Mondo (American company)

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Mondo
Founded2004; 19 years ago (2004)
FoundersTim League
Kier-La Janisse
Lester Smolenski
Rob Jones
Mitch Putnam
Headquarters,
United States
ParentAlamo Drafthouse Cinema (2004–2022)
Funko (2022–present)
Websitemondoshop.com

Mondo is an American company known for releasing limited edition screen printed posters for films, television shows, and comics, as well as vinyl movie soundtracks, clothing and apparel, toys, and re-issues of VHS releases. Founded in 2004 as Mondo Tees, the company is a former subsidiary of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain in Austin, Texas, and currently hosts a permanent gallery space there which features original artwork and custom posters. In June 2022, Funko announced that it had acquired Mondo.

History[edit]

In 2001, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema founder Tim League was visiting Kier-La Janisse in Vancouver for the CineMuerte Film Festival. League visited a vintage iron-on T-shirt shop called Bang-On, and years later, pitched the idea of a T-shirt store as a branch of the Drafthouse chain to Janisse and her boyfriend Lester Smolenski.[1] With the help of graphic designs from Smolenski, who worked for Bang-On, the offshoot Mondo Tees was established in 2004.[2][3]

In spring 2004, Mondo Tees collaborated with Graham Williams of the Austin club Emo's for a summer outdoor film and music festival called Cinemania, wherein the Drafthouse booked the screenings and Emo's booked the live music shows.[1] Ticket sales failed to reach even one thousand in number, and so to prevent the festival from being a financial failure, it was moved indoors and a line of custom posters were created to promote the event. Williams hired freelance designer Rob Jones, who had created posters for Emo's performances in the past, and Jones produced posters highlighting the planned screenings of Better Off Dead, Foxy Brown, and The Warriors.[1] Mondo Tees continued working with Jones for the Quentin Tarantino Film Festival in 2006, and Jones introduced the founders to artists such as Jay Ryan, Todd Slater, and Tyler Stout, and the company shifted its focus to posters more so than T-shirts.[4] Jones is currently a creative director at Mondo.[5]

Creative director Justin Ishmael and co-founder Mitch Putnam helped elevate the business model to secure licensing from companies like Lucasfilm and The Walt Disney Company for more well-known properties like Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.[6][7] Ishmael, who joined the company in 2009, left to pursue other opportunities in 2015.[8]

In 2017, in collaboration with USAopoly's Project Raygun division, Mondo released their first board game: The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31, based on the 1982 film The Thing.[9][10]

Artists who have created posters with Mondo include Becky Cloonan,[11][12] Laurent Durieux,[13][14] Olly Moss,[15][16] Gary Pullin,[13][17] Matthew Woodson,[18][19][20] Jay Shaw,[13][21] Matt Taylor,[22][23] Kevin Tong,[13][22] Tom Whalen,[22][24] Sam Wolfe Connelly,[12][13] and Jock.[13][25]

In June 2022, Funko announced that it had acquired Mondo.[26]

Growth and reception[edit]

Posters released by Mondo have been added to the movie poster archive of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, as well as included in the catalog of Heritage Auctions.[15] In 2011, Mondo collaborated with Paramount Pictures on custom posters for Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Captain America: The First Avenger. When Mondo released a custom poster for the film Pan's Labyrinth, director Guillermo del Toro stated "I felt completely overwhelmed and happy. I'm a huge fan of their posters. They involved me in approving every step of the design. They took some of my notes to heart, but mostly my notes were 'Wow!'".[15]

Beyond posters, Mondo and its sister label Death Waltz have received positive reception for their soundtrack releases, which feature custom cover art, inner art, and special designs on the vinyl records themselves.[27]

MondoCon[edit]

