Tuesday, May 31, 2011

John Vogl's "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes" Movie Poster

I've got to admit, the only Planet of the Apes movies I've ever seen are the much loved original 1968 film and the much less loved 2001 Tim Burton remake. So it's with a somewhat less than stellar knowledge of the Planet of the Apes universe that I proudly and loudly praises Bill Vogl's Conquest of the Planet of the Apes movie poster.

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes

I'm not sure what I like more about this poster, the downtrodden angry monkey janitor, or the poster's brilliant execution and remarkable detail that seem to come almost effortlessly from artist Bill Vogl. I guess the former was in large part due to the latter, huh? In a lot of ways I'm reminded of the work of Rich Kelly, both use a sort of pencil-sketch line work to create their characters and seem to operate with a mostly muted palette. But while Kelly creates exaggerated characters, often with cartoonishly long limbs, Vogl's work appears to be a bit more grounded in reality (yes, I realize I'm talking about a monkey janitor here). I'm really impressed with Bill Vogl's restraint too. Another artist may have tried to add buildings, crowds and crazy monkey rebellion action, and it might have worked too, but there's something to be said about keeping a design simple, clean and straight to the point. Oh yeah, and I love the banana.

Vogl's Conquest of the Planet of the Apes poster is available through his online storefront for $20. The gorgeous signed and numbered print measures 18" x 24" and is limited to an edition of 45. To learn more about this talented artist head over to his website at thebungaloo.com and his BigCartel store (there's a lot of great stuff there - hint: behold his Metamorphosis, Mass Hysteria and My Chemical Romance prints)!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Donald Smith's "The Wire" Art Print

The last few releases I've written about have been from fairly successful and well known artists, but there's something really refreshing about finding someone you've never heard of and singing his or her praises. With that sleep inducing preamble out of the way I'd like to present a fantastic piece of artwork from a Mr. Donald Smith.

The Wire

The Wire, in my humble opinion, is the greatest television series ever made. That may change in the future, in fact I'm sure it will, but for now The Wire sits unparalleled in my estimation. The reason I bring this is up is because I'm constantly stupefied as to how in this current explosion of pop culture artwork (Gallery 1988, Mondo, Spoke Art, Phone Booth Gallery, etc.) there hasn't been more Wire-centric art. What gives? Thankfully, Mr. Smith has seen fit to fill that dry well with this very Wire-centric print. Looking at the layout and the character construction I'm immediately reminded of the beautiful line work of one Tyler Stout, with its cramped composition and its huge cast of characters on display. And that shouldn't be too surprising, The Wire is after all an ensemble show and over its five brilliantly plotted seasons there were more than a few (far more than a few) characters we grew to love and hate. I also love the streaks of blue that seem to dance throughout the print almost teasing your eye. Needless to say, I'm excited to see what Donald does next.

Donald Smith's The Wire print measures 21.5" x 11" and is currently available through his Etsy storefront. The poster is limited to an edition of 40 (as of this writing Etsy lists only six available) and costs £20.00 (approximately $34). If you'd like to learn more about Donald and his artwork be sure to check out his Etsy store and his blog Donald Smith Graphics. And please, if you've never seen The Wire, watch it! I'll leave you with a quote from the infinitely quotable Omar.
"I'll do what I can to help y'all. But, the game's out there, and it's play or get played. That simple." - Omar Little

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rhys Cooper's "From Dusk Till Dawn" Movie Posters

Tommy Good is at it again with another fun poster release, this time for the cult classic From Dusk Till Dawn. With only a quick glimpse of the artwork below you can immediately tell that Rhys was the right man for the job with his trademark splatter aesthetic in full effect.

