Limited Paper: Tom Whalen Tells Us About His 80’S DAZE Gallery Show; Mondo FANTASTIC FEST Posters for DREDD 3D, LOOPER & ROOM 237

     September 26, 2012

We’ve got quite a bit to get to in today’s Limited Paper, folks, and with Fantastic Fest 2012 still in full-swing, we don’t have a lot of time to get through it.  In today’s writeup, we chat with frequent Mondo artist Tom Whalen (who has a brand-new, 80’s-themed gallery show co-headlined by Dave Perillo opening this Friday);  we tell you when you can expect to learn and see more of Tyler Stout’s line of Mondo t-shirts (yup:  incoming Stout interview!);  and we take a look at all the Fantastic Fest posters Mondo is preparing to drop online tomorrow afternoon.

Yes, today’s Limited Paper is a spring-loaded, jam-packed, all-singing, all-dancing, primed-to-explode-directly-into-your-terrified-face  extravaganza of awesome.  See it all after the jump, folks.

The past week has been absolutely crazy here at Limited Paper HQ, and before we dive into today’s lightning-round-style edition of Limited Paper, I wanna take a moment to thank each and every one of you for being so patient with us:  it’s true that coverage has been a wee bit lighter than usual lately, but that’s only because we’ve been getting savagely Fantastic Fest-ed since last Wednesday.

As Tim League’s annual celebration of genre-films rolls on, it becomes increasingly difficult to believe that any Fantastic Fest attendees are able to get out of bed, much less stay on top of all the reviews, commentaries, interviews, and hangovers that Austin’s best film festival always generates.  Good news (for you, anyway) is that Friday marks the end of Fantastic Fest 2012, so we should have things back to normal shortly thereafter.

How about an interview, some news, and some news about an interview to tide you over until then?


Whether you’ve loved or hated his takes on famous Disney properties, his Looney Tunes series, and (most recently) his take on this month’s ParaNorman , there’s no denying that Tom Whalen has been one of the defining voices in Mondo’s recent history.  That company’s roster is nothing less than an all-star team, and each member delivers a particular kind of work:  some posters are hyper-detailed (Tyler Stout), some overflow with gore (Jeff Proctor), and some are just custom-frame-recquiringly panoramic (Mark Englert).  These are the heavyweights of the poster industry, and when it comes time to produce, they all bring their own special sauce to the table (Fun Fact:  Stout uses “Fancy Sauce”).

And if you know about Mondo, you know that Tom Whalen—who’s opening Around The World in an 80’s Daze with Dave Perillo at Gallery 1988 this Friday–  is the only guy that could’ve delivered such a consistently perfect series of prints based on Disney, Looney  Tunes, and other animated properties (that Disney license has reached its conclusion, by the way, but we’re guessing that Tom must’ve been running out of Disney properties to produce prints for:  just about the only thing that didn’t get a Whalen poster was Song of The South).  He’s also one of the hardest-working guys in the industry, which is why we were so surprised when he said that, yeah, actually, he could spare a few minutes to answer a number of inane questions.   Let’s get right down to it, Slappies:  Tell us a little bit about how you got started with Mondo:  who contacted who?  What was your first piece for the company?

TOM WHALEN:  Rob Jones gave me a call one day in 2010 and asked me if I’d like to participate in Mondo’s just-announced Star Wars and Star Trek series. I nearly flipped. I was assigned Jabba’s palace for Star Wars and Journey to Babel for Star Trek. Feeling my oats, I took to twitter to hint at the jobs I’d just landed…not realizing that I had also recently tweeted about how lousy the dance routine in the special edition of Return of the Jedi was. Rob promptly called me and kindly told me to control my shit.

Your name became synonymous with the long-running Disney series that Mondo was running over the past year or so.  What was your favorite piece produced during that time?

WHALEN:  Personally, I’m partial to the Steamboat Willie poster. It was the first one in that series and it turned out to be a kind of calling card for me. A lot of folks recognized it as mine. Monsters Inc. and Dumbo are also two favorites.

What Disney property did you really want to take on, but not have time to get to before the license ran out?

WHALEN:  I loved working on that series. I think The Incredibles is probably the one that I wish I’d had the time to finish. I turned in a sketch, but the intricacies of the licensing process didn’t give me enough time to bring it to completion. Still, I’m very fortunate in that every other Disney poster that I had in the queue saw the light of day.

