The Black Knight Rises

The Black Knight Rises

This is a pretty good mashup as there are plenty of obvious parallels between the two IP’s. It seems as though”Monty Python and the Holy Grail” is sort of in a weird known and unknown place within popular culture. Regardless of its current status it almost certainly will remain as timeless as 3 stooges or Abbot and Costello within the annuls of comedy, just with better visuals and one liners. In any case, having the black knight stand in for the dark Knight is a pretty obvious comparison; besides the similarities in names there’s each one’s absurd ability to continue fighting after the injuries they sustain over the course of their respective movies, or the misguidedness of their stated missions i.e. the bridge isn’t worth guarding and Batman would do more for society by just donating his money rather than playing vigilante. Once more the bunny and the bat symbols- terrifying.

It’s not a design that it doesn’t take itself particularly seriously and would probably suggests the same of any wearer. However in spite of the silliness of the subject, the low-hanging-fruit nature of the spoof, it is well executed. More and more low culture is becoming high culture, or the distinction is getting progressively more nebulous. For that reason and for Python’s growing age maybe this could scream sophistication if not now then in the future. Who’s to say?

Design by: Obvian
Price:  $22.00 @ TeeFury
Colors: Black

Bettie

Bettie

As has been said before on this site it’s usually very- difficult to pull off a design of a naked or scantily clad woman on a t-shirt. Tattoos are fine for some reason, women who wear these design are accepted, but for men in generally wearing these designs generally gives off a weird incel-escque err. It’s hard to say with confidence whether or not for men there is, or could be an exception. If any depiction of a woman could potentially serve though then it would have to be one of Bettie Page.

Page is not merely an iconic pinup model or sexual icon of the 20th century. Her legacy as a female model of the 1950’s is at this point that of sexual empowerment. For women and for men. As a woman Page was very clear as to what she would and would not do and she was known to be uncompromising in a time where society would have had no sympathy for her plight. By modeling S&M clothing she helped expose mainstream America to kink. As a model she could be both fierce and vulnerable, an idea that society today still sometimes struggles to convey.

The design itself is very well done. The black and white source material has been adeptly colorized. There’s something a bit Frank Franzetta about the coloration. The background texture reminds me a bit of Final Fantasy X. The facial expression is what ultimately makes the piece. In any case- for her work, for her legacy, if not for the strength of this design itself this might be a shirt worth picking up.

Design by: Chris Wahl
Price:  $22.00 @ TeeFury
Colors: White, Grey

Sound City

Sound City

You Can’t argue that it’s an aesthetically pleasing image. Nor can one argue that it works well within the context of apparel that the design’s shape fits perfectly as a badge upon the shirt. There is something about the messaging of the image, where form meets intent, however that feels a bit questionable.

Many designs will take and try and modernize an old style. The entirety of the 60’s style was predicated on Nouveau with the colors turned to 11; the idea being to represent the confluence of nature (as a symbol of peace and serenity) and psychedelics (“heightened consciousness” and vitality). This design takes art deco and is trying to adapt it to rock and roll. It’s an ok idea. Stylistically this works, although Deco is more aristocratic and industrialists and rock and roll was more poor and downtrodden. The idea is theoretically achievable; not all mashups need to make sense in order to work.

The problem with the design past this is when figures out who did it first. Led Zepplin’s album “Mothership“, a 2008 “best of” album already featured this art style via Shepard Fairey. When an idea of mixing an old style (Deco), is applied to an old band (Zepplin) performing in a largely outmoded style (R&R), is then rehashed a decade later what you potentially have is something that reaffirms the vapidness of the very thing the latest artist may have sought to lionize.

Why highlight this design then? Well, as was said before: it’s aesthetically pleasing. Beyond that the color gradient and it’s simulation of a metallic glean is a nice touch. That there almost appears to be a woodgrain upon the speaker cabinets paired with the clean line work provides a nice contrast. Above all else it’s a nice design and few people care what anything suggests or means. So if you like the design, go for it.

Design by: Gamma-Ray
Price:  $22.00 @ TeeFury
Colors: Black

Possibilities in Order

Possibilities in Order

One of the things that is frustrating about most- all print on design sites is that they don’t have a description section wherein the artist can explain what the design is, what it’s about, or why they chose to portray their subject in the way that they did. Why Bring this up? This shirt’s design is paying tribute to a show called “Fringe” that ran from 2008 to 2013. It was fairly popular, but didn’t make a big dent on the cultural psyche the way shows like “Breaking Bad” or “The Wire” did. Looking at this shirt nearly a decade later the odds that anyone will know what the design is about is fairly small but as the wearer of the shirt you’d feel a little silly if you bought and wore it because you liked the image, only to find out it’s referencing a show you’ve never seen when someone walks up to you to talk about the show, reasonably assuming that you’ve seen it, because you’re wearing the shirt.

