A Unique Take On Cinema History
♦ Tripwire’s editor-in-chief JOEL MEADOWS takes a look at Insight Editions’ huge hardcover celebration of Mondo, The Art of Mondo, out now…
The Art of Mondo
Foreword by Brad Bird, Introduction by Tim League
Written by Rob Jones, Mitch Putnam, Jay Shaw, Eric Garza, Justin Brookhart, Mo Shafeek, David Rancatore
Mondo is a very modern phenomenon. Begun as the T-shirt and poster arm of Texas-based cinema chain Alamo Drafthouse, it has grown to attract a huge cult following. This 352 page, $75 hardcover offers a look at the history of Mondo, starting with 2009 and bringing things up to 2014. It is staggering to think that in less than a decade, the Mondo posters have become a major part of movie culture.
This book offers lovely reproductions of just some of Mondo’s extensive library of customised posters. It shows that what began as just a bit of fun has exploded into something much more significant. There are a lot of wonderful images included in this book even though some of them are not my cup of tea. Looking through it, you spot work from such art luminaries as Mike Mignola, Drew Struzan and British comic artist Jock. Highlights for me were probably the Olly Moss posters for Dr Strangelove, Rocky and Dirty Harry, which display the sort of invention that the finest movie posters show off, Tomer Hanuka’s 300, Mr Incredible by Mike Mitchell and Pan’s Labyrinth by Jock.
The foreword by Incredibles director Brad Bird really sets the scene for the entire book.
What the existence of Mondo proves is that just when we thought the art of the movie poster was dead, it is alive and well, just in a different place to where it was before.
A company like Mondo could not have existed before the days of social media and this book reflects that. Also, the fact that other companies have started producing limited edition versions of reinterpretations of classic movie posters reflects the appetite for this sort of thing.
Insight have co-published this with Mondo and The Art Of Mondo is a fascinating and beautiful history of a 21st century movie art phenomenon with real attention to detail. For fans of customised movie posters and of Mondo specifically, this is a great albeit slightly high price point Christmas present.