Mega-talented artist Juan Ortiz is back once again with the September installment of his ridiculously awesome retro Star Trek episodic posters. For those of you who have somehow missed us raving about these things for the past year, here’s the skinny: about a year ago, Ortiz set out on a massive art project, with his goal to create an original, retro-style poster print for every single one of Star Trek: The Original Series’ 79 episodes. It’s the sort of massive commitment that will give your inner procrastinator fits, but damned if he hasn’t kept up the schedule. The latest batch of four includes prints for the episodes “The Enterprise Incident,” “Court Martial,” “The Gamesters of Triskelion,” and “That Which Survives.”
As is S.O.P. for Ortiz’s prints, the folks from StarTrek.com have posted the four new prints along with commentary from the artist himself. Check it all out below, and then we’ll have details about where you can get your hands on copies of the prints. First up is “The Enterprise Incident,” which you can see above.
Which of the August TOS Art Prints generated the strongest reaction? And why?
ORTIZ: That would be “Plato’s Stepchildren.” It was an important episode at the time and one that I think still resonates with fans. The print was also released the same month of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. So it was well timed.
Is it just us, or are the September prints the most colorful and busiest combination so far?
I would agree. Especially “The Gamesters of Triskelion.”
Let’s start with “The Enterprise Incident.” Take us through your choices in terms of the colors and imagery…
I originally had a Busby Berkley idea with this one. It was leaning more towards an Art Deco feel, but I felt that the elements and also gradients were a bit too distracting. So I toned it down quite a bit.
Great use of the chess motif in “Court Martial.” Did that come to you instantly, as if it was obvious?
Chess has always been an important element on Star Trek. When we first meet Kirk, he’s playing chess with Spock. In “Whom Gods Destroy,” Kirk and Scotty use a passcode based on a chess move. In this episode Spock plays chess against the ship’s computer and is able to make a discovery that will later exonerate Kirk of negligence.
You’ve got a rare quote, a piece of a review, on the print. What went into the decision to include that?
I wanted a paperback cover feel to this one, so I thought why not have a review on it? The name of the fake magazine derived from the TV tubes used in the old TV sets.
“The Gamesters of Triskelion” is next. It’s got a comic-book cover feeling to it, as well as lots of copy, including credits and dialogue, plus action-oriented imagery. Take us through how/why you went with each of those elements… and is ZKOW! a tip of the hat to Batman?
I always wanted to try a comic book cover for this series, but I didn’t want to just copy the Gold Key versions. I wanted limited colors with more of a pop-art feel to it. I’ve always been a big comic book fan, especially any by Jack Kirby. The sound effects add to the pop-art feel.
What inspired the “That Which Survives” print?
This was another Russian inspired poster.
We’re particularly love the Enterprise — it’s so stark, particularly the hull — and also the way you’ve rendered the episode’s title. Break down those choices for us.
I wanted something graphic, with little detail. The hard part was not rendering lines and windows onto the Enterprise. The placement of the episode title came out of necessity. Once the illustration was done, I had to figure out how to fit the title and credits.
Of the four, which would be the most likely to make it on to your wall… and why?
I think “The Gamesters of Triskelion” is the one. Even though it has a lot going on, the limited colors would make it work in any room.
You can purchase prints of these four latest retro Trek posters via the StarTrek.com shop. They are available as “plated-printed lithographs on 100-pound, aqueous-coated, satin-finish paper.” They measure 18×24 inches and you can grab all four — or any of the earlier sets of four — for $34.95. That would make it a bit pricey to collect all of them, but you can instead pick up Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz from Amazon for 25 bucks.