From Dusk Till Dawn - Regular Edition

From Dusk Till Dawn - Bloodbath Variant Edition

I haven't seen this film in ages, but it's always interesting to go back to From Dusk because we get to see George Clooney in a ridiculous action romp before his name became synomynous with meaningful, thought provoking and important films, oh yeah, and we also got to witness Tarantino chewing up the scenery for a bit too. While this film is probably the least important in Tommy Good's growing film poster collection, at least in terms of From Dusk's place in film history (bet I made a few enemies just now), it's certainly one of their most playful. You've especially got to appreciate the pure ballsy-ness of the over-the-top bloodbath variant - I'm not sure I could think of a better poster for this film.

Rhys Cooper's From Dusk Till Dawn poster will be available through Tommy Good tomorrow (5/25) at a random time. Be sure to follow @ThisIsTommyGood for the exact release info.  Both posters measure 18" x 24" and are six-color screen prints. The regular edition is limited to 200, while the bloodbath variant is limited to 50. For additional Rhys Cooper artwork head over to his Studio Seppuku store. I have a feeling these will sell out quick so act fast and good luck!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Jeff Kleinsmith's "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia" Movie Poster

This is another one of my cheat posts, since some of it comes from an older post of mine, but seriously, I can't believe this poster didn't sell out ages ago. If you're not familiar with the films of Sam Peckinpah, I'd highly recommend immediately buying or renting The Wild Bunch as your introduction and then watching The Ballad of Cable Hogue, Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia, and top it all off with the masterpiece that is Straw Dogs. [Note: If you've really never seen a Peckinpah film head immediately to A.V. Club's "Gateway to Geekery: Sam Peckinpah" article. It's great reading!]

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia

This may not be entirely clear just by looking at the image above, but a ton of the detail is actually made up of small flies - it's amazing to see up close. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for new flicks, but movie artwork for a film like Peckinpah’s Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia will never go out of style. This is one of those great posters that you could proudly hang on your wall whether you’re 16 or 66. It’s disturbing, it’s dirty (I'd go as far as to say foul), but most importantly it’s absolutely beautiful.

It's understandable that this poster sold out at Mondo, but how on earth is it still available at the artist’s website? Jeff Kleinsmith's Head of Alfredo Garcia movie poster is available for purchase through Patent Pending Industries for $40. The print measures 24" x 36" and is limited to an edition of 40. Do yourself a favor and get one right now.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chris Ware's "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives" Movie Poster

If you're in the know about comics then there's a good chance you've heard of Chris Ware. I'll admit that I've only read a few of his strips and have never really been that into his work, but there's no denying the man's got a gift for exquisite compositions. His layouts often possess a beautifully precise, almost blueprint-like level of detail and complexity and are always exciting to look at, even if the message doesn't necessarily hit home with me.

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

This poster has kind of an interesting back story in that it's the official American one-sheet for the film and as I understand it, was not originally designed for Mondo, but was instead adapted, shrank down, and split by Mondo for a screen print release. I'm honestly not sure I've ever heard of Mondo doing anything like that before (Martin Ansin's / All City Media's Moon print comes to mind, but even that included some additional art customization). Now that my tangent has been followed to its logical conclusion, let's take a look at this bizarrely beautiful poster. If this movie is half as strange as its synopsis implies, then this print hits the nail on the head. I know in several international Boonmee one-sheets a Bigfoot-type creature with glowing eyes played a large role in the designs, and here we're seeing Chris channel this element, although, with an altogether more abstract interpretation. I honestly don't really know what to make of this poster, other than I imagine it's insanely detailed upon closer inspection and it's at once completely indescribable and hypnotic in its execution (this'll be a ten color screen print!). I could ramble on, but I'm honestly at a loss, so here's a quote from Ware that will provide a lot more information than I could ever hope to muster (taken from New York Magazine's Vulture section):
"I wanted to get at both the transcendent solemnity of the film while keeping some sense of its loose, very unpretentious accessibility," says Ware. "This being a poster, however — and even worse, me not really being a designer — I realized it also had to be somewhat punchy and strange, so as to draw viewers in and pique their curiosity without, hopefully, insulting their intelligence."
Mission accomplished I'd say. I'm really interested to see how quickly this poster sells due to its higher price point ($75) and its overall oddness. With that said, Chris Ware is a celebrity in the art / comic world, and pretty much everything Mondo releases nowadays instantly sells out. For those with some extra scratch, Ware's Uncle Boonmee 24" x 36" poster is limited to an edition of 400 and will go on sale tomorrow (5/20) at a random time through Mondo's website. To get all of the release details be sure to follow @MondoNews and keep those fingers on the F5 button.

