The sweat is still fresh. But this isn’t the healthy day at the gym type of dampness. This is the Texas humidity trapped in my clothes. In my pores. The stale air of airports and rental cars. Air conditioned convention halls and a tented summertime parking lot.
At the moment the Daniel Mudford and Pete Woodhead score for Edgar Wright‘s Shaun of the Dead spins on the turntable. It was the first thing I pulled from my suitcase, but next up is the Waxwork Records vinyl release of Chuck Cirino’s Chopping Mall score. Just two of the soundtracks I picked up over my weekend trip to Austin for MondoCon, the first of hopefully many conventions put on by Mondo, the film poster behemoth.
Really, I should be asleep right now because in all honesty I’m a fogged mess after a series of dawn-level morning flights and 72 waking hours on my feet full of beers, fried chicken, and biscuits. There’s also the matter of the burning credit card and then another flight back to San Francisco. A drive home. Posters unrolled and flattened. Books and comics unpacked and poured over.
Still. I’m standing. Wavering, but standing. The hours logged and the sleep missed haven’t killed the excitement of being in the nexus of Mondo‘s first major event.
MondoCon is Mondo‘s first foray into running their own convention. Most major conventions like Comic-Con have a smattering of various vendors — video games, toys, movies, tools of the trade, comics and apparel, plus the obligatory array of the blah blah blah that you know is there to fill out the floor and pay the bills. Mondo used that template but focused and streamlined it to concentrate on what it is they do best — posters.
They cut out the blah blah blah.
The artists and vendors on the convention floor were all hand selected and brought on board by invite only, making each booth a highlight. No one else but Mondo could have made a string of booths from Laurent Durieux next to Richey Beckett next to JC Richard next to Phantom City Creative next to Jason Edmiston happen.
For their own booth, Mondo converted the parking lot into a tented gallery for new releases and artist signings.
The convention opened on Saturday at 10AM but fans had lined up hours before. For those that have ever attempted to buy a new release from one of Mondo’s online drops understands the need to be on the site refreshing until the ‘Add to Cart‘ button appears. MondoCon was that experience in the real world combined with the collective collector excitement of a Mondo gallery opening night.
The first half of Saturday was spent in the humid Texas heat outside for the Mondo line, while inside Marchesa Hall there were lines just to get into each of the two rooms. By the late afternoon the lines had eased, the crowds moved freely from the booths to the bar to the theater to catch the lineup of insightful and inspired panels.
The theater also played host to screenings of ‘Ghost in the Shell‘ complete with a new poster by Martin Ansin for all viewers, followed by a showing of ‘Total Recall’ with an amazing print by JC Richard for those attending.
On Sunday guests were treated to a special viewing of ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre‘ with a new score for the film written by Anton Maoif and Umberto. The composers were on hand to perform their new score live while the film played, and to top off that mass of amazingness, after the show those in the audience left with the Death Waltz Records vinyl release of the new music.
For a year one of the convention there were far more successes than disappointments — the biggest thrill as a fan was getting to meet artists like Ghoulish Gary Pullin, Justin Erickson, and Jock alongside legends like Bernie Wrightson and Basil Gogos.
The sheer number of quality artists roaming MondoCon was mind blowing alone — Martin Ansin had flown in from Uruguay just to sign his ‘Ghost in the Shell‘ print for fans, while the brilliant Aaron Horkey, sans booth, wandered the hall purely as a fan.
If the only knock against an event this they ran out of the specialty Mondo brand pale ale on the first day, then that’s a good thing.
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