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.)

Monday, August 26, 2013

T-shirt #158: Bone - Stupid, Stupid Rat Creatures

T-shirt #158: Bone and the "Stupid, stupid rat creatures"

This blog is a major commitment. Never fear. I am not throwing in the towel. But I am constantly evaluating what I am doing, why I am doing it, and what form it will take.

It's all part of a theme that will culminate in a blog post in the near future, something that came from an interview with Joss Whedon (okay, there's a big hint at the subject).

"The thing I brought to the other shows is the thing I still try to do: Have a different reason to tell a story every week and not just have a different story" (EW, #1274, August, 30 2013, pg. 30).

This quote resonated with me. Joss managed to sum up one of my main goals with this blog. BE DIFFERENT. Different reason, not just different stories. There's always going to be T-shirts here on this blog (that's the theme) and there's lots of comic books (because that's the main T-shirt supply source), but the reasons for the entries should vary, so that if you're reading, you should have a real buffet of choices from week to week and month to month.

I cannot write gargantuan posts everyday.

Heck, you cannot read them.

And the research? It can seem a bit crushing in its weight.

And, I need new reasons to give meaning to the posts otherwise I am just spinning my wheels and wasting your time. I have tried to connect to a variety of subjects. I think I need to spread out my tendrils and infect a greater area of the environment with my evil influence.

So, here I present a T-shirt dedicated to Jeff Smith's Bone, which has nothing to do with evil or influence or infection and then again it does. Luckily, I own another Bone T-shirt, so I still have time to re-read Bone, which may be a worthy project to tackle during the last few weeks of my recovery (though I am doing just fine, now, and almost back to normal in most major ways). At the very least, I do not have to deliver the entire Bone love letter in this entry.

Time Magazine called the Bone series as "sweeping as the Lord of the Rings cycle, but much funnier." (Read more at the Bone Wiki).

You can see I was enough of fan to buy the Fone Bone plush toy. I have several other Bone items as well as various volumes of collected editions and all the comics individually.

The photo below shows my single volume Bone collection.

Most savvy comic book fans (and many non-fans) have heard of Bone.

If you have NOT heard of Bone, stop reading this post right now. Get in the car and drive to your local comic shop, which should have at least either volume one or the complete collected edition seen in the picture above. Do not pass go. Do not stop to collect $200.

Of course, you might find it in a good library or bookstore. And there's always Amazon. Though if you want, you should just go straight to BONEVILLE, Jeff Smith's own store and skip the middle man.

Oh boy... why did I look at the Boneville store. If you look, you will see how many Bone T-shirts there are that I do not own. Oh geez.

Anyway, Bone is another "go to" comic worth recommending to non-comic book readers interested in exploring the genre. Again, despite the excellence of Neil Gaiman's work, I would put Bone ahead of Sandman as a recommendation to curious non-comic book readers, and girls, along with things like Optic Nerve (T-shirt #98), Marvels (T-shirt #155), and Concrete (I tried to buy the Concrete shirt I never owned; I found one via Etsy that sold in 2011 but even so it was the wrong size). Do you sense a list coming on? Well, not today, but I sense that sometime in the near future I am going to have to make a LIST OF COMIC BOOKS FOR NON-COMIC BOOK PEOPLE. Just writing that out makes me think about what to put on it. New comics like Saga deserve to be on that list but maybe I should stick to completed runs of stories. Sorry, just thinking out loud.

Obviously, the recommendations for non-comic fans will have to be tailored to the person's interests and/or what type of comics she wishes to explore. However, I would be surprised if Bone's beauty and simplicity, its roots in the great works of Walt Kelly (Pogo) and Carl Barks (Scrooge McDuck), its blend of humor, love, and epic fantasy on a Lord of the Rings scale will not have something for every reader, and every open minded reader should adore it.

Bone won many of the highest awards in comic books. Jeff Smith produced the comic on a semi-regular basis (because it's hard to run a comic business and create the comic all by yourself or even with your wife once you convince her to quit her job and helm your business) between 1991 and 2004.

Surely, it would make a top 100 best comics of all time list. I am inclined to say it would easily be in a top fifty as well. Top twenty? Yes, definitely. Top ten? Well, it's surely good enough to be in a top ten, but I am afraid to make such a claim without some more serious thought. So I am not yet ready to make that list.

Bone just celebrated it's 20th anniversary: NERDIST ARTICLE FOR THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY.

I am not inclined to render even a partial explanation or plot summary of the comic at this time. If I have inspired you to read it, or if you have had that "oh yeah, I have been meaning to get to this one" reaction, then just go get the thing and plow in.

Let me know what you think.

"Lord of the Rings but funnier."

That's good enough, really.

The original black and white work has been all colored now, so you have a choice of reading in the original black and white or the new all one color edition either in multiple volumes or all in one (however, warning, the all in one color volume is $150).

The Bone comics have been reprinted in Disney comic books in case that might deter some of you. It shouldn't.

One parent in Minnesota sought to have the comic removed from the local school library because of references to smoking, drinking, and gambling in the stories. Luckily, the school board in that town ruled against her wishes and Bone remained on the shelves.

Though various projects have been in the works to either bring Bone to television or to the big screen, finally, the rights ended up with Warner Brothers, who are planning three separate computer-animated 3D films. The first was originally to be released this year (2013), but this date has been pushed back to 2014 though it's currently logged as TBA. Obviously, when the movies start coming out, Bone will get more national attention than ever, so now is a good time to read it and then pass it along to a loved one, a child, a friend, and spread the good word.

One last thing about the rat creatures.

Fone Bone's line shown in the panel here occurred during a chase scene in which the rat creatures were trying to catch Fone Bone to eat him. He hopped onto a tiny, slim branch, clinging by a a slim root to the cliff side thinking that the branch was too insubstantial to hold all three of them and the rat creatures would not be stupid enough to jump onto the branch as well, dooming all three of them to fall. As you can see in the panel, this was not the case. Luckily, the cliff runs alongside a waterfall with a river below, so when they all fall, they land in water and swim to shore. These events all take place in issue #2 or in the collected as chapter two, entitled "Thorn," of Book One: "Out from Boneville."

The phrase "stupid, stupid rat creatures" should become part of our lexicon for the unbelievable, for when people do something INCREDIBLY stupid like what the rat creatures do here. I have been trying to say it a lot, but it will probably not catch on as a common phrase until the movie (I hope) makes it famous.

For years, I have also been trying make famous "Help me Spock" as a cry for aid when overwhelmed with disbelief for all kinds of ridiculous situations. The phrase comes from Star Trek - The Original Series and the episode called "The Savage Curtain." I use the phrase when someone says something stupid, when someone does something stupid, or when facing a difficult situation. Basically, any situation you can think of in which someone would call for Spock's aid. But I have not been able to get this phrase to catch on either.

I will keep trying.

"Stupid, stupid rat creatures."

"Help me, Spock!"

Just squeezing (heh) in this image below which came to me via Facebook because it seems so wonderful and true. Liesel removed my catheter on Friday. Thank you, honey. I could not have gotten through this experience without you. I am so fucking lucky.

And for those you who had never heard of or maybe never seen a Pogo strip, here's a good one.

- chris tower - 1308.26 - 9:04