This design is a perfect example to bring up this industry gripe, because even outside the context of a fairly successful tv show it’s a great design. The fact that it also manages to reference a famous work of surrealist art by Renee Magritte doesn’t hurt either. The point being that it’s a strong image that looks awesome, but you wan’t to at least know what a design is referencing, if anything, before you wear it.

The design has a lot of great elements to it. Did you notice the six fingers? The way that hand is drawn is superb; it’s not too clean, nor does it feel too crude- like a sketch. The texture on the nimbus makes it feel like an old coin or a seal, and pulls it back from the figure in a subtle way. The woman within the smoke, the golden spiral on the sea horse, these are references to the show, but they serve as charming visual easter eggs even for the uninformed. Watch the show or don’t, this is still a design worth having.

Design by: ZeroBriant
Price:  $22.00 @ Teefury
Colors: Black

Elven Archer

Elven Archer

The interesting thing about images like “Elven Archer” is that they allow the viewer to Plumb the depth of their pop culture knowledge for influences. Admittedly the other piece of what makes wearing a design like this enjoyable is the predominant connotation of mushroom imagery within pop culture and the deniability one generally has due to the other roles they play in nature, medicine, food, and as a naturalistic and, conversely alien motif within various forms of fiction.

It would be surprising if the human figure wasn’t meant to be Link from “Zelda“. The fact that there are jellyfish, ‘Diri’ as they’re called in-game, pretty much leaves no doubt. The eyes paired with the mushrooms, however seem very “Midnight Gospel”. The swirls on the fox’s shoulder and hip seem a bit out of place; the east asian/ Okami style isn’t represented anywhere else within the image. Honestly, it’s the mushrooms that are the hardest to pin down. What immediately comes to mind is the forest from the Studio Ghibli classic “Nausicaa in the Valley of the Wind“, however there are probably a million other instances of mushrooms in this style.

It’s rare and refreshing to see a design on t-shirt websites that look as though they were actually “hand drawn”. Part of the charm of this image is in that it looks like something one would sketch in a notebook during a particularly long class lecture. The question is whether the mental flight of fancy or the future wearers proclivities skew towards psilocybin, video games, or both.

Design by: Freeminds
Price:  $22.00 @ Teefury
Colors: Black, Blue, Light Blue

L. the Third

L. the Third

The thing about wearing an anime shirt is that there are certain assumptions that go along with. True, there’s less and less of a stigma associated with anime each year, nevertheless it still has a certain- juvenile association. The interesting thing about this design though is it comes about as close as an anime design can of escaping the judgement while still employing a cartoon style.

Stylistically this image feels both retro and modern in its use of shapes and cell shading that almost in a way that suggests cutouts and papercraft. The former is growing in popularity in anime fan art, and the ladder is slowly making its way into more and more museum collection. The pallet is unique, and the skewed rectangular background gives the composition an interesting mid-century kind of feel. The fact that lupin is rather obscure, within America at least, actually works in the designs favor. The image is fun, stylized, and dynamic; in sporting something slightly obscure you’ll escape the eye rolls and perhaps more easily find those in the know or worth knowing.

Design by: Idriu95
Price:  $22.00 @ Teefury
Colors: Black, Navy

Hills are Alive

Hills are Alive

This work is obviously taken from the fairly well known GIF first created by the VFX artist Dan DeEntremont. It’s a great image and the main question is whether or not the lines are suppose to represent embroidery or Neon. Some places and elements within the image seem to point to one or the other. The periodic breaks in the lions would suggest neon, but some of the sharp corners would be impossible in that medium. If it were Neon then there would probably be some aural glow surrounding the lines. One thing to consider when rendering an image such as for apparel is that thinner lines break down faster than large patches (of ink) with repeated washings; as such it would be interesting to see how long this shirt would hold up. The confusion of implied medium isn’t the main issue with this image; The two parts that really hurt the piece are the oozy clip and the cheekbone. The clip just has too much curve on the left line which makes it look more like a receipt coming out of the bottom of the gun. The cheek bone extends just a bit too far and is in danger of making Julie Andrews look as though she may be in possession of a fine mustache. This image is interesting enough to warrant highlighting, but with a bit more attention to detail it could’ve been great.

