MondoCon 2017: The Artists and Their Posters, by Chase Beck
In my experience, simply waiting a few weeks, or months, can cool off much of the excitement around a poster release. Some posters are released in multiple editions with multiple versions and variants all leading to unique circumstances affecting their innate desirability and availability. However, waiting can also see the price triple. One such exciting work from last year’s MondoCon is Mike Sutfin’s “The Aftermath.” The artwork features a flaming, tuxedo-clad pachyderm balancing precariously astride a duo of arks in the midst of a tumultuous sea. It is a beautiful piece that engages the eye and is a delight to behold. One of the things it is not is subtle, coming shortly before the US presidential election. It presaged the supposed (or much desired) collapse of the Republican Party. It would be interesting to hear Sutfin’s thoughts now, post-election. However, there are many who would still conclude with, Sutfin, that the GOP is in severe danger.
The first wave of attending artists for MondoCon 2017 has already been announced. The list can be found over on the MondoCon website. What I thought I’d do is provide my picks of a select few that I am looking forward to.
Ansin puts out solid posters of your favorite film and TV franchises. He’s responsible for the beautiful foil Ghost in the Shell print from the first MondoCon’s screening of the film. With a knack for capturing likeness, he is responsible for some of the most well recognized, non-photography posters. Perhaps my favorite of his though is his Batman 1966.
Beckett is a genius with the pen. Last year he sold some tiny, but intricate ink drawings that were just phenomenal. While talking to him at his booth, we both geeked out over the beauty of the hidden microcosm of lichen, moss, mites and other, often overlooked, organisms. Beckett leans more towards gig posters but still puts out amazing work, usually depicting beautiful women and detailed flora. He did some elaborate work for the cover of Mondo’s release of the Army of Darkness soundtrack on vinyl.
I came to know Scott C. from his terrifically warped character designs in Double Fine’s Psychonauts video game (2005), which is finally getting a sequel. Thankfully, he’s also back to provide artwork for Psychonauts 2. Mr. C is also responsible for the cutesy “Showdown” series of prints depicting your favorite movie stand-offs. Nearly all of the characters in his artwork blissfully smile at the audience as if posing for the camera in a disarmingly psychotic manner. He’s a master a concentrating down pop culture icons into minimalistic forms.
Draplin’s design style, often simply described as “fat lines” results in deliciously retro 70s-ish throwbacks. While he always has these astonishingly simplistic posters, it is the awesome branded items he has that makes his booth a must stop. From pins to hats, to stickers, rulers, and notebooks, everything has that unmistakable Draplin flair. I hope to pick up my very own DDC Brand Hair Organizer (pocket comb) this year.
Edmiston is another master of the likeness. His, admittedly more detailed work, has even gone so far as depicting only parts of recognizable characters. For more on this, check out his
“Eyes Without a Face” series. I myself don’t yet own any Edmiston prints. But, I believe that now, the time is right.
Jock is one artist that I love but whose work I do not own. I’m not sure what it is. On the one hand, I want to see every work he produces. But, on the other, it is never anything that I absolutely have to have. Maybe I’d be more inclined to pick up his work is he stopped drawing so much Batman. Regardless, I will not be missing his booth this year.
Kurtz stunned everybody as an amazing up and comer at last year’s MondoCon with a visually stunning poster of The Graduate. However, when his Clockwork Orange poster was unveiled at the screening Saturday night, people were impressed once again. The fact that Kurtz will be attending this year has many excitedly anticipating another screening exclusive.
Mike Mitchell, like Scott C. often dwells between the strange worlds of cute and disturbing. He has several ongoing series including “Fat Birds”, depicting obese versions of common songbirds, “Food Dudes”, depicting anthropomorphized, murderous comestibles, and “STAR WARS”, a series of portraits of Star Wars characters in profile.
I just love Stout’s stories. A few years ago we commiserated over the lost print(s) of London after Midnight and last year he drew a Stegasaur in my copy of his book Prehistoric Life Murals. Stout, who has spent years in the film design and effects industry, is a consummate artist with a million stories to tell. He often guests at panels during the convention providing the audience with many memorable moments. I always find something at his booth, even if it is only a $20 copy.
Kevin Tong’s work seems to have moved into subjects that just do not captivate me as they once did (or perhaps I ran out of room) but it has not decreased in quality. I will still be on the lookout for some new Tong prints and I will certainly be visiting his booth, if only to see the artful majesty of those prints I will never be blessed to own.
These are just a few of the many artists at the top of my list. Truth be told, I hope to visit every booth and see all of the work at each. However, if that cannot be done, I will be sure to stop by and see those mentioned. I should also say that the list released by Mondo is in no way complete. More people could show up later. For instance, not long after I made this list, Mondo announced legendary poster artist Drew Struzan would be attending.