What’s old is new again…Trek style!

Those of you who follow my bloggish blatherings with any regularity know that, every so often, I like to wax nostalgic about various old-school Trek topics. For example, a couple of years ago, I gushed about the old James Blish adaptations of the original Star Trek episodes from the 60s and 70s, along with some of my favorite covers from that run of books.

Man, I love that stuff.

So, imagine my pleasant surprise when, while reading 8of5’s Guide to the Trek Collective, that I come across this entry spotlighting artist Rob Caswell (aka “Arcass” on DeviantArt.com). Rob, an unabashed Trekkie like so many of us, has built a rather sweet-looking resume contributing art to computer games, RPGs, comics, and websites. Among his Trek-related efforts is work contributed to the Star Trek: The Next Generation Officer’s Manual for the old Fasa Star Trek Role-Playing Game. Of interest on 8of5’s blog, though, was some pieces Rob had created purely for fun: devising new cover art for the classic Blish Trek adaptations. His inspiration? The Enterprise and other CGI effects created for the 2006 re-mastering of the original series episodes. Rob has created covers for all 12 of the Blish adaptations, and he even threw art for a “lost” 13th entry to the series.

Check out just a sample of the geeky awesomeness Rob has unleashed:


(Click on each pic to see/download a larger version from Rob’s DeviantArt gallery.)

Anybody else notice anything cool about the cover to #9? 😀

Be sure to check out Rob’s entire gallery of work over at DeviantArt.com. In addition to the covers I’m nerding out about here, you’ll find all sorts of other stuff, including art that pays tribute to other SF franchises like Space: 1999 and 2001: A Space Odyssey. He also dabbles in pin-up work, and some of his samples from that department are definitely not safe for work, so proceed with the proper caution.

So, thanks very much to Rob for bringing a smile this geeky Trekkie’s face and for letting me post some samples here, and to 8of5 for bringing to this to my attention.

13 thoughts on “What’s old is new again…Trek style!

  1. Thanks for featuring these, Dayton 🙂 One thing I should note here that I meant to bring up on my 8 of 5 interview is that I chose to stay faithful to the original cover marketing blurbs… as silly, irrelevant, and repetitive as they sometimes were the ones like “The Ultimate Trip! Worlds Beyond Time”. That and sticking with the ’79 era cover prices were all part of the nostalgia component. Though my first purchase in ’73 (#3, if I recall – and even then, it was the 12th printing) had a sixty cents cover price.

    –Rob Caswell (Arcas)

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    1. The tag lines are part of what gives those original covers their charm. It’s like I said in the earlier blog post: Yeah, they may not always have portrayed Trek with total accuracy, but those covers had style.

      Great stuff, Rob! 😀

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    1. Yep. I’m not sure if Rob was even aware of the Vanguard books when he started playing with renders of the station, but I’ve seen comments of other artwork featuring it on his DeviantArt pages where they mention Masao Ozaki, the station’s creator.

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      1. Yep – the design came from Masao. I’m not sure if he designed it specifically for the Vanguard series (I’ve read the first novel) or if the writers asked to use an existing design of his, but the book points out it’s part of a class of standardized stations: the Watchtower-class. I believe the Archer class scout is also a Masao design.

        The design also made it’s way into Remastered, as I’m sure you recall, in the Ultimate Computer ep. So my cover was trying to capture the (unseen) scene where the Enterprise pulls away from the station after having M-5 installed.

        And yeah… I was too lazy to change the markings that day so I tried to show the station from an angle where Vanguard’s “47” was fairly well obscured…. but not obscured enough for those in the know, it seems 🙂

        –Rob

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        1. Vanguard editor Marco Palmieri enlisted Masao to design the station for the series after seeing some of his other creations on his website. Once he had the exterior nailed down, Masao then provided us with a series of internal diagrams so we knew what and where everything was.

          And yeah, it was sweet to see the new station on the remastered episode, even though it’s a scaled-down version of the one from the book series. The actual Watchtower class stations are big enough to house 4 Constitution-class ships in the docking bays inside the saucer section. In tech-speak, that’s “pretty damned big.” 😀

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  2. Just wanted to chip in and say that I’m really glad you came across my article and gave Rob some more coverage yourself. As soon as I saw his covers I knew I had to make sure more trekkies were aware of them, so that’s exactly the sort of outcome I was hoping for 🙂 Hope you’ve pointed them out to your editors at Pocket too!

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    1. I enjoyed reading your piece, and I like what you’re doing with your “Archives” blog. I like doing the same thing from time to time, hence the whole “Feelin’ Nostalgic” category 🙂

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