It’s time again for StarTrek.com to preview the latest quartet of Star Trek: The Original Series Art Prints by Juan Ortiz. The April set includes “The Doomsday Machine,” “Patterns of Force,” “Elaan of Troyius” and “The Paradise Syndrome.” Ortiz took a few moments recently to talk with us about the new prints, what inspired them and how practical realities occasionally trump creative instincts.
As always, let's first go back to last month. Which of the March TOS Art Prints generated the most reaction, and why do you think it did so?
Ortiz: I believe it was “For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky” was the favorite. My guess would be because of the beloved Dr. McCoy/DeForest Kelley.
First up for April is “The Doomsday Machine.” What were you aiming for with this print?
Ortiz: Not really a redesign of “The Doomsday Machine,” but a more stylized approach.
When did you develop your fascination with skulls?
Ortiz: Maybe it began at an early age, reading “Ghost Rider” comic books. When I use a skull in a poster, it's usually to convey death or danger. In the case of this episode, the Doomsday Machine has killed billions, but it's easy to forget or overlook that information because we don't really see it. I think it's a major part of the story and worth depicting. I believe that six out of the 80 Star Trek posters that I've created have a skull in them.
“Patterns of Force” is extraordinarily stark. What was the inspiration for this one?
Ortiz: It is a bit stark, but it started out a lot busier and almost cartoon-like. My original design had the Enterprise zooming down upon a planet with a large swastika on it, similar to WPA posters during WWII. My design was interesting, but I felt it lacked substance. I decided instead to go with an image of Spock in a Nazi uniform. The result has a bit of Yin and Yang look to it. I liked the subtleness of the final piece.
You've accentuated Spock's features: ears, eyebrows, eye, mouth and shaded half his face in black. How evil did you want him to look?
Ortiz: I wasn't really trying to make him look evil. Since Spock was in heavy shadow, I had to accentuate his features in order to make him recognizable. I didn't think this poster would go over well until I saw the poster for the movie Flight a few months later.
Interesting color choice for “Elaan of Troyius.” What is that boysenberry-esque color actually called and what made it work for this print?
Ortiz: Boysenberry would be a good way to describe it. It's really an Earthtone with the CMYK percentages adjusted. I played around with different color, but the violet color just worked best for me.
What else would you point out to our readers about this piece?
Ortiz: My original design had the likeness of the actress that played Elaan, but because of legal issues I had to change her features.
Our personal favorite this month is “The Paradise Syndrome.” What inspired this one?
Ortiz: My goal was to carry the angle shape of the obelisk throughout the design. I was lucky enough to find a font that resembled an ancient lettering.
How did the piece evolve from initial concept to finished product?
Ortiz: This one originally had more of a love-story feel to it with Shatner and the name of the actress that played Miramanee. But once again, due to legal issues, I had to leave her name off the poster.
Which of the four would you want most in your own home?
Ortiz: I would go with "Elaan of Troyius." Having watched it again during my research, I discovered what a great episode it actually is.
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 May here on StarTrek.com.