18 April 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: New this week

Sloth Wars by Nana Dalla Porta (Oktomanuba) completely charmed me, making it an easy pick as best of the week. Since I’m not huge on Star Wars in general (I like the universe, but not the movies and main characters), seeing a shirt solidly in that fandom that I’d still be excited about wearing is a very rare thing. And by casting a sloth in the role of Chewbacca, that’s exactly what this design accomplishes. I love the sweet, peaceful look he has (despite carrying a weapon) and the way he seems to be gazing towards the stars. But the background, the faded treetops and barely-there Death Star, are what really clinch it. The environment is so clear you can’t help but start to hear birds calling in the background, and other sloth-baccas dangling from distant branches. It’s a window into some other, more silly reality.

The Party by Sebastian Gomez de la Torre (Salamanderlich) collects cool cats in a repeating pattern all around your shirt. It’s like a kitty hug, really. And the cat drawings are definitely a lot of fun, each displaying its own zany party personality (my favorite is the eye patch dude). That said, I’m not entirely sold on the idea that a pattern was the best choice for the art- I couldn’t help but compare it to another Threadless tee, Ugly Drawings, which filled the shirt with unique characters instead of repeating. To me, that kind of approach is more true to the cat party concept.

Astronomical by Wayne Struwig and Andrew G. Hobbs (_EffinSweet_) completely freaks me out, like some kind of insane glam-infused version of Dead Space. The astronaut’s stance seems just like a zombie, awkwardly lumbering in your direction with their arms hanging limply. Those tubes dangling about the waist suddenly seem intestine-like. And it’s at that point that you realize the astronauts in the background might be closer to blood red than pink… In short, it’s pretty damn spooky, a feeling only heightened by the optical illusion triangle frame.

Space-Time!, Space Travel is Mostly Boring, Issue 2, Vol. 5 by Paul Hornschemeier (forlornfunnies) is part of Threadless’s latest Comics on Tees collection, though I have to say that I think this shirt drew the short straw in terms of subject matter. The point of the section seems to be that there’s nothing to do when you’re traveling in space, so naturally the panels are kind of uneventful. The alien crew members help inject a little fun, but between the staid script and traditional comic look of the art, it’s just not the kind of shirt likely to stand out. Here’s the basic problem I have- there’s nothing wrong with having a page of a comic book printed on a t-shirt. But if that’s the look you wanted, are these the two pages you’d pick? I feel like most would prefer the kind of action-packed, high-impact scenes starring their favorite superheroes. This artwork would look great in a comic book, but it doesn’t stand alone independently well in this context.

Space-Time!, The Planet’s Our Destination, Issue 4, Vol. 5 by Anders Nilsen (andersbrekhus) caught my eye with its color palette, since its light, airy pastels seemed so out of step with both my expectations for comic art and with the other three shirts in the group. But it’s a great way to finish off the set, since it communicates something very different than what preceded it. I also think the colors and less traditional comic look might help this shirt reach a wider audience than the rest- this is the kind of tee you could buy without ever having cracked a comic in your life. The zoom-out between the front and the back works for me, a funny way of showing that there’s always more going on just outside the frame (perfect for an alien planet). The only thing that gives me pause is the, uh, sperm-like appendages hanging off those clouds. Where is this planet, anyway?

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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