ReWard: Feelin’ Nostalgic for the Star Trek poster books.

Because Doug Drexler is being mischievous over on his Facebook page today, I was prompted to go digging into the archives to pull up something I once wrote about one of his creations from Way Back When.

Back in the 1970s, after the original Star Trek series was cancelled, the animated series had run its course, and the first film wasn’t even on anybody’s radar screens, folks like Doug Drexler helped fill a void. Along with the odd novel or collection of episode adaptations from Bantam Books and the comic from Gold Key, there was one set of publications which allowed you to relive memories of favorite episodes and characters. And once you were done with all of that? You had a slick poster to hang on your wall.

(At least, until I figured out who Farrah Fawcett was.)

Written for my LiveJournal, here’s a revisit to a post originally posted on June 6, 2010: “Feelin’ Nostalgic: the Star Trek poster books.”


It’s a quiet Sunday evening here at Stately Ward Manor, and as I work my way through my Season 3 DVD set of Burn Notice in preparation for watching the 4th season premiere I’ve got on the DVR, I feel like gettin’ a bit nostalgic for some old-school Star Trek nerdity.

So, what’s on the agenda tonight? A trip back to 1976, and the totally bitchin’ series of Star Trek Giant Poster Books. Behold, yo!


(Click to enlarge)

Seventeen issues of the magazine were published between September 1976 and April 1978, the first twelve of which were overseen by none other than the mighty Doug Drexler. Mr. D and his associates, Geoff Mandel (Star Trek Maps, Star Trek Star Charts) and Allan Asherman (The Star Trek Compendium, The Star Trek Interview Book) dug into their vast personal collections of photos and other treasures to fill out each issue, and the results were very much a labor of love.

I remember buying a few of these when I was but a wee lad and finding a new issue on the magazine rack at the local Woolworth’s or other department store. The mags featured only eight pages, but they were crammed to overflowing with articles, trivia quizzes, and pictures from the original Star Trek series. Once unfolded, each mag was a 34″x22″ poster with an image from the series (not the same picture as seen on the covers above). All of that Awesome Trekkie Goodness, and for only $1 an issue! The poster books were yet another means of dealing with what would eventually come to be known among longtime fans as the Great 70s Trek Drought.

Though I didn’t get all seventeen issues when they were originally published, eBay eventually proved helpful in obtaining pristine copies of the entire run, as well as allowing me to replace the special one-shot poster book produced in 1979 by the same company (Paradise Press) as a tie-in to Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

My absolute favorite of the entire run is #10, which featured an overview of the then-current condition of the original U.S.S. Enterprise and Klingon cruiser filming models following their recent donation to the Smithsonian Institution. In recent years I’ve become quite enamored with exploring behind-the-scenes aspects of the original Star Trek series, especially the sets and the original Enterprise model. I’m constantly snapping up any photos and other info I can get my hands on, and since I’m a regular reader of Doug’s blog, I was thrilled to learn that he considers this issue his personal favorite, as well. Indeed, he even published digital versions of the pages from that issue on his website, along with some of the pictures of the Enterprise model which he took during a visit to the National Air and Space Museum for research while writing the article.

Damn, that lucky bastard. But he shares, so it’s all good. Check it out:

LINK UPDATED 3/29/2014: Doug on Facebook: The Smithsonian Report, 1977

And while you’re there, check out the rest of his blog. It is – in a word – Effin’ Sweet.

Beginning in March of 1991, a series of similarly-designed poster books tying into Star Trek: The Next Generation was published in the United Kingdom. The magazine ran for 93 issues before ending in May of 1995. I’ve only seen a few of these at the odd convention and don’t own any of them, but if you’re a TNG fan then you’d probably dig these the way I love the old original series versions.

(Thanks very much to the good folk at Memory Alpha for helping to jog my…uh, memory…on some details.)

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The lost shuttlecraft Galileo…found?

Okay, a bit of backstory: During the production of the original Star Trek, there came a point where a storyline required a smaller craft to carry characters away from the Enterprise in order to place them in that week’s helping of mortal danger. Thus, the “shuttlecraft” mentioned in Gene Roddenberry’s original show notes finally was built. In addition to the small filming model used to shoot scenes of the shuttle in space, there also was constructed a “full-size” mockup of the vessel for use with the actors on set. The Galileo made its onscreen debut in the first season episode “The Galileo Seven,” and then appeared sporadically throughout the rest of the series.

