Monday, December 6, 2010

Bearing With Me

One of the worst bits of being so absent blogwise is that I am left in the dust with Contest Watch predictions. Not that all that many pieces have printed lately that I would have predicted, mind you, but this Monday comes with a pleasant surprise at Threadless, and not just the $9 tee sale that y'all should be checking out if you read this in time.

No, Threadless has added a new alum to their roster, and unlike normal, it is with a design that has both a timelessness as well as the trademark humor Threadless was known for (that is to say, original, clever, and not based off the presumption that no one will sue if their characters are used illicitly). Welcome, then, MJ. As one of the most consistently original shirt designers out there, not to mention a literal apparel maven (have you guys honestly not been checking out Compete-Tee-Tion or Teemagnet yet?) it is well deserved.

"The Eating Habits of Bears" is really a two-punch joke, told with the first and third bear, but it's funny, the rule of three really works, because even though the "herbivore" joke is a throwaway, it winds the punch back for the final blow. Even so, it's a wisely chosen throwaway... "herbivore" is the obvious choice, and also has humor potential knowing that bears are anything but, and with the other bears consuming their fair share of animal-shaped snacks, a "candy vegetable" makes plenty of sense. Smart designing, made smarter by the simple but attractive graphics. A good humor shirt should indeed be simple to get, smart, creative, and hypothetically relatable, like a good joke is. Comics who play to an audience and give them what they expect are certainly popular, but the ones who really become legendary are more than a gimmick, more than their race or gender or beliefs, but truly a humorist that transcends all that. This is that sort of humor... perhaps not so lofty as some, but of the tried and true stock of the greats, using imagery familiar to all of us, not just one hardcore group of fans. I wouldn't be surprised if this tee finds itself reprinted regularly for that reason... it simply hits all the right notes of Threadlessness.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Winter Whimsy

This is a good winter if you're an Edgar McHerly fan.

For starters, as we all know, Edgar fans are preternaturally wiser than most, so that's always a positive, but furthermore, there is simply such a surplus of great Edgar magic to snatch up. His comic, The Invisible Hairsuit, has slowed to a temporary stop lately, but it comes with the trade-off of five Edgar-tastic shirts in the store (my favorite is Family Problems, which printed stunningly). This is great news, as Edgar is clinically under-appreciated on the tee circuit, so having him strike out on his own ensures a source for at least occasional spurts of Edgar genius to make it to fabric where they belong (ERMcH, if you're listening, might I suggest gems like "Grrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrr....," "Lon and Mr. C visit God," or "Notes from the Underground," not to mention long-lost classics like "I Like Books").

But for the next few days, you're even more in luck, because Tilteed is featuring one of Edgar's greatest hits, Old Man Winter. It's just in time for the holidays (and would hopefully make a great gift), but it's also perfectly timed for the season. Wear it on snow days with a sweet hoodie (perhaps a Dead Head one, wink wink nudge nudge). Sport it in the middle of summer to help people think cool thoughts, or on that first-or-last ski trip to remember how fun the winter can be. Stretch it over a frame and hang it over future holidays. It's a versatile, whimsical masterpiece that really captures the magic of a holiday gathering, the smell of burnt firewood on a crisp day, or just how great it is to enjoy yourself. But you can't enjoy the tee unless you snag one. It's only available until Tuesday afternoon, so don't be left out in the cold. Seriously, you'll either freeze, or old man winter will get you. I think it's safe to say you don't want to toy with fate like that.