Friday, July 20, 2012

Comic art T-shirts!

Well, when I received the Rudy Nebres commission that I posted about here I was so thrilled with it that I wanted to do something special. So I decided it would be a wonderful t-shirt and set about trying to find out how to make that happen. In other words I asked the comicart-l yahoo group, a wonderful list group of individuals who collect comic art and are generally open to helping each other out. Group members Steve Erwin and Rob Stolzer were kind enough to reply with suggestions (thanks guys!) and I decided to go with Rob's suggestion first. I ended up ordering the Rudy Nebres shirt and another one with art drawn by Bill Sienkiewicz of musician Roger Waters. Rog is touring The Wall right now and I wanted the shirt to wear to the concert I went to last week. Well I put in the two orders, which have to be submitted individually. And while I awaited the results I made a LOT more t-shirt designs. In fact it was the most fun I have had with my comic art in a long while, and I enjoy the hell out of my comic art on a regular basis.

But wait, trouble was afoot! I got an email stating that the company noticed the art had an artist's signature and they wanted permission from Rudy to do the shirt. That was not going to happen as Rudy is off-line, and a few emails later I just cancelled that order. Then I got to photoshop and removed the signatures from the t-shirt designs I had made but not submitted, including Rudy's piece. This was not my first choice as I wanted to give the artist's their due credit but hey, I wanted to wear the art even more. And what do you know...the Sienkiewicz shirt was produced and the order completed despite having Bill's signature right there for all to see. So I was able to wear this shirt to the show.

art by Bill Sienkiewicz
 Now this was my first shirt, and as excited as I was to order it I wanted to wait until it came to see how it came out. Plus there are so many choices of shirts, colors, etc. that I wanted to see how the material was as well. And I had never before tried to use photoshop, although I was familiar with it because my wife is a web designer for Rutgers University and is VERY good at her job. But she don't photo the shop for me too much and I did not want to hassle her with my art - she puts up with enough in that regard. If I had done this shirt now the white on the edges would be gone and the shirt color would flow right into the art. BTW, here is a link to the original piece I used for this shirt. I only used 4 or 5 colors for the t-shirt and my wife likes how that looks better than the original! 

So when that one came out so well I went to town. I decided I could not wait and ordered two more shirts. I have about 20 designed, but thought that one in particular stood out. Well, the Grendel Prime hoodie looks awesome, but I can't wear that in summer. So I went with art from one of my favorite artists, Andy MacDonald. Andy created NYC Mech with Ivan Brandon and Miles Gunter. Ivan has gone on to well deserved acclaim, mostly while working at DC, but Andy is just as talented an artist as Ivan is a writer and deserves to get more work as well. And he has too, but not enough as far as I am concerned. And with this shirt I decided to go with art on the front and the back. While you can't see the art too well, here is what I did. BTW, I went with a different brand of shirt just to see which one I would like the best.

Bruunhilde, The Valkyrie by Andy MacDonald
Asgardian Storm by Andy MacDonald

Here are links to the originals in my CAF gallery.

Last but not least I decided to have some fun. Well, more fun I guess because making these shirts was just a blast. I pretty much went through every Itoya I own and looked over what I would want to wear and what would make a good shirt. Panels from my Mazzucchelli DD page seemed a good idea but I didn't like how they came out on the shirt. I have a great piece by Walt Simonson, a portrait of Alan Moore as Rorschach, and decided that would be my next purchase. I tried a different brand shirt and this time went for something a little more than the basic tee. I got something with color on the neck and sleeves, and while this one has a little bit of sketchiness due to the art being resized larger than the original I still think it came out well.

Alan Moore as Rorschach by Walt Simonson

Alan Moore as Rorschach by Walt Simonson
Man, I can't wait to wear these to conventions. I wore the red Andy Mac one to work today, even though I am a Ph.D. level psychologist working at a major state psychiatric center. Casual Friday indeed. I wasn't out of the house for five minutes today and already got a compliment at Quick Check. The shirts ran me from $20ish to $30ish, and they have all sorts of products to choose from. I expect to ask for these for Christmas and my birthday and better have a whole wardrobe full by this time next year. I have designed all sorts of them, Asgardian Storm shirts, shirts with the same image on the front and back (my wife thinks that is stupid but I want everyone to see the art, coming AND going!), Linsner shirts, Texeira shirts, more Andy Mac shirts, ad infinitum. I expect to get the Nebres shirt soon as well. So if you like these, feel free to make your own at

One last thing though. I am a bit afraid an artist will yell at me for these! I have a few more Andy Macs shirts ready to go but Andy and Ivan sell their own line of shirts. Even though I have not used NYC Mech art I hope Andy is cool with it. We'll find out in October at NYCC I guess, because you know I will be wearing these or others all four days. So if you see me there, tell me if you like the will make my day!


xraysteve said...

I had no luck in trying to make a t-shirt. I wanted a shirt of a DD splash that I have, but the shirt company would not allow it unless I had the artist sign a release form.

fedres said...

That is too bad Steve. I have had some issues with them lately as well, but mostly it goes smoothly if I photoshop the signature out of the commissions. Published pages are harder and I have had zero luck myself with punlished images so I stick with sketches and commissions.