Star Trek fans have just turned the calendar to a new page and that heralds the arrival of a fresh quartet of Star Trek: The Original Series Arts Prints by Juan Ortiz. The TOS Art Prints for July are “The Devil in the Dark,” “Tomorrow Is Yesterday,” “Whom Gods Destroy” and “The Lights of Zetar.” StarTrek.com caught up with Ortiz for a conversation in which he chatted about the creation/inspiration of each print and addressed several other topics, too.
Let's start with last month's prints. Which one got the most response, and what kind of reactions did you get to it?
ORTIZ: The new movie with Khan was in everyone’s minds, so I would have to say that “Space Seed” had the most reaction. The reactions were favorable, with some comparisons to Saul Bass, which is always a good thing.
So, have you bought some Star Trek wine for family and friends yet?
ORTIZ: Not yet. I did purchase the sampler, one of each, for myself.
OK, up first among this month's TOS Art Prints is "The Devil in the Dark." It's very stark and creepy. What were you aiming for with this one?
ORTIZ: I always try to design a poster with a new viewer in mind. Elements from the episode are there, and they're just placed into a design that gives an expression of space rather than being underground.
You went with the Horta's handiwork rather than an image of the Horta. Interesting choice. Take us through the decision.
ORTIZ: For the sake of those that had never seen the episode, I did not want to show the Horta on the poster. As I re-watched "The Devil in the Dark," the smoldering imprint of a man left on the ground made for a powerful image. It's reminiscent of the "shadows" left behind by the bombs dropped on Japan.
Up next is "Tomorrow Is Yesterday." What inspired you to go with a magazine cover?
ORTIZ: It didn't start out as a magazine cover, but the design led me in that direction. It was fun to imagine myself back in 1967 designing a magazine cover with the term Trekkies on it. Trekkies were new back then, so it was nice to finally include them in this poster set. Originally, the blurb on the bottom read, "Are The Beatles Time Travelers?" It may have been a copyright issue, so we went instead with the moon-landing question.
The "Whom Gods Destroy" art is sexy and sinister. How quickly did this one come to you?
ORTIZ: This was actually the second design. The first had photos of Yvonne Craig and William Shatner in a Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill!-inspired poster. CBS did not have the rights to Yvonne's likeness, so I had to rework it from scratch. Maybe someday the original can be shown.
So how did you go about capturing the sexuality and deadly green-ness of the character?
ORTIZ: To avoid any conflict, I went instead with a James Bond-inspired poster. I'm happy with the way it turned out and I don't miss the original concept at all.
"The Lights of Zetar" is very colorful and spiritual, almost like Star Trek meets the musical Hair. Take us through the process of creating this print.
ORTIZ: It wasn't until I got to the last scene of the episode that I was able to form an idea for this poster. Once I had it, I had to make sure that the colors didn't mimic my "Trouble with Tribbles" poster. The idea for a spotlight effect derived from it looking a bit flat. The spotlight and the tiny Enterprise above helps add some depth to it.
Of the four for July, which was the easiest to create and which was the most complicated -- and why?
ORTIZ: "Tomorrow Is Yesterday" seemed the quickest. I think it's because it was the most fun to create. "Whom Gods Destroy" may have been the toughest, but only because it had to be done twice.
Last question: Of the four prints, which would you put on your own wall... and why?
ORTIZ: My personal favorite is "The Devil in the Dark." As you mentioned earlier, it evokes an emotion. I also think it's a decent layout.
The StarTrek.com Shop is offering the four prints as a set of plated-printed lithographs on 100-pound, aqueous-coated, satin-finish paper. Each print measures 18x24 inches and the set of four is $34.95. U.S. and Canada fans can purchase the sets below.
Pyramid will have the images available in the UK on Wood for £39.99 (43x59cm) and £49.99 (45x76cm), Canvas for £59.99 (60x80cm) and as Framed Art Prints at £49.99 (60x80cm). UK fans will be able to purchase the items at Amazon.co.uk, ForbiddenPlanet.co.uk and Oneposter.co.uk.
The next four images will be revealed in early August here on StarTrek.com.