And if that wasn't enough…

Werewolves on Wheels - Regular Edition

Werewolves on Wheels - Variant Edition

Posterocalypse favorite Phantom City Creative has completed a regular and variant poster for the film Werewolves on Wheels. I've never seen Werewolves on Wheels, but judging by the ridiculous tagline and complimentary bat-shit crazy images on display, I need to remedy that immediately. Both the regular and variant version of this poster will be on sale tomorrow (5/20) at a random time on Mondo's site. The regular print is limited to an edition of 235 and will cost $40, while the variant is limited to an edition of 65 and will cost $60. Both posters measure 24" x 36". To keep up with Phantom City Creative be sure to visit their website, their store and follow @PhantomCityCrtv. Good luck all!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Zoltron's "Raging Bull" Movie Poster

What I'm going to post today is a little lazy as some of it is from my previous poster blog, but I'm honestly shocked (and maybe even a little angry) that this print is still available for purchase. It should have sold out within minutes of going online (a la Mondo)!

Raging Bull

Zoltron's Raging Bull poster is absolutely beautiful and perfectly reflects Scorsese's breathtaking and uncompromising vision. One of the things that first popped for me with this poster was the artist's crazed Ralph Steadman-esque title work. It just gives everything around it a manic energy, something De Niro as La Motta absolutely exudes in certain scenes. Which brings me to the man himself, Jake La Motta. This guy just looks beat to hell. The blotchy variations of gray on his body really go a long way in not only illustrating what appears to be blood, sweat, cuts and bruises, but also providing some visual depth to his face and torso. The bottom line is this, it’s an amazing film and an absolute stunner of a poster - you should own both!

This post is actually perfectly timed because Zoltron's Raging Bull poster has been available for about one year now (I bought mine in May of 2010), so this is kind of like an anniversary. The poster was originally designed for the Red Vic Movie House in San Francisco, but whether you're by the bay or not, this belongs on every cinephile's wall. The Raging Bull poster measures 16" x 22", is limited to an edition of 100, costs $40 and can be purchased through Zoltron's website. Again, how are these still available? While you're there be sure to take a look around at some of Zoltron's other insane designs (*cough* Tim and Eric gig poster *cough*). Tomorrow I'll be covering Chris Ware's new poster for Mondo. Have a great night everyone!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Dan Mumford's "Evil Dead" Art Prints

I'm a huge fan of Dan Mumford's print work, so I was insanely excited when I found out he was doing an Evil Dead art print featuring cult icon Bruce Campbell. If you're not familiar with Mr. Mumford (what a cool name), I wrote a post about his beautiful The Thing print not too long ago (which, by the way is somehow still available for purchase) and have been following him closely ever since.

Evil Dead - Regular Dusk Edition

Evil Dead - Variant Dawn Edition

You can immediately pick up on the similarities between Mumford's The Thing print and his Evil Dead artwork with its familiar sinewy architecture and organic character construction. Much like his Thing print Mumford's trademark style fits in perfectly with the world Sam Raimi created. The tree roots that seem to make up everyone and everything in this picture are downright creepy and perfectly capture the stop-motion practical effects that helped Evil Dead become so beloved. Dan's Evil Dead prints (that's right, plural) come in a dusk version and a dawn variant. I'm partial to the dawn variant myself, but they're both pretty amazing.

