No News is Good News by Tom Burns (tomburns) is my favorite print this week because it feels so classic and iconic. The skull shape is immediately apparent, but just rough enough to be interesting. What’s interesting to me is that although the newspaper scraps appear to all be obituaries and funeral notices, they don’t really have to be- newspapers in general are pretty relentlessly depressing (there’s always a war or tragedy somewhere) that it’d be hard to end up with something uplifting in there by accident. There’s a consistent grimness to the just-the-facts reporting in papers, and this design certainly captures it.
Rockat by Draco (DracoImagem.com) may be a bit of a strained pun (I can’t quite hear the similarity between Rocket and Cat unless I mispronounce one or the other pretty egregiously), but luckily the title’s nowhere on the shirt itself and it looks pretty rad. This is a feline in the tradition of snarling alley cats, so you can just imagine the yowling sound he’d produce. Perfectly suited to being a punk rocker! I’ll admit that the space part of the design kind of escapes me (isn’t that more glam than punk? and what does it have to do with cats?), but the bright colors, fierce expression and strong diagonal angle of the art are enough to make me not care. Besides, it’s fun to have a shirt that doesn’t make sense.
Don’t be Afraid of White Space by janamis (janamis) is the most engaging doodle design I’ve seen in awhile, in part because of the unique way it deals with doodling. Most designs of this type will stick to small drawings, but this one incorporates a whole bunch of hand-lettered text into the mix. The way those phrases bend their way around the design, it’s easy to get hooked in and hard to stop exploring. Plus, while the art is hectic and packed with detail, the “don’t be afraid of white space” message still feels right because of how compact the design is on that huge expanse of white shirt fabric.
Odd Couple by Jeff Guerrero (jeffreyg) gives us a more realistic look at Jake and Lady Rainicorn from the cartoon Adventure Time. Jake is pretty true to his looks on the show, a compact yellow dog. Lady Rainicorn’s makeover is much more complete- she changes from basically a flying noodle into a traditional unicorn painted with colorful stripes. It’s kinda creepy and unsettling, which feels about right- the show is basically a post-apocalyptic mutant adventure, so of course it’d be a little freaky if it were real. There’s also a great detail in the bushes, the silhouette of Jake’s best pal Finn. Solid work all around.
Octorg Attacks New York by Christopher Toumazatos (CHRIS.RW) is a design I really wanted to love, as someone who digs the look of retro movie monsters and contrasty black and white film. And I do have a lot of affection for the top half of the design, which has some lovely freeform text ghosting over the cloud-filled sky. The monster is pretty rad too, a chunky fellow with texture that makes him feel like a claymation creation. But, uh, those weird walking UFOS are hard to get past, in part because they look very similar to outdoor lighting fixtures. Just strangely ordinary and safe, instead of alien and dangerous. Between that misstep and the muddy darkness of much of the bottom half of the design, the final product suddenly became a lot less interesting.
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 reprints.