There’s nothing better than having a good con right in your own backyard. A month after getting back from NYCC I find myself at the more intimate Mondo Con in Austin Texas, a convention for the movie poster business but has expanded to toys, vinyl, comics and everything else most comic fans enjoy. This post will primarily focus on the comics side of things.
The one thing I really like about Mondo Con is that it is small. You don’t have nearly the amount of guests but there’s breathing room to actually enjoy the con, to stroll about and browse the booths of artwork, comic guests (much smaller than actual comic cons but yet still seem to draw in some big names in the industry) and other vendor booths.
I was in no rush to get to the con, knowing I won’t be standing in lines all day and the first panel I wanted to visit didn’t start until a little after 1:00PM.
I arrived about an hour ahead of the first panel and with hassle free parking, found my way to the press check-in, walked right up, got my con wrist band and went about my business to the main show room floor to find Eric Powell, who was first on my hit list and literally no one there, he looked so bored. It’s nice to just walk right up without waiting.
Eric was way cool, signed all the books I brought with me (keep an eye out for some give away’s). Unfortunately he wasn’t doing any commissions which I was hoping for but regardless, I had to pick up a Hillbilly sticker, pin and then a limited edition Goon print he had available for $40. I got number 8/50.
Next up was Francesco Francavilla, one of my favorite artists. He wasn’t hard to find either, he was right next to Powell. Literally, right next to him.
I got a few books signed by Francavilla but also left him a Walking Dead #150 Blank Sketch for a commissioned work, which I’ll pick up tomorrow as he said would be ready by the morning. So I’m very excited about that and can’t wait to see the art tomorrow (which I’ll post). Last year I got him to do a commission on a blank Reborn variant, which turned out awesome. I plan to pick up some prints as well as he has a sweet looking Goonies print for sale. I might pick up a few others as well as my inner child will come out and money is of no object at that point.
The other regular at Mondo Con is Jock. I didn’t bring a stack this year for him but since Lee Bermejo was also going to be attending, I found one book that was perfect which was Bermejo’s Suiciders #1 Jock variant. I was told Bermejo’s time was limited so getting both signatures was slim but I managed to snag both.
Lee Bermejo was very cool as well, seemed way down to earth and humble. Actually thanked me for picking up this book. If I knew he was a guarantee for signatures, I would have brought a bunch more books for him to sign.
Other known names in attendance was Becky Cloonan (who I’ve also met at Austin Books signing when her Punisher series was released) but she wasn’t around at her booth when I was strolling around. Same goes for Stewart (Motorcrush).
Most of the other booths were not necessarily comic book related but more of the movie and pop culture nature. Nevertheless, there was some cool artwork and posters to view. A side note, I took my DSLR to snap really great pictures of the booths but forgot to grab an SD card, so my camera was literally useless on day 1. So I was limited to using my phone. I plan on doing a full gallery post as I’ll be back with my camera on Day 2.
After I made my rounds around the main floor, it was now time for the first panel to attend, which was the Art of Toy Making. Unbeknownst to most, Mondo makes toys and some of them are really awesome. I’m actually planning on doing a more detailed write up for toyboxone.com which will be posted soon.
But until then, I did want to bring forth some really cool looking toys they have in the works that take after Madballs. Yes, they actually were going to call them Mondoballs but that kind of got the attention of the makers of Madballs who contacted them and lay claim that the names were a bit too similar, so they settled on Mondoids.
These take after Madballs (which Mondo did some licensed Madballs prior) but are vinyl for the most part and have detachable heads with bottom holders. They’re also from well known lines of movies and merchandise. As you can see, these are soon to be released in 2018 and I’m actually quite interested in these myself.
As you can see, they plan to release an Aliens that sits on a Facehugger bottom. A Green Goblin, Gremlins, Jason and Venom. You’ll have to excuse the poor pictures as the display glass was also kind of dirty. Stay tuned for more details on these at ToyBoxOne when I post more details on the Art of Toy Making panel.
I must say, I came primarily for the comics and art but I was quite pleased with the toys and looking forward to these being released. You can check out some of their past and current toys from Mondo at https://mondotees.com/collections/toys
The next panel that was about 30 minutes after the Art of Toy Making was Comics: Behind The Panels Panel.
This was spear headed by Will Dennis (Editor) with comic artists guests Jock, Becky Cloonan, Cameron Stewart, Francesco Francavilla, Eric Powell and Lee Bermejo. It was basically a panel discussion on the artists passion, what inspires them and we learned that Will just doesn’t mess with Eric Powell.
The first discussion dived into Mondo Art (Posters, movie posters, etc) versus traditional Comic Cover book art. Cameron Stewart made a claim during this discussion that if you take more than a day to do a art pane or cover (at least the sketch), you likely won’t make it long in the comic industry. I took this as an emphasis that comic books on monthly schedules to retain readers won’t last if you can’t pump out quality art work in a timely manner.
The artists also dived into who inspired them. Lee Bermejo claimed a huge influence for him was Kyle Baker. Which is interesting since his art has almost zero resemblance to Kyle Bakers artwork. Becky Cloonan says she was drawn into comics by Jim Lee and his work on X-Men. Cameron Stewart grew up on 2000AD books, since he grew up in the UK.
Overall it was just more of a laid back discussion, not really a panel with an agenda. It was nice to see the artists just talk amongst themselves on life in their industry as comic book artists.
Stay tuned for some more pictures and look out for my writeup at ToyBoxOne as well with more details on the Toy Making panel. I must say, this was the second time I’ve attended MondoCon and I’ve really enjoy it. Like I said, it’s totally different from your usual Comic Con but well worth it for any art lover, especially for those into movie art, posters and then a side dish of comic art.