Following on from his superb Original Series collection, artist Juan Ortiz has created a cinematic-style poster of each episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. That’s right, this hefty hardback contains no less that 178 posters that showcase Ortiz’s creative vision to its fullest, each capturing the essence of the episode it represents. From the cover itself, a stunning vision of a Romulan eagle descending on the Enterprise, it is clear that this book, just like the last, is going to be something special.
It begins with an interview with the artist, one that reveals his inspiration while showing some preliminary sketches along the way. As befits an art book, it is fairly brief, but contains some fascinating insights into Ortiz and his processes. What’s most interesting is his wanting to avoid a ‘retro’ look to these posters, considering it to represent the middle of the twentieth century. As such, he has opted to portray the series with designs reminiscent of independent film posters, as well as the science-fiction book cover styles of the late-seventies and early-eighties.
Each poster is placed in the correct chronological order, meaning those with a favourite episode will be able to flick straight through to the one they wish to see. It’s doubtful anyone would be disappointed; Ortiz has gifted each poster with his unique vision and taken an element from the story to create the work. It’s not always an obvious one, but this reviewer was pleased to see that there were four lights.
While some are drawings, others are more a collage of photographs, yet all clearly recognisable as Ortiz’s style. There’s a suggestion of repetition here – understandable, given the amount of work that’s on offer – but there’s a diverse range, from the simplistic to the surreal, every page clamouring for attention and demanding to be savoured.
This is a fantastic book, recommended for any fan of art or Star Trek. Once read, it’s something that will be returned to, and many of the images (a disembodied eye, anyone?) will stay in the mind for a very long time. Ortiz has done it again and, if you did buy a coffee table one which to rest the first book, you may need to reinforce its legs for this massive tome.
STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION: THE ART OF JUAN ORTIZ / AUTHOR & ARTIST: JUAN ORTIZ / PUBLISHER: TITAN BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: 5TH SEPTEMBER