Our Favorite Film Prints Of 2013
As has now become an annual tradition for many websites, Addicted2Print is proud to present our very first best of list. While this list is a compilation of our favorite film prints of 2013, one thing that we will avoid doing is labeling any of these works as the best of the year. Art is truly subjective, and we will not try to objectify it here. Some people like certain styles and hate others. While others may admire a certain print, but dislike the subject matter. All the differing opinions and variations are what make this hobby, and art in general, so great.
So without further ado, here are our favorite film prints released in 2013:
10. Django Unchained (Variant) – Tyler Stout
What would a year end list be without Tyler Stout? He is what drew many people into collecting alternative film posters in the first place, and he continues to produce incredible work each and every year. This year, however, his fans received a welcomed surprise by way of the Stout/Taylor show at the Mondo Gallery – a show that was unmatched in its ability to create wild speculation, fevered anticipation and unwieldy lines.
While we loved Tyler’s work at the gallery show, particularly his Drive Cityscape piece that had been teased by Mondo for over a year, it was his Oscar night release for his newest entry in his Quentin Tarantino series that blew us away the most. Like many Stout prints, there is an insane amount of detail here that can be overlooked on first glance: the rope hanging on the right side of the print, the wanted sign behind the main image of Django, and the eagle emblem on the bottom center of the page are just a few of the details that make this print one of our favorites of the year.
Tyler also tried something different for this entry in his Tarantino series by placing the title at the top of the print. This allowed for one of the classic scenes in the movie – where Schultz strikes his deal with Django – to be in the bottom center of the composition, thereby making it a focal point of the print. Speaking of the title, the scratchy way the text is written adds to the Old West atmosphere that is present in the film.
Add all this to the more muted yellowed and grey color pallet of the variant, and you have another Tyler Stout classic.
9. Vertigo - “Ghoulish” Gary Pullin
Like another film on this list (cough, cough Jaws), the original Vertigo Poster is considered a classic. That would ostensibly make it challenging to create an alternative print that was not over shadowed by the original; however, Pullin pulls it off here.
Instead of forgoing what made the original print so memorable, Pullin seems to have embraced it by including both a background color and squiggly line pattern that are similar to the original. Yet, the composition doesn't just imitate the original but plays on, and adds to it. Instead of being in the middle of dizzying lines, like in the original poster, the figure here is hanging off the side of the circle as if he was about to fall off. Adding to, and giving perspective to that feeling of danger, is the landscape of San Francisco below the dangling figure. It is simple and effective, and the “dead space” is used wonderfully to effectuate the danger and lack of control that are hallmarks of the film.
Ultimately, Pullin evokes the original poster without copying it and adds a completely new perspective to the material. This print not only perfectly encapsulates the film, but makes me want to watch it again. And that’s what makes this one our favorite prints released in 2012.
8. The Battle of Black Water - Mark Englert
There were some great Glow in the Dark prints in 2012. But in our book, none of them topped Mark Englert’s “The Battle of Black Water” that was released during Bottleneck Gallery’s amazing GID themed show, “When the Lights Go Out.”
The landscape of the ships approaching Game of Throne's fictional King’s Landing is beautiful on its own. Unlike most other prints on this list, it also has the unique ability to hang on the wall and be appreciated without anyone knowing that it is inspired by pop culture source material. However, what really makes this print stand out is only visible when the lights go off and the GID inks come alive.
Sometimes GID can be used as a gimmick, but here it could not be more fitting. The GID inks are used so well because they actually accurately evoke the green wildfire used during the battle.
Englert takes one of the most memorable scenes from one of the best episodes of the second season of Game of Thrones, and turns it into a perfect print.
7. Metropolis Variant - Ken Taylor
As we discussed earlier, that little gallery show featuring the artwork of Ken Taylor and Tyler Stout was kind of a big deal. Who would have guessed, right?
But what we think surprised a lot of people, including us, is that Taylor had our favorite, and arguably the most well received print, of the entire show — the Metropolis Variant. Now in a way that may sound like a back handed compliment, but it absolutely is not.
Tyler Stout is probably our favorite artist here at A2P; he’s the reason we got into this hobby. So when an artist, even one as talented as Taylor, shares top billing with him it’s hard not to take a backseat to the expectations and anticipation of new Stout prints. However, Taylor’s work was so impressive that he defied those expectations in a big way.
The Metropolis variant is beautiful in person. It is both simple and bold, with striking imagery that is instantly recognizable to any fan of the film. And the variant colorway fits perfectly with the imagery and tone of the film.
What is also worth noting is how difficult it is to create such a memorable print for a film that has had countless pieces of alternative artwork created for it. That includes a classic interpretation by Mondo’s own Martin Ansin. But none of those prior works overshadowed this piece, which is the true testament to the beauty of Taylor’s Metropolis.
6. Rockin Jelly Bean - Boogie Nights
Wow. That’s the PG version of the first thing that we said when we saw this print. It’s unlike anything Mondo has ever released, and that’s one of the reasons we love it.
Japanse artist Rockin Jelly Bean, or RJB, has been around for a while, but had never worked for Mondo before. That was until Aaron Horkey came to the rescue and commissioned him for a Paul Thomas Anderson film series he was heading up for Mondo. Besides Horkey’s own entry, which not surprisingly is discussed in part 2 of this list, this was our favorite print in the series.
RJB didn't alter his typical style one bit here; instead, he employed it for film for which it is perfectly suited. Boogie Nights is both a very fun and depressing film. But this print captures the seedy, wide-eyed fun that is present in the earlier portions of the film. The style used also oozes the 70s, which matches exactly with the more naively happy times depicted in the film.
In sum, we have print with a beautiful woman’s ass as its focal point for a film about the porn industry in the 70s and 80s. We’d say RJB nailed it.
Meet us back here tomorrow for Part 2!