Derek Charm is an illustrator and comic book artist who has worked for IDW Publishing, Boom! Studios, Marc Jacobs and Penguin Publishing. Charm’s many comic projects have included writing and drawing the series Powerpuff Girls: Super Smash-Up, as well as covers for Star Trek: Khan, Dexter’s Laboratory, Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, GIJoe/Transformers and Uncle Scrooge. He is currently working as an artist on the new Star Trek: Starfleet Academy series from IDW Publishing.
Originally from the Bay Area, Charm attended the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where he majored in 2D animation and illustration. These days, between assignments, he finds time to work on his own art and comics, including the creator-owned series Trip Fantastic with writers Jason Baxter and Mac Hamilton.
He currently lives in New York City.
How would you describe your piece?
My piece is a depiction of 50 aliens from the various Star Trek series. To prepare for this piece, I dug in and researched all the alien species that were documented both online and in the materials provided by CBS. From that huge list I selected the 50 I felt were the most iconic, or had the most interesting looks. The piece was done digitally, with a combination of Manga Studio and Photoshop.
In creating your artwork for the exhibition, what was your inspiration?
There’s a Vulcan principle brought up repeatedly in Star Trek to describe life in the universe: “Infinite diversity in infinite combinations.” Taking this at face value (and reducing it to 50), I wanted to do a piece that showcased the different alien cultures that make up the Star Trek universe. I wanted each of these representatives to be more-or-less presented with equal importance and highlight the diversity found in this universe full of all kinds of life.
What is your favorite Star Trek series?
I grew up on The Next Generation and there will always be a calming, soothing element to their technobabble-filled conversations. However, I feel like Deep Space Nine is probably my favorite series. The nature of that show allowed you to spend more time getting into the alien cultures, and the main characters and storylines were interesting and complex. I’m a big fan of the movies, even the less-than-great ones. In general, I’m attracted to Star Trek for its hopeful and optimistic view of a prosperous and united Human race, and its ability to tell a wide range of stories.