by D.W. Lundberg

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


If Batman & Robin signaled the death of the Comic Book Movie, then X-Men (2000) is undoubtedly its rebirth - a reverent, star-studded extravaganza that rang the box office bell in ways very few people expected. Sure, there were attempts to revive the genre in between - Blade (1998) springs to mind, starring Wesley Snipes, or Mystery Men (1999), with Ben Stiller and William H. Macy. But those were low-key adaptations of lesser-known characters, not the big-budget, big-name properties fans took to heart.

Consider, too, how the biggest Comic Book films up to that point, Richard Donner's Superman: The Movie (1978) and Tim Burton's Batman (1989), seemed to spawn only Batman and Superman sequels. X-Men opened the floodgates for future box office spectaculars including Spider-Man (2002), Daredevil (2003), Hulk (2003), Fantastic Four (2005), reboots of the Batman and Superman franchises, plus Marvel Comics' Cinematic Universe, culminating in The Avengers (2012) - currently the third highest-grossing film of all time. Superman '78 may have set the template for comic book verisimilitude (Richard Donner was an executive producer on X-Men), but it was X-Men that permanently whet the public's appetite for cinematic superheroics.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


If you've never been acquainted with the Mondo Gallery in Austin, TX, then you'd do well to acquaint yourself. An offshoot of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain (est. 1997), the Gallery enlists world-class artists to re-create posters for movies old and new - and then sells them (if you can nab 'em) online, at $35 to $100 a pop. (Posters are created as one-offs and sell out fast, via Facebook and Twitter feeds; buyers often re- sell their purchases on eBay, but at three times the original cost.)

Styles range from comic book designs to collages. And each and every one is a knockout - clever re- imaginings of popular (and not-so popular) films, unburdened by studio mandates or movie star egos. For brevity's sake, I've decided to share some of my favorites below, but really, if you consider yourself a serious film buff, or at least have a moment to spare, then it's worth perusing their extensive back catalogue at Click on each poster below to make bigger: