Friday, January 25, 2013

Heads Up: Joe Wilson's "Princess Mononoke" Variant Art Print

UPDATE (1/30): Heads up, folks! Joe's Princess Mononoke variant goes on sale Thursday (1/31) at 8 AM CST. 20 of the prints will be available through the artist's Big Cartel store, while the other 20 will be sold by Print Club London. Be sure to follow @joe_wilson on Twitter.

[Note: I've already written a small essay about how impressed I was with Joe Wilson's Princess Mononoke poster, so instead of rewriting why I think this soon-to-be-released variant version is so gorgeous, I figured I might just republish the original write-up instead. I did, however, include new sales information. Enjoy.]

I love Miyazaki's movies. On a completely surface level, his films are beautifully illustrated and a triumph of traditional animation over a more CGI-intensive process*. Don't get me wrong, Pixar and Dreamwork's offerings can be (and often are) great, but I would gladly choose something hand drawn in place of a digitally rendered wire frame any day of the week. But it's more than just that. Miyazaki's storytelling exhibits so much affection for its characters and the world they inhabit, it's impossible not to be swept away by what's happening on-screen. And while my all-time favorite film of his would have to be Spirited Away, the number two spot belongs to Princess Mononoke (with the third going to NausicaƤ of the Valley of the Wind.) It goes without saying that Mononoke is easy on the eyes (this is Miyazake we're talking about, after all), but the movie's epic tale with its examination of man's eternal struggle to rule everything around him no matter the cost, and the Japanese folklore the director so effortlessly weaves in throughout its telling, is what really makes this film an infinitely rewatchable masterpiece. I mention all this because tonight I'll be writing about a print which, for me at least, captured that sense of awe and amazement I had when first seeing the movie. Without further ado, I humbly request you take a peek at Joe Wilson's stunning Princess Mononoke poster below.

Princess Mononoke Art Print (Variant)
Joe Wilson
500 mm x 700 mm (Screen Print) - Signed and Numbered
£65 (Around $103) - Limited to 40

I'm a big fan of Joe Wilson's work (you can read my review of his Blade Runner poster by clicking here), but this is without a doubt his best print yet. The detail is mesmerizing and even with its limited color palette, the poster evokes the lush and bountiful woodland depicted in the film to a tee. I'm also delighted that the artist chose not to include any of the human characters in the print's design, eschewing the conventions typically tied to a Mononoke poster (or any poster, for that matter) and instead focuses solely on the movie's more ecological elements (which, by the way, look freaking amazing.) Speaking of the ecological, Wilson's attention to every sinuous strand of gnarled tree bark is a testament to how much time must have gone into this artwork and speaks volumes about his interest in the film. Not sure if you could tell, but I'm really loving this print and I'm fairly certain this will be showing up somewhere in my top five posters of 2012. Honestly, the only negative I find myself contemplating now is that I won't have a Joe Wilson print for every Miyazaki film. Oh well, at least I'll always have Mononoke.

Close-Up of Joe Wilson's Princess Mononoke (Variant) Print

The Princess Mononoke variant will be available through Joe's online storefront and Print Club London's website either this week or next. The poster will be limited to an edition of 40 (i.e., very limited) and is going to cost £65 (approximately $103). For exact details on the drop, I'd highly recommend following @joe_wilson and @printclublondon on Twitter. For more info on the artist, head over to and check out his Tumblr blog.

*I know, I know, Princess Mononoke was the first film Miyazaki used computers to aid him in making sure he met release deadlines. Still, the majority of the work, as I understand it, was done with more traditional animation methods.

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