Mondo Purchased From Alamo Drafthouse by Funko

Well, this is a hell of a thing to dig into first thing Monday morning.

Enough that I had to dust off the blog.

Let’s get into the key snippets…

Variety:

Funko is popping cult-fave pop-culture brand Mondo into its merch mix.

Under a deal with indie theater chain Alamo Drafthouse, Funko acquired Mondo, which creates and sells vinyl records and soundtracks, posters, toys, apparel, books, games and other collectibles. About 30 Mondo employees are joining Funko.

Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed, but it’s obviously not massive. Funko says it does not expect the Mondo acquisition to have a material impact on its financial performance in 2022.

Alamo Drafthouse:

Driven by passion, Mondo’s core team of creatives transformed that small ticket booth into something none of us could have ever imagined. Nineteen years into the journey, I look back at the amazing body of work that Mondo has created in posters, soundtracks, and collectibles and am truly in awe. I couldn’t be more proud of the amazing team that has over and over again set a staggeringly high bar for imagination, quality, and beauty.

That said, the past two years have been brutal and harrowing at Alamo and Mondo. We filed bankruptcy and thankfully emerged from COVID in fighting shape, ready to continue our mission of being the best damn cinema that has ever or will ever exist. While we were closed, however, Mondo was our saving grace, the only facet of our business that kept the lights on.

Now, with the dark days behind us and each weekend bringing box office successes, Alamo is seizing opportunities to grow our cinema footprint with seven new locations across the country that have been announced recently and more to come. As the company resources are focused on this growth, we realized that perhaps a bold and exciting new chapter is about to begin for Mondo.

Over the past few months, we searched exhaustively to find a perfect partner who saw what was unique and special about Mondo and was in a position to meaningfully invest in Mondo, nurture the team, and further its reach and vision. Funko is exactly that unicorn.

The team that made Mondo amazing is staying together, making the transition to Funko, and will continue their same work with the same creative vision. I am super excited about the future plans I know about, and I’m sure I will soon marvel at the work that is not yet even a lightbulb spark.

Mondo:

For 20 years, we have poured our heart and souls into this weird little thing that Rob Jones and Tim League started in a closet in the corner of an Alamo Drafthouse lobby… then out of a closet underneath the seats of a Drafthouse auditorium (seriously). Eventually, we opened our own gallery space, and even started our own convention.

We have always loved following our passions and doing things our own way, and we’ll be forever thankful to the Alamo Drafthouse for supporting those passions and helping us grow into what we are today. But we needed a bigger boat… and that’s where Funko comes in. They understand what Mondo is today and are eager to help us become the company we want to be.

From the outside, Mondo might seem like it is changing… but on the inside much is staying the same. We remain the same team, and our goals remain unchanged. We are still the same bunch of weirdos who share an undying obsession with popular (and maybe less popular) culture, and a craving to make cool stuff with the best artists in the world.

Lord knows I’ve spent enough of the past 14 years on this site worshiping the creations of the team at Mondo, so I had to dig in.

At its core, this isn’t a horrible pairing. Mondo lives and dies by their ability to get licenses, Funko has all the licenses.

The bigger concern is one of quality control. Funko is a very mass produced product. Mondo is not. Mondo is an artisan celebration of pop culture, with each artist selected and chosen specifically as a pairing.

Will this be able to remain the status quo with this purchase? My cynical side says no, but I’m very willing (if not wanting) to be wrong.

Let’s see how this plays out.

Media Diet: February 2022

Photo by Gemma Evans on Unsplash

Shamelessly stolen from Kottke.org, here’s my media diet for February 2022

…only 11 days later than I intended for it to be.


Movies

  • Tick Tick Boom: A tour-de-force performance from Andrew Garfield here, but I have to admit, there’s not a ton of substance to the story of the musical itself. Beautifully shot and choreographed, sure, but I wonder if the film would be a tenth as effective without Garfield at the center? (B)
  • Licorice Pizza: I am an absolute sucker for coming-of-age movies, and this one might be one of the best. A glorious, dream-like homage to the awkwardness of growing up, and a love letter to 70’s California. Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman were INCREDIBLE. (A)
  • The King’s Man: A top tip here — you cannot be both a serious World War II drama AND an irreverent skewering of one. An atonal mess, even with how awesome Ralph Finnes is here. (C-)
  • The Matrix Resurrections: Normally, I’d roll my eyes at constant fourth wall breaking, but the concept of revisiting The Matrix after 20 years, and being aware of the weight of it all really worked for me. The action was very much lacking, however, sadly. (C)

TV

  • I’ve been revisiting Brooklyn Nine Nine from the beginning, and it’s been an absolute joy.