When the show was cancelled in 1969, its sets were struck, and some things like props, models, costumes and so on were placed in storage. The full-size Galileo prop went through some interesting times following the end of series, starting out as a playground accessory at the The Braille Institute in Los Angeles before changing hands with a couple of private collectors. One of those collectors invested considerable time, effort, and money to restore the Galileo, and in 1986 it was displayed at a Star Trek convention in Anaheim, California. As I was living out there at the time, I got to go to that convention, where I snapped this picture with my crappy 110 camera:

Shuttlecraft Galileo: Click to enlarge
(Click to Biggie Size)

Actually, that’s two pics snapped and then spliced together, as the area where the shuttle was situated behind a curtain didn’t allow me to step back far enough to get the whole thing in one shot. Thanks to David Mack and his PhotoShop skills, the original seam seen here in the preview version has been removed.

Anyway….

A few years later, the shuttle was purchased by another collector, Lynne Miller of Akron, Ohio. Ms. Miller had grand plans for the Galileo, hoping to complete its restoration and eventually have it displayed at the National Air & Space Museum as a companion piece to the original Enterprise filming model. Unfortunately, those plans were derailed, and the shuttle was moved from one storage facility to another over the next few years, before it seemed to disappear altogether. For years, rumors circulated that it had been moved from its last known location in Akron, bought by another collector and kept hidden away, or even that it may have been destroyed as part of a larger clearing effort on the property where it was last known to be stored. Various efforts to ascertain the lost Galileo‘s whereabouts were thwarted for one reason or another, and the prop’s fate became one of those “unsolved mysteries” of fandom.

(Shameless Whoring: Issues 32-38 of the Star Trek Magazine feature an extended story arc of David Reddick’s comic strip, The Trek Life, in which the strip’s main characters set off on a quest to find the Galileo. Their adventure even takes them to Akron. The story, written by me and editor Paul Simpson, was inspired by this very “mystery,” and in fact is an offshoot of an idea I’d originally had for a sequel to a story I’ve pestered you about in recent years, The Enterprise Job.)

Amazingly, it seems that the shuttle has been found!!! Rather than being located in a mysterious warehouse in South Dakota, or that place where they stuffed the Lost Ark, the Galileo has apparently been right there in Akron this entire time, and still in the possession of Lynne Miller.

Doh!

Late last month, Ms. Miller began posting comments to this thread on Doug Drexler’s blog, The Drex Files, letting folks know that she still has the shuttle, disassembled and stored in her basement. She is attempting to find a suitable home for it, as well as see to a proper restoration. Unfortunately, she’s had to endure a lion’s share of broken promises and unrealized dreams with respect to her efforts to care for the Galileo all these years, but it seems that efforts might be in motion to finally help her see this project to fruition. For her sake as well fans who’ve been hoping to see this rather special piece of Star Trek history restored to its former glory, I hope this latest attempt is the real deal.

Related links of interest:
StarTrek.com: The Shuttlecraft Galileo – Part 1
StarTrek.com: The Shuttlecraft Galileo – Part 2
The Drex Files: The Search for the Galileo 7
The Drex Files: Days of Future Past 2

More Vanguard goodness from Doug Drexler.


Mr. Drexler is back, with his usual end-of-month update to his popular blog, The Drex Files, and among his offerings so far this morning? A text-free version of the final artwork for the forthcoming Star Trek: Vanguard – Declassified collection of novellas by me, Kevin Dilmore, David Mack (aka infinitydog) and Marco Palmieri.

What else might you find if you follow the link you’re about to read? How’s about a sneak peek at cover art for the next Vanguard novel, What Judgments Come by Kevin and me? Okay, then:


Drex Files: More Star Trek: Vanguard from Pocket Books

mmmmmmMMMMMmmmmm….

A little taste of Vanguard.

When Doug Drexler was asked to provide cover art for the next book in the ongoing Star Trek: Vanguard saga, Declassified, he responded in timely fashion. While his first submission was not accepted by Pocket (owing to similarities to previous entries in the series), it’s still a very sweet piece of art.

Doug’s second submission incorporated several requests from the book’s editor as well as some of us writing stories for the collection, and also is – in a word – Awesome. As I said on Doug’s blog, it contains lots of little details which will tickle the hearts and other parts of old-school fans, particularly those who love such classic publications as Franz Joseph’s Star Fleet Technical Manual. That image has not yet been approved by the licensing department at CBS, but while we wait, Doug has made the original submission available for viewing on his site:

Unused image for Vanguard: Declassified
(Click to enlarge)

Kinda makes your mouth water, doesn’t it?

Be sure to check out the comments about this piece, as well as lots of other Trek AwesomeSauce, at Doug’s blog.

