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, April 11, 2013

T-shirt #21: CONAN: Shirts you will never see on me in public

T-shirt #21: Conan

Early Buscema cover with Red Sonja!
So, the day after explaining my fixation with superhero logos, and how for years I avoided shirts with the likeness of the hero, it seemed fitting to feature another shirt with the likeness of a 1970s Marvel icon. After all, this whole blog started with Marvel's Son of Satan, one of my all time favorite characters from the 1970s, even though recent incarnations have left me altogether unimpressed.

Though I like Conan--today's featured character on today's shirt--I am unlikely to ever wear this shirt out of the house where you can see me wearing it. Okay, sure, I just took my puppy to Camp Fido. And yes, I was wearing the Conan shirt, but it was mostly hidden under another big, warm chamois shirt, so I did not really feel that my Conan shirt was on display.

As I feature new shirts each day, I will make notes of their uses. Some are only worn at home. Some are only worn as pajamas. Some are only worn for sports or exercise. Some are worn when I eat pasta or clean the kitchen because I do not care if they get permanently soiled. Conan falls into the "only at home" category.

In one sense, this category is a bit irrelevant now as I am posting pictures of myself wearing these "only at home" shirts on THE INTERNET, not exactly a private bat-cave by any means. There's nothing really wrong with the shirts with likenesses, especially this one that derives from a comic book cover (Conan #96), and I am more comfortable sporting shirts that look a bit more like something I would have worn when I was 10 or 11 years old than I used to be. But still, I keep this one to "in the house."

Possibly my favorite Buscema
Silver Surfer cover.
I bought this shirt in the last few years, inspired by learning that my wife likes Conan. For a while, she was interested in doing some Conan reading, so I loaded her up with the first three volumes of the Roy Thomas-Barry Windsor Smith Marvels, some of the books with Frazetta covers, and then we watched the movies with Schwarzenegger. Like many discoveries with Liesel, if I was not already in love with her, I would have fallen in love with her upon learning she liked Conan the Barbarian. Who wouldn't?
The Black Coast stories were among
my favorites.

I was not on the bandwagon with Marvel Comics' adaptation of Howard's stories in its Conan the Barbarian title from the start and the earliest issues lavishly illustrated by Barry Windsor Smith. I had not found the Robert E. Howard stories until after I started reading the comics. I jumped on with Conan during John Buscema's run on the comic. I already loved Buscema's art work because of his runs on The Avengers and Silver Surfer. Buscema's strong lines and sturdy figures made a strong impression on me. One of the first short stories I wrote (in fourth grade) was about Conan the Barbarian, inspired by the issues created by Roy Thomas (one of my favorite all time comics writers) and Buscema. The story also was inspired by Treasure Island, which I had read the year before as my first "adult" novel. Later, in the early 1980s, Buscema would do a run on King Conan that not only did I love, but so did my sister.

John Buscema is missed. He died in 2002 at the age of 74. He was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in the same year. Obviously, I could go on an on about Conan and the character's and the stories' impact on my life, but I have waxed on and waxed off enough for now.

 SIDE NOTE: One interesting thing about my Conan shirt is its label. It's not a Hanes or Fruit of the Loom. It's copyrighted by Conan Properties International LLC, and the shirt is manufactured by Mad Engine, who do some very cool shirts seen here: MAD ENGINE.

Art by Barry Windsor Smith

The label reads CONAN in big letters, which seems fitting. He should be in big letters.

- chris tower
just in his house
not in public
1304.11 - 10:06