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Rob Jones’ Top 10 Releases of 2017
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Rob Jones, Creative Director

No particular order, just shiz Mondo released this year that would likely wind up on display at my Brady Bunch-ass domicile.

101 DALMATIANS by Jonathan Burton

Jonathan took the road less travelled here by avoiding the eponymous puppies or the fabulousness of Cruella de Vil, and that made all the difference.

I’m smitten by this tableau showing Pongo experience what the Italians call the thunderbolt while Roger, lost in his solitary pursuits and pipe smoke, remains ignorant of the impending emotional fortune this will bring to his life. The refined nature of the rendering accentuates the stillness amid the clutter, the calm you only realize was there after some event happily obliterates your foundations.

I also enjoy how combined with this image, the title becomes a bit of a punchline indicating the impending amore.

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY by Matthew Woodson

Matt’s work replaces my plucked out eyes with those of an early rising hominid discovering the strange silent magnetism of the monolith. Complex simplicity, if that makes sense. The Woodson hallmark.

BAMBI by Laurent Durieux

I never pictured myself wanting to hang a BAMBI poster on my wall. Artwork for the film usually celebrates his forest friendships, smiles, and butterflies. Laurent, however, really captures the film’s essential melancholy. I love how the hoofprints emphasize Bambi’s sudden solitude as he walks away from his childhood and follows his father to learn how to become a buck. As Bambi’s final woeful look back indicates, it’s a tough journey to take whether you’re leaving behind a weeping mother or a dead one. At least there is potential sunshine ahead.

WIND RIVER by Matty Ryan Tobin

Man, I have a type. Sums up the film and frankly how I see the world. We’re all pretty much snowblind until those with cruel and selfish appetites set their gaze upon us. We see, but we see too late.

GREEN ROOM (VARIANT) by Oliver Barrett

Oliver’s kung fu has been strong, but this year it really felt like he passed through the 35th chamber. Here OB manages a damaged beauty that brings grins even to a thirsty and miserable bastard like me.

DENGAR by Mike Mitchell

I used to rabidly collect sixth scale figures. Anyone who endured the garbage compactor confines of my old home office can testify that I went a little bonkers. A few years ago, I strolled away from collecting them with Hot Toys’ 1966 Batman and Robin set as my last cigarette of sorts.

Sideshow pulled me back in Godfather III style with the announce of an insanely kitted Dengar. When I complete downsizing the doll squad, he and Bespin Luke will remain the only two Star Wars figures I own. So you can imagine my thrill when Mike finally got around to rendering Johnny Cash’s cameo in EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

I think my sympathy for the character is the same I have for Charlie Brown. I just see a “picked last in gym class" schlimazel trying his best with the cards the galaxy afforded him. Like Chuck though, I imagine he picks himself up after every failure, gathers up the armor he bought at a garage sale, and then answers the next bounty hunting request that trickles through his interstellar telex.

SUPSIRIA LP, Artwork by Randy Ortiz

For many years my favorite actress was Jessica Harper mainly due to the glorious bird caged in her throat combined with turns in SHOCK TREATMENT, PENNIES FROM HEAVEN, and PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE.

Randy’s haunting style delivers a somber profile working in concert with the vivid rich palette plucked from the film. Those bright colors should work against the mood, but the Wonder from Winnipeg manages a balance with the subject matter to create a seductively unsettling aura.

EL TOPO (MONDO EXCLUSIVE VERSION),Andrea Blasich

Kudos to collectibles czar, Brock Otterbacher, in wisely choosing this finish for the Mondo exclusive version of Unbox Industries stunning sculpted salute to El Topo.

Admittedly an odd choice as it’s a release we didn’t craft, but I feel compelled to include it. I currently have it challenging guests in my tiny foyer next to the key bowl. The burnished appearance reminds me of cowboy statues my mother and her Waco friends might have back in the days when Texas bric-a-brac shelves oft sported a brass duck. Instead of some nameless shitkicker getting bucked off his horse, it’s fucking Jodo which delights me to no end.

BUBO ENAMEL PIN by Tom Whalen

There was a time when CLASH OF THE TITANS was my third favorite film right behind STAR WARS and FLASH GORDON. It soon became a bittersweet attraction. In his final month, my grandfather gifted me with a storybook from the film. I stared at the book in my room after my mom got the call. I can’t see anything from the movie and not think of him, which is likely why I’ve not watched it much over the years despite my appetite for nostalgia. For me, it’s a little like deciding to put “Marley & Me” on for casual viewing.

Tom shares a fondness for Ray’s final opus and managed to forge this strigine beauty. Looking at it now still gets me a touch frog-throated, so it might be a minute before it adorns my ratty ass jacket.

We made a lot of great pins this year, so here’s a couple of favorites not overtly colored by sentimentality:

BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN by DKNG

If you’ve read my lists over the years, then you know of my predilection towards the Bride. Stoked till the poker melted on DKNG’s slickly stylized capture of the enchanting alchemy between Elsa’s unusual allure and Jack Pierce’s genius.

TINA’S NIGHTMARE by Gary Pullin

Lots of folks make pins of scary subjects like Leatherface, Michael Meyers, or Jason Vorhees. The results tend to celebrate the characters rather than managing to translate their ability to terrify. Such an accomplishment seems a tall order for a tiny pin. However, Gary pulled a Spud Webb dunk with this entry that could legit summon a nocturnal equine stomp through your slumbering skull.

THE MOTHERFUCKING BOOK by Practically Everybody

“Ya’ll should make a book!” Yeah, no shit. A suggestion everyone makes without realizing the mammoth intricate nature of such a labor. With so many concurrent projects going on at Mondo, attacking such a pulp showcase always felt like adding another piano to the one you’re already hauling up a narrow stairwell.

Thankfully when Tim Wiesch boarded the Mondo dingy to handle licensing imbroglios, he took on the Herculean task of acquiring all necessary studio clearances that previously proved elusive. David Rancatore lent his sword to cut off some hydra heads of his own. He mainly gathered up permissions from artists and the necessary files or scans for each lush page. Everyone played a part, but they built the stage.

It’s a stunning collection of artistic ether rags all housed in brill design by the inimitable Alan Hynes. My only regret is that it couldn’t be longer, although it’s admittedly heavy enough to flatten a curious cat that might drag it off the shelf.

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