I bought my first poster when I was eleven. Yes, it DID have a unicorn on it, but that’s beside the point. What matters is the love of art and collecting that was sparked by that one tacky poster. Now, as an adult I like many others have discovered a new world of poster collecting, and it’s called Mondo.
Mondo is considered by many to be the hottest source of pop culture posters. Ask any fan on a poster release day and they will testify to how fast Mondo posters sell out. And, if you were to look at the many poster forums, fan pages, and social media outlets you will see a predominately male fan base. But, hidden amongst the fanboys, you will find a growing number of female collectors. And they are not looking for unicorns.
These are the women who wait in line for days for MondoCon. You see them attending gallery shows and secret screenings. They have flat files full of posters and walls lined with frames. Some have been collecting for several decades, while others are relatively new to the hobby. They are a growing subculture of women with money to spend on the nostalgic artwork of their youth. Whether it’s Disney, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Star Wars, what binds them together is Mondo.
Sure, the thrill of the hunt drives most collectors, but for the women I’ve met it seems to go a bit deeper. For example, the women on the MondoTrader Facebook page seem to view it as a more of a community. They become lifelong friends with other fans, visit each other across the country and spend hours discussing their collections and grails. As collector Angelica Vega puts it, “I fell in love with the art and then I fell in love with the people surrounding the art. The artists, galleries and employees of all the different events are all fans which has been most exciting. Everyone is very personable and passionate and I have made many friends which I will keep forever.”
Women are even a part of the everyday functions of Mondo! Whether it’s running customer service, handling social media, or working the financials, there’s a small team of women keeping the poster giant moving. They work behind the scenes to make sure things like MondoCon, gallery shows, and poster releases go smoothly. And they’ve also noticed an increase in women joining the fray. “I definitely see more and more women commenting and replying on Twitter and showing up to the gallery shows,” said Mary Rose, Mondo Marketing Manager. Women might not seem as present due to the overwhelming male influence. “It’s a growing hobby that is for now mostly men, it takes bravery and courage for a woman to become outspoken in a male dominated group, but it’s slowly happening,” says Roxy Arfa, Mondo Customer Service.
The presence of women in the poster community can also be seen in the growing number of female artists. Over the last few years more and more women have been commissioned byMondo to create posters. Artists such as: Becky Cloonan, Tula Lotay, and Rosemary Valero-O'Connell to name a few.
Women are not only buying posters, they are also creating them, marketing them, and selling them! And as Mondo continues to grow and reach a wider audience, you can be sure to see a greater female presence growing with them. That’s right fellas; we’re coming for your Mitchell’s and your Stout’s!
*Thank you Roxy Arfa, Mary Rose Wiley, Sharlene Casaclang and Amiee Gonzalez Johnson of Mondo.