I once read that after writing “Night Moves,” Bob Seger fell into a deep depression, fueled by the belief that he had hit the pinnacle of his career and would never write another song as great and meaningful as that one. Personally, I prefer “Old Time Rock and Roll,” but when I look at this image, I think to myself, “You might as well retire from graphic design because this is the greatest thing you’ll ever do.”
But Bob Seeger didn’t retire and neither will I. People are already asking for T-shirt versions of “Respect Your Local Monsters,” so that’s what I will make next. Plus I have another cool commission in the works.
The quote here is, of course, a riff off Woody Guthrie’s, “This Machine Kills Fascists,” message, which the folk singer wrote in black across his acoustic guitar. And the ukulele being a sort of baby guitar, its power is not as lethal, but still shots fired against the enemy.
As it’s looking more and more likely that this country is willing to go full Fascist in the next couple years, and Gen X is old and has back pain, and this is about the level of resistance I’m able to muster currently. I personally plan to get shot in the face in my own home if they start hauling off antifa. I’m Jewish and don’t have the stomach for going quietly.
Well, I know nothing whatsoever about live sound engineering, but I do know how to draw things that people describe to me, especially if, like this client, they very helpfully say things like, “Make the logo look like this Velvet Underground album cover,” and then also send me a picture of the album cover. But I didn’t make it look too much like the album cover to avoid a repeat of the time I got a DMCA takedown notice for a design in which one of my original characters cosplays as Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top. I thought that was very unfair. Anyone can wear a knit hat and sunglasses and a very, very long beard and the comic was quite specific in identifying it as NOT Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top, but as someone simply dressing like him (against their will, even; the comic ends with the character deciding to shave), plus parody is protected speech.
However, as I point out in this comic, Fair Use only applies to people who can afford copyright lawyers, and even though I’m pretty sure I was in the right, I am not one of those people. So for this project I drew a totally different VU meter than the one on the Velvet Underground album. The client requested “an amber glow,” and I wasn’t 100 percent sure what that meant until I started looking at images of VU meters and saw one with an amber glow. I mentioned it to The Man and he explained that amber glow was a retro aesthetic that would fill tech nerds with nostalgia for old analog equipment. He knew what I was talking about without the visual (because he is a tech nerd). Creating the amber glow was fun, and very simple in Photoshop.
Amber Glow would be a good name for a pop star.
Another problem I had to solve was the font, which the client wanted to look similar to the album cover as well. Now, I know at least one word nerd who probably can identify fonts just by looking at them, and I was about to message them, but then I thought, “Hey, it’s 2022; surely there’s an app for that.” And there is. There are many apps for that. And then I said, “Well, if there’s an app for it surely there’s a website for it.” And there are many of those as well. It was easy to upload the image and find the name of the font.
The website I used also helpfully offered to sell me the font for $26, which is a RIDICULOUS price for a font, in my opinion, and to sell me the entire font family for $86, which is laughable. It turned out that I already owned some of the fonts in that family (Century Schoolbook) and while I didn’t own the specific one, I think I got pretty close.
The client wanted to use this logo for a few things, but since they specifically wanted to make T-shirts, I used my T-shirt template, which is…large. So this is a big, sharp file, but it should print out well in full size. I think it’s a stunning marketing tool. This guy has been in the business for a couple decades. You should definitely hire him for live sound engineering.
And I just got another logo commission! But first I have another, potentially high profile commission that I’m not sure if I’m supposed to talk about. But I’m very excited about both of them.
I said I was going to do this and I did it. Poly Pride, Poly Love is available on many fine products in my RedBubble shop. So now I have 3 non-heteronormative designs in my shop, I have to create a new portfolio to house my message. I had way more to say about this design and accidental representation spotting but it took me way longer to draw than estimated and now it’s late and I’m tired.
Anyway: T-shirt! And I actually have a comic in the works.
The man’s got a plan. And a van. But he’s not getting this bus.
Just a quick shout-out to the ’52 Ford Bus T-shirt! This is the one I drew for The Man after he saw the Vampire Bat posing gothily on a real ’52 Ford Bus and became unreasonably obsessed with owning a ’52 Ford Bus. I told him this was the only rusty old bus he was going to get while he was married to me. I did it out of love. Tough love.
And he finally got around to acquiring one, and here you see a rare shot of The Man modeling like the handsome hunk of manhood he is. I really neglect hyping my RedBubble shop, where you can buy this, and other fine designs, on a wide variety of quality products. Someone should get this design on a onesie. It would be charming.
Someone did buy a onesie with my Athena, Goddess of Wisdom design. I thought it was the Fox but he said it wasn’t, and then I saw that the customer had actually sent me a message about how happy he was to find an Athena onesie because his daughter was named Athena. You go, baby Athena. You are the most classical baby on the block.
