2015_alt2Deciding this year’s list of alt posters has been the hardest its ever been. The poster collecting scene is in full bloom and ubiquitous – from the fan art, both licensed and unlicensed gallery output and private commissions, there’s just too much great stuff out there to keep up with. I know I’m leaving a lot out, but here are the few posters (in no particular order) that I couldn’t forget.

ise_ananphada_the_fallThe Fall / Ise Ananphada: Thai illustrator Ise Ananphada was a major find this year. From what I can tell, this poster for Tarsem’s The Fall put her on the map, and she’s been fully booked up ever since. Like Tarsem’s film, Ananphada’s poster is a work of sublime sophistication. It’s delicate, ornate and vibrant, drawing us deep into a world that could only be brought to life by the miracle of film.

avengers-age-of-ultron-poster-tyler-stoutAge of Ultron / Tyler Stout: Despite what anyone else says, I truly believe that Marvel hit it outta the park with Age of Ultron. It was packed to the brim, but nothing was wasted. Upon repeat viewings, the film’s density yields more revelations and texture for the sake of its characters, and its all laid out, pretty simply and intelligently. I feel the same way about this poster. Stout has been known for his busy compositions, but this one clicks. All the characters are accounted for and in a way that calls out their diversity and the ever growing scope of the Marvel cinematic universe.

Victo_Ngai_Solaris-RegSolaris / Victo Ngai: From the second I laid eyes on Victo Ngai’s Solaris poster, I knew this would make the list. It’s not at all what I would imagine from the cold, geometric and sterile aesthetic of the film, but a warmer, more dreamlike interpretation. That willingness to contrast the film instead of simply evoke it at base level has stuck with me and offers a nice counterpart to Tarkovsky’s maddening masterpiece.

Jason-Edmiston-The-Texas-Chainsaw-Massacre-RegThe Texas Chainsaw Massacre / Jason Edmiston: Jason Edmiston’s poster for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is probably the most agreeable on this list. It sold out real quick, and its a really smart take on a film that’s seen countless posters. In a single evocative and striking image, he captures the terror of the film without escape or mercy.

edward_kinsella_andrei_rublev_regAndrei Rublev / Edward Kinsella: Andrei Rublev is a film that doesn’t get a lot of posters. That makes it all the more special that Edward Kinsella delivered a knockout that doesn’t need any followup. He’s captured the texture of the film in both idea and execution, and his use of flat and 3D forms is masterful.

invisible-man_var_elvisdeadThe Invisible Man / Elvisdead: The Invisible Man isn’t as overdone as the other universal monsters, but that doesn’t make Elvisdead’s contribution any less impressive. At first glance, it looks like a photo, and then you notice all the meticulous brush strokes. Unlike most illustrated works, this one has an incredible sense of lighting and atmosphere, forcing our eyes to the center and bathing the image with a ghastly glow.

MULHOLLAND_DRIVE_KEVIN_TONGMulholland Drive / Kevin Tong: This is such a simple idea, its insane that its never been done before. By tying Escher into Lynch, Tong’s captured the labyrinthian psychological brilliance of the director and distilled his film into one, powerful image.

matt_Ryan_tobin_halloweenHalloween 3 / Matt Ryan Tobin: Without a villain that’s easy to define, Halloween 3 is also one of the hardest films to capture. That wasn’t a problem for Matt Ryan Tobin, whose retired the underrated film in a single go. His glitchy presentation is perfect, calling out some of its iconic scenes in a way that makes sense, and without resorting to floating heads or disjointed elements for no reason. The compositional chaos and retro aesthetic drive it over the edge.

tomer_hanuka_badlands_regBadlands / Tomer Hanuka: You can’t talk about end of the year lists without including at least one poster from Tomer Hanuka, so here’s his poster for Terrence Malick’s Badlands. I originally had Hanuka’s Dr. Strangelove piece in this spot, before realizing my mistake. From the iconography of the image to the bold type treatment, this poster is flat-out stunning, calling back to Malick’s first masterpiece and finally giving it the credit it deserves.

Pierrot_Le_Fou_Yuko_ShimizuPierrot Le Fou / Yuko Shimizu: I went through my French New Wave phase and fell for the loosely defined genre hard – which makes Yuko Shimizu’s Pierrot Le Fou poster a must for me. Godard films are dense to say the least, so when someone turns in a creative solution such as this one, its not something you forget. I love how it captures the film’s playfulness, and how its a torrent of colorful ideas, just like this poster.

PIECES_jay_shawPieces / Jay Shaw: Leave it to Jay Shaw to deliver another simple idea that speaks volumes. From the violent color palette, to the disjointed body parts, there’s an unsettling nature to what we’re seeing, even if there isn’t any overt gore or violence. I love love love this one and its one of the year’s most overlooked.

nicolas_delort_inceptionInception / Nicolas Delort: There were a lot of Nicolas Delort posters to consider this year, but I’m going to go with this one, simply because I feel no other artist has cracked this particular film as good as he has. Using simple black and white to his advantage, he’s played up the film’s expansive visuals but also its deeply psychological scope. There’s a lot of elegance and subtlety in such a dense image, and that’s a line that very few can balance, yet alone attain.

Mike_Saputo_zodiacZodiac / Mike Saputo: I almost forgot to include this poster from Mike Saputo, because it’s really recent, but hey, it’s incredible. With the film’s central figure shrouded in mystery, this is the best way to exhibit him in a way that’s instantly striking, yet still maintains his mystery. I love that the film’s steely color palette is relegated to the central figure, framing him within a bright incendiary orange that oozes atmosphere and urgency.