I’m in on a book!

Well, I mean I guess my name is IN it.  I don’t know if that counts… I don’t think I can say that I’m in a book if the mere presence of my name is my only contribution between the covers.  Y’all would probably call righteous shenanigans on the “IN-ness” of “me” regarding said “book.”

If I had a buddy who had, by virtue of his first and last names appearing in the correct sequence somewhere, even once professed to be in a book, well, I would wait till he was talking to a pretty girl at the bar and then butt in and say, “Hey, did he tell you that he’s in a book?  You should have him tell you about that book that he’s in,” and then watch him crash and burn.

Because I am eeeeevil.  Or something.

Anyway, regardless of the highly dubious nature of my bookish inclusion, I am most certainly irrefutably incontrovertibly unmistakably ON a galldang book.  Front cover, front and center.  Of course, by “me” I mean “something I drew,” which is probably better looking than me anyway.  So that settles that.

The book in question, I must admit, probably stretches the accepted standard definition a bit, at least in terms of any literary expectations you might have, but I’m happy about it anyway.  It is, of course, the Threadless Book.  Yes, that Threadless.  Yes, the website.  Yes, the website that sells t-shirts.  Sometimes my t-shirts.  Yes, they wrote a book about it.  Why?  Because they are turning ten years old and they figured it would be a neat thing to do.  Yes, this is the book I’ve been excitedly rambling on about for the past several stolen moments of your life.

So!  Would you like to see it?  I thought so!

(my drawing is the three-eyed sea-tiger dude above the big yellow dot)

Below is Threadless founder Jake Nickell posing with a giant Threadless Book cover.

And, finally, here is the full illustration of my Sea Tiger monster dude.

The end!

To the dogs, or whoever

So last Wednesday marked the beginning of a neat Threadless alumni group submission called Lyricize 2, in which Threaless alumns create tee designs inspired by a song, if you hadn’t guessed that bit already.

My design, called The Belly of The Beast, was based on the opening verse from Josh Ritter’s To the Dogs or Whoever (click for listenables):

Deep in the belly of a whale I found her
Down with that deep blue jail around her
Running her hands through the ribs in the dark
Florence and Calamity and Joan of Arc…

Yeah, I uh, substituted a KRAKEN for a whale or something like that. Scales–which I decided I NEEEDED–would have made no sense on a whale…

Oh em gee

Seldom an animal is born on earth that is safe from the appetite of, wait for it…


With, like, probably a dislocating jaw and stuff! Yeah. Good luck getting to sleep tonight knowing that at any moment you could be face-to-face with the hot, stinking maw of, one more time


Now up for voting at Threadless. So yeah, please vote 🙂

Hazard a vote, why don’t you?

Today I have two tees up for voting and goshdarnit, you better believe they could use some love.  In unrelated news, Alien Invader was “reckoned” right to the curb at shirt.woot today, thus signaling the renewed tradition of my Wootables to kick the can as fast as they know how… Like they’re in some special hurry for Tee Shirt Dinner or something.

The first one is especially eager for some attention, considering that if it wins it will not win the standard $2,000 offering from Threadless, but rather $10,000.  To reiterate… !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The second tee at Design by Humans does not stand to bag quite such an absurd bounty, but seriously, rent is rent.

Again, to reiterate… !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is all 🙂

A touchy subject. AKA, You’re a sensitive lad, aint you, Tommy?

So I was perusing the site of one of my glorious benefactors, shirt.woot.com, when I happened upon a design that seemed strangely familiar to me.  It seemed familiar to me because it is uncannily similar in color, composition, and concept to a design I made a while back called Close Enough, about a drunk-on-the-job stork that mistakenly delivers a baby platypus to a couple of beavers.  Granted, the punchline is different… The design on woot has dropped the booze-addled angle and inserted a pair of ducks, but that’s where the incongruencies begin to become largely aesthetic.

Now, I’ve seen people (especially younger people, and especially on the internet) sound the “RIPPOFF” alarm and get up-in-arms about less striking similarities than this (And obviously I have to at least wonder about the possibility of my work being reprocessed and pilfered for financial gain ($1,000+), which is not at all a good feeling) but I am generally inclined to think otherwise.  One thing I’ve learned the hard way after a few years in the biz is that’s there’s a lot of room for cross-pollination, as it were, and there’s a lot of room for convergent evolution, as it were.  It’s just not that uncommon for two or more people to have the same idea.  It’s not even that uncommon for them both to execute it in similar manners.

I know this the hard way because I once designed a shirt about a narwhal impaling some arctic friends on its horn, which scored well on Threadless and was later printed by them, only to find my work being called a blatant rip-off of a previously existing toy of the same concept*.  I had never seen the toy in my entire life.  I had never heard of the toy in my entire life.  I had zero knowledge of the toy before the day my tee was put up for voting.  And yet, some folks were dead certain that I had willfully plundered the ideas of another for my own personal gain.  This was not, as you might imagine, a pleasant feeling at all.

But, as I mentioned earlier, the feeling that you may have been ripped-off and that someone else may be raking in dough that might have been yours, well, that’s not a good feeling either.  And while it’s not necessarily uncommon for convergent evolution to independently produce two similar solutions to a problem, it’s also not that uncommon for people on the internet to play fast and loose with the art of appropriation, as it were.  In any case, you can decide for yourself, and frankly you may find that these illustrations are about as similar as a cactus and a porcupine, but I thought it was at least interesting enough to blog about, if not fuss over.

