365 T-shirts - the reasoning

This blog should be sub-titled: a journal of my life in geek.

I get my geek on with things about which I am geeky: comic books, Baseball, Ultimate, science fiction, my favorite bands, books I have read and loved, and Jungian psychology to name some of the most frequently traversed subjects.

I began this project simply as a way to count my T-shirts. I own a lot of T-shirts. But how many do I have? Do I have 365? We shall find out.

When I started this blog, I thought about how each T-shirt means something to me. I bought it for a reason, after all. I set myself the task to post an entry about a new T-shirt every day as a way to simply write something every day, a warm up for writing fiction, which is my passion. Writing is like exercise. Warm ups are good for exercise. But after completing a month of blogging about T-shirts, I have learned that this blog serves as a journal; it documents my life in geek, sort of a tour of my interests in pop culture. The blog serves as a tool for self-inventory, for assessment and analysis of self and the origins of self, for stepping through the process of individuation in catalogues, lists, and ranks.

The blog also made me aware that I have some serious gaps in my T-shirt ownership, and I am in the process of collecting some new T-shirts for several of the great popular culture icons that I truly love. Stay tuned.

I was also a bit surprised that people checked out my blog and continue to check it, read it, and even comment on it. I am very appreciative of this readership. Please feel free to share your thoughts in my comments section. I will respond.

Also, please note that I have moved the original introductory text to the side bar. And now, I present to you the most recent entry of 365 T-shirts: a journal of my life in geek. Thank you for reading.
(Second Update - 1310.24. First Update - 1306.05 Originally Posted - 1304.25.)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

T-shirt #20: The Flash Logo

T-shirt #20: The Flash Logo

One of the things I like best about superheroes is their logos or insignias, the symbols by which they are known.

For years, I would only buy logo T-shirts. So, you are going to see a lot of them this year (if I have enough T-shirts to do a full year). I did not like wearing shirts that depicted the faces or likenesses of heroes. Some of the images made just for shirts were too silly and not based on the actual art in the comic books. So, I bought the logo shirts.

One of my first logo T-shirts was the Flash logo. This is actually my second Flash T-shirt.

The Flash logo is one of the coolest superhero logos in all of comics. As a fan of logos, I am prepared to argue that DC comics has the better logos compared to Marvel Comics. Sure, the Fantastic Four logo is simple and basic as is Spider-Man's logo. The X-Men logo is iconic. Though not all the heroes or organizations have logos in Marvel Comics, I like the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo very much (as you will see since I own a shirt for this one), then again, I like the HYDRA logo, too. Other notable Marvel logos include Iron Fist, Daredevil, Doctor Strange, Mar-Vell (or Captain Marvel for Marvel), the Punisher, and Captain America. Maybe later this year after I have posted many of my logo shirts, I can do a comparison of logos and which are more iconic and viral.

With casual consideration, I say DC Comics' logos beat Marvel Comics' logos for cool factor, iconic status, and recognizability. Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Aquaman, Deadman, all the Legion of Superheroes logos, the Metal Men logos, the Teen Titans, and so on. Wow. Among these, Flash's logo is arguably top five. Possibly, even tied for number one as the best and coolest with the Batman logo. Thus, the Flash logo adorns my Smart Phone case. I love it.

I was inspired to select the Flash shirt for today's shirt not only because I love the Flash insignia but also because of the recent death of one of the greatest and most influential of artists who worked on the Silver Age Flash: Carmine Infantino. My friend Charles Skaggs, who writes the blog Damn Good Coffee... and Hot!, wrote an excellent post on the death of Infantino that can be read here:

 THE FLASH's Carmine Infantino Passes at 87.

My parents purchased an issue of the Flash for me as one of my earliest comic books. I am including two covers here. I am not sure which issue I owned first, but these are definitely my first two Flash comics. Given that 177 comes before 180, it's likely that the "big head" issue was my first Flash comic, though in the old days some back issues could be found lingering in racks and shelving units at the grocery store or drug store, and it's possible that I was given 180 first or both together. Flash #177 was published in 1968 when I was six years old. I received my first comic in 1966 at the age of four, but that's a story for another time.

I love the Flash because the Flash is cool. I won't render a complete biography replete with descriptions of all the characters to assume the mantle of the Flash. Those who are interested can check the Wikipedia page for the Scarlet Speedster. Wikipedia is actually quite a good source for basic information about things, especially comic book related matters. And OMG! I just found the DC WIKI DATABASE. WOW!! I am having a geek overdose.

Indulge me: A couple of things before I sign off. The Flash comics of the Silver Age, part of my formative childhood years, were super, ultra cool in part because of the clever story ideas driven by the engaging cover art, a DC trademark of the time to compete with the rise of upstart Marvel Comics. Carmine Infantino was the main artist on The Flash at the time. Various writers helmed the series: John Broome, Frank Robbins, as well as the great genius of the time: Gardner Fox (who wrote the "big head" Flash issue #177); artistic duties were assumed later by Ross Andru. In addition to Fox, one of the masterminds of DC's use of startling cover images as story hooks (the cover ideas were often created before the story and given to the creative team to generate a story to support them), the Grand Poobah of DC Comics and the main genius was Julius Schwartz. My tribute to Schwartz will wait for another time, too.

But my thanks goes out to these creators as my earliest comics experiences were shared between DC, Marvel, and Golden Key comics. I was not a one company reader. I liked them all. Heck, I liked comics. I still do.

One of the best comic covers from this era was the one for Flash #163 by the Broome/Infantino team. I had to include the picture here. In classic nerd speak: "it's awesome."

I found that I am not alone in my love of the Flash. Through the fan networks, I met Neil Southwell (tagging you, buddy), who is possibly the biggest Flash geek of all time. Hi Neil!

How could anyone not love a hero whose costume popped out of secret compartment in a ring he wore? Who could run faster than Superman? Who could vibrate through walls? Who could race backwards in time?

Barry Allen as the Flash died in DC Comics' huge crossover event Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1985. I could not leave this blog entry without mentioning this fact, especially since Barry Allen stayed dead for 24 years, which may be a record in comic books for the length of a time a character has remained dead. Some of us comic fans wondered if Barry Allen would go down in history as one hero who died in combat and stayed dead. But then, DC brought him back for profit. In comics, it's all about the sales.

For me, it's all about logos on T-shirts.

-chris tower 1304.10 11:03