I was asked by a fella named John on another website if I might be interested in explaining a bit about some of the decisions I made putting together my Trek piece, this was what I ended up replying-
"I'd love to see Dusty write an essay on his thinking when creating this piece. Some can grumble about who is included, and who isn't, but I am more interested in WHY various characters made the cut, while others did not. Chris Pike is there, but not Number One. Jahn is there, but not Miri. "The Enemy Within" gets double representation, with "evil" Kirk and the mutt Scotty is holding. William Campbell appears as Trelane, but not as Koloth.
I fault none of his inclusions, or exclusions, but I would enjoy knowing the thinking behind them."
Hey John, I really appreciate your interest, I've worked on this thing for so long in a bubble, finally being able to share it with fans and talk about it a bit with people is something i've looked forward to for a while now. I'd really enjoy getting to explain a little bit of the decision making that went into some of the choices I made putting this Classic Trek piece together. Here we go.....
Well the intial idea for the piece has always included the idea of having at LEAST 1 character from every original episode, but in the first layout they all would have been posing on the bridge of the Enterprise, the "camera" being up at the top of the main view screen looking down on everyone. Ships would have been displayed in the various viewscreens. It quickly became apparent the shear number of characters in that small of a space was not going to work, plus your missing out on one of the most prominent stars of the show, The Enterprise herself.Next came the panning from ground to sky idea, thereby getting to include all the magnificent ships, spacecraft & giant space ameobas. The angle of the Enterprise was something I had to wrestle with, It may have worked out in more of a symetrical sense to have had her coming up over evryone straight in the center of the drawing, lined up with Kirk and the Obelisk, which are basically the centerline of the piece, but I feel the Enterprises' single best "angle" or beauty shot, is the 3/4 profile,so I made the call to have her veering off to one side instead, so we could see the secondary hull and the nacelles.
I knew the main crew of the Enterprise including Chapel and Rand were going to be included regardless of the 1 character from every episode rule, so they were a given, none of them were going to count against that total. I tried to place characters nearby oneanother who had a close connection when I could, Evil Kirk and Rand, Finnegan and the Metron, Deadly Years McCoy and the Salt Vampire, Orion Slave Girl and chair bound Pike, Amanda, Sarek and Leila next to Spock. Others I put in to fill an empty space that needed something in it to help plug it up, the Balok "puppet" comes to mind, plus he was one of the most memorable aliens of the original series and I knew I had to find room for him somewhere. The Metron is another "hole" filler. Dr. Sevrin (about to partake of his deadly alien apple) and Galt are actually last minute additions as well, originally they weren't there, i'm sure glad I added them both!
The reason I picked some characters over others from a given show usually had to do with my desire to draw a certain actor rather than another, not because I felt they played a greater or lesser part in any given story or because I didn't realize someone somewhere was going to ask why wasn't "insert actors name" included as well or instead of who I ended up picking. Koloth was easiest to lose because William Campbell also plays Trelane, who is easily one of my favorite guest stars in the original series and I already had two other Klingons represented. Commander Kor by the way is probably my favorite character I drew in the piece, I just love the way he came out. I went with Jahn over Miri simply because I love Michael Pollards face, it was just begging to be caricatured, it's also why hes pretty close to the front. Since I had 5 characters representing both Menageries and the Cage pilot, I decided Majel was already represented as Nurse Chapel and I could pass on including her again as Number 1, as much as I dig her in the part. (I did draw her and the rest of Pikes crew yers ago here though- [link] which you could say was my warm up to this full blown poster) I went with Simon Van Gelder over Dr. Tristan Adams (James Gregory who also would have been a blast to draw) because Morgan Woodward the actor who plays him was also Punk Anderson on Dallas, and I LOVE Dallas and I just wanted to draw him, that sweaty quivering lip performance is still fantastic all these years later.
I'm a pretty big fan of what the Okudas did updating the effects and basically giving the series a 21st century tune up, which is why i felt more than comfortable adding the redesigned Aurora space hippy shuttle and the Antares, Charlie X's ship, which was adapted from use from the animated series, which I also have really fond memories of.
I thought adding Sylvia in Korob's hand was a nifty way of including her in the piece while showing both characters true alien pipe cleaner form in the process. Harry Mudd has one of his little red pills between his fingers by the way. He's not actually giving the A-OK sign........I went with the white helmeted Roman security officer over First Citizen Merikus because I always thought of those helmets first when I think of Bread and Circuses. The one alien I regret not having in thier was the Tellerite, I loved those guys. And yes, I did put Lazarus on top of Val because I figued he needed to be up on something he could fall off of...... I lost the finsihed digital file of Mirrior Spock and had to totally re-ink him, medals, dagger and all, that sucked! The Rigel Fortress is not a copy of the famous Matte Painting, if you look, you'll see the angle is completely different, yet close enough to evoke the classic shot, and the weathering and color of it were one of the most difficult aspects of the entire piece for me to achieve. The transported effect was tricky and took some trial and error to get where I felt i was happy with it. It originally wasn't in the piece, but my pal Jerome K Moore who drew all the Trek covers for DC for years, and who I shared an office with at work all last year suggested adding it to the three main stars, and I'm glad I listened to the suggestion. It was the one classic aspect of Trek that was otherwise missing from the whole poster. The pearlescent glow of the Gorns mutifaceted eye is one of my favorite color effects in the piece. And my favorite Star Trek "babe" is Nona, she was unreal followed right behind by Andrea from What are Little Girls Made Of.
Well, thats pretty much it, if anyone has any other questions about it just let me know, and I'm really happy to hear so many people are digging the thing, the show deserves as much love as it can get, and if this poster reminds everybody why the original show was so cool, that makes me feel great!