Joe Manganiello and his popular line of fantasy/metal-inspired streetwear are coming to San Diego Comic-Con. Manganiello, best known for his work in True Blood, Justice League, and Magic Mike, will be at BAIT's San Diego store this Saturday for autographs and to promote his new Summer 2019 collection of Death Saves streetwear and merchandise. Death Saves launched last year as a passion project for Manganiello, capturing a unique retro-aesthetic that combines fantasy and metal and features artwork by some of the top artists associated with the metal music scene. The Summer 2019 collection includes two new shirts featuring Demogorgon, the Prince of Demons and one of Dungeons & Dragons' most popular monsters.
"I've been wanting to do Demogorgon since I got my licensing agreement with Dungeons and Dragons," Manganiello told ComicBook.com in a phone interview. "Demogorgon's one of those really cool specific monsters to D&D canon. And I really wanted an incredible artist to rethink it, and put it into his own unique style. And there's an artist called Brandon Holt, who goes by the name Heathenlegs, and this guy's a genius. I mean just brilliant, brilliant, incredible artist."
While Demogorgon is typically depicted as having two dueling baboon heads, Manganiello convinced Dungeons & Dragons to let Death Saves present the monster in a new light. "It's kind of like an undead demon version of Demogorgon," Manganiello said of Holt's design for the monster. "The Demogorgon's realm is a water realm. He's been called the Lord of All That Swims in Darkness. So Brandon then created this rocky outcropping that the Demogorgon is on top of, and there's all these sea creatures that are washing up onto this rocky crag. He just did a brilliant job. It's reminiscent of almost like a Japanese dragon in it's intricacy." Death Saves will have two t-shirts with the design, one using a unique neon color wave and one that uses 3M reflective paint on a black background.
Other pieces in Death Saves' Summer 2019 collection includes a t-shirt featuring the famous D&D piece "Sacrifice to Lolth" by Erol Otus, two shirts featuring a Satanic Panic headline, and a shirt featuring a gradient purple version of Death Saves' flaming skull logo. Death Saves will also have a new line of workout tank tops made for those (like Manganiello) that are big fantasy nerds but also jocks. The Death Saves pop-up shop will also have a SDCC Exclusive version of Death Saves' popular Berserker Rage shirt.
Fans attending Death Saves' pop-up store at San Diego will also have the opportunity to purchase a limited edition Death Saves dice set made of white catseye gemstones. Not only do the dice use the Death Saves smoking skull logo in place of the high numbers, the d20 features a unique configuration special to Manganiello. "There was like a British company that used to put out 20 sided dice in an alternate configuration and me and my friends we used to try to go find them," Manganiello explained. "Most D20's have an eight below the 20, and have a pattern that runs from there. But these dice were a completely different configuration and have a seven below the 20. Those are the only dice that I roll when I play, as a player character.
"In fact, one of my friends from childhood gave me a D20 with a seven below the 20 as I was walking up to the altar to get married, Manganiello said. "He said, 'I got this for you. Put it in your pocket. Get married with that in your pocket, man.'" Manganiello later used that same dice to do a whopping 323 points of damage in a round during a Dungeons & Dragons game with Luke Gygax, the son of D&D co-founder Gary Gygax. Only 50 of the Death Saves dice sets were made, and they're sure to be a hot item at this year's show.
Death Saves isn't slowing down any time soon. Manganiello revealed to ComicBook.com that he was collaborating with metal legends Iron Maiden on a new collection featuring the band's famous mascot Eddie. Death Saves also has collaborations with Magic: The Gathering in the pipeline, along with a second capsule collection featuring the artwork of Frank Frazetta planned for the fall.
Manganiello will be signing at the BAIT store located at 920 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101 from 1 PM to 4 PM this Saturday. You can check out Death Saves' website for a full look at their awesome streetwear and merchandise.