Book Review: Star Trek: 50 Artists 50 Years
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Star Trek: 50 Artists 50 Years
Foreword by Nicholas Meyer
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: September 6, 2016

September 8 will mark the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek television series, the creation of visionary Gene Roddenberry, that saw the crew of the starship Enterprise embark on their 5-year mission to explore strange new worlds, bolding going where no man had gone before. While we technically never saw them complete their mission — the TV series was canceled after three seasons because of low ratings — “Captain Kirk” and “Mr. Spock” have since become household names and the Star Trek franchise has grown massive beyond everyone’s wildest dreams.

In honor of this milestone anniversary, CBS — which currently holds the rights to the franchise — commissioned a series of art in various mediums, the images of which have been collected into a new 112-page full-color oversized hardcover, Star Trek: 50 Artists 50 Years, from Titan Books.

Nicholas Meyer, the filmmaker behind several Trek feature films, including the standout Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, provided the Foreword to this book, which, as the title specifies, contains works from 50 artists. Each piece of artwork encompasses one of the book’s 10.6 x 14.7-sized pages on the right, while the opposing left page includes information on the work from the artist, such as a description, concept, what motivated the artist to choose that particular subject, how the piece was created, what their favorite Star Trek series/episodes are, and more, along with a short bio of the artist.

All of the pieces in the book are really cool, so it was hard for me to pick a favorite, but there’s many illustrations within that I’d love to hang on my walls: Stanley Chow’s “Teleportation Of Mr. Spock,” an illustration of the Vulcan science officer; Patrick Connan’s “Revenge Is A Dish That Is Best Served Cold,” which is in the style of a movie poster for Wrath Of Khan; Matt Ferguson’s “Arena,” which depicts Captain Kirk’s famed battle with the Gorn; Rocco Malatesta’s “Live Long and Prosper” (because, in case it’s not obvious, I love Spock); Gary Pullin’s “Mirror Mirror” (again, Spock); and oh man the Spock holding a black cat graphic, a must-have titled “Strangely Drawn to It” by Dave Quiggle. Oh, and of course, the cover image “U.S.S. Enterprise Spec Sheet” (also featured inside) by the incredibly talented Tom Whalen is gorgeous, too.

Along with the illustrations and graphics are some sculpture and photography pieces, including one by the great Leonard Nimoy himself called “Hand In Vulcan Gesture.” Actress Mayim Bialik, whose CBS TV sitcom The Big Bang Theory often references Star Trek and has even seen guest appearances by Trek alumni, contributed photos of herself dressed as several TOS and TNG characters. And Calvin Ma’s “Home Is Where The Journey Is,” a mixed media sculpture of the U.S.S. Enterprise created with clay and decorated with aged wood-like textures and patterns, is definitely a lovely stand-out.

Star Trek‘s influence has spread far and wide over the last 50 years, and this new art book showcases some of the many artists who’ve been inspired by the franchise. Star Trek: 50 Artists 50 Years offers up beautiful artwork for fans and makes a great read for those who’ve also loved what Star Trek has had to contribute all these decades.

Official book synopsis from the publisher:

To coincide with the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek TV series, CBS Consumer Products have commissioned a series of art pieces to celebrate moments, characters, storylines and episodes from the franchise. Artists from around the world as well as famous fans have contributed lovingly made posters, photos, sculptures, comic strips, textiles and much more to commemorate this beloved show. Foreword by Nicholas Meyer.

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