MondoCon is an annual festival held in Austin that showcases the artwork of Mondo and features exclusive collectibles, panels, and special screenings with filmmakers and artists.[28] The event has been called "the world's coolest poster convention"[29] and "the venerable kingpin of the artisanal movie poster game".[30]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c League, Tim; Brad, Bird (October 10, 2017). The Art of Mondo. Insight Editions. p. 9. ISBN 978-1-60887-806-2.
  2. ^ Sarah Weber (September 25, 2014). "Inside the beautiful and ruthless world of Mondo poster collecting". The Daily Dot. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  3. ^ Andrew LaSane (April 22, 2013). "The 50 Best Mondo Posters (So Far)". Complex. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  4. ^ League, Tim; Brad, Bird (October 10, 2017). The Art of Mondo. Insight Editions. p. 10. ISBN 978-1-60887-806-2.
  5. ^ League, Tim; Brad, Bird (October 10, 2017). The Art of Mondo. Insight Editions. p. 12. ISBN 978-1-60887-806-2.
  6. ^ Erin McCarthy (March 26, 2013). "How Mondo Posters Get Made". Mental Floss. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  7. ^ League, Tim; Brad, Bird (October 10, 2017). The Art of Mondo. Insight Editions. p. 15. ISBN 978-1-60887-806-2.
  8. ^ Gregory Adams (June 8, 2015). "Justin Ishmael Leaves Mondo". Exclaim!. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  9. ^ "THE THING: INFECTION AT OUTPOST 31 Board Game". MondoTees.com. May 3, 2017. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  10. ^ Katie Rife (November 2, 2017). "Elijah Wood explains the rules of the game in a The Thing: Infection At Outpost 31 exclusive". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  11. ^ Jacob Hall (April 25, 2017). "Exclusive: Mondo's New 'Bambi' and 'Fantasia' Posters are Beautiful [Updated]". /FILM. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  12. ^ a b Adam Rosenberg (April 5, 2016). "Gorgeous 'Castlevania' and 'Silent Hill' posters make us miss Konami". Mashable. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  13. ^ a b c d e f Zack Sharf (October 22, 2015). "The 15 Best Mondo Movie Posters of All Time". IndieWire. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  14. ^ J.M. Suarez (November 26, 2017). "The Poster Art in 'The Art of Mondo' Is Rich with Inventive and Clever Interpretations of Film". PopMatters. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  15. ^ a b c Mekado Murphy (October 7, 2011). "Movie Posters are the Business of Mondo". The New York Times. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  16. ^ Matt Goldberg (December 17, 2010). "Jaw-Dropping Mondo STAR WARS Posters by Olly Moss". Collider. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  17. ^ Jonathan Barkan (November 2, 2017). "Artist "Ghoulish" Gary Pullin Releasing Retrospective Art Book". Dread Central. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  18. ^ Hughes, Amanda (2017-11-27). "Exclusive: Matthew Woodson Walks Us Through The Making Of His 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY Poster". Birth.Movies.Death. Retrieved 2019-02-14.
  19. ^ Wampler, Scott (2016-12-01). "Exclusive: Matthew Woodson Walks Us Through The Creation Of His Incredible UNDER THE SKIN Poster". Birth.Movies.Death. Retrieved 2019-02-14.
  20. ^ Lussier, Germain. "This Striking New 2001: A Space Odyssey Art Is Full of Stars". io9. Retrieved 2019-02-14.
  21. ^ Luke Brown (May 4, 2017). "Mondo's Jay Shaw Details The Development of 'The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31'". ScreenCrush. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  22. ^ a b c Justin Page (July 7, 2016). "Art Show Featuring Infographic Film Posters by Tom Whalen, Kevin Tong, & Matt Taylor at Mondo Gallery". Laughing Squid. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  23. ^ Chris Jalufka (May 25, 2017). "Talking Comics and Movie Posters with Illustrator Matt Taylor". PRINT Magazine. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  24. ^ Angie Han (April 28, 2017). "These Disney-inspired prints are positively enchanting". Mashable. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  25. ^ Graeme McMillan (October 5, 2015). "Mondo Announces 'The Art of Jock' Retrospective". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  26. ^ Lovett, Jamie (June 13, 2022). "Funko Acquires Mondo". Comicbook.com.
  27. ^ Jon Fusco (November 9, 2015). "The 12 Dopest Mondo Soundtracks Ever Pressed". IndieWire. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  28. ^ Angela Watercutter (September 12, 2014). "MondoCon: The Offbeat Convention That Pays Tribute to Your Favorite Cult Classics". Wired. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  29. ^ Germain Lussier (September 11, 2015). "The World's Coolest Poster Convention Gets a Goofy Warriors-Inspired One-Sheet". io9. Gawker Media. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  30. ^ Michael Arbeiter (October 18, 2016). "Bringing STAR WARS to MONDOCON and Mutilating Donald Duck". Nerdist. Retrieved January 1, 2017.

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