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.)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

T-shirt #313 - Kaaaawasaki Productions

T-shirt #313 - Kaaawasaki Productions

My wife made a friend on Facebook named Sam Campos who has his own media company (comic books among other things) called


When my wife visited him a few years ago, he gave her this shirt, which became mine because it fits me and my wife doesn't wear T-shirts.

Apparently, Sam's production company made a movie called DRAGONFLY, stills and some of the vitals about the project can be seen via the link above. The costumes look awesome.

Kaaawasaki Productions looks to be a progressive, right-minded company based in Hawaii.

I thought that this was a good shirt to share today because my WHY T-SHIRTS text is focused on uniforms and logos.

Also, Check this: from JUNE 19, 2012 1:15 PM:

Interview with President, Creative Director, and Janitor of Kaaawasaki Productions about ‘Dragonfly…!

I will include a video I found in my searching. The production looks good and the outdoor visuals of Hawaii are breathtaking.

Martial arts, motorcycles, cool costumed hero, Japanese influence, great location visuals, and a punchy editing job make this a fun video to watch. Also, DAFT PUNK music, which is always awesome.

Here's the data from YOU TUBE about the video:
"Published on Sep 10, 2013
DRAGONFLY starring Cole Horibe, Alison Kam, Mitchell Kekoa Campos, Jim Akina, Maki, and Kahinu Holt. Created by Sam Campos Kaaawasaki Productions LLC. This is a Proof of concept video for DRAGONFLY. Music is by Daft Punk. Kaaawasaki Productions LLC does not have or own the rights to this song."



I am doing a series of snippets that will add up to a larger whole answering the "Why T-shirts?" or "What's with all the T-shirts?" question. I have also decided to include the previous items in an ever growing list, hence the "previous items" section next.

#3: It's my tattoo
#4 PRIDE AND STATUS - "It's my thing."


Today's WHY T-SHIRTS installment contains a reprint from T-shirt #83: The X-Men Logo.

Much of this subject I explored in the previous entry, and since I feel I did a good job with it, I am reprinting it. But first some preamble and additional thoughts.

As I explore in the previous entry, there is an element of "dress up" or what is today known as "Cos Play" in wearing a shirt that replicates the uniform look of a superhero character's outfit. As an adult, I am not immune to the effect that when I wear the X-Men shirt, I am feeling like one of the X-Men. I am barely suppressing the impulse to wear cool red quartz shades and raise them to release my optic blasts or gesture in way that shows I am manipulating all the metal in the area with my magnetic powers. I do not feel that any kind of adulthood is achieved by leaving those playful thoughts behind. Surely, I could engage in such make believe with a four year old without suffering ridicule. Why could I not engage in such imaginative play without the four year old? What is it about adulthood that supposedly prohibits us from playing and using our imaginations?

Cos Play has suffered much ridicule over the years and has only recently (and in large part thanks to the Internet) become cool enough or accepted enough that there's less ridicule. People still laugh when the Big Bang Theory characters show up dressed like the Justice League. This idea of "adults" dressing up is still silly and the brunt of jokes. But now that the San Diego Comic Convention is featured in its own issue of Entertainment Weekly each year, and the Internet makes "okay" and brands as "cool" Cos Players, the ridicule is less, but it's still there.

It's this ridicule that made me very choosy about my T-shirts as I started to make purchases and as I chose which ones I would wear out of the house. Early on, I would only buy and wear logos that were not immediately recognizable as logos from comic books. And if I did buy a T-shirt with the picture of a super hero on it or the name of a comic book on it, I would be unlikely to wear it out of the house. This has changed, I am happy to say. I felt I was letting it all hang out before this blog, but the blog work has removed the final shackles holding back my geekiness, and so, as I wrote yesterday, I let my "geek flag fly" with reckless abandon and no inhibition.

Still my wife wants to make sure I am not going to become a Cos Player or a LARPer (Live Action Role Playing), and though I will buy and wear costumes for Halloween or KUDL costume night as I have shown on this blog, and though I will buy and wear shirts that mirror comic book costumes, I am not likely to Cos Play or LARP any time in the near future. But this is less about inhibition or thinking something is inherently wrong with it, as just not having the time to devote to it and do it well. Because the costumes look pretty damn cool... :-)

Logos are cool.

