It’s the first of the month, and that can only mean one thing: four new Star Trek art prints by Juan Ortiz will be released today. Actually, it means two things: four new Juan Ortiz/Star Trek art prints will be released AND StarTrek.com has an interview with Ortiz about the new pieces. Available right now are “The Trouble With Tribbles,” “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield,” “Catspaw” and “The Alternative Factor.” And here’s our chat with Ortiz…
Before we start previewing the October art prints, which of the September prints seemed to generate the most reaction? And why do you think it generated that kind of reaction?
Ortiz: I thought that "Balance of Terror" or "Charlie X" would be the more popular ones but, to my surprise, "And The Children Shall Lead" appears to be the fan favorite -- even for those that hate the actual episode. I think the skull is a powerful image that takes you right to the core of what that episode is about.
The four prints for October are “The Trouble with Tribbles,” “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield,” “Catspaw” and “The Alternative Factor.” Let's go with “Tribbles” first. Take us through the inspiration for this print.
Ortiz: Despite (the fact) that dozens of Tribbles are poisoned, this is an off-beat, light-hearted, maybe even comedic episode. So I thought about some of the movie comedies that I like from the 60s, like It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, where everyone is just having a ball.
A lot of people will be surprised to see so much color in the print, since the Tribbles were pretty muted in color. What led you to go that route?
Ortiz: Despite what it looks like, the Enterprise is not beaming hundreds of Tribbles into space. The Enterprise is metaphorically bleeding Tribbles. I wanted the poster to be fun and colorful, and (to) hopefully make people smile.
What were you aiming for with “Battlefield”?
Ortiz: Before I upset any fans, I intentionally flopped the colors so that the white and the black could face each other. Although the two antagonists are from the planet Cheron, I wanted to depict any race on any planet where there is race hatred.
How did you go about creating the shapes of the faces?
Ortiz: I used the exact same face for both faces, which I hope demonstrates the absurdity of racism. I kept the faces as simple shapes so that the rage between the two, defined by the touches of red, would translate better.
“Catspaw” is stark, Gothic and playful at the same time. Give us a feeling for what inspired this one.
Ortiz: I knew that I wanted this one to be bold and simple and that it had to include a giant cat. The Enterprise in the cat's mouth just fell into place. I think that's the playful part, sort of a "look what the cat dragged in" moment. Staring out the window and seeing empty eyes reflecting back at you creates that eerie feeling. I think some fans will be reminded of Batman, another classic show from the 60s.
It's got a Halloween-y feel to it, down to the colors. Did you have October in mind, or did someone at CBS smartly think to make it available as an October option?
Ortiz: It wasn't my doing. Someone at CBS is a genius and deserves a promotion with nothing less than a corner office. That person knew that "Catspaw" aired, just in time for Halloween, on October 27, 1967.
“The Alternative Factor” is a lot of fun. Are we correct in seeing a Yellow Submarine meets The Who/Tommy connection in this?
Ortiz: I have to admit, I know Tommy the album very well, but I've only seen the movie once. Lazarus' time ship reminded me of the Beatles' yellow sub, so I went with that in mind and with the sea of holes representing the doorways through time.
What else were you shooting for with this poster?
Ortiz: I had been reading up on my study of time and how the past, present and future exist at the same time, from the big bang to the dark, empty and cold end of our universe.
Of the four art prints, which one came the most easily to you and which was the hardest to realize?
Ortiz: "The Trouble With Tribbles" was both the easiest and hardest one. The idea for the poster was the easy part. Creating all those Tribbles, placing them together, sizing them and making sure the same colors did not overlap each other was the hard part. What was even worse, my original file was on another computer that I no longer had access to. All I had was a jpg of the original, so I retraced and recreated the poster in illustrator. Those Tribbles really are trouble, after all.
QMx will offer 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. US and Canada fans can purchase the sets at QMxOnline.com.
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 on November 1st here on StarTrek.com.