These posters aren't available quite yet, but you can reserve yours by emailing orders@darkcitygallery.com with your full name and the poster(s) you'll be buying. I've written about Dark City Gallery before, but I'll say it again, I'm a huge fan of this site and am continually impressed with the work they commission. When the Evil Dead prints are officially released later this month the dusk edition will cost £30 (roughly $49) and will come in an edition of 100, while the dawn variant will cost £50 (comes close to $81) and will be limited to a run of 50. Both posters will measure 18" x 24". To get the scoop on any and all release info I'd highly recommend signing up for the Dark City Gallery mailing list. Interested in more Dan Mumford goodness? Well then I'd also recommend checking out his blog and portfolio at dan-mumford.com. I can't wait to see what Dan does next in his horror movie series!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Kevin Tong's "I Saw the Devil" Movie Poster

And the Mondo goodness continues. If you haven't seen I Saw the Devil already, you should probably stop reading this post and rent or buy the film immediately - it's really, really good! And then I'd recommend binging on some other great Korean films including Mother, The Man from Nowhere, The Chaser, and the now classic Oldboy. Only after that, would I recommend pointing your browser at this site again and reading through this post. Sure, you may have missed out on an awesome poster release, but at least you'll have experienced some amazing foreign films.

I Saw the Devil - Kevin Tong

Kevin Tong's I Saw the Devil poster is definitely for fans of the film. I can easily picture someone who hasn't seen the movie scratching his or her head in confusion and then politely asking what on earth the film is about. Before continuing I wanted to say this, I've been a huge fan of Kevin Tong for the past two years, but it's the stuff he's released in the last three months (his Dune, "Thus Spoke Zarathustra", and I Saw the Devil prints) that have been nothing short of amazing. It's really neat for an artist to come into his own right before your eyes. Now back to the poster. I love all of the attention that's paid to the knobs and radio interface. I've noticed a lot of Kevin's work touches on the technical, featuring an almost AutoCAD-like level of detail, and this print is no different. But I'd be selling the artwork short if I didn't mention the gorgeous winter wonderland / nightmare that South Korea's snowy landscape plays in the film (at least in the beginning of the film). The bloody title on the windshield is also an inspired touch and looks amazing with its bright sanguine text against the poster's mostly muted palette. What an awesome poster.

Kevin's I Saw the Devil poster, which will be available tomorrow (5/12) through Mondo at a random time, measures 24" x 36", is limited to an edition of 185 and will cost $45. It's been clear with the last few Mondo releases that they're trying to change up the drop times, but one thing is for certain, if you want to know the exact moment the poster goes up be sure to follow @MondoNews. I'd also recommend heading over to Kevin's website for a look at his other work. There's a good chance he might put together a process video for his I Saw the Devil poster too! Those are always fun.

The Valley of Gwangi - Mike Saputo

And if that wasn't enough Mondo also decided to announce the release of Mike Saputo's Harryhausen-tastic The Valley of the Gwangi poster. The Valley of the Gwangi print will be available tomorrow at a random time through Mondo for $35. The print will measure 18" x 24" and will be limited to an edition of 115. To see more of Mike Saputo's brilliance check out his blog and portfolio at mikesaputo.com.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Phantom City Creative's Back to the 80s Poster Series

Hey everyone! It's been a long time, a really long time, but I'm all moved in, my workload has become a bit more manageable, and most importantly I now have Internet access at home. I apologize for the barren wasteland this site has become in the last month, but I promise to start delivering content at a normal frequency from now on. Let's start the show shall we?

I've wanted to write about these posters for a while now, but I felt the need to wait until they were all released (and I had some free time and Internet access) so we could view them as a single cinematic snapshot of a bygone era. In cooperation with Twitch Film and TIFF Bell Lightbox, Phantom City Creative, a wonderful Toronto-based design studio that I've written about in the past, has created a dazzling set of posters for a film series titled Back to the 80s and programmed by Todd Brown.

