MondoCon 2015 was the second annual convention put together by the Mondo team that took place this past weekend here in Austin. If you don’t know (and you should), Mondo is an awesome company that puts out limited edition variant movie posters, vinyl movie sountracks, and other cool things like toys or VHS tapes. And for a second year in a row they decided to host a convention for all things Mondo. I missed out on the first year but knowing it was coming back I bought tickets the day they went on sale–a short six months later and I was able to attend the convention.
What I saw was mind blowing. Head after the break to read more about my time at Mondocon 2015.
First, let me set the stage for this awesome event. It took place in an old movie theater that has since been converted into an event space. The main area has two large open rooms and a movie theater. The open spaces were given the clever names of Arsenio Hall and Anthony Michael Hall and they had artists and other exhibitors displaying their wares while the theater was used for panels and showing some documentaries/films. While the space was crowded, attendance was limited and so it wasn’t too bad getting in and around. Outside were various food trucks and a large tented area for eating. It was certainly a well-organized space.
Having more exhibitors than space, the event also continued across the street in a few large ballrooms at a hotel including a third hall: Annie Hall. While the main space had most of the traditional movie posters and print artists, the hotel hosted a few other artists, the vinyl booths, and the Mondo store itself selling some limited editions and exclusives as well as showing some concept items being worked on like an upcoming Iron Giant model. They even had a MondoCon poster that perfectly captures the spirit of the event:
I’ve seen some poorly organized conventions so it’s nice to see smaller events that were so meticulously planned. There were also plenty of volunteers everywhere–very easy to see in bright yellow “HELPFUL PERSON” t-shirts.
But you don’t go to a convention like this to see how well it’s organized, you go for the people displaying their wares. And there was an amazing collection of posters, prints, notebooks, and various other items. I’m more of an admirer than a buyer, but even I was tempted by some of the amazing prints and posters. Such as this limited edition and very shiny Ant-Man variant poster from Kevin Tong Illustration:
If $200 was a bit too much, there was a black and red version as well. My five-year-old really like this poster but $150 is a bit too much for his room. He settled for a picture with it.
Here was an incredible set of posters for Alien and Aliens from Oliver Barrett:
It was also interesting to walk around and see where the crowds were forming. I’m a casual fan in this space but the event was populated by mostly hard core fans. They walked around with their permanent, fancy poster tubes while some only had cardboard tubes or some, like me, had no tubes at all. And those hard core fans were lining up for some artists that, from my casual eye, looked as good as many others who didn’t have lines. Some tables had long lines for people that hadn’t even shown up yet such as Mike Mitchell and Rob Jones.
One of the longest lines I saw was for Jason Edmiston, but I couldn’t tell if it was for his booth (I think so) or a rolling station (there were several–and you know you’re at a serious poster art convention when they have multiple rolling stations. I think there was a rolling station at a Lollapalooza I went to in the 90s but this kind was different). Mr Edmiston’s work is very colorful and he has some interesting takes–I definitely enjoyed his Rocky IV poster:
There was also a stage in Arsenio Hall where Sam Wolfe Connelly was painting a mural. Here’s a shot of his work in progress on Saturday:
As I mentioned, the crowd was certainly your hard core art collecting and fandom crowd. Many of them were artists, or at least they looked like artists. Not intentionally, but I was wearing all black that day and I still felt like I looked too cheery next to most of the attendees. I only happened to wear black because I have a lot of it–I’m told it’s slimming but I still look like the Goodyear blimp’s shadow–for many of these artists black clothes is a lifestyle. It’s the new Goth but not scary, and it was everywhere. Except for the woman who was wearing all bright pink and had dyed her hair to match. Even though that’s not a community I participate in, it was still great to see the joy in their eyes seeing their idols or work that inspires them.
In the end I only purchased some prints for my son’s room because he fell in love with the Hulk from Dave Rapoza. We ended up getting these three prints and I wish I had bought the Thor as well to complete the set.
There are so many amazing pictures from the event. If you want to see more, be sure to check out the MondoCon Instagram account, or look for the #MondoCon2015 hashtag on Twitter or the same hashtag on Instagram and you can see all the amazing pictures taken by the fans. Overall it was an amazing event to attend, even if I didn’t get to sit in on any panels (I mentioned I had a five-year-old with me, right? 🙂 ). Congratulations to the entire Mondo team for putting together such a flawless event and I look forward to seeing more amazing work from your team and awesome conventions in the future.