Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Review of "Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz"

As the holidays approach, the Cafe's staff is always on the lookout for unique gift ideas for classic film and TV fans. A great recent find, Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz, is sure to delight fans of the original Star Trek TV series. In his oversized 112-page book, Ortiz has designed a poster for each of the 80 episodes of Gene Roddenberry's 1966-69 series. While the majority of the posters are done in a movie style, some of them replicate the look of pulp novel covers, comic books, and advertisements.

One of my favorites (shown below) is the poster for the season one episode "Arena," which pits Captain Kirk against a reptilian alien in a potential battle to the death. Note the discoloration around the edges to give the impression that the poster was originally created in the 1960s.
In the book's introductory interview, Ortiz describes his approach to the posters: "Star Trek was many things. It wasn't just a show about science fiction. Episodes ranged from war, love, horror, court dramas, death, mental illness, politics, social issues, and of course the Western theme, to name just a few. Therefore, I was able to approach each poster with its own take, without feeling as though I were repeating myself."

At the back of the book, Ortiz includes a brief commentary about each poster, in which he describes his influences or intent. For the season one episode "What Are Little Girls Made Of?", his inspiration was the episode's two androids: the imposing Ruk (played by Ted Cassidy) and the beautiful Andrea (Sherry Jackson). "I thought a bit about Frankenstein while working on this one," writes Ortiz. "I like how Ruk and Andrea form a singular silhouette."
At a suggested retail price of $39.95, Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz is not an inexpensive book. Still, it's a must-have for fans of the original series. The posters are stylish, colorful, clever, and suitable for framing (though you'd have to cut up your book!). Any trekker would beam it aboard his or her starship without hesitation.

Titan Books provided a review copy of this book.


  1. If the sample posters are representative of the whole book, I love it! As a present for me.

  2. What a clever idea! I liked the smudge prints on "Arena" and the crease of the poster where a mirror might have stood in "Mirror, Mirror". But my favorite one displayed in your post would have to be the merging images of "What Are Little Girls Made Of?"

    Great post, Rick, and a fun idea for gift giving!

  3. I love this guy's work. I have 6 of the posters and would love them all! Now it's easy in this book. Have to go add that to my amazon wish list in time for Santa to get it!

  4. I think Mirror, Mirror is my favorite of the ones shown. I loved the original Star Trek best of all -- always have, always will!

  5. What STAR TREK fan wouldn't love THE ART OF JUAN ORTIZ? Fabulous art! Thanks for sharing this!

  6. Hey, Ricky! I got this for Christmas from one of my staff! IN LOVE!!!!