If you are a Mondo fan, you have no doubt heard of MondoCon. If not, you’ve probably lived under a flat backrest. Last weekend MondoCon returned to Austin, Texas for the third year in a row. The two-day event manages to bring together hours of panels, a handful of screenings and three showrooms of pure talent. They even hosted a live music event and recording release featuring the duo. The gear.
In three years, this convention has become a must for other collectors and fans. Exhibitors and attendees come from all over the world to share their love of art and purchase some of their favorite pieces. In short, there’s something for everyone. In fact, there are so many good things that you really have to choose what you want because you can only be in one place at a time. But in the end, you can’t really go wrong. Every booth, every artist, every original work of art is something special. I was fortunate enough to attend the event for the second time and in no particular order, here are some of my best moments.
Mondo Live Draw Panel
What do you get when you take three of Mondo’s brightest artists and put them on the same stage and they all work on the same idea? Fans found out when they walked through the doors of the Mondo Live Draw panel on Sunday afternoon. With artists Olly Mousse, Jock, and Jay shaw, this panel gave fans a taste of the creative process of creating a Mondo poster. The panel started with the audience launching a handful of artists’ choice films. After some serious suggestions, and others less serious, the final vote went to The golden finger and The wicker man. With a little input from the creative forces, the final decision was made on the James Bond classic, The golden finger.
The process begins with a concept, this one designed by Olly Mousse. A fingerprint that transforms into the infamous and recognizable gun barrel where 007. Jock has been tasked with obtaining reference photos and drawing the main character. Meanwhile, Jay Shaw worked on the layout and remarkably bold fonts. By the end of the short hour, the trio had done a surprisingly solid job. Jay even had high hopes that one day we would see a real imprint of it.
Laurent Durieux Sketch
One of the hottest items of the weekend was an original concept sketch by a Belgian artist Laurent Durieux. With only 15 available per day, getting one requires queuing most of the night. The artist asked each customer to come up with five choices of films they can choose from for their sketch. Jack, Laurent’s twin brother takes the list, asks a few questions, then forwards it to life. Laurent works throughout the day producing sketches for blockbusters like the Lord of the Rings and jurassic park, as well as classic films like Seven Samurai and The great Escape. The results of the sketches are simply amazing. A dose of Laurent’s signature style mixed with a simple color palette gives the customer just enough to wet their whistle and imagine what a printed poster might have been like. Laurent also created a whole new impression for from north to north-west, the next entry in the current list Alfred hitchcock series.
The Mondo store
The largest space of the whole event belongs to the Mondo Store. Stacked with thousands of posters, the Mondo Store is a must stop for anyone who attends. This year, Mondo has really responded to almost everyone, making it hard to come out of it with just one or even two draws. Fans could choose from Matt taylorcommits Escape from New York, Rory kurtzthe primitive representation of The graduation, Where Tom whalenis long overdue Wall-E. These three were just a small sample of the plethora of breathtaking works Mondo had exhibited. Fans also got a few glimpses of Mondo’s upcoming collection of collectibles, including Mike Mitchell’s Treehugger, complete with adorable versions of Rocket and Groot.
Screening “La Fontaine”
The kickoff for a trilogy of screenings on Saturday was the 2006 Darren aronofsky movie, Fountain. The film was presented by the composer Clint mansell and concluded with a very sincere Q&A. Clint spoke about the process of working with Aronofsky as well as other musicians Kronos Quartet and Mogwai. The composer also discussed his own personal tragedies and how this body of work has helped him and others. Most Mondo screenings come with a poster, but this time fans were rewarded with the very first impression of the soundtrack on vinyl. The very limited MondoCon exclusive edition of 500 works of art presented by the incredibly talented Nicole gustafsson.
One of the most popular and engaging panels at the convention in recent years has been Mondo Talk. Led by the Creative Director of Mondo Rob jones, this panel gives fans a glimpse of some of the great works of art that almost was and could have been. One of the biggest gasps came when Mondo unveiled photos of the progress of the Game Of Thrones pounds of steel. Mondo’s big hitters Martin Ansin, Ken taylor, and Francesco Francavilla it all turned into exceptional work but ultimately none of it was used in the final artwork.
The public also saw several photos of the progress of Ken’s work on the Impossible mission series. The work looked great, but they couldn’t get the likeness rights approval and the project was ultimately scrapped.
Mondo’s creative team then went on to explain how studio and director involvement often affects the outcome of a project. The next part of the panel was a public vote where participants could decide which version of a print they wanted to see completed. The subject was the next installment of Jock‘s Star wars series for The Empire Strikes Back. The audience had two choices and ultimately voted for the play which focused on the infamous Battle of Hoth. The panel ended with a captivating and hilarious question-and-answer session led by Rob Jones. Fans picked the brains of the panelists for Mitch Putnam to list some dream performers as well as Jay Shaw spout out some dream movie projects. The closing segment even got a celebrity fan to promote his dream Tyler stout Simpson project.
For some people, waiting in line for 24 hours feels like a nightmare. For others, it’s party time. The Holiday Inn line sometimes started early Thursday morning. The doors didn’t open until 10 a.m. on Saturday. If you’re one of those fans waiting outside at night, you’ll likely recognize some familiar faces, and there’s a good chance you’ve done that before. Add a famous Texan barbecue, good conversation and lots of beer and the time goes by. It’s a great way to make new friends and visit those you might only see once a year. Remember to bring a chair.
Collaboration between Daniel Danger and Aaron Horkey
I can’t even imagine the number of working hours spent on the collaborative piece “The Archivist”. Veteran Mondo artists Daniel danger and Aaron Horkey have teamed up to put together an incredibly detailed collaboration showcasing the artists’ two familiar styles brought together in one spectacular image. The duo worked on the piece from front to back, but at MondoCon they were able to sit side by side and make progress. The black and white piece features one of Aaron’s winged creatures atop one of Daniel’s dilapidated houses. In addition to seeing the piece drawn up close and personal, 100 lucky fans were able to pre-order the key line variant of the print that was exclusive to MondoCon.
Mondo Mystery Movie 12
The speculations and rumors are out of control and are rampant. Tickets are exchanged, favors are called, bets are placed. All of this can only mean one thing, it’s Mondo Mystery Movie time. Saturday’s closing was the hottest ticket to the event and before the start it was pretty much exactly what it was called, a mystery. No one really knows until the lights go out and the movie begins. For its twelfth iteration, fans were treated to a screening of the The witch. The horror film was a very justified part of the MMM series. Mondo employees Justin brookhart and Eric Garza said they wanted to go back to a simpler formula for this year’s mystery film. Just a theater full of fans, a quality film and a very good poster. And just as they had imagined, fans were treated to a spectacular display of the unreal talent of Aaron Horkey. A variant of the poster was also available on Sunday morning at the Vacvvm stand.
It was only a small part of what MondoCon really is. This would not have been possible without the hard work of Mondo staff and volunteers, the tireless efforts of the artists and the dedication of the fans. Hoping MondoCon will come back for another year next October.
Chastain said: “I think it was the hardest thing I have ever done, emotionally.”
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