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The Avengers / screen print / regular / Tyler Stout / USA

31.07.14

Poster Poster

2012 was an important year for several of cinema’s biggest franchises with the latest James Bond film, Skyfall, appearing four years after the last, plus Christopher Nolan bringing his Dark Knight trilogy to a spectacular close with The Dark Knight Rises. However, unquestionably the cinematic event of the year was the much anticipated release of Marvel’s superhero team-up The Avengers.

Even before the successful release of Iron Man in 2008, the production team in charge of what is known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, had planned to release a series of films focusing on individual superheroes based on Marvel comic characters, with the intention of establishing their backstories, and popularity, with fans before uniting them together in a ‘crossover’ film. The original Avengers comic, which brought together previously stand-alone characters including Thor, Captain America, Hulk and Iron Man, was first released in 1963 and has been in print since then so it was no surprise that it was chosen to the be the crossover film following the first five standalone stories.

The film was helmed by cult screenwriter/director Joss Whedon who saw worldwide success with TV shows like Buffy, Angel and cult favourite Firefly, but this was his first major studio film and his appointment in 2010 was seen as a surprise, but welcome, choice by many fans. Whedon pushed the studio allow him to begin a new script after reading a screenplay by Zak Penn that they had been tinkering with since 2007 and the studio eventually agreed, with production beginning in July 2010.

Marvel’s faith in Whedon paid off in spectacular style when the film was released in 2012 and broke multiple worldwide box-office records, including highest-grossing opening in the US, the highest opening week earnings and fewest number of days to reach half a billion dollars (23). It was the highest grossing film of 2012 and currently stands at third in the all-time rankings.

To celebrate the release of the film, Marvel once again worked with Austin-based Mondo to release a series of screen prints based on characters from the film. The incomparable Austin-based geek culture outfit has worked on prints for all of the standalone Marvel releases, starting with Iron Man in 2008 and only skipping the same year’s The Incredible Hulk.

The team at Mondo assembled a roster of its most celebrated artists to turn in designs for each of the main characters and these were released over the period of a week in April 2012, beginning with Olly Moss‘ portrait of Black Widow and ending with Thor by Martin Ansin and Iron Man by Kevin Tong. A few weeks later, on the eve of the film’s release, Mondo then revealed a print featuring all of the characters that was designed and illustrated by arguably their most popular artist, Tyler Stout.

As usual, the print came in both regular and variant versions and, despite each having relatively high print runs, the poster sold out within seconds of going on sale on Mondo’s webshop. I was lucky to snag a copy of the print via Tyler’s ‘lottery’, which he now holds on his own site shortly after each print release sells out via Mondo.

Whilst adding the regular version to the Film on Paper collection I wanted to interview the man himself about the creation of the poster as I’ve done previously with his work on the prints for AkiraKill Bill and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The interview can be read in full by clicking here.

Note that the final image of Iron Man is stamped on the back of the print.

The Fifth Element / B2 / falling style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Welcome to Blood City / one sheet / UK

12.04.17

Poster Poster
Title
Welcome to Blood City
AKA
Blood City (US)
Year of Film
1977
Director
Peter Sasdy
Starring
Jack Palance, Keir Dullea, Samantha Eggar, Barry Morse, Hollis McLaren, Chris Wiggins, Henry Ramer, Allan Royal, John Evans
Origin of Film
UK | Canada
Genre(s) of Film
Jack Palance, Keir Dullea, Samantha Eggar, Barry Morse, Hollis McLaren, Chris Wiggins, Henry Ramer, Allan Royal, John Evans,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Mike Vaughan (unconfirmed)
Size (inches)
27 3/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Unique artwork features on this scarce UK one sheet for the release of the 1977 sci-fi-western, Welcome to Blood City. A British-Canadian co-production, there’s no doubt it was created in the wake of the very successful Westworld that was released a few years earlier. With that said, this film uses the different construct of events taking place in virtual reality, with scientists working for an unnamed organisation watching the events unfold on screens. The film was directed by Peter Sasdy, a Hungarian director who is best known for helming a number of British films during the 1970s, including a few Hammer horrors. It has a few notable stars in the cast, including the late Jack PalanceKeir Dullea (of 2001: A Space Odyssey fame) and Samantha Eggar (Cronenberg’s The Brood).

The film begins during some kind of worldwide event (exactly what isn’t made clear) during which Dullea’s character is seemingly abducted by soldiers at gunpoint. He then awakes in a strange wilderness with no memory of what happened to him, along with a group of others all wearing overalls. As they begin to walk into a forest they are accosted by two strangers with shotguns. Whilst they are attacked, a mysterious man (Palance) wearing an outfit that resembles a sheriff’s uniform watches the situation, apparently unmoved. Eventually he greets them and leads them to the titular settlement. Once there they have the rules of the town explained to them. I’ve got to admit, the plot isn’t the easiest to follow – a situation not helped by the only available copy of the film being a terrible VHS-level pan and scan one, which also appears to be zoomed to cap it off. The sound is equally as bad.

Eventually we learn that in order to survive and escape being slaves, the captives must kill others in the town and once they reach twenty kills they are considered ‘immortal’. The purpose for the scientists watching is to seemingly satisfy their military benefactors who want to find out which of the people (in the real world, not Blood City) will make the best soldiers that can be sent off to some unexplained conflict. Samantha Eggar plays one of the two scientists tasked with following events in the simulation. She becomes infatuated with Dullea’s character and begins inserting herself into the simulation and manipulating events so that he will survive. The film is little-seen and the quality of the only copy available probably points to both a lack of demand but also potential rights-issues (it was apparently made as some kind of tax-shelter deal).

The artwork on this UK one sheet, which features different art to the UK quad, is, I believe, by the British artist Mike Vaughan. He also worked on a handful of posters for Hammer horrors, as well as posters like this one for Raid on Entebbe. If anyone knows for sure who painted this art please get in touch.