Hard to believe it’s September already, but it is – and you know what that means: a new quartet of Star Trek: The Original Series Art Prints by Juan Ortiz. This month’s set consists of prints depicting “The Gamesters of Triskelion,” “The Enterprise Incident," “Court Martial” and “That Which Survives.” StarTrek.com recently caught up with Ortiz, who revealed the creative process behind each of the new Art Prints. Here’s what he had to say:
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?
ORTIZ: 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...
ORTIZ: 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?
ORTIZ: 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?
ORTIZ: 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?
ORTIZ: 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?
ORTIZ: 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.
ORTIZ: 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?
ORTIZ: 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.
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. US 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 October here on StarTrek.com.