of view.

Back to the subject of ship design; I'd mentioned that I thought triangles would be a good design for ships traveling through space. This design for the Brothan ship was first used in 1988.

Years later, one reader would comment about how I was; "Using the design for stealth technology years before anyone knew about it."


One of the fun things about Science Fiction is that anything is possible.

So, with a traveling space city, you could encounter every kind of person or creature immaginable.

Watch in the background for some walk throughs by some surprise guests!

I told Dave to have fun with it, and he did just that.

This issue features not only the return of characters not seen since the Eighties, like First Marker and Daestar, the blond from the cover, but also features the return of Songwolf, not seen since the destruction of the alternate reality in Volume 3's first issue.

I've always enjoyed working with a large cast of characters. It makes the interaction more challenging and fun!

This page features a showdown that'd beeen brewing for 14 years!

Fortunately, I've always known exactly where the story was going.

I first novelized Wild Stars in the Seventies as First Marker, which was the basis for the Eighties comics. Some of the concepts, that editors in the Seventies told me were too edgy, no longer seem so radical.

The story was expanded, backwards as much as forward, with the novel Under the Wild Stars in the early Nineties.

Now you can enjoy the entire story in Wild Stars: The Book of Circles -- Recalibrated -- the 25th Anniversary hardcover edition.

One of the great things about working with an artist as experienced as Dave Simons was not just his artistic skills, but his professionlism.

Whereas some writers provide very loose scripts, with instructions like 'they fight for five pages', my scripts are tightly choreographed in every panel.

While this is less freedom than many artists are used to working with, Dave understood that this was a project that I'd been crafting for a long time and had originally planned to draw myself. Every detail was important to the story.

Dave did a great job of giving me exactly what I wanted!

Not only did I weigh Dave down with scripts that made Alan Moore look lazy, I also provided concept sketches for the characters and many scenes.

This page was drawn from one such sketch.

But Dave still expressed himself by placing one of his own characters flying above with a furry tail. Plus, is that young Anakin Skywalker standing with a hooded Jedi Master Qui Gon Jinn in the background?

You'd have to ask Dave about that one.

The pipe smoking sea monkey in the foreground is an obvious homage to an ad that ran for years on the back cover of comics.

This was my fourth project using photoship to render pencils. While I'd learned a lot in that short time, I still had a long way to go.

If I did these pages today, there are many different techniques that I'd use.

For the 25th Anniversary hardcover, Dave provided new pages for the opening scenes, which feature what is probably my best work at rendering.

For anyone curious about what I mean by Rendering, I'm referring to taking an artist's raw pencils and providing shading and tone. Whereas a colorist works with colors, for a black and white comic I painted with grayscale tones.

From this point on, this issue features some of Dave Simon's best work.

Dramatic poses and perfect execution!

The action kicks into another gear!

Another character not seen since the Eighties makes his dramatic return, and he's gone through some changes!

There are questions that long term readers asked: What happenned to Carthage's legs?

And... wasn't he dead? How exactly did he get here?

Those answers are made clear by the end of the saga.

Questions about the Wild Stars have been answered, and now even more start to pop up.

Another question about Carthage is; "Why do the Brothan now refer to him as the Prophet?

Just how deep does his involvement with the genocidal Brothan go?

And now the final connection with the Eighties Wild Stars in this issue takes place.

Akara of the Wild Stars suddenly breaks free from the telepathic trance she'd been in, only to discover that the entire Wild Stars Armada is now in the control of the mysterious armored man who'd stormed her command ship.

In the original Eighties comics, the Wild Stars Armada was referred to as the Wild Stars Fleet. But then along came Babylon Five and their White Star Fleet, so I changed my terms again, so no one would think I was doing a swipe.

But if you pick up a copy of the orginal comic, you'll see what I'm talking about.

Shown in the foreground is the mysterious armored stranger mentioned previously.

I've always been tempted to have a trivia contest to see if readers did figure out this character's secret identity. I think I made it pretty obvious in the finale, but I didn't spell it out.

And here, again, is another spectacular page by Dave Simons. I sold some of the original art on Ebay for Dave, and this page did the best by far!

This is also an example of Dave expressing his interpretation. If you check out the original 1988 publication, you'll notice a difference in the use of this character's eyes. I kept them hidden there, but highlighted them here.

