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, June 27, 2013

T-shirt #98: Optic Nerve

T-shirt #98: Optic Nerve

Exciting happenings in magic bloggy land. First off, Grading Robot (aka, me) finished final grades for the Dread Forge, better known as the Grinding Wheel, better known as School that keeps in my cheese fries, better known as the steady paycheck that keeps me flipping-burger busy. So that's done. Though I have more grading to do before this week is over, I am no longer in high speed robot mode. Thank Eclipse. All hail the Grand Poobah of the chaotic realms.

Can you tell that I have been up since 5 a.m., have had too much coffee, and too little sleep? Is is that obvious?

The other exciting news is today's blog post feature. NEW OPTIC NERVE!!!

What is Optic Nerve you ask?

I know some alleged comic book fans who work in comic book stores who do not know what is this thing I speak of when I speak the title Optic Nerve. A few months ago, I was lauding the beauty and grace and wonder that is Adrian Tomine's Optic Nerve in Fanfare, my local comic shop, and not only had my dear friend the comic vendor never heard of it, but Fanfare did not stock any of the graphic novels (let alone ALL OF THEM as they should) because [a] they do not sell; and [b] I am the only one who has ever ordered them.

For shame.

Here are two pictures of me with one of the graphic novels: Sleepwalk and Other Stories (1997) and my Optic Nerve T-shirt.

I was thrilled when I did my comic order last week and discovered, on page 303 of the June Previews, a solicitation from Drawn and Quarterly Publications for the next OPTIC NERVE comic book (#13, collect them all). D&Q smartly re-issued all the awesome Tomine books and available issues of the comic, though I do not need them as I own them all.

ALSO, Tomine announced the new Optic Nerve on his web site: Optic Nerve #13.

Is my excitement obvious enough?
If my blog does anything, I hope it inspires even just one person to READ OPTIC NERVE!!! If I inpsire two or more then posting all this work without Tomine's permission has been totally worth it.

Readers of the New Yorker may recognize Tomine's art from the many covers he has drawn (see an example in the final image of today;s entry). These covers and his other illustrations were recently collected: New York Drawings.

Here's an article about Tomine and his first New Yorker cover from The Thought Fox, a great blog about Books and Culture hosted by Faber & Faber publishers.

I love my Optic Nerve T-shirt.


If I were to list my favorite artists outside mainstream, superhero comics, Adrian Tomine tops the list.

How to describe the work of Adrian Tomine and Optic Nerve? I am not sure I can do the work its due justice. Or maybe Grading Robot's batteries are too low to properly power Tower the Blogging Robot.

However, I do like this content: the Optic Nerve "stories [often] follow various socially awkward guys and girls through relationships, beatings, voyeurism, and other assorted plot lines. What seems to connect Tomine's stories throughout is the way in which each story is unnerving, some more than others...Other than being quirky, all of his characters can be characterized as being "outsiders", [sic] people who by choice or no choice exist at the fringes of our society... Each story, in some way, leaves you lingering (in a good way), mulling over the plot line and outcome of the story. I suppose what makes Tomine so intriguing is that each story is accessible to the reader, even the more extreme ones like "Pink Frosting" are, in reality, perfectly plausible in our reality" (The Graphical Neophyte, 2009).

This blogger has not blogged since 2009, but she does a very good job of capturing what makes Tomine such an excellent artist and storyteller.

There's even an Optic Nerve Wiki.

I love my Optic Nerve T-shirt.

my first Optic Nerve mini comic

I discovered Tomine and Optic Nerve back in its earliest days when it was still sold as mini-comics back in the early 1990s (pre-1995). I found a picture of one of these minis online and a page from my favorite ever Tomine story, which I will include here with all love and respect for the artist.

page from my favorite Tomine story

Is that too subtle?

Optic Nerve comics and collected graphic novels make great gifts.

Adrian Tomine's work is touching and beautiful. It is emotionally moving. I like to think that Adrian Tomine and I would be friends if we knew each other. He writes the kinds of stories that I was writing in college and would still write today if I was not doing others types of things. He and I seem to care about the same things.

I would like to think that Adrian Tomine might stumble across my blog somehow. Probably not likely, but it would be neat. If you are Adrain Tomine, and you are reading this (and cursing me for posting your art work without permission), I want to thank you. You have enriched my life in profound ways. I have read your works many, many times. Your books and comics are among my most treasured possessions, not for the owning, but for the viewing and reading and the feelings they all convey. Thank you, Adrian, for making my life and the lives of others (the world) a richer place. (Yeah, I know. I'm a dork and corny, but I can't help it when I get on a roll.)


Adrian Tomine Wiki

Adrian Tomine Tumblr

Tumblr dedicated to Adrian Tomine

Tomine-What Goes Into Creating a Cover

Paris Review Interview with Tomine

BUY Tomine art

Tomine on Fame, obscurity, craft, and drawing for the New Yorker

The RUMPUS: Spotlight on Tomine

Time's Summer Blonde review

Mother Jones: The Real Adrian Tomine

The Ephemerist on Tomine

The Casual Optimist - an illustration from March 12 2013

Review of 32 Stories - original mini-comics by Tomine

- chris tower - 1306.27 - 11:09