Hamilton artist praised by Star Trek director

JJ Abrams: 'your work is most excellent'

CHRIS GARDNER
Last updated 12:59 14/04/2014
 JJ Abrams’ note
Supplied

NOTED: JJ Abrams’ note to Hamilton artist Paul Shipper praising him for his Star Trek poster.

Paul Shipper, star trek
Peter Drury/Fairfax NZ
COMIC TIMING: Hamilton artist Paul Shipper illustrated the Star Trek: Khan comic book series after receiving praise from director JJ Abrams for his work.

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Hamilton based artist Paul Shipper so impressed JJ Abrams that the Star Trek director requested a copy of his film poster showing the film's heroes.

''I sent him a couple of prints,'' Shipper said of the poster created in his Queenwood studio. Abrams responded with a hand written note: ''Thanks so much for your awesome Star Trek posters. Your work is most excellent.''

Since then British born Shipper, who has lived in the Waikato for six years, has worked on the official comic tie in to Abrams' Star Trek Into Darkness by Mike Johnson called Star Trek: Khan.

''There's five covers in the Khan comic book story. It was awesome to be asked to illustrate them featuring actor Benedict Cumberbatch. It's quite an honour to be doing official Star Trek work.''

Abrams' Star Trek films rebooted the franchise, putting new spins on old characters and stories.

''It's really hard to say whether I prefer Benedict Cumberbatch's take on Khan above Ricardo Montalban, because Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is probably my favourite of the original films.  But I loved what Benedict did with the role.''

Shipper's Trek work has been admired by Dr ''Bones'' McCoy actor Karl Urban, who posed with it at the Armageddon Expo and emailed his photo to Abrams. Scotty actor Simon Pegg liked it so much that he commissioned Shipper to paint his own take on The World's End film poster.

Pegg co-wrote and starred in the film and gifted copies to director Edgar Wright, Nick Frost and Producer Nira Park.

''Like many film fans I miss actual art on film poster's and Paul Shipper's genius work is precisely what's missing,'' Wright said when he received the gift.

''I can happily call this my favourite The World's End poster.

''It's the sort of job that Shipper celebrates at Armageddon, but next month's pop culture event in Hamilton could be his last. At least for the time being.

''I'm going back to England at the end of May,'' Shipper said.  It's not because he doesn't enjoy the Waikato, it is to be closer to family after his wife gave birth to their baby in January.

The Armageddon Expo will be held in Hamilton on May 24 and 25 at Claudelands Event Centre.

Game of Thrones star Gemma Whelan is among those appearing alongside The Hobbit dwarf actors John Callen and Mark Hadlow.

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