The first quartet of Star Trek: The Original Series Art Prints by Juan Ortiz went through the roof when they were released last month, and wave two – with “Balance of Terror,” “Charlie X,” “Wink of an Eye” and “And the Children Shall Lead” depicted in retro-style art that recalls 1960’s-era posters, pulp novel covers, comic books and advertisements -- will be available starting on September 1 via Quantum Mechanix (QMx) in the U.S./Canada and Pyramid in the UK. StarTrek.com recently spoke with Ortiz about the reaction to the first four posters – “The City on the Edge of Forever,” “The Ultimate Computer,” “Dagger of the Mind” and “The Way to Eden” – and also about the latest additions to the new line of 80 posters, which will be released at a rate of four a month over a 20-month period.
How pleased were you by the public response to the first four posters that were released in August?
Ortiz: I am very pleased, especially since there are so many more to release. Hopefully they are doing well.
Which of the first four generated the most reaction, and why do you think it generated that kind of reaction?
Ortiz: Not sure. But it looks like both “The Way to Eden” and “The City on the Edge of Forever” received the most reaction, even though many fans consider “City” to be one of the best episodes and “Eden” the worst. “The Ultimate Computer” appears to be a close favorite also. Not everyone will be pleased with all of them, but I'm pretty sure that there is something for everyone. Personally, I can't wait until they are all out there. I think they will each benefit when seen as a group and in episode order.
Let's talk about the September posters one by one. What inspired the “Balance of Terror” poster?
Ortiz: I made several of these poster centerfolds that I used to see in fanzines. Visually, I wasn't going for any specific style. I already knew what I wanted, so I just went through a few sketches with the layout until I was happy with it. I sort of think the final product has an animated feel to it.
We love the creepy font for the lettering. What font is that, and how did you settle on it?
Ortiz: The font is called Long Underwear. It's similar to what you might find in some 50's sci-fi films.
Next up is “Charlie X.” From the chalk writing to the twist key on the Enterprise, you're going for a childlike perspective. Take us through pulling that off so effectively...
Ortiz: I always try to bring some relationship between the font and the visuals. Otherwise you end up with too many elements competing with each other. The twist key helps depict the Enterprise as a toy for Charlie to play with and eventually discard, in this case in the sand. .
There's also a Salvador Dali feel to it. Would you agree or are we imagining that?
Ortiz: In fact, I was going for a surreal look. At one point I had a floating eyeball and some bare trees in the background, but I felt that there was too much going on. Plus the focus was really on the child aspect of it, not so much the surrealism.
What are you shooting for with the “Wink of an Eye” poster?
Ortiz: I think that subconsciously I was inspired by the Man from U.N.C.L.E. logo. I can't think about the original Star Trek and 60's TV without some of those other shows filtering in.
And the blurry figure?
Ortiz: The figure is of a statue used in a scene just before the opening credits. I thought it looked really cool and decided to use it. The circles indicate the sound waves generated by the Scalosians.
Finally, there's “And the Children Shall Lead.” What is the skull-like image? Is that death hovering? The Enterprise?
Ortiz: It's supposed to be a crude child's crude drawing of the Enterprise with the primary and secondary hull in the shape of a skull with the warp engines as bones. It's meant to signify the evil that has taken control of the Enterprise.
What went into the decision not to depict any children?
Ortiz: The sixties were not all swinging and groovy. There were also ugly images of the Vietnam War on television. Star Trek was one of the first series to confront the war and I think “ATCSL” is a perfect example of that. The colors green and orange represent autumn, the time associated with maturity, death and rebirth.
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, ThinkGeek.com, AllPosters.com, PosterRevolution.com, EntertainmentEarth.com, RedfordFilms.com, AnimeWild.com, RockinRobot.com and other retailers.
Pyramid will have the images available on Wood for £39.99 (43x59cm) and £49.99 (45x76cm), Canvas for £59.99 (60x80cm) and as Framed Art Prints at £49.99 (60x80cm) in September. In addition, they will offer 1701 limited edition box sets of twelve 30x40cm art prints on 250gsm art stock paper for £120 beginning at the Destination Star Trek London event in October. 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 October 1st here on StarTrek.com.