There were a couple details from “American Salvage” that seemed especially striking, and this ermine definitely topped the list. So cute! In the story, the white-furred ermine has been scarce in Kalamazoo, Michigan, having been long over hunted due to the value of their gorgeous pelts, which probably look way better on their original owners than any subsequent possessors of said coats. They are returning to the area of the salvage yard due to it being neglected for so long, but soon enough they will pave the place over to build more suburbs, and what will become of the poor weasel then?
What can I even say about this? Well, I’m all about being not ashamed. So I am not ashamed. Whimsical designs haven’t made my rich. Maybe off-color ones will do the trick. Perhaps small town orgies will by my claim to fame.
The words aren’t mine; they came out of a serious conversation with my friend the Coyote. He was only trying to be a little funny. Obviously, the statement is objectively true. You can’t do it alone. As soon as it came out of his mouth, I said, “That’s a T-shirt,” immediately seeing the design fully formed in my mind. So why shouldn’t I draw it and post it in my RedBubble shop? I work fast now.
RedBubble has a bunch of new product types, including wall clocks and acrylic blocks. I’m not sure what you do with an acrylic block. I remember them being a thing in the ’70s, but now we can just use obsolete electronics for paperweights. But surely, someone, somewhere would be delighted to received an acrylic block as a present.
This is the latest T-shirt design. I know it’s completely weird and unsellable, but literally my entire M.O. is to just do the thing that my muse tells me do, regardless of how ridiculous it seems. Then, later on, I wonder what the heck I was thinking, but some percentage of the time it works out for the best. The poet Syd Lea once told me that I should keep doing whatever felt right to me regardless of what anyone else said. He said, “Be stubborn, woman.”
Not that I needed that advice. Maybe he figured I was just going to do that anyway.
The original version of this design was the last panel of the first BJC comic, about how sometimes your own mother doesn’t understand you so you can’t expect much from the rest of the world. Even in context, it’s bizarre. The benefit of this sort of extremely niche design is that if anyone else does appreciate it, you know you truly have commonalities at the core.
If you’d like to purchase this bizarre comic panel on a variety of clothing, paper products, and household items, you can obtain It’s OK If You Don’t Understand Me in my RedBubble shop.
Tomorrow I guess I’ll go back to drawing longer comics. Maybe.
Monday again. This weekend I finished up a T-shirt design I’d been kicking around for a while, a fairly simple one based on a comic panel. There’s one more 1/2 finished comic panel T-shirt in my files, and another T-shirt I started years ago that I’d like to get done before Thanksgiving, but I first have to write a lot of book reviews and get the cover for The Hermit finished. And some other products. And I saw the uncorrected proof for the comic book, which I should have in the next couple weeks.
Sometimes I think: this could be an element of something really beautiful. Or it could be a cross-section of something really horrible.
Not much to report for this weekend. Added 3newdesigns to my RedBubble shop and started to work on a 4th. Wish I understood more about typefaces, about how designers choose lettering for visual appeal, readability, and emotion. Also, how to design specifically for different article of clothing, versus drawing things as they come to me and then sticking the same image on a variety of surfaces.
This is a tidy little mandala, another amoeba type. They really do fall into simple categories.
Sorry there’s nothing of any depth or substance in here. The Rabbit told me she wanted us to make a business plan, and I told her, “You make the plan and I’ll just do whatever you tell me to do.” I swear to god, a woman came up to me at a party this weekend and said, “I had this idea for a T-shirt and I heard you sell them online,” and then proceeds to tell me that she works in marketing. I’m like, Lady, you don’t need my help. You’ll probably sell more T-shirt than me without even trying. I have no idea how to sell things. I just create the.
You can’t buy happiness. But you could buy a T-shirt from my RedBubble shop, which would definitely make me happy, and probably make you happy.
This is Allison. Allison is a successful writer and professional performer of death defying feats. Allison is very happy. Why do you think Allison is so happy? Is it because she is wearing this kickass QWERTYvsDvorak T-shirt? Correlation may not prove causality, but there does seem to be abundant evidence that wearing a QvD T-shirt can make you, and the people around you, at least 20% happier.
This has always been one of my favorite designs in the shop, even though a marine biologist once chastised me for drawing a blue whale, rather than a sperm whale, which is more commonly thought of as the giant squid’s natural enemy. The way I see it, we don’t know everything that goes on under the ocean. Who’s to say that there isn’t a kraken sized squid that periodically tries to munch on the largest animal on the planet at the deepest, darkest depths of the world? I like both cephalopods and cetaceans. The bigger the creature, the more love there is to go around.
There are also some other interesting things in my shop if you click around.
I procrastinated and didn’t draw a comic and there’s still one other important thing to do before bed tonight. It’s sort of related to the fact that 3 years ago, The Man and I got legally married by the law of the land. We’d already been together for 4 1/2 years before that, and we were, as we said, “gay married” for a couple of years before the wedding, Tucson being a city that offers domestic partnerships, and the University of Arizona being an employer that offers benefits for domestic partners. I wonder if the marriage supersedes the partnership?
Anyway, 3 years ago today I became a married Dragon, and The Man became a married The Man, and we were bound to each other for better or for worse. Love that guy.