A few months ago, I attended my first Ignite Phoenix event at the Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, Arizona. The Ignite Phoenix format is very straightforward; each presenter gets a stage and a captive audience for 5 minutes with 20 slides at 15 seconds a slide to share information on any topic that is close to their heart. The slides proceed automatically, so the challenge in the format lays in conveying something you feel passionately about in a truncated easy-to-digest format. Along with giving anyone in attendance a basic primer on topics as diverse as what happens to your body when you die in Maricopa County to a detailed mapping out of the Star Wars expanded universe, Ignite brings diverse communities from across the Valley together to share in a virtual shuffle playlist of topics.

As a valley creative with a very diverse set of interests that I'm deeply passionate and knowledgeable about (and also being something of a ham), I was really interested in Ignite when I first heard about it prior to Ignite #6. I submitted a topic for that event which wasn't chosen, but that further lit a fire of determination under me to present at Ignite #7. I felt that I could do a really awesome job at it and once I set my mind to something, I tend to really fixate on making it happen. I submitted my topic, "The Art of The Movie Poster," hours after Ignite #6 ended and much to my surprise and delight, I was chosen to be a presenter at Ignite Phoenix 7 amongst 17 others from a field of 80+ submissions, giving me less than a month to create an engaging and entertaining presentation for the estimated 600 to 650 who would be in attendance.


Now the challenge was how do I encapsulate a topic as broad as "The Art of the Movie Poster" in 5 minutes. Could I talk about the evolution of the lobby card from plays to the teaser for Toy Story 3 or The Twilight Saga: Eclipse you see in your local Harkins or AMC lobby? Maybe I could do a retrospective of one illustrator's career like Drew Struzan or John Alvin? Or maybe talk about the current floating heads and Trajan Pro/Futura Extra Heavy Photoshop monstrosities that plague current "key art"/poster design?

In the end, I went with something I felt I knew very well. I decided to theme my presentation around the evolution of the exploitation movie genre and the subsequent movie posters that really established it. This would allow for a narrative thread in my presentation, I could talk about cheesy yet memorable films like Reefer Madness - movies which if it were not for the over-the-top way they were marketed in their posters as salacious essays on the depravity of youth at the time would otherwise be completely forgotten and consigned to a dusty vault. I'm a tremendous film buff and these films hold a special place in my heart because the best ones have at their core a sincerity of purpose. These films werent meant to be bad cheesy films, it just happened that the technical skill and experience needed to execute the premise was lacking in some regard, but the flaws are what ultimately make the movie shine in one regard or the other - or at the very least make them memorable in some way.

I used the slideshow element of my Ignite Presentation to showcase a series of exploitation posters whose stories could be told fairly quickly - whether one was a foreign redubbing of a John Wayne tourism film for Hawaii that turned the Duke from a pencil pusher into a drug enforcement agent, to another that existed before the film it was advertising was even shot. I created the outline for the slideshow before I wrote my presentation and found that helped me in crafting a witty 5 minute presentation where I could riff on the background of the art design and yet still introduce some factual elements of the artist's techniques that would get the audience's attention, like how many illustrated posters are basically colored pencils over a thin acrylic paint base over a line drawing.

I also used a really deliberate way of presenting the posters I did chat about. I went out of my way to find really high resolution images of these posters and present them in a way that didn't mock them. Even if some of the films they were designed to market were of questionable societally redemptive value, these posters to me are art. They're artifacts that speak to a moment in history and share the story of that period. The background elements of each slide were derived from some of my own artwork. I create posters for repertory films screened for both the Midnite Movie Mamacita and the non-profit MADCAP Theaters and resurrected some of those retro-inspired poster designs for the poster-plastered backdrop seen throughout the slides in my Ignite presentation. Admittedly, one of the little things about the whole behind-the-scenes process was hearing from the Ignite Phoenix staff how much they dug the design of my slideshow, since I put a lot of myself and my work into it.

As the event drew closer, I found the most effective way to present was to let what I wanted to say come to me as I looked through my slides. I had a very solid idea of the narrative thread as I mentioned before and after going through the slideshow many times, I had a rough idea of what I wanted to say. I then practiced in Ignite format with Powerpoint pushing the slides along at 15 second intervals. Through practicing this way, I was able to finetune exactly what I wanted to say and time my delivery to certain key slides for educational, narrative and occassional comedic effect.

As the day of the event arrived, I got a chance to chat with my fellow presenters once we converged at the Art Museum and found our preparation processes were in many ways similar. It was really gratifying to have people to share this event that were in the same boat being first time presenters, mixed in with a few repeat presenters. The only trepidation as the curtain call drew closer was fear of tripping on the flimsy step to the stage which was later taped down and of blanking. However, as soon as I got on stage fresly micced up and after some encouraging texts from my friends, the talk flowed out of me. Ironically, the actual Ignite Phoenix presentation was the only time of all the times I practiced where I was spot on on all my timing queues, so even a few lines I had thrown away for running long got in since I didnt have to worry about being short for time. The crowd really got into my presentation and I hope I was able to entertain some of them enough to maybe check out some of the art books I had in my presenter's area and want to maybe see one of those B-movies via my 5 minute track on the Ignite shuffle of topics. Perhaps my talk might be one to get some other audience member to say, "hey, I could do that!" and submit their passion project up for a future Ignite event.

The event was everything I had hoped and I really want to thank Brian Carson, Jeff Moriarty, Matthew Petro, J.L. Knapp and the rest of the Ignite Phoenix crew of staff and volunteers for letting me be a part of the event . It was awesome and I would love to do it again.

For those in attendance who may be wondering a bit more about the posters I talked about or would like to see my slideshow again, here is a link so you can see all the slides and posters I chatted about HERE

Ignite Phoenix 7 Photos by azchrislee & moriartys on Flickr

| Share | POSTED ON Jun 20 2010 | COMMENT ON ENTRY


This is the first exclusive print we will have available at the 2010 Phoenix Comicon on May 27 - 30th 2010. Its based on the theatrical DAWN OF THE DEAD poster and features popular Marvel character DEADPOOL ... well his zombie head version from the MARVEL ZOMBIES universe. Its called "DAWN OF THE HEAD" - limited edition of probably 25, find us at Table 24. More details visit

| Share | POSTED ON May 17 2010 | COMMENT ON ENTRY


VICTORMORENO.COM will be at the 2010 PHOENIX COMICON at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, AZ. Our table is Table 24. We will have several exclusive prints for sale which we will be posting leading up to the event. Here's one of the first posters we've designed to promote the PHOENIX COMICON ZOMBIE WALK and ZOMBIE BEAUTY PAGEANT on May 28th. Check out the image here:

For more info, visit

| Share | POSTED ON May 13 2010 | COMMENT ON ENTRY


Yesterday, I was at Samurai Comics in Central Phoenix Arizona for their 2nd Comic Create event. I did some sketches for fans and networked with my Tiny Army pals Madame M and Eric Mengel for a bit, but as I also had some free drawing time, I got a head start on the next January poster release you'll see up here on - a poster based on my personal favorite zombie movie of all time - LUCIO FULCI'S ZOMBI 2 aka ZOMBIE!

Here's the main image of the poster, an infamous headshot of our lead ZOMBIE as he is GOING TO EAT YOU. Right now, I'm working on the rest of the collage imagery -- including ZOMBIE VS. SHARK! ZOMBIE VS. SHARK!

ZOMBIE should be for sale on the site near the end of December in early January - keep your eyes peeled!

Main image for my next poster - FULCI ZOMBIE - coming soon! on Twitpic

| Share | POSTED ON Dec 13 2009 | COMMENT ON ENTRY

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