15 February 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: New this week

It’s a very strong week of prints at Threadless, but for me Eskimo Pop by Andy Gonsalves (andyg) is the best of the bunch. It’s a great piece of cartooning that uses the contrast between red and white to tell a great story. The polar bear’s white blends right into the tee, so your eye goes right to his red tongue and that big ol’ droplet of blood. I like how the eskimo’s extreme distress seems to be coming more from a place of disappointment and bad luck than sheer terror, which keeps things funnier and serves as a better foil to the bear’s pure contentment. The minimal style is a perfect fit, making this tee look like a subversive popsicle ad from the 50s. So fun!

Wolf Pizza by Duke Aber is a bit different from most Threadless shirts- instead of being sourced from their contest, it was brought directly to the site by Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie. This is the kind of thing that would probably annoy me if the shirt were anything less than excellent, just because there’s so much talent entering the traditional way. But luckily the design is so fun and weird that it’s genuinely tough to object to. I mean, I’d gladly wear it and I’m not even a Tim & Eric fan. It combines two things, a bear and pizza, in a completely crazy neon way. While it does discretely reference the movie with the initialism T&EB$M tucked away in the swirls of the brain, it’s so subtle that it lets the radness of the art take center stage. Ridiculously good and ridiculously wearable.

Crepuscle by Florent Bodart (speakerine) has me looking at ornate architecture in a totally new way. The bottom of the scene depicts a mysterious, fog-drenched cityscape of towers peeking through the cloud cover, while the top is a clear night sky. But all is not as it seems- one of those rooftops is actually a spaceship, and it’s headed for the moon! Suddenly all those building silhouettes look less like a city and more like a huge arsenal of exploration just waiting to launch. One colorful hot air balloon soars high up on the tee, and addition I’d love more if its specific placement weren’t a bit awkward. It falls almost in the armpit in the men’s version and the underboob of the ladies, which is most unfortunate. I’m surprised no one adjusted that before the final version.

Every Time a Cat Cleans Itself It Is Worshipping the Dark Lord by Jerrod Landon Porter (iheartjlp) is probably the first design about a cat licking itself that an actual young person would wear. Mixing cats with occult imagery and sharply carved text gives the tee a distinctive metal look, like a band tee for a group with an improbably long name. Although I’m on board with the demonic cats thing (and own plenty of Glitterhell tees to prove it) I can’t quite overcome my inner prude enough to get past the whole licking itself thing. Sorry cats, but I think your target audience of metal dudes who love kittens will sustain your sales even without my help.

A Place Where No One Can Hear Us by Rizki Syahril (gutsandglory) reminds me of the eighties. Not the cool hip hop 80s, or even the peppy video game 80s, but the pastel and geometric 80s. You know what I mean, that strange era in poster design where basically everything looked like Miami and had peach or teal shapes floating around. So the choice to display this scene in black and white is a huge coup, since it helps distance the art from the era’s more annoying missteps while capitalizing on the pure drama of the two figures an their path towards oblivion. It ends up being pretty successful, more like hearing a great song from the 80s than like seeing the video.

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners get $2000 cash and $500 in Threadless credit, with the possibility to earn more through Bestee awards, poster prints, and reprints. Artists printed through the Labs DTG program receive 10% of sales for the week their design is sold, and are allowed to keep the full rights to their design work.

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