I've written a brief review of each poster and was lucky enough to get some additional info from the man behind the art, the very generous and talented Justin Erickson. Unfortunately, all of these posters were part of an an insanely limited run and are no longer available, but thankfully Phantom City Creative has released art print versions (sans text) for purchase. Head over to the Phantom City Creative store to pick up your very own 80s keepsake.


I absolutely love this poster and I’m so, so pleased that Phantom City Creative chose to frame the characters within the mystical glaive, thereby creating a universe-ending glaive-within-a-glaive paradox. This poster so perfectly captures the cheesy-but-serious tone of the film, it’s a real shame these guys weren’t making posters when the film originally came out in 1983. I’m always a sucker for a minimalist poster design, but I’m especially in awe of this Krull poster, because the artist was able to pack so much detail and meaning into such a small area. Well done! The Krull art print measures 11" x 17", is limited to an edition of 150 and only costs $30 through Phantom City Creative's big cartel storefront.

In addition to being a fantastic artist, Phantom City Creative’s Justin Erickson is just a plain nice guy and was kind enough to tell me a little more about what exactly he wanted to do with this poster:
“To be honest this was the movie I was most excited to create a poster for! While I know it's far from perfect, I will defend it until my dying breath. The glaive is the most recognizable symbol from the movie, so I chose to make Colwyn claiming the Glaive the central image of the poster. Contained in the image is the love story at the centre of the movie: Colwyn and Lyssa embracing with the Beast looming over them”

Back to the Future

I watched this film the other day and what a blast it was. Michael J. Fox was so young and energetic, it’s impossible not to root for him as he initially messes up and then attempts to fix his and his family’s timeline. Phantom City Creative crafted an extremely classy poster here and I’m not entirely sure why, but the color palette feels so appropriate. I’m also quite impressed with the straight forward way they chose to depict time travel by using the pimped out DeLorean’s tire fire and Roman numerals. I may be alone in this, but I feel like time travel can be a hard thing to convey in a static image, and they completely nailed it. The Back to the Future art print can be purchased through Phantom City Creative's store for $30.


This poster is beautiful. ‘Nuff said. Alright, alright, I guess I’ll go into a little more detail. From the silhouettes of the gremlins that form some sort of demonic and disgusting mutated Mogwai tree line to the frightened furball known as Gizmo, this poster works in every conceivable way. I especially appreciate the inclusion of Stripe in the background as he and the gaggle of gremlins (what is a group of gremlins called?) loom ominously over our adorable hero. The Gremlins title was also a nice touch, it looks just damaged enough to have been created by an angry gremlin horde (horde definitely seems more appropriate than gaggle). Want your own Gremlins art print? Well you're in luck, because for $30 you can pick one up.

Justin Erickson of Phantom City Creative fame on his inspiration for the poster:
“The most exciting moments of the film are at the end when the newly transformed Gremlins tear through Kingston Falls causing havok. I chose the imagery to be the silhouette of the marauding gremlins which contains the image of their leader, Stripe threatening the innocent Gizmo taking shelter in the bike helmet.”

The Last Starfighter

The Last Starfighter poster is particularly brilliant with its clever depiction of the titular video game. This poster really brings you back to the mid 80s with its pixilated rendition of an alien fighting force and radical choice of clothes. If you can't tell, Phantom City Creative has a knack for conveying a film's premise in a very easily digestible manner. Good stuff! The art print is available for $30 and is limited to an edition of 150.

The Dark Crystal

It's been a long while since I've seen this film, but that hasn't changed how much I loved it as a kid. The characters are expertly drawn and colored, but I think it's the layout that really blows me away. Phantom City Creative designed a beautiful emblem / coat of arms-type border that really classes up the entire thing. I really like the choice of colors too. The muted greens and violets work well together and evoke a worn aesthetic in this intricately constructed shrine to one of the greatest children's films of the 80s. The art print is available through Phantom City Creative's storefront.

