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Stephen Romano Bringing the RETRO 13 to Dread Central

Around these parts we’re big supporters of killer poster art, and the craze is growing. A lot of people over the last few years have been cranking out the kind of artwork that is simply to die for. The Dude Designs, Mondo, they’re all some of the absolute best there is.

Yet another incredible artist is out there but has been kind of absent. I speak of Stephen Romano, and let me tell you… the man is BACK and right here on Dread Central. Read on for the first details of his RETRO 13 project!

From the man himself…


A lot of people were really blown away by Shock Festival, and even in that book, I referenced a lot of existing, iconic movie poster images. It was part of the fun of that project. I think the only negative criticism I got on that book was that the art was all so intriguing that people got a little frustrated they couldn’t actually watch any of those films. It was the SPINAL TAP of the Grindhouse scene!

So with RETRO 13, I’m creating a series of posters for actual films, many of which are very obscure and still only available on VHS. I’m utilizing interesting new takes on the subject matter in terms of the art, and with each film I’ll be including some historical commentary, which will hopefully get people interested in seeking a few of these films out. Of course, I HAD to include a few well-known classics, such as Phantom of the Paradise, but you’ll be seeing a very–shall we say, UNIQUE new take on those? Yes, let’s say that.

There’s been a real renaissance in fan-created films and poster art in the past several years, and I see great work all the time, in many different and innovative styles. But what I’m going for with RETRO 13 is very traditional. It’s not so minimalist or post-modern, like you see with a lot of this stuff at Mondo or Deviantart or wherever. That’s why it’s called RETRO 13. You’re going to see thirteen all-new movie posters, done in the exact style of the eras they represent, complete with fold marks and aging, and it will be the MOST authentic series like this ever created. For example, I’ll be showcasing an all-new Hellraiser poster, but I’ve created it in the exact art and design style of a 1970s Hammer film from American International! That’s where were headed with this. And I think, as an illustrator, it’s my best work ever.

I’m giving this one away for free, in the spirit I mentioned earlier of fan art on the Internet. This is not a book I’m selling. This is not a film I’m promoting. This is a unique “online gallery” project that I want everyone to be able to have access to at no charge whatsoever. I want people to download these images and collect them, share them, show their friends. We’ve taken steps to ensure that the image quality will be relatively high when they are posted, so you can see the amount of detail that went into the art. When the entire series is completed later this year, I’ll be offering it as a high-resolution digital download as well to anyone who asks for it. That will also be free to fans. Let’s go viral with this motherfucker!

I’ve done a lot of work as a poster artist, and I think Shock Festival might have even helped to lead the resurgence of interest in hand-painted original art for gene film. RETRO 13 is my way of saying a big “fuck yeah!” to all the guys who are keeping it real these days.


Look for the madness to begin soon! Right here on DC! For more info on Stephen Romano, check out his official website and follow him on Twitter @StephenPRomano.Stephen Romano's RETRO 13

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Steve Barton

You're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be.