The Geek Life: A Mondo Problem (Mania.com)
By:Robert T. Trate
Date: Wednesday, October 05, 2011
The Geek Life is a weekly look at what is happening in the Geek Culture. Movies, Comics, Books, Video Games and TV Shows encompass more than just release dates and reviews. This week the Geek Life has A Mondo Problem.
It changes every so many days. It might be a week. It might be less. The only thing that matters is that you have minutes, dare I say seconds, to get one. The geek prize last week was none other than the latest Mondo poster of James Whale’s Frankenstein. The poster (see below) was hand numbered and signed by the artist, Drew Struzan (see official site). There were 21 colors in all and limited to only 325 pieces. Wait, you’ve never heard of Mondo?
Mondo or Mondotees is a site that sells licensed posters, t-shirts, and other movie paraphernalia. The lure of Mondo is that the artists who create these pieces have the hindsight of knowing the movie (or TV show in some cases) and all that it encompasses. Imagine a Jaws poster that is more than just the girl swimming with a huge shark underneath. Is the original poster iconic? You can bet your teeth it is. However, it has also become copied, spoofed, and more importantly tired. The artists hired by Mondo create new iconic images for the movie. In short, they are posters any fan would want to own.
The Geek Life knew of Struzan’s Frankenstein poster. It had been well over a month since Mondo revealed it on a few web sites. I knew that this poster (just look at it) was one I had to own. I followed Mondo on Facebook and Twitter to make sure I knew the day and time it would sell. I even went so far as to place Mondo in my tool bar with a quick look now and then just to be sure. Then some great news hit. The New Beverly Cinema in Hollywood was having a screening of Frankenstein with Struzan and his posters. A 10:30 PM screening, $285.00 (for the poster), and everything was golden. That was until the 30th Anniversary screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark happened on the same night (see Geek Life). The chance to see Steven Spielberg up close (I sat in the fourth row) was too good to pass up.
Now, it is a fact that most Geeks don’t like other Geeks. The main reason being we want the same things. This usually means other Geeks keep us from getting our “precious”. So last Friday, there was no precious to be had. I had to work and missed my opportunity. Now, if these posters were to go quietly into the night or perhaps a second run produced I would think nothing of it. I love this piece and would proudly display it for my love of Whale’s movie, Shelly’s novel and of course Struzan’s art work.The bitch of it is Mondo’s posters are too limited in production. I know that is part of the appeal. However, when I see them bought and sold on the secondary market, I get upset (see eBay listing). The hefty mark up and profit don’t go to the artist or even the property holder.
This is my open letter to you, Mondo. Like anything in this world, there are those that love something and those who want to take that love and turn it into a profit. These scavengers are not only keeping these fine works of art from the fans, but they are making a considerable profit as well. The screening at the New Beverly was a great idea, but what about the fans that can’t drive across town? The fans that sit in Dallas, Boston, or London are missing out too. I think what you do is inspiring. You open the door to the imagination and let an artist put their spin on a classic piece of cinema. I have a collection of jpegs that sit in a folder and occasionally turn them into my computer’s wall paper. Just once, I wish there was a way to actually have one and hang it on the wall.
Robert Trate writes two weekly columns for Mania the DVD Shopping Bag and the Toy Maniac. Follow Robert on Twitter for his for Geek ramblings, Cosplay photos and film criticisms.