Justin Erickson was nice enough to tell me a little more about his inspiration for this piece:
"In preparation for creating this poster (as with the rest of the series), I re-watched the Dark Crystal and was amazed at how intensely imaginative the visuals of the movie are. Right away I knew I wanted to represent the chief characters in this ornate frame which became a sort of guilded portal into the world of The Dark Crystal. From there it was a matter of arranging the characters in a compositionally pleasing way with the Dark Crystal at the centre of it all."

The Princess Bride

I watched Legend for the first time last week and have to admit I was quite underwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful looking film, and Tim Curry as Darkness was kind of awesome, but for some reason The Princess Bride and Legend inhabit the same part of my brain and it turns out I only have enough love for one mid-80’s fantasy epic. Sorry Legend, congrats Princess Bride. This poster really captures the daydream-like storytelling on display in the film, but also gives a little wink and nod to some of the more humorous (R.O.U.S. – rodents of unusual size) and action-packed (Inigo Montoya’s sword) elements of the film. Head over to the Phantom City Creative store to pick up your own Princess Bride art print.

The Monster Squad

This poster reminds me of something I would have seen in the 40s or 50s, which is quite fitting given how nostalgic the film is about the iconic Universal monster features of that era. Speaking of monsters, wow, Phantom City Creative did a fantastic job with the faces of these creatures, somehow managing to capture every bloodthirsty shadow, mummified wrinkle and putrefied scale. I especially like how they included each and every face of the menacing quintet within the shape of Dracula’s vampire bat form. An image can be meticulously and masterfully drawn, but it’s all for nought if the layout is shoddy, thankfully that’s not a problem here. I look at this poster and wonder to myself, does the Wolfman indeed have nards? And I have to assume the answer is unequivocally, yes, Wolfman’s got nards. Pick up the 11" x 17" art print version of this poster by visiting Phantom City Creative's store.

Time Bandits

This classic film totally blurs the boundary between a children’s movie and adult's film with some surprisingly dark moments and has just enough crazy in it to probably appeal to the schizophrenics as well – in other words, it’s a real crowd pleaser. Looking at all of these posters together really makes me realize just how many awesome films came out of the 80s, a decade I had often only thought of as excessive and superficial. I love that Phantom City Creative included the original slogan on so many of these posters, including their Time Bandits artwork, it really adds an extra layer authenticity to the works and makes me feel all mushy inside (in a good way, not a food poisoning sort of way). The 11" x 17" print is available for $30 and is limited to an edition of 150.

The Goonies

We come to the last film in Phantom City Creative’s Back to the 80s poster series and it’s a biggie. With the exception of Back to the Future, The Goonies is probably the most fondly remembered and popular in this collection of films. I’m actually surprised I don’t see more Mondo-type Goonies posters, given the popularity of the film, so an additional thanks goes out to Justin and Paige for creating a worthy celebration of the film that played such an important role in our childhoods and in the larger pop culture (I’m of course talking about the film's biggest contribution, the truffle shuffle). This poster / treasure map gleefully plays up the adventure action in the film and displays portions of the film’s cast in each corner. If you don’t absolutely love the upper right corner of the poster, there’s a good chance that you and I would disagree on a good many things sir or madam. To get an art print of this poster (again, sans text) head over to Phantom Creative's store now!

If you’re like me and love’em all you can grab the entire set at the reduced price of $220 through Phantom City Creative’s store.

The Bat
The Last Man on Earth
House on Haunted Hill

And if that wasn’t enough, they JUST released their Vincent Price collection (pictured above) in honor of the man’s 100th birthday, consisting of posters for The Bat, The Last Man on Earth, and House on Haunted Hill through their store for $30 each and measuring 11” x 17”.

The Tell-Tale Heart

Finally, Phantom City Creative has also released their Tell-Tale Heart art print that was a part of Gallery 1988’s Required Reading show, which is now available for $45, measures 18” x 24” and is limited to an edition of 50. Wow, these guys have been busy, let’s hope the trend continues!