Picard was a character created by Benny Russell for the Incredible Tales of Scientific Wonder magazine. In Russell's stories Picard, unlike Kirk, would share responsibilities of command with his primary officer.

As much as he enjoyed writing stories featuring Picard, Russell preferred writing about Benjamin Sisko as he could relate to the character much easier. (DS9 novelization: Far Beyond the Stars)

The character of Picard is obviously based on Jean-Luc Picard.

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