31 May 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Alien Abduction Club and more new this week

Alien Abduction Club by Steven Rhodes (blue sparrow) is my favorite Threadless print this week. I think the beauty of this design is that, while it parodies The Babysitters Club in a very direct way, and while the illustration does capture the unsettling retro quality of others in this artist’s series… I could also see this being a real YA book, and if it existed I would have absolutely read it. I mean, is it really any stranger than the Animorphs? Fiction is pretty weird, even the popular stuff. That’s why it was brilliant to use The Babysitters Club, one of the most mundane and safe of the genre, as the base of the parody- that very sensible grounding makes the final product feel more unsettling.

HUGS by BillyDelicious (BillyDelicious) in a unique new take on sunshine, clouds and rainbows, capitalizing on the long, thin shape of rainbows to make them arms poised for a hug. It’s a beautiful concept, and stands out in contrast to the ways rainbows are often depicted in cartoons. While the actual hands and fingers at the end of the rainbow feel a bit creepy, the playful, giggling expressions of the cloud and sun defuse any lingering discomfort. If you didn’t know better, looking at this might make you think the sun is a bit ticklish! Good stuff.

A Cure for Stupid People by Steven Rhodes (blue sparrow) is a charmingly vintage-looking drawing of every smart kid’s most fervent wish. I like the earnestness of the slogan, which doesn’t mince any words or shy away from the harshness of the all-caps, boldly highlighted Stupid People text. That line feels hilariously harsh next to the friendly extolling of the casual “Let’s find a cure for” text above it, and the “The World of Science” caption at the bottom has a way of making it seem like this goal is the endpoint of all good science. It’s very cleverly put together, and the skill of the drawing grants the design enough legitimacy to make it seem almost real.

Let’s Run Away by Steven Rhodes (blue sparrow) finds humor in applying a child’s solution to adults. Most kids at least imagine running away, and when they picture it happening it looks a lot like this- a handkerchief on a stick with supplies, a friend, and a pet striking out along safe, manicured suburban streets. The old-fashioned police officer doesn’t even run after them, content to point and shout. It’s a fantasy image of rebellion and freedom, with none of the pesky responsibilities and dangers of ordinary life. The “Life Skills Series” sticker asks the viewer to take this dream and apply it to their own life, and it’s hard not to at least smile at the idea, and maybe wish a bit for problems that were really this easy to solve.

Don’t Talk to Strangers by Steven Rhodes (blue sparrow) takes stranger danger to its most extreme possibility. Instead of a stranger in a white van, these strangers come in flying saucers from beyond the stars… and their danger can be clearly seen in the background, where the beam of a UFO has an abduction in process. So its funny to see the friendly alien in the foreground so casually chatting with a group of children, shaking hands with little kids instead of saying “Take Me To Your Leader.” A lot of humor also comes from the very nonchalant way the kids are handling the situation, a bit curious but certainly not alarmed or over-excited. Kind of makes you wonder if they’ve met odder strangers than this!

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners earn $1 minimum per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).

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