Comics

  • Nightwing, Vol. 1: Leaping into the Light by Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo: Easily the best DC Comics release I’ve read since Mister Miracle. Brilliant writing, blue-sky artwork, a complete joy. (A+)
  • Beta Ray Bill: Argent Star by Daniel Warren Johnson: Beta Ray Bill German suplexes someone. COMIC OF THE YEAR. (A-)
  • Moon Knight, Vol. 1: The Midnight Mission by Jed McKay and Alessandro Cappuccio: A nice, story resetting run just in time for the Disney+ series. McKay is quietly becoming one of Marvel’s best writers. (B+)
  • Hedra by Jesse Lonergan: A simple, wordless, absolutely awesome 48-page one-shot story about a journey into space. Very much my shit. (B+)

Books

  • Blood, Sweat & Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road by Kyle Buchanan: It turns out the story behind one of the best movies of the 21st century is as enthralling and exciting as the film itself. Proves simply that the creation of all great things is a tenuous process. (A+)

Music

  • And So I Watch You From Afar – Jettison: The latest by the incredible Irish four-piece post rock group is a lush concept album. Meant to be seen as a live performance with visual compliment and a live orchestra, the album can only capture the audio, but what a great album it is. (B+)

Other

  • We upgraded our Internet! I recommend it. And also getting all your equipment in person instead of waiting for your ISP to send it to you.

See you next month!

STRANGER THINGS Season 4 Split in Half, Series to End with Season 5, And More Revealed

Stranger Things on Twitter:

With nine scripts, over eight-hundred pages, almost two years of filming, thousands of visual effects shots, and a runtime nearly twice the length of any previous season, Stranger Things 4 was the most challenging season yet, but also the most rewarding one. Everyone involved is incredibly proud of the results, and we can’t wait to share it with you.

Given the unprecedented length, and to get it to you as soon as possible, Season 4 will be released in two volumes. Volume One will release on May 27th; Volume Two will release five weeks later on July 1st.

So that’s the good news. It’s coming soon. And it’s bigger than ever.

It’s also the beginning of the end.

Seven years ago, we planned out the complete story arc for Stranger Things. At the time, we predicted the story would last four to five seasons. It proved too large to tell in four, but — as you’ll soon see for yourselves – we are now hurtling toward our finale. Season will be the penultimate season; season 5 will be the last.

The Duffer Brothers taking to Twitter today to announce the long-awaited return of Stranger Things, but also confirming that the series will reach a conclusion.

They go on to note that the 5-season-arc is the end for Eleven and the gang, but there may be more from the Stranger Things universe, but that makes sense — I long felt after Season 1 that the series should’ve been more anthology based, but the redemption of the series in Season 3 has me interested to see what 4 and 5 hold.

Could the reach exceed the grasp? We find out this May.

It’s John Cena vs. Wile E Coyote in the Forthcoming COYOTE VS. ACME

Deadline:

Following the massive success of its recent Peacemaker series that included a season 2 renewal, Warner Bros. and John Cena are staying in business with each other as Cena is set to star in the WB’s Looney Tunes animated hybrid pic Coyote vs. Acme. Dave Green will direct with a screenplay from written by Samy Burch, based on the Looney Tunes characters & The New Yorker humor article “Coyote v. Acme” by Ian Frazier.

The film follows Wile E. Coyote, who after ACME products fail him one too many times in his dogged pursuit of the Roadrunner, decides to hires a billboard lawyer to sue the ACME Corporation. The case pits Wile E. and his lawyer against the latter’s intimidating former boss (Cena), but a growing friendship between man and cartoon stokes their determination to win.

John Cena really continues to amaze.

George Perez and Kurt Busiek’s JLA / AVENGERS Crossover To FINALLY Be Reprinted

Hero Initiative:

For the first time in decades, the acclaimed JLA/Avengers crossover will be reprinted by Hero Initiative, the charity dedicated to helping comic book creators in medical or financial need. With only 7000 copies being printed, Hero Initiative is honoring one of George Pérez seminal bodies of work and his long-time support of Hero.

JLA/Avengers will be available in March from participating comic book stores and will be distributed via Diamond Comic Distributors. This 288-page full color, softbound volume features the original 2003 four-issue co-publishing venture between DC and Marvel, written by Kurt Busiek with art by George Pérez. The book carries a retail price of $29.99 and is limited to 7000 copies.

This collection also features 64 pages of companion content and will reprint introductions by original Avengers writer/editor Stan Lee and Justice League of America editor Julius Schwartz. A bonus in the Hero Initiative edition is a new afterword by Kurt Busiek.

I’m totally in for this. Now to figure out where/how to order it…

(Also, I would’ve loved a hardcover.)