Classic 'Star Trek' episodes get retro poster treatment

Artist Juan Ortiz has created amazing 1960s-style posters for every episode of the original series.

Star Trek poster
Juan Ortiz has created vintage posters for each episode of the original "Star Trek." CBS Studios

I recently had the pleasure of seeing George Takei on-stage at Comiccon Montreal. He regaled fans with tales of playing Sulu on the original "Star Trek" and explained how the name came from the Sulu Sea.

The onetime Enterprise helmsman also noted that the series will be 50 years old in 2016. That's not quite around the corner, but here's an aesthetically awesome way to prepare for the celebration.

A new book on the art of Juan Ortiz contains retro-style promo posters for every episode of the original series. The unique illustrations look like they were walked right out of a Desilu Productions studio in the 1960s.

"Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz" treats all 80 episodes as if they were movie-style events, with posters that recall pulp novel covers. They list the leading actors, series creator Gene Roddenberry, and include story and directing credits.

The designs are dramatic, with 1960s minimalism, muted colors, and a few psychedelic elements. Some appear faded and folded, as if they've been sitting around in a storage locker for 40 years.

Ortiz is a freelance designer, illustrator, and comic book artist who has done work for clients such as Disney and Warner Bros. I asked him how the art originated.

Q: Why did you want to make these posters?
Ortiz: It wasn't so much a "want to" but more of a "need to." Once I started, it became something that needed to be finished. I knew that if I just created a few or even half, it would just be another unfinished project.

Who or what were your inspirations?
Ortiz: There are many. Just to name a few: Andy Warhol, Jack Kirby, Joaquin Pertierra, Terry Gilliam, The Beatles, Peter Max. But I also admire Stanley Kubrick's design sense and use of one-point perspective in his films.

What's your favorite episode? Mine's "Requiem for Methuselah" (I love android stories).
Ortiz: That was a good one. I have a different favorite every so often. Right now, I like "The Empath" a whole lot. I was particularly affected by that episode when I first viewed it. It's a story of sacrifice that cemented the friendship between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. It's the episode that, to me, more than any other, demonstrates why Star Trek is more than just a sci-fi series. It also harkens back to the original pilot, "The Cage."

Check out more amazing artwork from Ortiz's book in the gallery above.

 

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