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Roy Ritterhouse

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"Okay, friends and neighbors, let's see what Uncle Roy has for you today!"
– Roy Ritterhouse, 1953 ("Far Beyond the Stars")

Roy Ritterhouse was the in-house illustrator for Incredible Tales in New York City in the 1950s.

In his role for the magazine Ritterhouse would create several illustrations each month with a brief explanation or title to suggest material for the writers. The writers in turn would create stories relating to the pictures Ritterhouse created.

In 2374, Benjamin Sisko believed himself to be a writer for Incredible Tales named Benny Russell while under the influence of visions from the Prophets. In this capacity he took on the assignment of writing a story to accompany a picture Ritterhouse had drawn of a space station with a striking similarity to Deep Space 9. Benny couldn't quite understand why the picture felt familiar, but created a detailed story about the station and its crew. The entire magazine staff loved the story, and Ritterhouse in particular was impressed with Benny's descriptions of the Cardassians, especially their neck ridges. Ultimately, however, the story was not published in Incredible Tales due to its focus on a black captain amid the racism of the 1950s. (DS9: "Far Beyond the Stars")

Roy Ritterhouse was played by actor J.G. Hertzler, who usually portrayed Martok. Because Hertzler is actually an artist too, appearing as Ritterhouse was easy for him, even though he had never before appeared on Star Trek without wearing makeup. He said about playing the character, "[It] was like falling off a log for me [....] When I was sitting there drawing, I literally was drawing the cast." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 535) Hertzler consequently "loved" portraying the character. Though the drawings shown on-screen as having been illustrated by Ritterhouse were produced especially for the episode and weren't done by Hertzler, he was able to keep some of the drawings he did during production on "Far Beyond the Stars". (Cinefantastique, Vol. 32, Nos. 4/5, p. 100)

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