Design by: Rocketman_art
Price:  $22.00 @ Teefury
Colors: Black, Navy, Charcoal

The Pipe

The Pipe


Generally speaking when it comes to apparel, pop culture mashups tend to be lazy garbage. Most of the time there is no rhyme or reason for the cross pollination; what does Abbey Rd, Demon Days, or Bohemian Rhapsody have to do with Sith Lords? Sometimes “artist” will go a little further and change the style of characters in adapting them to unsuitable/ unrelated content such as when an artist portray Rick and Morty in the style of Calvin and Hobbes while crossing the river in one of the ladder series most iconic images. These types of mash ups add and suggest nothing thematically or artistically; They’re just lazy. They must work though because sites like teefury essentially run on them.

This image is different. Mario is famous for reinventing, or reframing its characters. Officially Mario has had 7 jobs; unofficially the number is somewhere around 26. This is a very adaptable IPO. Mario has already done horror via “Luigi’s Mansion”. Could you then merge “The Ring” with Mario? Absolutely. It’s an interesting idea and might actually be a good solution if you wanted to make a second attempt at live action, because let’s face it, goombas aren’t going to work outside of a cartoon world. Ghost peach and murder though, that’d be interesting. The fact that it’s a gameboy sets you up for a child vs monster, “It” scenario. The image works because there’s actually an interesting idea and therefore a reason behind the merger.

Design by: Naolita
Price:  $22.00 @ Teefury
Colors: Black, Navy, Grey

Cat and Raven

Cat and Raven

It’s just a figure- two figures why highlight such a design? How many pieces of apparel do Hello Kitty, Pikachu, or Mario appear on? They all stand for different things and all are symbols of a much larger framework, but they all can stand alone, if perhaps in a diminished stature. If one sees an image and decides that it could potentially serve as the vanguard for an expansive IPO why not take note?

The interesting thing about this image is the similarity one can see between the head of the cat and those of ‘Funko Pops’. Those figurines though are static and lifeless; just because the primary element of a figure is blocky doesn’t mean that the figure in totality need be. The cat doesn’t fit in that universe, but the influence is clear. A minimal and dreamy place can be gleaned through the suggestion of the shape and its rounder corners and lines. There’s something dreamy and minimal about it. How the bullet shaded “raven”, that looks more like one of those- symbiotic alligator birds, is hard to say.

Sometimes an art style is enough to suggest a narrative. When combined with apparel the image, and the hinted at narrative is enough to suggest a certain disposition on the part of the wearer. This image feels: curious in a conflicted way; both naive and sophisticated, minimal and calm in a potentially messy and violent way. It’s ‘Spirited Away’ but in the future as represented in our more modern times.

Design by: Freeminds
Price:  $22.00 @ Teefury
Colors: Grey, Black, Blue, Navy

Pughomet

Pughomet

Satanic imagery is interesting in that young adults may like it, but it has that association with the angsty goth phase that most of them would have seen or experienced in their early teens; as such the imagery sort of exists as a marker of arrested development. With the renaissance that has been taking place in the world or both Eastern and Western animation, the mixture of dark and mature themes and childish wonder have slowly become more intertwined and socially acceptable. The fact that Baphomet here is portrayed as a pug and softened further with stars and rainbow allows the image to work as dark symbolism of rebellion, while at the same time being humorous and a little self deprecating. Pre-pandemic irony and Bathos were the style of the day; whether or not that will still be the case in the post remains to be seen. If you want to learn more about modern day satanism you might do well to check out the documentary “Hail Satan?” about the satanist group that put a Baphomet statue next to a court house to protest the placement of a 10 Commandments statue within a public space. A bit of an aside Baphomet is supposed to be portrayed as having breasts, but perhaps that would be a step to far in the case of a pug hybrid.

Design by: Thiago Correa
Price:  $22.00 @ Teefury
Colors: Black, Navy, Blue, Charcoal

Bird X-Ray

Bird X-Ray

So apparently this is how Big Bird is operated; presumably the other arm is pinned to the body of the suit or a secondary puppeteer is used while the puppet is stationary. Seems like a missed opportunity for a napoleonic hand in the waistcoat, which surprisingly is not the name of a sex act yet. There’s something that’s very- sports apparel about this image. It’s probably the limited pallet and the super-flat design. In that way this image feels as though it subverting both Sesame Street and professional athletics at once. Anything cartoon related, even when subverted is hard to pull off without coming off as a bit immature. Granted prolonged adolescence is one of the biggest hallmarks thanks to the dumpster fire of an economy that young people today are inheriting, but still… The Sports look, for better or worse, seems to add a bit of maturity to this design by way of the drinking and profanity that seems to go hand in hand with athletic spectatorship. While this design works as a shirt not having it as a patch or sticker feels like a missed opportunity; with the sports idea in mind there is also an opportunity of using a lot more colorways if one weren’t absolutely attached to the notion that Big Bird has to be yellow to be recognizable.

