HBO has done the medieval nerd subculture a solid with its uber-popular show Game of Thrones. Usually, mail-ware is exiled to the far corners of the ComicCon exhibition floor. The season is ripe with progression, however, and harnesses and girdles would’ve been totally appropriate in Austin for SXSW during the Mondo Gallery Show, where a ton of awesome Game of Thrones tribute art was on display and a brand-new IPA was released to celebrate the shows’ season 3 premiere.
Fortunately for formerly closeted medieval fanatics and everyone else, mimoZine had just touched down in Austin and had a chance to stop by the show to let you know what went down. We were so amped on our newest Adventure Time partnership that we brought BMO to the party.
I spoke with the lovely Jessica Olsen-COO of Mondo Tees, who is not only a total babe with some serious fashion sense, but a real nice Gal with a great crew (ie. creative director Justin Ishmael and brother Sean). She is also featured in mimoZine’s first installment of 3 Questions in 2 Minutes below:
As you can see, we (maybe just me) were goofin’ off and I realized after the segment that I hadn’t asked her everything I should have. I blame the ‘Iron Throne’ Blonde Ale by Brewery Ommegang; but Jessica was cool enough to fill in the blanks below.
Mϟ:What is the smallest run of posters you have made?
JO: We do our best to continue to expand the edition size of our posters to grow with our fanbase while keeping the limited and collectible nature of the prints. It’s easy to tell you the largest run of posters we’ve made – last summer’s THE DARK KNIGHT RISES by Olly Moss. It was our first “timed edition” which means it was on sale for a specified amount of time (24 hours) and the poster sales dictated the edition size (which was 9,350 in this case).
Mϟ:What was the first poster people started asking to purchase at the Alamo?
JO: I came on in 2010, and fans were collecting Mondo posters well before that. Tyler Stout’s THE THING comes to mind as one of earlier posters that still gets people excited. And the STAR WARS series in 2010 is what put us on the map in terms of expanding our fan base.
Mϟ:Where did the GoT beer collaboration come from?
JO: Mondo wasn’t involved in that collaboration, we just wanted to help promote the fact that the beer was created. Ommegang is an excellent brewery in upstate NY that specializes in Belgium-style ales. I love that the take on the beer and the packaging was so dignified and thoughtful. The quote from the Ommegang brewmaster was “With a Lannister currently on the throne, it made sense to do a delicate, but piercing Golden Blonde Ale with Noble hops. Iron Throne is certainly fair in color and soft in appearance, yet it still possesses a complexity and bite to be on guard for.” Love that.
Mϟ:What was your favorite piece from the show? Why?
JO: That’s a really difficult choice, but the two that come to mind are “Samwell” by Esao Andrews and “The Hound” by Warwick Johnson Cadwell.
Mϟ: You said your favorite character on GoT was Samwell; but why? You are, like, a total babe, and Samuel is a self-proclaimed “useless coward” and he’s not great on the battlefield.
JO: Ha, it’s funny I’ve given it some thought since you asked that, and I probably would have said Arya Stark if given more time to think about it. I think Samwell was on the brain because I liked Esao’s piece from the show so much. I do like Samwell a lot. He’s gentle and has a soft heart which gets him in to trouble but he’s smart and I don’t think he’s a coward. I guess I’d just like to take care of him and tell him everything is going to be okay.
Mϟ: I know you said you were friends with Greg Rivera and L’amour Supreme – do you see your brand getting involved with street wear or vinyl toys/action figures? Your tees (which were the product you started Mondo with) would already look great on the racks at MISHKA.
JO: Justin Ishmael (one of our Creative Directors) is a big toy collector and he and Greg collect similar stuff. We’ve definitely discussed toys but there’s other things we are more focused on right now – like our vinyl soundtrack arm (we just released DRIVE, and have another release in April.) But yeah we love Mishka. It would be cool to collaborate at some point.
Mϟ: How do you use social media to grow your brand?
JO: I have a background in social media marketing, but the companies I worked with before had no idea how to use the tools because they weren’t using them themselves in their personal life. I think it becomes a whole lot easier to use something like Twitter or Facebook or a blog or Instagram if you essentially grew up using similar tools. You eliminate the need for a “Social Media Strategy” and just use the platforms the same way you would email or a telephone. We have just over 40k followers on Twitter, but we’ve never had a meeting to say “how can we increase our following on Twitter?” If you do stuff that people are interested in, people start following you so they can keep up with new stuff you have going on.
Mϟ:Last year at SDCC you produced some Adventure Time product – do you have any future plans for partnering with Cartoon Network again? PS: We should totally hang out in San Diego this summer.
JO: For sure let’s hang out! And yes, we still have the Adventure Time license, and are huge fans of the show. We’re not nearly done exploring what we can do creatively with that license.
Mϟ: Which poster is hanging above your bed? Or in your bedroom in general?
JO: Oh boy. Can I tell you which posters are in stack in my office ready to be framed? the 2010 Rolling Roadshow series by Olly Moss, Jaws by Laurent Durieux, and Kill Bill by Tyler Stout. I don’t have any Mondo posters in my bedroom, because as much as I love my job, it seems like bad feng shui to have work stuff where I’m trying to sleep. In my bedroom I have original art from Jay Howell, Jonny Negron, Laurent Durieux, Scott Campbell and the original cover art from a Sweet Valley High book by James L. Mathewuse [EDITOR'S NOTE: I want to see that cover art!].
Thanks again to Jessica, Justin, Mo, the rest of the crew at Mondo, HBO and Game of Thrones for having us and keeping design alive on planet Earth, specifically Texas! If you are going to Wondercon this weekend, make sure to visit Mondo at booth 576. Then, watch the Game of Thrones Season 3 premiere on Sunday. Can you say nerd-date weekend?
Refresh your memory: Chainmail-ware is now socially acceptable.