But why? Why are  logos so cool?

I have written about logos many times so far in the history of this blog. One of my best descriptions of this idea set comes with the Flash Logo and T-shirt #20. In entry #20, I listed many of my favorite logos and their appeal. Few logos are as iconic as the X-Men logo. And yet the X-Men were named by default. Originally, Stan Lee wanted to call the comic The Mutants, but this title was rejected by the publisher as being too arcane ("no one will know what the Hell a mutant is"), and so The Uncanny X-Men resulted not as a tribute to Professor Xavier, the team's leader and teacher, but for the X-Gene that gives the mutants their powers.

UNIFORM COOL: I AM AN X-MAN: Part of the appeal of logo shirts is the uniform aspect. It's costume play. When I wear a logo shirt that matches or resembles the costumed hero's uniform, I am engaging in a form of "dress up," what role players now call "cos play" because these days everything people do must be defined with a label and a sub-culture.

The X-Men have all gone through many uniform changes. The movies and animated series programs also affected uniform changes in the comics. Unlike many superhero groups, the X-Men had a uniformity from the earliest days of the team in regards to their wardrobe. Whereas groups like the Avengers, Justice League, and Teen Titans are all collections of individuals with their already established costumes, groups like the X-Men and the Fantastic Four have more of a homogeneous relationship and often have matching uniforms. The original X-Men all wore matching uniforms with iconic X logos. Later incarnations got away from that model, though the character of Cyclops has consistently worn some version of the classic blue X-Men uniform that he began wearing in the late 1960s during the re-invention period by Roy Thomas and Neal Adams (more forthcoming on this subject). This shirt most closely matches Cyclops' uniform.


Logos assume iconic status and spread like viruses. The most powerful logos are simple yet stunning. They tap into something primal and deeply rooted in the human psyche. They correspond with a reptilian, seminal core located in the locus coeruleus or basal ganglia of our human brains, what some feel is the first step of our pre-mammalian, evolutionary development.

I am extrapolating. But the power of a logo derives from instincts, and our instincts trace back to our reptilian and bird, pre-mammalian origins. Because we all share this feature of the brain stem, the reaction should be universal. One can argue that these logos are archetypal. I am arguing that our connections and attraction to them is not only hard-wired into our anatomy, and possibly coded at the genetic level, but also tied to a spiritual, energy connection through the Collective Unconscious. The most iconic logos are archetypes because they are ancient, archaic paradigms matching our repeated experience not just as a species but as living and evolving beings. The simple X logo is one of the best examples of this kind of iconic archetype.

Thank you for reading or re-reading.

For a supposed "hiatus," I am still generating a lot of text. And don't worry. I won't reprint all the time.

HIATUS TEXT: I am taking a short hiatus. A "hiatus" for the 365 T-shirts Blog does not mean that there will not be shirts or that I will skip posting on any forthcoming day. There will be shirts. But the shirts will not be exciting or the featured shirts will not require me to write a small novel to properly generate the content I feel is sufficient. I created a category for my hiatus so as to group together those "easy" shirts that I consider to be "hiatus shirts." The goal of the hiatus is to fill in many blog days with easy shirts in order to complete longer love letters to beloved popular culture icons on more special shirts and to write more complex entries AHEAD OF TIME. The daily grind is becoming too much and causing me to fall behind and to be forced to post incomplete entries. I am hoping that a series of hiatus shirts will allow me to catch up, get ahead, and stay ahead. Ideally, I would like to be writing the bulk of each entry three days ahead while always working on at least one other. I have a lot of great shirts to share before the end of my blog year (after all I was just given SIXTEEN shirts for my birthday). Stay tuned. I promise to post the more interesting and longer T-shirt entries as I finish them. Thanks for reading. BTW, this is the standard HIATUS TEXT that I will include in every "hiatus shirt" entry.

COUNTDOWN TO END OF THE BLOG YEAR - 52 shirts remaining

- chris tower - 1401.28 - 19:08