This past weekend, you may have been lucky enough to find yourself in Austin, TX to attend the second annual MondoCon. If you weren't (like me), you apparently missed out on a whole mess of cool announcements (like me). In addition to the requisite vinyl and print teases for upcoming releases, Mondo also hinted at the future of its collectibles line. We already knew licenses like He-Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Madballs would be on hand, but Mondo's creative director of toys and collectibles Brett Otterbacher had a few surprises for those in attendance, too.
According to a recap in the Austin Chronicle, Mondo will be crafting statues based on two different DC Comics prints that have already been released. First, a cast version of Francesco Francavilla's "Red Rain" print will be coming soon. Like the Godzilla statue based on the work of Phantom City Creative, the Batman-as-Dracula piece will be stylized as a 3D recreation of Francavilla's scrawny, bony, fang-bearing art. There will also be a Harley Quinn statue based on the 2014 SDCC-exclusive print from Matt Taylor (above). How this Harley will be translated to a statue remains to be seen, as this piece is just as much about her room as it is her. It will be interesting to see which elements make the leap to physical form when the statue begins development.
Frequent thorn in my wallet's side, Mondo, which also happens to make some outstanding posters, limited run vinyls and toys, has just put the final nail in my bank account's coffin. To celebrate Batman Day, Mondo has announced (via IGN) an eight-record box set featuring the soundtrack to Batman: The Animated Series. Unlike Mondo's previously released Batman: TAS vinyls, these aren't going to be just the opening and ending themes on a cleverly-cut record. This box set will include the full scores to 16 different episodes, hand-picked by Mondo as favorites.
What's more, each vinyl will have a unique sleeve with art from Phantom City Creative spotlighting the episodes featured on each side. There will also be six different 4x6 handbills for each of the villains from the fan-favorite episode, "Almost Got 'Im." The whole shebang comes in a black and yellow slipcase featuring the Gotham City skyline in the shape of the bat-symbol. It's probably the most beautiful collection Mondo's crafted to date, which means it's going to be one of the most sought after items of the holiday season.
Q: How do you feel about Superman: The Animated Series? A faithful adaptation that distills the Superman mythos the same way as Batman: TAS? -- @Trilby64
A: Superman: The Animated Series is great, which is one of the reasons that it's so weird that nobody ever really talks about how great it is. Even here at ComicsAlliance, when I was looking for things to dive into for an in-depth episode guide, it never even came up for consideration --- but to be honest, a lot of that was because there's not a whole lot to make fun of in that series. It synthesized one of the best versions of Superman ever brought to any medium, and it did it with an incredible style that was well done on pretty much every level.
DC Collectibles kicked off San Diego Comic-Con 2015 with a preview event highlighting many of the bigger figures and series we'll be seeing over the course of the next 12 months. From continued support for the Icons and TV series lines to new Designer Series figures and Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice pieces, there's a little bit of something for everyone in DC Collectibles' plans.
As cool as it was to see many of the new items on hand, the stars of the show were the characters getting the Darwyn Cooke touch as part of his Designer wave. Cooke's long been a favorite of mine, and his New Frontier figures from way back when are still some of the most stylish in my collection. Now that he's adding new takes on Batman, Supergirl, Adam Strange and Harley Quinn, I couldn't be happier. Combined with the expansion of the Batman: The Animated Series line to more obscure characters, 2015 and 2016 are shaping up to be a good time for clean, simple designs.
After a slight delay to improve the quality of the line, DC Collectibles Batman: The Animated Series second wave arrived not too long ago. Featuring Robin, the Joker and Man-Bat as they appeared in the original version of the show, this wave brings back fond memories. The figures aren't so bad either.
DC Collectibles has been on a tear as of late, and this year's Toy Fair offerings showed the company had no intentions of slowing down any time soon. From more Batman: The Animated Series figures (and vehicles!) and the all-new Icons series, to incredible prop replicas and a heaping helping of the dangerous Harley Quinn, DC Collectibles unleashed one of its strongest preview offerings in recent memory.
Two Christmases ago marked the 20th anniversary Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, a film that’s arguably its creators’ most perfect expression of their enduringly influential animated vision of DC Comics’ dark knight — a vision that many believe is the most perfect expression of Batman in any medium. While Warner Bros. has yet to announce any plans for a high definition reissue or any other offerings connected with the special occasion, the film fanatics at Mondo — purveyors of extremely fine illustrated film posters and other cinematic celebrations — decided to honor Mask of the Phantasm with an anniversary event in connection with the famous Alamo Drafthouse of Austin, Texas, where they screened the film in its original 35mm format for a sold-out house. As always, Mondo came prepared with an extremely limited quantities of an original screen-printed poster, which serves as an update of the film’s original theatrical one-sheet and an homage to the aesthetic legacy of co-directors Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski’s work. Naturally, being a Mondo release, the poster is no longer on sale except on the collectors' market, where it fetches hundreds.
Now, ComicsAlliance was in attendance that night in Austin, and we were lucky enough to procure a variant edition of the poster -- illustrated by Phantom City Creative -- to offer to our readers in this giveaway contest. It took us quite a while, but we finally tracked down Timm as well as Andrea Beaumont herself, actor Dana Delany, who graciously signed the poster in the presence of former CA editor Andy Khouri, making this a truly one of a kind collectible.
Q: Since you're knee-deep in rewatching Batman '66, why is "Beware the Gray Ghost" such a brilliant episode of Batman: The Animated Series? -- @Gavin4L
A: With Simon Trent's surprise return in this week's issue of Gotham Academy, it seems like everyone's been thinking about the Gray Ghost. Or at least, I've been thinking about him a lot, and I can assure you that I've been thinking about him enough for all of us.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I'm probably involved in more conversations about Batman: The Animated Series than your average person, but in my experience, at least, "Beware the Gray Ghost" isn't one of the ones that gets talked about all that much. And that in itself is actually pretty weird, because it gives the world of The Animated Series something that it never really got from any other episode: It built a story around fandom.
This fall, DC Collectibles' Batman: The Animated Series line will continue to expand its roster of rogues with the additions of Roxy Rocket and Scarecrow. While Roxy has her own appeal, it's The New Adventures of Batman version of Scarecrow -- as the first deluxe figure of the collection -- that will by far give you way more nightmares.
Based on his appearance in 'Never Fear', the Scarecrow is the first figure from the anticipated fifth wave of B:TAS figures. Though that episode is decent, it's no match for 'Over the Edge' (the one where Batgirl has a fevered dream about what'd happen if she died in the line of duty), which came just five episodes later. Still, the most important thing is the incredibly terrifying Scarecrow design that's being brought to life. The original Scarecrow design was brilliant, if a bit too Wizard of Oz, but this version... this is a Scarecrow you actually believed might inspire fear.
Q: Why does everyone hate the "Christmas with the Joker" episode of Batman: The Animated Series? -- @tekende
A: You know, I'm not sure everyone does hate "Christmas with the Joker." I certainly don't, but then again, I can't really say that I like it a whole lot either. It's definitely one of those episodes that pops into mind whenever I start thinking of the worst episodes of the series, although it misses out on being the actual worst by a long shot. But that said, I don't quite know the reason why.
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