Back in March 2023, the Austin-based collectibles and poster company Mondo was hit with a wave of layoffs from parent company Funko, including the company’s former co-founders and creative directors. Today, those leaders have announced their comeback.
Former Mondo creative directors Spencer Hickman, Eric Garza, Mitch Putnam, and Mo Shafeek have teamed up with CEO Jenny Jacobi to form a new company called Mutant, which will release limited-edition artwork, posters, soundtracks on vinyl, collectibles, events, and more.
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The company is being formed underneath SpectreVision, Elijah Wood and Daniel Noah’s genre-bending production company. The company is kicking off its launch with a vinyl soundtrack for Netflix’s “Society of the Snow.” The LP features artwork from Mo Shafeek adorning the score from composer Michael Giacchino as well as liner notes from director J.A. Bayona.
Next up, Mutant will release vinyl for “Wonka” and is also teaming with Pressure Printing to produce an intricately sculpted and foil-stamped fine art print by Aaron Horkey. Beyond that, they’ll be unveiling posters for “Dune: Part Two.”
Like Mondo before it, Mutant’s mission is to celebrate underserved fandoms with their team’s passionate love of film and TV, art, music, video games, and pop culture. The company will work closely with studio partners, including, Disney, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, Legendary Pictures, and Netflix as well as independent filmmakers, composers, and creators.
Upcoming poster releases include work from Aaron Horkey, Nicolas Delort, Matt Taylor, Deb Lee, Phantom City Creative, Rory Kurtz, Matthew Woodson, Greg Ruth, Francesco Francavilla, Teagan White, Daniel Danger, Murugiah, We Buy Your Kids, Ken Taylor and more. The music team is deep into productions featuring scores by Michael Giacchino, Hans Zimmer, Carter Burwell, Isabella Summers, Goblin, Laura Karpman, Le Matos, Simon Waskow, and more.
Wood and Noah, Spectrevision’s co-founders, considered themselves fans of Mondo’s work for years.
“It’s not hyperbole to say that we’re superfans of this team and their work,” Wood and Noah said in a joint statement. “Our offices are covered in their prints and our shelves lined with their records. It’s a true privilege to provide a platform for them to not only continue the incredible work they’re known for, but to also expand in ways that they’ve been keen to for years.”
The Mutant creative team currently consists of Mitch Putnam and Eric Garza, heading up posters, original artwork, and additional consumer product lines, and music industry veterans Spencer Hickman and Mo Shafeek, leading Mutant’s music division. Mutant CEO Jenny Jacobi has worked with Mondo, Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas, Drafthouse Films, Valve (Steam), SXSW, Sundance, and the Telluride Film Festival. She currently serves on advisory boards for the SXSW Film Festival, Vidiots Foundation, and the Overlook Film Festival.
“Joining this visionary team under the Mutant banner is an incredible opportunity, and I’m honored to work with some of the very best creative minds to bring fandom to life and to celebrate and elevate artists and creators in the process,” Jacobi said.
Along with SpectreVision the other founding partners are Tim League, the original founder of Mondo and Alamo Drafthouse and Steven Demmler, Chief Executive Officer of Talon Entertainment Finance. “I’ve worked with this incredible team for nearly fifteen years. When I got the call from Steven Demmler and SpectreVision to reassemble the squad and help enable the next exciting chapter, I immediately said hell yes,” League said.
“I jumped at the opportunity to help join SpectreVision’s artistic integrity and ingenuity together with the singular vision of the masterminds who innovated the art and collectibles space into what it is today. The potential of this natural pairing is limitless,” Demmler said.
Putnam founded Mondo in 2004 and was joined by Garza in 2011. The company went from a niche collectible brand to a cult favorite juggernaut. The company was previously part of Tim League’s Alamo Drafthouse and was acquired by Funko in the summer of 2022. The Mondo brand still exists and prints posters within Funko.
“We’re extremely excited about being back in the poster game as we aim for a ‘return to form’ for limited edition artwork. Our priorities center around art-focused projects with an emphasis on championing our favorite artists, designers, writers, and filmmakers and continuing to push the boundaries of what we’ve accomplished already,” Garza and Putnam said.
Hickman, a music industry professional for over three decades, founded Record Store Day in the UK and Death Waltz Recording Co. in 2012 before joining Mondo and merging labels in 2015. Shafeek has been creative director of Music for Mondo/Death Waltz Recording Co. along with Hickman for the last 13 years and in that time co-produced nearly 500 physical sountract re-issues.
“Gone are the days of monoculture—and with that, we’ve seen a fracturing of cultural awareness around much of the media produced year after year. With Mutant, we aim to build a foundation for fandom with curation and celebration—not only for the biggest soundtracks of the year but also for those films, television and video games that get lost in the sea of choices in the world of streaming. We want to build a community where all are welcome by creating tangible pop culture products for all fandoms,” Hickman and Shafeek said in a statement.
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