Joe Manganiello's Death Saves streetwear line is launching a new collection featuring Dark Crystal: The Age of Resistance at New York Comic Con. Manganiello, best known for his appearances in Justice League and True Blood, launched his Death Saves streetwear line as a passion project a year ago. By combining heavy metal music aesthetics with imagery from brands like Dungeons & Dragons or the art of Frank Frazetta, Death Saves has quickly grown in popularity among fantasy fans and those who grew up as part of the "geek" counterculture of the 1980s. Death Saves is releasing its newest collection this weekend, which features shirts and other apparel based on Netflix's Dark Crystal: The Age of Resistance.
Manganiello grew up watching Dark Crystal, seeing the movie for the first time at his fourth birthday party. "It changed my life as a kid," Manganiello told ComicBook.com in a phone interview. "To think that there was a movie without people in it, that just had puppets. I was watching a movie about these monsters that existed in this alternate universe, and it really blew my mind." Manganiello loved Dark Crystal so much that he had his fifth birthday party at the same theater when it brought back Dark Crystal a second time.
"I love that movie, and I love the fact that it was designed to be scary to children," Manganiello said. "And I think that's something that people consciously try not to do with children's entertainment these days."
Manganiello watched Dark Crystal over and over again, renting the movie on videotape. He was really excited to find out that Netflix was making a new Dark Crystal series and he had the opportunity to meet up with representatives from Netflix during Death Saves' one year anniversary party at San Diego Comic-Con. Manganiello offered to do a capsule collection for Dark Crystal, which came into fruition just a few months later.
The new capsule collection has eight pieces, featuring classic Dark Crystal creatures like the Fizzgig, Gelflings, and the Skeksis. There's also a fantastic piece of artwork by renowned metal artist Brandon Holt featuring the Hunter, a Skeksis creature from Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, walking towards the Crystal Castle. "Holt was a big fan of Dark Crystal growing up just like me," Manganiello said. "He had to go to work very quickly on this to get it done in time for NYCC. He just knocked it out of the park."
Manganiello will be appearing at NYCC to promote his new Death Saves collection and will actually be hand-printing shirts at the show. Manganiello will be at Booth 220 (Bait, which is hosting Manganiello and Death Saves) from 1 PM to 5 PM on Saturday, signing autographs and making screen-printed shirts for anyone who wants them. "We'll throw the ink down, I'll press your shirt, put it right into the heater, and it'll dry within a minute or two," Manganiello said. "You can wear it out warm!"
Death Saves has grown rapidly over the last year, driven by Manganiello's passion to create new art while paying homage to his various interests. "Death Saves is a very organic extension of my own personal creativity," Manganiello said. "It is an art project for me. I love a certain aesthetic. I love a certain type of street wear, and I wanted to create an art gallery full of new artwork while paying homage to existing art."
The streetwear line isn't slowing down anytime soon either. Manganiello is working on collaborations with Iron Maiden (featuring the band's iconic mascot Eddie) and Ozzy Osbourne. "It's new, it's fresh, but it still feels retro, and it hearkens back to that age when things were scary," Manganiello said. "Entertainment was scary, and there was an allure to that. You felt like you were watching or listening to or participating in something that you weren't supposed to be watching, listening to, or participating in. You weren't supposed to be doing this stuff, but you were, and there was such an attraction that way."0comments
Manganiello set out to create clothing that he wanted to wear, and he's glad to see that he's not alone. "I love to see that there was so many other people out there who love that stuff, too, and are now wearing it with pride," he said of Death Saves' growing fanbase.
Manganiello will be appearing at Booth 220 from 1 PM to 5 PM this Saturday at NYCC. He encourages fans to get to the booth early, as Death Saves gear tends to sell out quickly at conventions.