Doug Drexler…why must you tease me so?

Earlier today, fanboy turned SFX stud Doug Drexler posted the second installment of his Drex TV video blog to StarTrek.com. Almost 20 minutes of DrexFiles Goodness(tm) for us fanboys (and fangirls!) to slobber over.

In this installment, Doug catches up with friend Michael Forrest (Apollo from the original series episode “Who Mourns for Adonias?”), as well as peeks behind the scenes on the sets of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Enterprise. However, some of the blog’s tastiest bits come in the form of CGI clips of ships and such that act as video extensions of artwork seen in various editions of the Star Trek: Ships of the Line calendars.

But, it’s what Doug snuck into the blog at the 15:10 mark that gave this Trekkie a total, barely restrained Nerd-on.

I’m not gonna spoil it. Just go look and see for yourself. You can watch the entire show either at StarTrek.com, or at Doug’s site.

Enjoy.

Doug Drexler makes me drool.

In a totally manly sorta way, you understand.

As one of the many enhancements bestowed upon the recently-revamped official Star Trek website, SFX guru and longtime Trek fanboy Doug Drexler has launched a new feature: “Drex-TV“. Essentially a video extension of his existing (and oh-so sweet) “Drexfiles” website, Mr. D has seen fit to deliver to us – among other things – a video compilation of all-new computer-generated imagery featuring various ships from several of Pocket Books’ Star Trek: Ships of the Line calendars. Included in this installment is footage of a Klingon battlecruiser chasing a shuttlecraft, the U.S.S. Enterprise – NCC-1701-J, and the oft-mentioned but seen only in sketches and paintings “ringship” Enterprise which supposedly preceded Captain Kirk’s ride.

Look, me jabbering about this isn’t going to do justice to what Doug’s done here. To see the video version of “Drexfiles,” go to the guest blog on StarTrek.com or Doug’s own site. It’s chock-full of AwesomeSauce.

Feelin’ Nostalgic: the Star Trek poster books.

It’s a quiet Sunday evening here at Stately Ward Manor, and as I work my way through my Season 3 DVD set of Burn Notice in preparation for watching the 4th season premiere I’ve got on the DVR, I feel like gettin’ a bit nostalgic for some old-school Star Trek nerdity.

So, what’s on the agenda tonight? A trip back to 1976, and the totally bitchin’ series of Star Trek Giant Poster Books. Behold, yo!



(Click to enlarge)

Seventeen issues of the magazine were published between September 1976 and April 1978, the first twelve of which were overseen by none other than the mighty Doug Drexler. Mr. D and his associates, Geoff Mandel (Star Trek Maps, Star Trek Star Charts) and Allan Asherman (The Star Trek Compendium, The Star Trek Interview Book) dug into their vast personal collections of photos and other treasures to fill out each issue, and the results were very much a labor of love.

I remember buying a few of these when I was but a wee lad and finding a new issue on the magazine rack at the local Woolworth’s or other department store. The mags featured only eight pages, but they were crammed to overflowing with articles, trivia quizzes, and pictures from the original Star Trek series. Once unfolded, each mag was a 34″x22″ poster with an image from the series (not the same picture as seen on the covers above). All of that Awesome Trekkie Goodness, and for only $1 an issue! The poster books were yet another means of dealing with what would eventually come to be known among longtime fans as the Great 70s Trek Drought.


Though I didn’t get all seventeen issues when they were originally published, eBay eventually proved helpful in obtaining pristine copies of the entire run, as well as allowing me to replace the special one-shot poster book produced in 1979 by the same company (Paradise Press) as a tie-in to Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

My absolute favorite of the entire run is #10, which featured an overview of the then-current condition of the original U.S.S. Enterprise and Klingon cruiser filming models following their recent donation to the Smithsonian Institution. In recent years I’ve become quite enamored with exploring behind-the-scenes aspects of the original Star Trek series, especially the sets and the original Enterprise model. I’m constantly snapping up any photos and other info I can get my hands on, and since I’m a regular reader of Doug’s blog, I was thrilled to learn that he considers this issue his personal favorite, as well. Indeed, he even published digital versions of the pages from that issue on his website, along with some of the pictures of the Enterprise model which he took during a visit to the National Air and Space Museum for research while writing the article.

Damn, that lucky bastard. But he shares, so it’s all good. Check it out:

DrexFiles: The Smithsonian Report – Poster Book Flashback, 1977

And while you’re there, check out the rest of his blog. It is – in a word – Effin’ Sweet.

