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.)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

T-shirt #184 - Fables

T-shirt #184 - Fables

Pictures of me are featured here wearing my Fables shirt in the place I bought it: Fanfare Sports and Entertainment of Kalamazoo.

Funny thing, yesterday at Kalamazoo College, dropping off my best friend's son to an acting class (as he, the son, Sam, is considering K-College), the acting teacher recognized me from seeing me in Fanfare. I recognized him, too, but I couldn't place him.

Today is dedicated to Fables, which I am ashamed to say, and I have confessed this before, has often fallen into my back log. But no more. I am caught up and intend to remain caught up on this extraordinarily fantastic comic book. Arguably, if I was forced to make a top five list of best comics being published right now, I would surely put Fables on it.

I already wrote about Fables on this blog, but most notably, it appears on my list of comic book recommendations for non-comic book readers, which appeared in the Paul Pope entry T-shirt #160.

It's not a ranked list so the spot on the list is irrelevant (it's sixth). As I wrote then, and I will write now, I would not recommend it to everyone as the first thing to try as someone who wants to start with comics. But certain people with an interest in fantasy will adore it. Really, everyone would adore it. But better for some people to start with something that is truly up their alley.

Fables has been consistently one of my favorite comics for many years. As it is up to issue 133, that's almost 12 years of reading. Willingham and Buckingham have produced many other comics prior to Fables, but this is surely the best work of either of their careers.

With many spin-offs and consistent sales, Fables is the core seller of DC's Vertigo line, and surely deserves its place on a list of best comics of all time.

For those not in the know, Fables is a comic book that chronicles the lives of the classic "fable" characters, such as Snow White, the Big Bad Wolf (known as Bigby), Rose Red, Beauty, the Beast, Jack Horner, Pinocchio, Boy Blue, Cinderella, and so many others. These characters are forced out of their Homelands by the Adversary (who turns out to be... oh wait, NO SPOILERS) and live in communities (one in new York and one farm in upstate New York) hidden from the "mundies" (short for Mundanes, normal, non-Fable people like us).

The comic is just brilliant and has been so for its entire, nearly 12 years run.

I am not as big a fan of the second volume story arc ("Animal Farm") as other stories, so people who start reading the volumes in order are advised to stick with it as they may not like the second volume as much as the first either. Some of the best work with Fables has been done recently, such as "Cubs in Toyland" (issues 114-121), the Mister Dark story that culminated in issue #100, "Inherit the Wind" (issues 108-111), and this current storyline (started in issue #131) for "Camelot" about reforming the Arthurian Round Table to take on a sacred quest.

Fables  has won many awards and praise for its writing and art. Arguably, both NBC's and ABC's "fable" TV shows started as adaptations of Fables. Apparently, a live action film is in the works adapting Fables.

For a full explanation of all Fables stuff, check out the Wiki for FABLES.

At 133 current issues, like other current epics (The Walking Dead), Fables  is a massive commitment, but it's well worth the time and the investment.


BTW, in the pictures of me in Fanfare, I am posing in front of a Fables display created by Andrew. The photos were taken by Bill Artis, which is why there's a blurry one.



Infinity takes top spot this week, up from third place two weeks ago (T-shirt #168), but the cliff hanger about Thanos' son coming from Black Bolt had me hooked (as reviewed in T-shirt #176).

This is a small week in terms of numbers of comics, especially since I am not buying all of DC's villains books. I still have not gone back to buy those I skipped. I may not.

Because of fewer books this week, Daredevil moves up two spots from a month ago (T-shirt #156), and Fables (the subject of today's blog post) moves up several spots and is out of the back log.

Also, Thor, which is usually not back logged, fell to the back log because the last issue was a filler. I have moved up both issues, right near Fables, and so those will surely get read this week.

And, after buying the first volume of old Aquaman comics in Fanfare's sale last week, I grabbed the second volume this week as I enjoyed the first one so much. I read a great deal of it last week in Detroit as it was the only book I took with me on our trip.

Infinity #3 of 6
New Avengers #10
Daredevil #031
Uncanny X-Men #012 (Battle of the Atom chapter 4)
Thunderbolts #015
Fables #133
Mind the Gap #14
Great Pacific #10
Thunder Agents #2
Batman and Robin: Ra's al Ghul #23.3
Teen Titans: Deathstroke #23.2

Morbius the Living Vampire #008
Savage Wolverine #008
Secret Avengers #009
Thor God of Thunder #013
Ultimate X-Men #31

DC Showcase Presents Collected Edition - Aquaman - Volume 2

I could go a bit nuts with Fables art. Here's a nice selection of covers and assorted art work, though no pages. I don't want to spoil any story. Just the covers reveal too much.

Fables #51

Fables #70

Fables #91

Fables #96
Fables #123
Fables #109

Jack of Fables #17

Covers from first four trade papaerbacks

-chris tower - 1309.21 - 15:41