Saturday, June 23, 2012

Why Mondo Posters Annoy Me

An example of a Mondo poster. Would be better if this were realistically painted.

If you’ve followed any movie from one of the zillion movie sites around the internet, you’ve probably heard of Mondo posters, or have even seen one somewhere. I read often, and remember Mondo slowly seeping into their posts as something they flogged as cool, but eventually looked to all the world like a website helping a friend’s company out. Pretty soon word of mouth spread, in no small part by aintitcool and former aintitcool contributor Moriarty from his Hitfix Motion/Captured blog, and everyone touted the Mondo posters as the next cool awesome thing. Current multimedia powerhouse Marvel teamed up with Mondo to create posters for each character in the Avengers movie. And all of this hoopla has had many a movie fan scratching their heads wondering aloud “What is a Mondo poster and why am I constantly told how awesome they are by them being shoved down my throat in countless aintitcoolnews posts as though it’s a given that I will love them??”

Cool, I suppose, but everyone is just drawn in.

Mondo is apparently a company that hires artists to come up with their interpretation of a movie, then of course sells it. That’s cool, I suppose, but I’m not quite sure why everyone is dying over these posters. Some look neat, I’ll grant you, but they don’t look like movie posters to me.

Um . . . okay -- I wouldn't hang this on my wall as a Star Trek II poster. I guess someone thinks this is awesome.

I’m a child of the 80’s (yes, you can boo me. After the last three Transformers movies, I wouldn’t blame you). When I think of movie posters, I think of painted, airbrushed, detailed works with an eye towards realism. I think of the Star Wars posters from the original trilogy, the Indiana Jones posters, the Conan posters. Frequently, movie posters would be realistically painted, but with artistic flares in colour and mood lighting. I still debate whether the poster for Stallone's COBRA is painted or an actual picture of Stallone holding a gun. The background colour and laser fromt eh gun would suggest that it's painted, and yet the Stallone likeness is so well done it looks like a snapshot of him. The Mondo posters? Well, to me they look like comic book art. They look like something that would be right at home on the cover of a trade paper back omnibus put out by Dark Horse. Every time a site posts the latest “amazing” Mondo poster for a movie, I look at it and feel under whelmed. It’s all illustrations and clean line art. What’s epic about that? I don’t quite get it. The problem with having someone draw a picture based on a movie is that it just looks like a picture based on a movie. It doesn’t look official. It doesn’t look like a lobby card set up to sell the picture. And as art, I’ve seen comics with better art.

 Mondo's: Great idea for a poster, but looks like a Dark Horse comic cover. It would look better painted in the old movie poster style.

The real thing -- there's just no comparison.

Is that the point then? Unless a Mondo poster really grabbed my attention with a realistic illustration that didn’t look like it should belong on the cover of "the official comic book adaptation" of the movie, then I don’t get it. I guess I don’t understand the widespread popularity of Mondo posters. The wall-to-wall coverage of them seemed to spring up from out of nowhere. And it looks like it is just the choice of webmasters to push them, not necessarily something that people are screaming for. Am I going to buy an obvious illustration of the Avengers movie and proudly display it as my Avengers poster? Or would I just get the real Avengers poster?

Do you agree? Disagree? Sound off below.


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