You’re working on Looney Tunes for the company now.  So far, we’ve seen three pieces from that series:  can you give us any idea how many total titles we may have to look forward to?

WHALEN:  Sorry. not biting.

(Shakes fists at sky; screams, “WHAAAAAAAAALEEEEEENNN!”; it’s awkward)  Ahem. Well, anyway, it seems like more and more people are coming to the poster-collecting hobby every week.  Do you feel that this has more to do with the flipper mentality– that people feel like they can make a quick buck on a poster– or because people genuinely appreciate the artwork?

WHALEN:  I think the flippers are, for better or worse, part of the ecosystem now. That’s not to say I agree with everything they do, but they do drive demand higher, which raises the profile of the pieces and the hobby in general. Sure, there are more folks flipping now, but maybe because of them, there are more people seeing the art and going straight to the source (Mondo / Gallery 1988 / the artists) for their fix.

Have you ever been asked to create a poster for something you’re absolutely not a fan of?  How did you handle it?  If not, how would you handle it?

WHALEN:  I’ve never been asked to do a poster for something I outright hate. More often than not, the challenge comes from not being very familiar with a property, such as the Yellow Submarine posters I did. I was certainly aware of the film, but had never seen more than a clip or two. In those situations, I gather as much resource material as I can and immerse myself in it to better grasp the core of the property. I almost always wind up becoming a fan of what I’m researching. Call me a poster poseur.

If you had unlimited time, resources, and likeness rights, what’s the one piece you would like to create above all others?

WHALEN:  Toho monsters. Period.

What would ya say is the weirdest thing someone’s ever requested from you in terms of a commissioned piece, a sketch, or a poster?

WHALEN:  SModcast show assignment for Gallery 1988. Period.

OK, last one!  Are you ready for hard-hitting, soul-searching, civilization-redefining journalism?  Boom:  pick three of your own posters—your favorites– that you feel best encapsulate your skills, interests, etc.  Which 3 would they be?

WHALEN: My Global Knowledge: Spy poster, the New York Giants print, and the Terminator print I did for the Colonial Theater.

Ha-ha, I lied!  That wasn’t the final question at all!  Here it is:  when’s the next time you’re coming down to Austin?  Got anything exciting on the horizon that you’d like to tease/announce?

WHALEN:  Yes, I’ve got  to get to Austin.  And soon.  I’ve never been.  And as a matter of fact, Scott (Ed. Note: Tom initiates “Shameless Plug Mode”), I have a two-man show with Mr. Dave Perillo at Gallery 1988: Venice this week. The show’s called Around The World in an 80’s Daze and is comprised of travel posters from 1980’s properties.  All pieces are limited edition screenprints.  We’ve been working on this since May 2011 and can’t wait to show it off.  Wanna see some of the posters?

And with that, my interview time with The Notorious T.O.M. came to an end…but my time with his 80’s Daze jpegs was just beginning.  Here’s the prints he showed me last week, back when they were still considered “Exclusive” images and I didn’t have to feel deeply ashamed about my entire existence:

  • Val Verde by Tom Whalen
  • 6-color screenprint
  • 18″ x 24″
  • Limited edition of 65

  • Pegasus Airways by Tom Whalen
  • 5-color screenprint
  • 18″ x 24″
  • Limited edition of 50

  • Springwood by Tom Whalen
  • 3-color screenprint
  • 12″ x 24″
  • Limited edition of 50

  • Falkor Air by Dave Perillo
  • 3-color screenprint
  • 18″ x 24″
  • Limited edition of 50

  • Thundera by Dave Perillo
  • 3-color screenprint
  • 12″ x 24″
  • Limited edition of 50

Pretty cool stuff, huh?  Well, sure, maybe not if you’re one of those weirdoes that decided they wanted to be born in the 90’s…but what do you guys know, anyway?  Ya’ll thought Captain Planet was cool, for God’s sake.  Those of you who do have good taste are probably wondering where you can pick this stuff up:  the answer is—as Tom himself noted above—Gallery 1988’s Venice location, as of this Friday night.  As per usual, we’re expecting an abbreviated online drop in the days following the opening of Around The World in an 80’s Daze, and we should also have a more extensive look at the show’s (full) lineup.  So, this weekend, you’re gonna keep one eye on Gallery88’s Twitter feed, the other eye on their online store, and your Spidey Sense to the Limited Paper homepage on

Next up?  Fantastic Fest stuff. Click over to Page 2 for more goodness.


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