EAE Award Winners 2009
Star Trek (January
This year's first EAE Award goes to the long-standing Spanish Trek site Mundo Star Trek. The first key feature of the site is the daily updated news on the franchise, which is available in blog format, but also in a special compact PDA version and, of course, as a news feed. Secondly, there is an extensive categorized database with information on all series and movies. Mundo Star Trek is also the home of a very busy online community, and it presents the regular Nexus Magazine that is available for download in PDF format. The site comes with a nicely designed but not too complex graphic design with moderate loading times. And although I don't understand everything I read there, it is always nice to see how Star Trek is an increasingly global phenomenon. Thanks for your continued commitment and congratulations to the staff of Mundo Star Trek!
Drex Files (February 2009)
I don't think it is necessary to introduce Doug Drexler, Academy Award winner (for "Dick Tracy"), scenic artist and senior illustrator and, last but not least, long-time Trek fan. Doug has done a lot of great artwork in his professional life so far, and he has now opened the archive for the fans, presenting rare photos and sketches in his new blog. I had already lost all hope, but this is the first new Trek site in a long time that I visit every day. And I have to go there every day, because Doug frequently adds new stuff. Moreover, he keeps the discussion running, answering the fans' queries. Sometimes other renowned Trek alumni such as Denise and Michael Okuda, Rick Sternbach and Gary Kerr weigh in and give us some insight into the work behind the scenes. This may be the currently geekiest place to discuss Trek minutiae, and I hope that Doug's archive will never be exhausted!
The Star Trek Prop, Costume & Auction Blog
Few Star Trek sites aside from the big communities and news sites are still being regularly updated. The Star Trek Prop, Costume & Auction Blog by Alec Peters is another pleasant exception. The blog has been in existence for more than two years by now. It consists of well over 300 richly illustrated posts and keeps growing. The author's main goal is to document the ongoing auctions of Trek props and costumes, which he is doing in a steady effort. With his many comments and background information it is much more than a simple list of items. Alec also ranks every week's sold items in a "best & worst" list, just as I expect it from a personal site, and by prices. In addition, his blog brings us various news and trivia pertaining to Star Trek's production design (and what the fans make of it). The Star Trek Prop, Costume & Auction Blog is a great resource for everyone interested in the little things that let Star Trek look realistic and it provides hours of reading pleasure.
digitally efx'd geometry (April 2009)
I ran across this 3D artwork site only recently at Drex Files. The figurehead of the portfolio is the subtly reworked original Enterprise NCC-1701. It is modeled in the purist tradition of TOS yet with an amazing level of detail, and impressively presented in the form of a data sheet with orthographic views, many detail views and scenic images. There are some more Trek ships in the portfolio, as well as various other science fiction stuff and real-world objects, including Captain Christopher's F-104 Starfighter. I usually don't dig animated website interfaces, but here is one more example of carefully used Flash that makes browsing the site an experience, rather than obfuscating it. deg's work is truly professional (he is a freelance artist). I would only wish that his Enterprise were in the new movie. By all means, this beauty would be absolutely ready for the big screen.
Eavesdropping with Johnny
John Eaves is another Trek design veteran who has recently launched his own blog, called "Eavesdropping with Johnny". Here John presents a wide variety of sketches and photos spanning four decades of Star Trek, from the earliest pictures of the original Enterprise miniature to the sad demolition of the Star Trek Enterprise sets. There are also various features on other science fiction and on real-world issues. Although his own artwork is clearly a highlight, his blog is anything but a mere "vanity showcase". In fact, John impressively visualizes how great artists have always inspired each other. He spotlights the works of the classic sci-fi designer Ron Cobb (Dark Star, Nostromo) and of the late Jerry Goldsmith, Trek's house composer. He gives his readers the opportunity to leave comments and requests. It is like a dream of many Trek fans that has finally come true.
HeroComm (June 2009)
I discovered HeroComm in its full glory only recently, while doing some research for an article. I had been there before looking for reference images, but so far I never recognized the true extent and potential of the site. HeroComm is entirely dedicated to the flip-chirp communicator of TOS, the probably most iconic prop of Star Trek. As such, the site is a treasure trove for prop builders and collectors, for Trek historians and for fans who always wanted to have a closer look at this piece of 2260s technology. HeroComm shows communicators in countless photos and screen caps, it has blueprints and building instructions and it does not neglect to honor the creator of the device, Wah Chang, with an extensive biography. On a final note HeroComm, just like EAS, is totally commerce-free, which is commendable especially since producing or selling props is often made into a business.
(No award from July to October)
Artwork Blog (November 2009)
As announced a couple of months ago the EAE Award is no longer issued every month, owing to the shrinking number of Trek sites. Actually, if it were not for the blogs, online fandom with an individual touch would be even pretty much dead by now. Hence, it does not surprise that the EAE Award goes to another blog, and it is a special pleasure that I can give it to an old friend. I have been in contact with Suricata for years, discussing various (mostly starship-related) issues, and he has supported me with drawings a couple of times. It is easy to notice that the quality of his 2D and 3D artwork has reached a very high standard. Suricata's Artwork Blog is more than a simple showcase, however. There are articles worth reading such as the one about starship design, as well as special features such as the size charts. And if you want to know who first came up with a ship looking like the Delta Flyer, just scroll to the beginning of the blog.
(No award in December)