Joe Phillips' table in Artists' Alley is always an essential stop for me at San Diego Comic Con. The former Heretic and Superboy artist is one of the only guys at any comics show who can always be counted on for a great selection of quality beefcake pin-ups that rival the cheesecake that's so prevalent on other artists' tables. If you're in the market for a coquettish Angel, or a stripping Steve Rogers, Joe Phillips is your man.
But this year Phillips had something new on his table --- and so incredibly camp that it may appeal to much of the same audience that loves the hero beefcake. Phillips has taken some of the biggest stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood and cast them as some of the biggest names in superhero comics, to give fans a vision of what these movies might have looked like in another era.
In recent months, commemorative poster-creating powerhouse Mondo has expanded its reach to more realms of film-inspired memorabilia. While the Austin-based company has been pumping out vinyl soundtracks, VHS re-releases and clothing options, to name a few, Mondo has only just begun dipping its toes into the figure and statue game. However, this year at San Diego Comic-Con, Mondo made a big splash, offering early looks at a variety of new comic and movie-based pieces inspired by some of the most iconic characters and creators of our generation.
We spoke with Mondo's Creative Director of Toys and Collectibles, Brock Otterbacher, about the company's fresh slate of offerings, and how he hoped to stand out in an ever-crowding market. With new items based on Hellboy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the way, Mondo is clearly setting the bar high for itself. Factor in the wealth of artists and creatives at Mondo's disposal, and you have a company that seems poised to make a major dent in the collectible space (and wallets) in 2015 and beyond.
This week, Dark Horse announced the plans for the next year of Hellboy and BPRD stories, and while there's something that I think we all expected, there's also one pretty big surprise mixed in there, too.
Under normal circumstances, I am generally way too lazy to take advantage of the blank cover variants that publishers put out, but the Hellboy 100 project isn't exactly a normal circumstance. In order to support the Hero Initiative, the charitable organization that helps creators in need, Dark Horse has produced a limited run of 100 blank cover variants for Hellboy and the BPRD: 1952 #1, giving each one to an artist to produce a one-of-a-kind variant.
Many of us have been fans of the numerous limited collectibles Mondo's released since the company got its start. Over the years, there have been countless movie posters, soundtracks, VHS tapes and other niche items offered by Mondo, with more and more seemingly coming each and every day. Recently, Mondo started dipping its toes into the figure/statue game, with a fully-articulated Iron Giant and a few Teenage Mutant Ninja Turltes pieces already on the way.
Today, Mondo took another step towards obscure geek memorabilia masters with the announcement of the First Hellboy statue. Before appearing in his own self-titled series, Hellboy existed merely as a sketch done by creator Mike Mignola at a convention in the early '90s. This First Hellboy shared a few things in common with his eventual successor, but lacked the trenchcoat, Right Hand of Doom, killer sideburns and proclivity for pamcakes. Now, nearly 25 years later, the First Hellboy is finally getting his due.
There are few headlines in this world of ours that combine my interests as perfectly as "Scientists Identify A New Dinosaur And Give It The Nickname 'Hellboy.'" Like, maybe if the scientists were riding dirtbikes and skateboards, or the discovery of the new fossils came as a result of someone's bat-themed vigilante activities, that would do it, but let's be real here: Those are pretty unlikely scenarios, and imagining them is just improving on perfection.
And the reality of the situation is pretty perfect indeed: As reported by NPR, the newly identified Regaliceratops peterhewsi has been informally named after Mike Mignola's perpetually grumpy paranormal investigator, owing to the presence of a pair of prominent horns just above its eyes. As for whether it filed those horns down as a rejection of its demonic heritage, the fossil record remains sadly incomplete.
Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy was a modest financial success, but it did well enough on home video to warrant a sequel (albeit at a different studio). Unfortunately, the superior Hellboy II: The Golden Army opened the week before The Dark Knight swept the summer of 2008 off its feet and totally dominated the superhero movie conversation. The second movie adventure of Mike Mignola’s wisecracking demon-turned-superhero did okay, but a third movie never materialized a part three looks unlikely to this day. Just don’t tell that to Ron Perlman, who is dead-set on making this series a trilogy and took to social media to enlist fan support.
We've been under a deluge of comic book movies for what seems like decades. The frequency at which our favorite characters like Spider-Man, Hellboy and the Hulk are appearing on the silver screen has increased tremendously since the early aughts, and so has the desire to take a part of these movies home with us.
Though the prop replica market has definitely seen a drastic increase in volume over the past few years, there's nothing quite like owning a piece of the real thing. We did some digging to see just what kind of comic book film memorabilia was currently setting the internet auction house aflame.
The comic book movie craze may have exploded in recent years, but there have been movies and TV shows based on our favorite comics for decades. For all the action we see on screen, however, we hardly ever get to see behind the curtain at how it all comes together.
Fortunately, we've managed to uncover dozens of behind the scenes images from your favorite comic-inspired movies. From The Dark Knight to Dredd, and Conan to Kick-Ass, we now have a little bit of an idea of what life was like on set during the creation of these beloved adaptations.
I'm going to go ahead and assume that everyone out there is already fully aware that Mike Mignola is the stuff, especially when it comes to Hellboy. The long-running horror-adventure franchise that kicked off into its own universe in 1994 is one of those rare, amazing comics that has been published pretty consistently for over 20 years and has never been bad. Like, not once. It's pretty amazing.
But if you're one of those people who knows intellectually that Hellboy and his assorted spin-offs are great but has never actually tried it, good news. Dark Horse has launched a sale on digital Mike Mignola books, dropping 'em down to a buck an issue. And should you need a little guidance on what to pick up, well, that's what I'm here for.
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