Anytime Mondo is exhibiting at a Comic Convention, fans of the Austin based pop culture company know to put it on their calendars as a can’t-miss event. So when I saw that they would be at Emerald City Comic Con for the first time this weekend I knew that I would do whatever I could to go. They brought with them some great prints. Two each for the video games Castlevania and Silent Hill by Becky Cloonan and Sam Wolfe Connelly. Also a poster version of artwork originally created for the The Dark Knight trilogy Blu-ray box set by Jock and a selection of vinyl including the previously sold out Batman: The Animated Series Vinyl Box Set. The Konami prints kick off their recently announced license with the video game company with much more to follow, including vinyl soundtracks. Throw in a rare signing appearance by Tyler Stout with free handbills and it was a great four days at the Mondo booth. I got the chance to sit down with Justin Brookhart, Vice President of Operations, to chat about how their first time at ECCC had gone, their plans for future conventions around the country, and a small update on Mondo Con 2016.
Even with the point of sale cellular connection issues they had during the week, I could tell they were having a great time. The convention was living up to the expectations of getting to interact with fans in the Pacific Northwest who don’t get the chance to go to San Diego Comic Con or the Mondo Gallery in Austin. It was an event that they had looked at closely, even going to it as regular attendees a few years ago. I asked if they had been looking at other conventions in the future and he said that, “we have been. Conventions like C2E2 in Chicago we’ve made some inquiries about. Going back to Thought Bubble in London, which gave us the original idea for MondoCon, and even NYCC which we haven’t been to in a few years. One of the big things we have to consider is that it’s taxing on our resources, not financially, but taking everyone away from the office for so long is something that comes with going to these conventions.”
I asked how the team feels about all the planning that goes into Mondo Con? Justin said, “we really look forward to that week of bringing fans and artists together to Austin and creating this community around the things we collectively love. It takes a lot of planning and even the day after the con’s over we’re getting together with notes on things we want to change and do next year”. As this is the first year that I’ve made it my mission to go to MondoCon, I’ve been waiting with anticipation (and money for a ticket to Austin) for when the dates and tickets are announced. Justin talked about what’s been holding up that announcement saying, “we were hoping to have announced dates for MondoCon 2016 a few weeks ago but a hitch with the venue that’s getting worked out put that on pause. We expect to have that finalized and announced in the next few weeks and it will be around the same timeframe as last year since we don’t want to crowd our parent companies event, Fantastic Fest”.
As much fun as I had this weekend at the Mondo booth, I’m always jealous of the gatherings at the Mondo Gallery I can only experience through pictures and video on the internet. The recent Richard Linklater tribute show being a prime example. “We had a great time doing the Linklater show. Working for his production company is what first brought me [Justin] to Austin so it was a special event. It was our first time doing a tribute show for a director at the gallery and we are looking at doing more of those in the future”. When Justin asked who I’d love to see a tribute for the immediate names that came to mind were Frank Capra and Jimmy Stewart. We both agreed that Billy Wilder would also be a director whose films are filled with potential for great art. He also intimated that Kurosawa was a director they greatly admired and have thought about for such a show. Older licenses can be tricky with some being a complete mystery to who owns the rights. One fellow collector wanted me to plant the bug of Tim Burton being a future subject and Justin smiled when I mentioned the name. “Actually Eric Garza, Head of Creative Production at Mondo, really would like to do a show around Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, he’s a big fan.”
As I didn’t want to take up much of his time during the last day of the convention I only had one question left to ask and that was about the game I had seen the Mondo booth playing over the weekend. Whenever a member of the staff would see a cosplayer dressed as Deadpool or Harley Quinn they would get added to the running tally. I asked who was winning after the last day of the convention, “we thought it would be Deadpool but the clear winner has been Harley Quinn.”
While leaving the Washington State Convention Center, feeling the usual convention cold coming on, I couldn’t help but look forward to what Mondo has in store for the rest of the year. When those dates for MondoCon 2016 are announced I for one will be hoping to buy a flight to Austin as quick as I can.
While Mondo’s remaining Konami prints have already gone on sale, be sure to be sure to follow their Twitter (@MondoNews) and/or Instagram (mondotees) accounts for the announcement when the rest of their ECCC prints will be online.
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