Beginning in March of 1991, a series of similarly-designed poster books tying into Star Trek: The Next Generation was published in the United Kingdom. The magazine ran for 93 issues before ending in May of 1995. I’ve only seen a few of these at the odd convention and don’t own any of them, but if you’re a TNG fan then you’d probably dig these the way I love the old original series versions.

(Thanks very much to the good folk at Memory Alpha for helping to jog my…uh, memory…on some details.)

The trouble with tribble tweets.


This new entry at Doug Drexler’s website, The Drexfiles, is pretty amusing. It’s a photographic travelogue of a wayward tribble. Thanks to Doug’s rather storied career, the tribble goes on a pretty slick journey to various Hollywood locales. Be sure to check out some of the characters the little wanderer encounters on his/her journey.

The entry reminded me of some stuff we did for Star Trek Magazine editor Paul Simpson last year, for an issue that came out a couple of months ago. Last fall, he came to Kevin and me with an unusual request: retell an episode of the original Star Trek as a series of “tweets,” or the 140-character missives you’ll find on the “microblogging” service Twitter. It sounded like fun, and since Kevin and I have acquired a reputation – earned or not – as being a bit on the irreverent side of things when it comes to writing about Star Trek, we figured this was right in our wheelhouse.

The result? Well, behold “The Trouble With Tribbles,” 140 bytes at a time….

The whole ugly thing behind the cut….

More fanboy goodness from Doug Drexler.

Over on his blog, Doug Drexler as has made with more of the sweet, sweet nerdy goodness, this time posting a series of photographs from the construction of the sets for the U.S.S. Defiant as seen in the Star Trek: Enterprise 2-part episode “In A Mirror, Darkly.”

Of course, in the original Star Trek episode “The Tholian Web,” the Defiant interiors were really just the standing Enterprise sets, so you know what that means, right?

REBUILD THE ORIGINAL SERIES HOTNESS, FANBOYS!

: Ahem. :

Anyway, check this out: DrexFiles: Reflections from the Mirror Universe

In addition to recreating corridors and and maintenance shafts as seen in this collection of photos, the crew also was able to go one step farther and show us parts of the ship never before seen, extrapolating from what was known to produce new sets that add a new dimension to what we’ve already seen all while evoking and remaining faithful to the classic Matt Jefferies design aesthetic.

Man, I love this stuff.

Check out the entry, and the rest of Doug’s blog while you’re at it. The site continues to be a treasure trove for old-school Trekkies like me.

Even more old-school Trek goodness from Doug Drexler.

I am an addict, and Doug Drexler is my dealer.

This bastard, with all his pictures and graphics and stories about Star Trek as told from the point of view of someone WHO WAS THERE, working on shows every day; how dare he post such tantalizing morsels of fanboy goodness on his website and just leave them there for me to drool over? It’s killing me, I tell you! I am powerless to resist. No matter how many times I say aloud, “I won’t go back. He can’t keep posting good stuff like that forever. He has to have run out by now,” I succumb to temptation over and over again. And each time I return? There’s more stuff to ogle.

DAMMIT!

What’s new there since my last visit? Among the juicy tidbits and insights from Trek‘s past he’s offering now, are two entries of particular note:

The First, posted on October 11th, showcases pictures and reminiscing of Doug and other members of the production crew in 1996, working on the re-created sets for the original Enterprise, as seen in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Trials and Tribble-ations.” It’s not enough that these folks get to do something like this and get paid for it. Oh, no. They have to joke around and have all sorts of other fun while they’re doing it.

Rub it in, why dontcha.

The Second, also posted on the 11th, revisits a graphic Doug created for the Star Trek: Enterprise two-part episode “In A Mirror, Darkly.” Yeah, the one where they got to build the original series sets AGAIN, with even more detail and AwesomeSauce thrown in this time around. The graphic is a “cutaway” technical schematic of a Constitution-class starship. Here’s a taste, but you need to go to the site and see the full-sized version to really get your nerd on in first-rate fashion:

Artwork by Doug Drexler
(Not responsible for any inadvertent release of body fluids you may experience upon viewing at full size You’ve been warned.)

Yeah, I had to change my shorts after seeing that one, too.

If the original Star Trek series is not your thing, Doug’s blog is chock full of all kinds of other stuff. For example, check out this recent entry highlighting visual FX master Gary Hutzel as he works on a Piece of Sweetness for the still-forthcoming Battlestar Galactica prequel, Caprica. That’ll get your pilot lit.

My name is Dayton, and I’m a fan of Doug Drexler.

“Hi, Dayton.”