We're spending the last couple days of 2021 by taking a look back at some of our creative directors' personal favorite releases of the year.
Read on to find out if any of your picks, or latest additions to your collection, made the list!
Eric Garza, Creative Director (Posters):
1. Katamari Damarcy, by Claire Hummel - One of my favorite posters, full stop. Katamari Damacy is one of the strangest and best video games I have ever played. It's a bizarre game about a cosmic prince rebuilding the cosmos, destroyed by your drunken, king of a father. You do this by rolling as much "stuff" into a giant ball until it's big enough to become a star. You start with items as small as a paper clip and roll until you're collecting mountains. That said, it can be a hard game to make a poster for.
Claire made it look all too easy, making the poster itself a critical part of the narrative and artwork.
It was very exciting when IFC Films reached out and asked if we had any interest in partnering on a poster series celebrating their 20th anniversary. We are huge fans of the studio, and getting the ability to partner together and curate a collection of posters for some of our favorite titles was an honor. This was our first time making posters for many of these films, as well as our first time working with a handful of these artists (and not the last).
Every single artist brought their A-game and, as a whole, this series is probably one of my favorite collections we've done in my time at Mondo. Somewhere in the multiverse there is a world where this was a show at the Mondo Gallery and everybody got to be in that space on Guadalupe St., with a cold beverage and sweet, sweet hangs.
The end result is a beautiful departure from Greg's usual style that we're incredibly proud of. It's delicate and romantic and a perfect example of Greg's versatility. I also want to give a shout out to Mo for his work on layout for the soundtrack release. If you have one these in your collection, then you know how special the final package was.
4. Dune, by Tradd Moore - I am a comics junkie, and one of my favorite artists in the game right now, hands down, is Tradd Moore. We had been looking for the perfect project for him, and then realized the answer was in Denis Villeneuve's take on the sci-fi juggernaut: Dune.
Gorgeous design. Silky smooth rendering. Brilliant colors. Tradd delivered in spades. He knew from the jump he wanted the poster to have the vibe of an old 70s one sheet, so we got Gabe Chicoine, from our design team, to handle the layout for this poster. A wonderful yin to Tradd's yang. He crushed it. If you want to dive into more of Tradd's comics work, I highly recommend seeking out Silver Surfer: Black, Luther Strode, or The New World for some strikingly gorgeous sequential art.
Note: special shouts to Akiko Stehrenberger and Greg Ruth for their gorgeous contributions to Dune as well. Both of those could easily be on this list.
5. Godzilla, by Kim Jung Gi - Similar to In the Mood for Love, this is another bucket list project. Over the years we’ve worked with so many incredible artists, but one had always remained unchecked: Kim Jung Gi. He is a literal master of his craft.
If you're unaware, Kim Jung Gi draws completely freehand from memory, without any sort of sketching or reference. It’s amazing to see and I can't stress enough to check out some videos online that showcase his incredible talent. The king of artists battling the king of monsters. This is dream level stuff, and we're beyond proud.
Beyond these, there are so many more favorites from this year and I'd love to talk about every single one of them - but I can't imagine anyone who would want to read that. We're incredibly thankful to each and every artist we had the pleasure of working with this year. We could not do this without you.
1. The Handmaiden, by J.A.W. Cooper - This year brought a lot of firsts, and it was somehow our first time working with J.A.W. Cooper, one of my favorite artists. When we started seeing sketches, we were blown away, and things only got crazier from there. The textures are stunning and Chris Bilheimer’s type design is the cherry on top of an exquisite sundae. Amazing, all-around.
Super fun, super hangable poster that is bursting with energy. Love it.
3. Kate, by Utomaru - Are you noticing a theme yet? We worked with so many new artists, and they almost always produced some of the most exciting posters of the year. I had just discovered Utomaru’s work on Girls Club Asia, when we were approached to make a poster for Kate. If you haven’t seen it, Kate is a hyper-kinetic action film that takes place in Tokyo, and Utomaru really nailed the vibe.
We were all so excited about the colors, the style, and the composition on this one. Truly one of the best.
4. Pig, by Teagan White - We were approached by NEON to do a poster for Pig (which you should 100% see), and Teagan was the first person we asked. Luckily, somehow, some availability was there, and ... holy cow, this result. One of the finer pieces of art we’ve had the privilege to call a poster.
5. The Devil Rides Out, by Robert Sammelin - This new style that Robert has been working in, just blows me away. I was totally convinced the first few times that we saw concepts, that these were photos. This is one of the more authentic, era-appropriate posters we’ve ever done.
I need to get this one framed, for sure.