Since it’s Star Trek Week, there are a lot of Trek comics that I could have discussed for the Wednesday Comics column. From the original issues by Gold Key and Marvel in the 60s and 70s to the modern era comics published by IDW, the four-color world of comics has been as integral to the Star Trek mythology as the television and film franchises (that said, the comics — and novels — still exist strictly outside of “canon”). But rather than writing about that, I’d rather you head over to Comics Alliance and read Kevin Church‘s excellent rundown of every single Trek comic era since 1967.
Instead, I want to talk a little bit about a book that comes out today and should be on the bookshelves of every Trekkie/er reading this blog right now: Titan Books’ hardcover of Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz.
Sure, The Art of Juan Ortiz is not a comic book, though Ortiz has freelanced for Disney and DC Comics in the past and is currently the president and publisher of Silver Comics. It’s still a fantastic art book filled to the brim with original illustrations that are reminiscent of the 1960s they are meant to represent, right down to the Gold Key-esque Star Trek logo on the cover!
Ortiz was tasked to create theatrical one-sheet styled artwork for each of the Original Series’ 80 episodes — from the unaired original pilot “The Cage” to the final episode “Turnabout Intruder.” That’s the best aspect of the book, and what can make it appealing to non-Trek fans as well. Many of the retro designs are reminiscent of iconic artists such as Saul Bass and would make a great coffee table conversation starter for anyone interested in beautiful, evocative illustrations.
My personal favorite is the poster design for the classic episode “Mirror, Mirror” featuring Mr. Spock staring down his “Darkest Timeline” self.
The book ships from Diamond today, and should be available at book stores everywhere, including your favorite local comic shop retailer.