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.)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

T-shirt #168 - KUDL 2009 - White-NO PLAY

T-shirt #168 - KUDL 2009 - White-NO PLAY

I have two white KUDL 2009 shirts. This follows a practice I call PLAY and NO PLAY. Sometimes, I obtain two identical shirts and mark the tags of each as PLAY and NO PLAY. Can you guess my purpose here? It seemed to me that shirts I wore playing Ultimate became mud-stained or torn and wore out more quickly than those I kept nice to wear off the field, say to a restaurant or to a class (for me class means work). I have always enjoyed the kind of job where I could wear T-shirts at work, while teaching classes. In fact, shorts and a T-shirt is my favorite work outfit, year around. So, my point being that I have two white 2009 KUDL shirts. Is it cheating to post another one on a different day? I don't think so. This blog is dedicated to shirts in my closet, right? Well, I have two identical white KUDL shirts from 2009 hanging in my closet. That's two days worth of shirts. (POINT OF ORDER: Yes, it's true that I was seen wearing a white 2009 shirt in T-shirt #123, but that was my white PATAGONIA shirt from that year and this one (plus the other one in my closet) is made of cotton.)

Some people expect to see me in a T-shirt all the time. Okay, yes, every day I wear at least two T-shirts, sometimes more. As you may know from following this blog, I have T-shirt pajamas, so there's one T-shirt per day. I always put on a different T-shirt when I get up in the morning. This morning (and by this morning I mean Monday, Labor Day, as I am currently working three days ahead on the blog), I put on T-shirt #1 Son of Satan after I shed my pajamas and set off to feed the pets, get some juice, morning medications, and coffee, do my light treatment, examine all the Baseball box scores, record the scores of my favorite teams on my log sheets, set my fantasy Baseball lineups, and all my other morning, pre-work rituals. Later, I wore two other shirts making four total for the day, which is probably my maximum except on especially hot summer days with lots of sweaty activity.

And by presenting a second KUDL shirt in a row and the third Ultimate shirt this week, I am striving to get ahead, evidenced by the fact that, as I stated, I am writing this on Monday, Labor Day. Never fear dear reader. I have non-Ultimate content for you today.

Some comic book reviews.

Weekly comics list.

And then some favorite Marvel comic book covers, just for fun.


Captain America #010

Rick Remender claimed that the "Dimension Z" storyline would forever change Captain America and have far-reaching and long-lasting ramifications. I gave this story line and Captain America in general a loving tribute in T-shirt #106.

But in considering how Remender would re-integrate Cap back into Marvel Comics continuity after ten years, his time, in Dimension Z, and knowing that something major would happen, I wondered if Cap would sustain some debilitating injury, lose his super soldier power, age dramatically, or any number of things.

HERE'S the SPOILER - stop reading if you don't want to know: I did not expect the death of Sharon Carter, Cap's longtime girlfriend and great love since his re-introduction in the 1960s. Sharon has been a major player in the Cap books since her re-introduction after a long hiatus in which she was virtually off the canvas. Cap has had other girlfriends between his original relationship with Sharon and his rekindled one in the last ten years or so of the book's run. In fact, Sharon was the one who killed him in the DEATH OF CAPTAIN AMERICA story line a few years back under the brainwashing influence of Doctor Faustus.

In this comic, the conclusion of "Dimension Z," Sharon has come through to Zola's Dimension to rescue Cap and help close the portal that Zola is attempting to use to send a battle station filled with demon hordes through to Earth and bring about an apocalypse that would leave billions dead.

The issue is a crazy rocket ride of excitement and a fitting end to the gorgeous, fun, and edifying love letter to Jack Kirby's Captain America by Remender amd Romita, JR. In addition to the death of Sharon Carter, Cap is saved by Arnim Zola's daughter Jet Black, who brings him through the portal and is now with him on our Earth. Lastly, though presumed dead, the final panel reveals that Cap's "son," the boy Ian, who was really Zola's son but whom Cap raised as his own son while a fugitive in Dimension Z for ten years, has become NOMAD, which is a fitting re-birth for the hero Cap created when he shed the Cap uniform and identity in other pivotal 1970s stories and who was carried on by Jack Monroe, the 1950s replacement "Bucky."

Lazarus #3

Originally, I wrote about Rucka and Lark's Lazarus back in T-shirt #138. I gave the first two issues a big thumbs up and generated a lot of text, both mine and other people's, to muster support for the book. Issue three is even better. With the set up preliminaries out of the way, Rucka and Lark can settle into story telling mode, developing the plot more fully of the brother-sister twins who are colluding to take over the Carlyle family and how the Lazarus, Forever, is in the way. Sent on a mission by the Carlyle patriarch, Malcolm, last issue, Forever arrives in Mexico to negotiate with the Morray family. The issue opens with a standoff as Forever will not give up all her weapons, preferring to keep her sword in its back sheath. The Morray Lazarus, Joacquim, backs Forever's play when she slices off the hand of the guard requesting her weapons. The sequence is tense and beautifully rendered by Lark's gorgeous art work. The other story line developing is the obvious attraction between Joacquim and Forever, which calls into question whether a Lazarus can have some of the things of normal life, like a relationship. We also learn in the first sequence that some foods are off limits to a Lazarus because of how food enzymes may interfere with the Lazarus implants.

