Contra and Castlevania are two of the most iconic video games in history, and both recently got brand new poster art and soundtrack LPs from Mondo, a record label and gallery that specializes in collectibles for classic and contemporary movies. As Mondo's record label manager Mo Shafeek tells Creators, commissioning artworks for standalone screen-printed posters and the soundtracks was refreshing, given that the company has mostly worked on film and television soundtracks for many years. For Mondo, these two new sets of work are designed to appeal to anyone with a special reverence for classic video games from the 80s.
Mondo's Creative Director Eric Garza tells Creators that the posters came about after he got a sneak peek at the soundtrack art. Garza and Shafeek, who were fans of the artists behind the soundtrack work, Eric Powell and Sachin Teng, felt it was a no-brainer that the art could translate into posters.
"Eric Powell actually did the artwork for our second title in our Castlevania series, Simon's Quest, and after seeing the results I knew I wanted to get him one other title right away," says Shafeek. "His artwork for Contra is incredible. His cover illustration captures the tone of the game perfectly—the original 80s art for the game was always evocative of Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger in their Rambo and Predator prime, respectively. But the characters of Bill and Lance have since developed into their own over the course of many games, so we were conscious of giving them a unique representation in our artwork."
Powell's work on the Contra vinyl release and poster is impressive. The vinyl release in and of itself is a work of art, from the front and back sleeves to the record itself and the gatefold, which depicts one of the game's alien entities.
Garza describes Teng, creator of the Castlevania poster, as an incredibly talented and thoughtful artist. When he and Shafeek saw Teng's concepts for the Castlevania poster, it immediately evoked an illustration one might see in a shop window or arcade advertising the game.
"I'm really happy we were able to include the Japanese text for the variant," Garza notes. "That idea of making this feel period authentic was important to us and Sachin really nailed the execution quite flawlessly. This is one of my favorite posters of the year so far."
In addition to the poster and soundtrack art from Powell and Teng, Mondo made a Castlevania pin available at Comic-Con. They also displayed a statue at their booth, which will be made available for pre-order at a later date.
Garza says many of the people at Mondo grew up playing Castlevania, and have a soft spot in their hearts for the game. For him and many others, the game still holds up incredibly well with its gameplay, design, music, and characters.
"It's all still so strong and has had a lasting influence over an entire generation of people," says Garza. "It's incredibly exciting that the title is now seeing a bit of a resurgence with the new Netflix series, which was great. The statue [sculpted by Matthew Black] is something Brock Otterbacher, Mondo's creative director of toys/collectibles, has been working on for a while and it's been a real treat to see that come together."
Click here to see more of Mondo's many artworks, vinyl soundtracks, VHS reissues, toys, and apparel.