Comic-Con@Home: The Importance Of The Illustrated Movie Poster

by Ben Martin

It could be argued that even before this pandemic, movies were missing something. Or at least, I think so, but I’m only going to cover one of these absent aspects today- the illustrated movie poster. An artform of the medium that possesses more warmth and soul than its predominant photoshopped counterparts ever will. Back in the day, I would sometimes watch a film based on its poster art alone. Never has a photoshopped poster made me do such a thing. Thankfully, many other film fans like me share such an appreciation for this type of old-school artwork, including the folks over at Comic-Con@Home. Hence, the convention bringing us a “sequel” to their illustrated movie poster panel from last year with Masters of the Illustrated Film Poster – The Sequel!

This marvelous panel consists entirely of artists, all of whom have experience creating illustrated movie posters, be it by hand or digitally. To give you examples of each artist’s work, I am going to list each individual artist below, along with a sample of their work-

All these fine artists discuss the difficulties of creating illustrated artwork in the modern era of movie marketing. See, poster marketing agencies have a multitude of artists present concepts that compete for a studios acquisition, just as trailers do. Moreover, the turnaround time on designing these illustrated posters is getting tighter every time. However, these artists also agree that their specialties are receiving more attention than usual at the moment. They all have received more work during quarantine due to the difficulty of utilizing photography right now. Furthermore, illustrated posters are seeing a resurgence due to streaming, as well as the nostalgia of working filmmakers. Alas, studios, and their marketing departments seem to prefer photoshopped posters.
In addition to receiving an insight into the business, the thing I love most is witnessing the passions that remain ever-present in these artists and the art they create. Better yet, they all seem to maintain that they create art to put something good into the world. (As a firm believer that creativity should have a positive place in people’s lives, I could not appreciate such an approach to making art more. Needless to say, this panel is a much watch for anyone who enjoys traditional movie poster art!

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