27 May 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: Gandalf the Gangsta and more new this week

Gandalf the Gangsta by Gulshan Kishor (Shadyjibes) is my favorite Threadless print this week. It’s a great pun, with an execution that suits the joke well. A highlight for me is the shifted sizes and baselines of the text, which indicates emphasis in a way that will have most viewers reading the phrase in their best DeNiro voice. I also enjoy how heavily wrinkled the character looks, with thick creases in his skin, beard, robes, and even staff- it’s accurate to Gandalf, but also suits the put-upon, tired-of-this attitude of the Taxi Driver moment as well. An unexpected, but very apt combination of pop culture.

Cat Tree by Tobe Fonseca (tobiasfonseca) is a fun repurposing of a familiar phrase, turning the tower-shaped cat toy into a literal tree full of cats. It’s an excellent fit because of the trope of cats needing to be rescued from trees, and the illustration smartly also references the classic “hang in there” poster with a dangling cat. The autumn palette of golds, tans, and oranges suits both cats and leaves well, and even better that allusion to fall (and the cat slumbering on the ground) makes the scenario seem more precarious by implying things will be falling.

Nature’s Embrace by Fil Gouvea (filgouvea) is a gorgeous illustration. At first glance, it looks like aa whimsically-colored green bear clinging to a large bouquet. But the scene opens up further with a closer look, revealing that the clumps of greenery are actually full-grown trees, complete with tiny birds flitting from branch to branch. I love this because it also makes you see the bear in a new light- perhaps what you thought was green fur is actually grass covering a bear-shaped hill? Either way, it’s a sweet concept that should appeal to anyone who likes wildlife and the outdoors.

Ex-Condiments by Ryder Doty (Ryder) makes no sense, and that’s exactly what makes it so great. There’s a line up of familiarly packaged sauces, with all the branding on their labels minimized and broken down into simple geometric shapes. Most viewers will easily recognize most from their own fridges, with mustard, hot sauce, and barbecue sauce among the gang. What makes it magic, though, is that these foods are not just characters, they’re dangerous fellows! Each bottle grasps a distinctive weapon, and some even sport scars or tough guy accessories. It mades everyday objects into something special and interesting, with a whole story suggested by their strange appearance.

Embrace the Pain by Airic (bewarethevipers) uses doodle style well, with a silly joke that benefits in humor from the slapdash look of the art. The loose drawing makes it feel as though the idea hasn’t been fully thought-out, and that reflects the “this is fine” nature of the bad situation being depicted. Hugging a cactus is bad enough, but this poor guy has made it even worse by doing it in the nude. Even the cactus looks uncomfortable with its lumpy stalk and too-high arm. The artificial cheer of the bubble letters sets up the scenario well, and the use of bright pink very appropriately makes the word pain a bit difficult to look at.

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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