To know more, Wild Stars Volume 2 #1 currently sells on Ebay for $10. That's for the only comic to be created, written, illustrated and printed by the same person, along with the first use of foil stamping and die-cutting on a comic's front cover, plus it's the only known use of die-cutting on the back cover of a comic. Only 1500 copies exist.

Buying this book is like stealing, only it's legal.

Another great painting by Mary Tierney.

Her use of color was sometimes too good, and people would ask her if her work were Paint by Colors.

I think she took some insult at comments like that.

She sold a lot of work at art shows. I've tried to buy back any I can find, but being that they were sold in Sixties and Seventies, they are difficult to find.

And speaking of great artwork, no conversation about the art of the Wild Stars would be complete without some bragging about the skill of cover artist Frank Brunner!

And here you get a double dose of Frank, as the back cover features a preview (in a preview) of the Fifth issue of Volume 3.

Fantastic color is provided by Tom Smith, whom I nominated a couple of times for Colorist of the Year.

To the left, you can see some of my underwater photography that was used as reference.

Yep. I dove to the bottom of the sea to research Wild Stars! I've even made free dives on the sunken Bimini Road, once predicted to have a connection to lost Atlantis.

I hope you've enjoyed your introduction to the Wild Stars.

Thanks for looking.

Michael Tierney -- May 1st, 2009


If you've liked what you've seen in this Preview, then check out the entire story in:

WSTBOCR dust wrapper
SYNOPSIS: 75,000 years ago, mankind made their first migration into space and colonized planets circling the brightest stars in the night sky, known as the Wild Stars.
Every legend of Space Gods, alien visitations, and UFOs come from them.
Now, their war with a genocidal enemy has spread back to Earth.

Wild Stars is a reader-challenging, multi-genre tale which combines alternate realities, science-fiction, ghost and horror stories, along with crime noir, into a non-stop adventure ride that will have readers wondering what will happen next, but features a conclusion that will leave them convinced that it was all so simple.

Most readers have noticed the time travel elements in Wild Stars. But no one has ever noticed that this graphic novel is actually told in the format of a football game. After the pre-game talk, it begins with a whistle and ends with a gunshot by a man wearing a striped shirt, followed by a brief sudden death overtime period. It's time travel twice told, once in long format, and then quickly repeated in short form.

This 25th Anniversary Edition collects all of the previous Wild Stars comics, and features both new and previously unpublished material, plus a new introduction by
John Jackson Miller, writer of Iron Man and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic comics.

Ask your favorite book or comics dealer to order it:

ISBN #978-0-9748403-1-4

Or follow this link to purchase the Wild Stars on!

Force Majeure: Prarie Bay #1 wild Stars The Book of Circles HC

The WILD STARS go digital!

Beginning with Force Majeure: Prairie Bay #1, I've made all of the Wild Stars comics available in Digital Format. They're available in the unique "flip page format" that simulates reading an open comic book, to read online or for downloading, at:
They are also availble to be read on the Apple App and iBooks Store, Android Marketplace, Amazon Kindle Store, B&N Nook store, Graphicly storefront, Comixology storefront, and Google eBookstore or directly through:.
Devil's Due Digital
Aside from these outlets, we are also available on iVerse, Ave Comics, My eBooks, and many other stores.
To read more about the special features of the expanded digital version of Wild Stars: The Book of Circles graphic novel, check out the new Hidden Wild Stars page!

For more information, follow these links to learn about the publishing history of the Wild Stars:

Wild Stars navigational chart:

Wild Stars History

Multiversal Scribe magazine


Under The Wild Stars novel

New Millennium

Wild Stars Volume 2

Production Notes

Mary Tierney painting

Vol. 1 Preview

Volume 2 preview

Publishing History



Wild Stars vol. 2 #1


Wild Stars: The Book of Circles - Recalbirated - 25th Anniversary Edition

Chief Press

Mary Tierney Paintings

Free Preview Issue

Volume 2 Preview


If you're curious about my non-Wild Stars work, check out the Bonus Material section.

All images and text are 1984-2016 by Michael Tierney.
Wild Stars is a Registered Trademark of Michael Tierney
Little Rocket Publications TM is a Trademark of Tierney Incorporated