Design by: Captain Ribman
Price:  $22.00 @ Teefury
Colors: Green, Black, Navy

Someone Loves Me

Someone Loves Me


Kraaaaaaaaaaaang!!! Since Nolan’s Batman hit there’s been this drive towards realism within cinematic adaptations of comic books, which is all fine and good; the Adam West era of comic book depictions just wasn’t going to fly in these our modern times. There is something to be said, something of value contained within the exaggerated/ stylized, and surreal depiction of comic book characters that was there in the 90’s. Heath Ledger’s Joker, Tyler Durden, while perhaps representations of toxic masculinity are powerful examples of how outlandish characters could subjugate realism and thereby become iconic by personifying certain archetypes, but it wasn’t tell ‘Suicide Squad’ and Harley Quinn, train wrecks that these movies were, that you got to see outlandish style in both character and in form. The 90’s era of cartoons, the era that this design references was a time of caricature, but not out of laziness. The characters ‘Rock Steady’ and ‘Bebop’ were the creators trying to point people towards culture… and sell an imperial buttload of toys. There’s none of that in the Michael Bay adaptations, because Michael Bay is a a fundamentally a mouth breathing philistine. What you may ask does any of this have to do with this design?

This design references a time when superheroes, supervillains were too fantastical to exist in reality. There were the powers, but there was also the style. Somewhere between the aesthetic sensibilities of WWE and Devo, Krang and his automaton exist and really should be f#$%king things up; that level of style, energy, knowledge or nostalgia ought to be harnessed in modern animation. This design is somewhere between blueprint, cutout, and 90’s in substance and early 60’s in style and references a bygone sensibility in which more things were possible.

Design by: Yema Yema
Price:  $22.00 @ Teefury
Colors: Purple, Black, Grey, Navy

Chihiro Spirit

Chihiro Spirit

While Ostensibly this image is about Spirited Away, upon closer inspection one can see that the subject become more a canvas for stylistic exploration. It’s easy enough to convert a character from one art style to the next, and were that all that was occurring this work wouldn’t be all that remarkable. Within the surrounding imagery though is a confluence of disparate styles and references that allow the viewer to plum the depths of their own personal pop cultural knowledge and associations.

The orange moon with the tapered edges seems like it wants to be east asian inspired, but the vertical lines, the grid that it forms seems to make it 80’s à la Patrick Nagel. The plants however are in a decorative, possibly art nouveau, style and completely incongruous with the rest of the image. The way they’ve been colored is incongruous with this forms themselves and seems closer to modern psychedelic art, which true, did borrow from art nouveau, but wouldn’t have used this particular motif do to its intricacy. The pink outline of the smoke could be cyberpunk neon, or indie inspired line work. The central figure is reminiscent of soft cell animation, particularly that of the Capcom variety. In short, there’s a lot going on here, and that’s what makes the composition interesting and more than a simple reference piece.

Design by: Heydale
Price:  $22.00 @ Teefury
Colors: Black

Red Queen

Red Queen

It’s hard to pin down this look. There’s metal, vaudeville, gothic, punk, steampunk, rock and roll, and glam. Where would this fit. What makes this image so dynamic is the confluence of so many stylistic influences that serve to frame the imperial and disdainful expression of the figure’s face. This character feels like Bathory (who bathed in blood) had she existed in a slightly different time and place. One might fill out the deck with Olga of Kiev, Mireya Moreno Carreon or Griselda Blanco, Ranavalona I, Mary Tudor, or Catherine Medici. The character design is extremely compelling. It’s a bit sad that the card deck is represented only in IP such as ‘Star vs the forces of evil’ and a minor gang within the DC universe.

The mini crown is vaudeville, the hairstyle glam, the brown collar steampunk, the red eye paint and horns punk (or rock and roll à la Screaming Jay Hawkins) , the black and red pallet either metal or gothic. The ornamentation in the background helps with the overall shape; although it might have been a bit more effective with a 3d element- maybe a beveled edge. Overall the image is strong, with an evil and heart, or an evil heart vibe that should speak to a number of demographics.

Design by: MedusaD
Price:  $22.00 @ Teefury
Colors: Black, Navy