07 November 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Spelling Champ and more new this week

Spelling Champ by Michael Buxton (DinoMike) is my favorite Threadless print this week. It arrived in the catalog just days before Halloween, so the only flaw was in cutting things short for people who wanted to wear it in the run up to the holiday. Apart from that timing issue, the design is perfect. It centers on a great pun, sticks to a simple orange and black Halloween palette, and even has a nod to history with its Salem text. The best part, though, is the witch character. It’s a brilliant move to make the witch less traditional with a skull face. For one, it suits the historical reference and spooky theme to imply that this witch from 1692 is still out there casting spells. It’s also a choice that makes the character gender neutral and allows the color palette to stay at two inks. Smart work!

Aishiteru by Sylvester Osorio (pigboom2014) is a neat anime piece, a long rectangle of monotone art that feels like a panel from a manga comic book. The bright white of the girl is the first thing you notice, with a pill and generic healthy message decorating her shirt. The cutoff of the art immediately raises the question of why we can’t see her eyes- but once you notice the pink heart in her hand, nearly the same color as the background, her story becomes a lot more clear. She’s been anonymized, and her “healthy” choices (whether they’re cannibalism, organ transplant, or something else) aren’t very healthy for her victims. That’s a lot of story in one panel!

There’s a Dragon on Mount Fuji by Michele Nolli (Michelle_Nolli) is the kind of illustration the viewer can get lost in. There’s something happening in each region of the woman’s hair, from architectural references to playful characters and even Mount Fuji itself. My favorite are the animal characters, which include a flute-playing panda, banner-toting rabbit, and a dragon poised to take a big bite out of the red sun. It’s an active, diverse scene happening in the hair, so interesting that I think it might take a lot of people a minute to notice that this woman’s skin is covered in a different kind of artwork- intricate red tattoos that dot her face and fill in her entire neck. Even better, the paint brushes (some dripping with red ink) mark the woman as the artist of these creations, not just a muse being decorated.

3D Cat by Tomek (Remfreak) shows a cat from a new, yet strangely familiar angle- basically what a cat looks like when it has wedged itself into a box, minus the box. The strangeness of the image makes it appealing, a bit like a visual puzzle, and it’s fun to try to figure out how exactly the contortions worked (the spiraling tail is especially fun). The cat’s wide-eyed expression is neat, too, almost as though he’s as curious as the viewer about how he’s managed to fit in this shape. I have mixed feelings about the inclusion of the ABC letters. While the nod to science and geometry adds to some of the wonder of the piece, I think it reads oddly on the shirt because the B is strange. I think some viewers will read the C first because of its height and think the B is a misshapen T.

X’s Head by Ilustrata (Ilustrata) is a Mega Man reference, and should definitely appeal to fans of that franchise because it calls out his robotic nature, hints at upgrades, and pays tribute to the series’s Japanese origins. Text and visual elements are tightly arranged with the central illustration posed at an angle that implies the movement of the robot being taken apart (or maybe put back together). I’d call the art as halfway between a repair manual cover and an exploded diagram, both very popular styles, so I’d expect this to do well with gamers.

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners earn $1 to $7 per item sold.

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