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.)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

T-shirt #206: Mage: What Color is Magic?

 T-shirt #206: Mage: What Color is Magic?

Today's shirt is one of the oldest in my closet. I believe that Matt Wagner released this shirt far in advance of Mage: The Hero Defined, for which we Mage fans waited A VERY LONG TIME.

I submit for consideration that Kevin Matchstick is one of the coolest names for a hero and main character ever created.

As for the shirt's subject matter, I first wrote about the Mage series in T-shirt #140, and intrigued some comic fans that a Joe Phat shirt existed. As I warned then, I own two Joe Phat shirts plus two of the Mage lightning bolt shirts (unless I purged the old one), and so I have plenty more chances to write about Mage, which is an important disclaimer as today I am restricting myself to four short topics, none of which are directly Mage-related.

Though the second Mage series was finally released in 1997, I suspect that this shirt was released sometime between 1988 and 1992, hence my claim of its elderly status among the shirts in my closet. In fact, given its age and how worn it has been, I have all but retired it, allowing it languish in the depths of the extended closet.

Moving on and basking in the glow of another Tigers win (yay!! though I will save the next Tigers love letter for sometime this coming week), I have four quickie reviews to share (one of which I wrote and was published in today's Battle Creek Enquirer).

Earth Afire

Orson Scott Card (OSC) has taken a lot of heat in the last year or more for his opposition to same-sex marriage and support of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). As a writer and practicing Mormon, he has written somewhat extensively on the subject., hence my reference to his "politics." I have been working on a blog post that addresses this subject for a few months now (no lie, months) and plan to post it around the time of the release of the Ender's Game movie, which debuts November First.

Despite beliefs that I do not share and have difficulty even respecting, these views do not find their way into his fiction. And since he is one of my favorite authors and I am deeply invested in the Ender saga, I keep reading.

MY REVIEW FROM GOOD READS: Despite his politics, which do not jibe with mine, I enjoy Orson Scott Card's (OSC's) books immensely, especially his series set in the "Ender" universe. After the four books of the original series, and then the follow up set of four that followed a different child from Battle School, Bean, through his eventual fate, and then the volumes of Ender's time in space and other "first meetings," OSC has returned to the Ender-verse, surely as the Ender's Game movie ramps up, to fill in the back story of the first encounter with the formics and the First Formic War that prompted all the events of the Ender's Game  book. I liked this book as much if not more than the first volume and look forward to the third volume, Earth Awakens, which is due next June. The characters and situations are compelling. The closer examination of the "buggers," who were far out in space and not a direct threat in Ender's Game  is a fascinating subject.


Descriptive text from Macmillan about series: "ENDER’S GAME opens in the last desperate days of Earth’s war against the implacable insectoid aliens.  We are told early on that the Battle School is training generals for the Third Formic War – the war that will end the war, will save the Earth, will finally defeat the Buggers.

"EARTH UNAWARE tells us how the First Formic War began.  Working with Aaron Johnston, Orson Scott Card fills in the history of the Ender Universe with a pulse-pounding tale of first contact gone horribly wrong.   Out in the Kuiper Belt, beyond the orbit of Pluto, a family-operated asteroid mining ship is working a claim.  The ship is old, the family is big, and the minerals they are after are hard to find.  They need to fill their holds so they can buy supplies and desperately needed parts.  Seventeen year old Victor Delgado is a mechanical genius, and is eager to bring his skills to bear to support the ship and his family.  But something has appeared on the long-range scanners, out beyond the Belt. Something that’s either as big as a planet, or is moving incredibly fast, at a significant fraction of the speed of light. Whatever it is, it’s heading straight for Earth.
"In the second of the series, EARTH AFIRE, we see young Mazer Rackham on the ground in China, where the Formic aliens have landed and begun “terraforming” our planet.  It is the Scouring of China, and nothing alive can stand in the path of the invaders. All that humans can do is try to penetrate the alien ships, try to understand their technology, try to blow them up and drive the invaders away."

I wrote about The Walking Dead originally in T-shirt #10 on the night of the season finale of the TV show for The Walking Dead and the season three premiere of Game of Thrones. I believe we watched the finale of The Walking Dead that night, which happened to be Easter Sunday, way back on march 31st.

Tonight, The Walking Dead season four premieres on AMC, after becoming the most popular and highest rated cable TV show of all time. (I am not fact checking the previous claim because I am reasonably certain that it's true, and if it is not, let me hear about it.)

The Walking Dead #115 - Those of us accustomed to faster turnover in comic book stories may feel that the Negan storyline is dragging on too long, but given that Kirkman has declared that he is in it for the long haul with this comic and wants to depict what would happen to a world five or even ten years after a zombie apocalypse, it makes sense that stories will endure much longer with slower pacing and covering much more of our time to tell them sufficiently. Issue 115 marks the ten year anniversary of the original publication of The Walking Dead, which at the time was not an immediate smash success.

I do not want to engage in too many spoilers, but this issue does an excellent job transitioning to the next phase of the story and delivering a very intriguing cliff hanger as Rick and his forces attempt to take on Negan's army.

If you like the TV show, you should be reading the comic, at least on the collected volumes, if not issue by issue. Comixology just ran a sale of the digital comics at 99 cents a pop, meaning that for a mere $114 dollars one could have the entire series in digital form. It's worth it.

Afterlife with Archie #1 -  Okay, I know. It sounds like a gimmick. Archie? Zombies?

And sure, it's an attempt to cash in on the zombie craze. And sure, it's released right before Halloween and right when The Walking Dead tenth anniversary and TV's season four premiere are due. But neither of those timely scheduling choices diminish its excellence.

Primarily, it features gorgeous art by Francesco Francavilla, whose work can be found here: Francavillarts and Pulp Sunday. The writing by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is also excellent, which is no surprise given his work on the Fantastic Four for Marvel (Marvel Knights: 4). Aguire-Sacasa has written for Glee and Big Love, also.

Though it sounds gimmicky and contrived, the comic was fantastic! Jughead's dog is killed in an accident (we later learn that the deed is done by Reggie), and Sabrina goes against coven law to bring the dog back from the dead. When Hot Dog gets all zombified and bites Juggy, the clown prince of Riverdale goes all zombie himself.  Soon, Jughead enters the Riverdale Halloween Dance appearing as if he is in costume but about to infect the entire cast of Archie-ville. Will Archie become a zombie? Will both Veronica and Betty get all zombied-out? Given Reggie's secret crime, he seems to be fittingly in line for the zombie train. This is not a one-shot. It's an ongoing series! Check out the promo from You Tube.

Afterlife With Archie - On Sale Now!


I review shows for the Battle Creek Enquirer. Here is my review for the new What A Do Theatre production. I enjoyed it immensely.


On to the day of work, even though it's SUNDAY.

GO TIGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- chris tower - 1310.13 - 11:12