Mine, from long ago:

Theirs, from not so long ago:

* Though, I might add, dramatically inferior geographic realism/plausibility 😛

Merciless fish-women, co-opted movie quotes, and pretty

At long last, I’ve got a new illustration in the running at Threadless.  It’s called Feeding Frenzy.  It’s… well… hopefully it’s self-explanatory:

feeding frenzy

“And that’s when the attack comes… Not from the front, but from the side… from the other two mermaids you didn’t even know were there.

The point is, you are alive when they start to eat you.”

Other recent Greatest of the Latest news, I give you: A Logo, a Mascot, and a Very Strange Tee…


Quack Attack!

I’m pretty pumped about this post.  I thought it could stand an aural accessory.  Enjoy the Smooshiness.

Smoosh – The Quack

Anyway, back to the action, which –in this case– is a living room wall…  An action packed living room wall, complete with a painting –honest-to-goodness painting— of my very own Quack Attack.  The wall belongs to Denmark’s* Jesper C L, of Ivy League Design, who says he “…pulled out the majority of my hair from not being able to find some decent decorations for my livingroom wall.”

First off, in a similar vein to the tattoos people have been getting lately, I’m naturally flattered that someone likes my illustrations enough to want to look at them every day.  Secondly, I’m super impressed with the execution here.  I very much doubt I could paint that thing on a wall as well as Jesper has, and I drew the damn thing.  So hats off you you, sir!  You made my day.

* Or at least that’s what the Danish “.dk” domain tag in his URL would lead me to conclude, although “Ivy League Design” does suggests a potential American connection.  I dunno.

I’m, uh, excited I think?

So I was consulting my internet spy-glass (aka Google Analytics) the other day and noticed a bunch of hits to my portfolio from faesthetic.com.  This confused me.  As far as I know Faesthetic has no reason to link to my site.  My only contact with Faesthetic was a while back when I sent them a drawing of a ghost because of a call for ghosts I heard about, but I never heard anything back from them.  I figured they didn’t like my ghost.  No biggie.

But now, here we are, in the future —waves hands mystically— and I’m getting hits from Faesthetic #11: Ghost Stories under the section of “contributing artists.”  My powers of deduction have led me to the conclusion that perhaps they didn’t hate my ghost drawing so much after all 🙂  Anywho, I’m really hoping that it’s not a mistake, because it would be fantastic to be included in such a crazy cool publication.  I’ve basically been wanting to be in it since I first saw it back in ’06 or something like that.   I’m actually heading to Chicago this weekend so I’ll be able to further investigate the matter at the Threadless retail store, since Faesthetic and Threadless are in cahoots and there’s always some Faesthetics in stock there.

Here’s hopin’


The Rainbow Runt

I’m not 100% sold on the title, but I’ve failed at topping it so far.  Likely just another symptom of the vocabulary crisis I’ve been suffering for the past week and a half, which as you can guess is another story entirely.

None-the-less, The Raindbow Runt has been subbed at ye old submittin’ place.  As always, I’ll holler when —as the Beastie Boys might say— it G-E-T-S-L-I-V-E, aight?

Spring Break Wooooooooo!

No parents woooooo!  I mean, uh, hey there.  Happy spring.  I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but in southeastern Michigan today it’s feeling recklessly pleasant outside.  I’m sure people all over the north are making humorous wardrobe decisions right now… Board shorts.  Sun hats.  Bikinis.


Today’s post is sadly a spell overdue.  You see, a while back the esteemed Priscilla Wislon —aka vallorandvellum to you Threadless fans out there— organized the 3rd annual Threadless Alumni Style Swap.  It’s fairly self-explanatory.  Artists sign up for the project in a rabid frenzy (space is both limited and coveted) and are then paired off with one another based on the dissimilarity of their styles.  Each partner is charged with the task of creating a t-shirt design in their counterpart’s style, leaving no traces of their own aesthetic or techniques.  The designs are all then submitted for voting on Threadless, where bloggers can try and guess which artists were paired up.  The guessers with the most correct responses win a reasonably spectacular prize package, which has been largely donated by the participating artists.

In any case, this all came and went about a month ago.  I was paired up with sizzling Threadless Sensation alexmdc, aka Alex Solis of Milwaukee, WI.  Below is my alexmdc impression, followed by his thunderpeel impression (thunderpeel is my handle on threadless, in case you were wondering).

spring break woooooo

by Alex Solis

by Alex Solis

Tango & Lulu.

The more devoted and astute among my modest readership may recall that some of us threadless types published a little coloring book a while back called ADVENTURE.  Oh, what’s that?  That was just 2 posts ago?  I see…

I really should write more frequently I guess.

Anyway, it both pleases and amuses me to report that our beloved little ADVENTURE was named an honorable mention for Lulu Top Sales in the month of March.  Accordingly, we have earned this gif:

A threadless buddy of mine remarked –pretty accurately, I’d say– that this may not bode particularly well for Lulu –self publishing colossus though it seems– when one pauses to consider that our dear little ADVENTURE probably sold about a hundred copies.  Though, I should add –and you would know this and nod in earnest agreement if you had purchased one– that every one of those hundred prints is a shiny and glorious specimen of coloring excellence.

*smiley face*

The Height of Insanity… Insanitee? Nay! Resist the puns, Brian!

MORE Threadless submissions.  Will this craziness ever end?!  “Close Enough” has been put into the running and seems to be off to a healthy start, and I just submitted “Sneak Attack,” so keep your eyes peeled for that bad boy as well.  Of course, “Close Enough” is also available for clicking on and such at emptees.com as part of The Greater Apparel Pimping Initiative of 2009.

Close Enough

Sneak Attack! - Threadless T-shirts, Nude No More