Meanwhile, Jonah and Johanna Carlyle hatch their coup, which goes to a new level when Forever successfully negotiates a treaty with Morray. The final scene shows Joacquim and Forever stopping along the way back to Carlyle territory for a drink and to watch the sunset with overtones that something sexual may happen between them when they are hit with a missile strike: CLIFFHANGER ending.
Rucka maintains more back matter with letters and a news roundup of relevant technology.
In the end, I am on the edge of my seat, fully engaged in this excellent comic and eagerly awaiting the next issue.

Uber - issues 0-3 (except #1 which I seem to be missing)
I let the Kieron Gillen and Caanan White project from Avatar, called Uber, stack up for a few months before I delved into it, but it was worth the wait.

I have always enjoyed Avatar comics. They are excessively bloody and brutal, but they are frequently very good. Warren Ellis has done a lot of work for Avatar in recent years and so have Alan Moore and Garth Ennis among others. I picked up Uber based on the ads in Previews and Kieron Gillen's name, as I have enjoyed his writing on various Marvel books, most notably, lately, Young Avengers.

Put simply, Uber is about the development of a superman program in the last year of Nazi Germany's reign during World War Two. The story follows an undercover spy who smuggles out the genetic technology developed by the Nazis to help the allies, seen here in England, to develop their own super soldiers to combat the Nazi Ubers.

Gillen shares smart postscript essays about the development of the book and his concerns about a book that could be misconstrued to glorify the Nazis and Nazi Germany, to glorify the violence, especially in light of the rape scene in issue #1 (more on this later after I read it - see Weekly Comics section below).

Gillen struggles, rightly so, with depicting real persons, such as Hitler, in the pages of the comic. I think he manages to depict Hitler, Churchill, and many of the others fairly and precisely enough for the purposes of his story.

It seems to me that Gillen feels too much angst and struggles too much with the ethical questions. For a while, he described himself as a "paranoid wretch."

Uber is a very interesting comic, and Gillen's back matter makes it an even richer reading experience. For instance, Gillen recommended THE FALL OF BERLIN 1945 by Antony Beevor as essential reading. It's obvious that Gillen has put a lot of time and effort into creating this story, which is always commendable.

However, discovering that I am missing issue #1, I am going to return to this subject in another blog post.

Meanwhile, if you are a comic reader, or a history buff, or both, and if you can handle GORE (which is Avatar's trademark style) consider picking Uber now in the individual issues or in the collected first volume, which will be due soon (as the first story arc completes with issue #5 that also arrived this week, again see the Weekly Comics below).

Also, Gillen is all over the Internet with his own blog and a Tumblr:




DC has started its "villains month." I am not excited. All the DC books for the month of September have been "taken over" by the villains who replace the title heroes on the covers and in the issue titles. The complete-ist in me does not want to skip issues of titles that I have no interruptions in the sequence going back 30 years or more. BUT I am under-whelmed by this month's "gimmick." I only ordered two of this week's villain books. I skimmed the others and was not inspired. However, so as not to miss issues, I may re-visit these issues and buy up the ones for the comics I normally buy. Damn them to Hell.

In any case, on the strength of my love for the Frank Cho art alone, and my adoration for the Art Adams cover, X-Men - Battle of the Atom #001 takes top spot. I do like Bendis' writing a lot, and I generally have no complaints with him. I follow X-Men - Battle of the Atom #001 with the companion book All New X-Men #016 as these seem to work as a matched pair.

If you look back to T-shirt #141, which should be the corresponding month, you can see that Green Arrow held the top spot followed by All New X-Men (still number two), and Avengers A.I. in fourth as it still is. Neither Avengers nor Infinity came out a month ago. Other comics move up the ranks if you compare, and comics like Fairest and Uber have come up out of the Back Log. Notice how small the Back Log is.

I am excited for Hickman's God is Dead from Avatar. I did not order Dynamite's Codename Action #1, which is part of the Captain Action franchise (I wrote about the Captain in T-shirt #128), but I was compelled by the art and the cover and so I added it to my stack.


X-Men - Battle of the Atom #001
All New X-Men #016
Infinity #2 of 6
Avengers A.I. #003
Iron Man #015
Forever Evil #1
Uber #1 (because I missed it)
(JUST TO REVIEW - Uber #s 0-4)
Uber #5
The Superior Spider-Man #017
Daredevil: Dark Knights #004
Count Vertigo (Green Arrow) #1 (#23)
Darkseid (Justice League) #1 (#23)
Sheltered #3
Trillium #2
Fairest #19
God is Dead #1 (From Avatar Press)
Codename Action #1 (From Dynamite)

Back Log
Satellite Sam # 3


I have always loved this Romita cover.
I cannot remember how Pete squirmed free
of this one, but the cover is a classic
taunt for reading the issue.

One of my earliest Avengers books.
Now that I know Ultron is the villain
of Avengers Two, I thought this
would be a good cover to share.

One of my first FF comics.
I love the soap opera feel of the
cover depicting multiple
simultaneous stories

One of my earliest Thor comics.
Love the perspective of Galactus'

Just how much punishment
can Wolverine take? Classic
John Byrne cover.

- chris tower - 1309.05 - 9:38