Robb Pearlman wrote a book. Write, write write.
It's a "Star Trek" parody: LOL, LOL, LOL.
Pearlman, an associate publisher of licensed publishing for New York's Rizzoli Publications (perhaps an overuse of the word "publish," but that is indeed his title), has achieved that rarity in pop culture. He managed to blend iconic themes in a way that's fresh and, happily, a real hoot.
"For a while, I was just writing them for my own pleasure, trying to think of things that could work. And then something just happened, it was like "two great tastes that taste great together."
His peanut butter cup creation is "Fun With Kirk and Spock," which resembles a hardbound children's reading primer. The pages are brightened by Gary Shipman's spot-on illustrations, some of which recreate obscure but memorable images from the original "Star Trek" television series.
It's full of inside jokes, such as:
"See the crewman.
What is the crewman's name?
It does not matter.
Why does it not matter?
He is wearing a red shirt
It is best not to get too attached."
Pearlman played with the mash-ups during his daily hour commute, and when he decided they would make a cool book, went straight to CBS Studios, Inc, which owns the rights to the series.
"I said 'What do you think of this idea?' I had a feeling I was on the right track when I got an email back that said 'LOL.'
"They took it and ran with it and they found Cider Mill Press [the book's publisher]."
Many "Fun With Dick and Jane" parodies fail because they cannot catch the rhythm of the original, but Pearlman nails it.
He said he watched each episode two or three times for more ideas.
"What I was trying to do, as any childrens books do, was get to the essence of what's going on. I could talk about Kirk fighting again or the allegory of two people pitted against each other but all that seems a little, boring, really. And it had been done before."
Instead, he wisely chose characters and situations that will strike a nostalgic chord with fans. Bringing a sense of the absurd to the project helped.
One of the best offerings -- and perhaps Pearlman's favorite -- involves a lizard-man named "The Gorn."
"See the Gorn.
"The Gorn is tall.
"The Gorn is green.
"The Gorn is wearing a one-piece sleeveless tunic with brocaded accents and matching gauntlets.
"The Gorn is fashion-forward."
"The thing that struck me the most, because he is sort of a silent character, was what he was wearing," Pearlman said, practically giggling. "I thought, 'wait a minute, there's something going on here. Once I wrote 'fashion-forward,' that was kind of it."
Having watched "Project Runway," he realized the description "fit within the vernacular of the parody. It was simple and it was straightforward and it kind of made sense."
It also touched upon how silly sci-fi can be, but in a reverential way. Why would a lizard-man need clothes, anyway?
"Why wear a tunic? And where do you go to get that? The tunic store in the tunic district?" he added.
The book comes out July 29 and retails for $14.95. Pearlman spent the past few days at ComicCon, meeting with some of Rizzoli's licensors but also promoting "Fun With Kirk and Spock."
Next week, he goes where no man (well, he) has gone before: the official "Star Trek" convention in Las Vegas. Having sent copies of the book to the original cast members, he was pleased to receive a response from Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy.
"He seemed to like it; that was a good thing."