Where Did You Get That T-Shirt?

These are just the ones not in the wash…

One of my many foibles, and there are a good number, is that I do enjoy peoples reactions.  When I was younger I would say stupid things just to see what people would do.  At school this lead to the odd received right hook and later, some rather upset friends.  Luckily age has mellowed this silly reaction junkie.  These days, I go for t-shirts that confuse, confound and, to the right type of person, delight.  Case in point, a few weeks ago at the British Library’s Jodorowsky Evening, I was sat in the front row waiting for the action to start in my Last Exit to Nowhere W Enterprises t-shirt.  The woman next to me loved it, The Man Who Fell to Earth was one of her favourite films (a woman of sound movie tastes), she asked me where I got the shirt as she’d never seen the like.  Just then, in walked a chap in the new LETN Dredd Peach Trees T, we nodded appreciatively to each other and the woman exclaimed “Is that another one?!”.  I had to fire up the site on my phone to share the subtle wonders of Last Exit’s fine work.  Ok, I may be going over the top a tad there, but I don’t feel I’m over stating things, that did actually happen.  In the Geek World, T-Shirts are the front line.  Whether they are emblazoned with “Bazinga!” or something else, silly t-shirts are everywhere.  The trick is subtlety.  Anyone can have a Star Wars t-shirt, but one with a display from Luke’s targeting computer and 001138 in the display is very clever.  “Clever?  It’s just a T-Shirt…” I hear you shout, but if I hadn’t explained it, you’d have no idea what on earth it was, unless you believe that Han shot first.  Last Exit To Nowhere are just one of many T-Shirt stores catering for this market, but what sets LETN apart is that most difficult of things, subtlety.  Flick through the back pages of Empire and you’ll have page after page of T-Shirt sites flogging their wares.  In each you’ll see a couple worth looking at, until you hit LETN’s add…  To be honest, I really wish I hadn’t, they’ve cost me a fortune!  

Looking through LETN’s shirts, they uniformly show a higher level of detail and flare than their competitors.   While most will have an “Ash’s Chainsaw and Boomsticks” (Evil Dead 2) or “Big Kahuna Burger” (Pulp Fiction), what you will not see is a T-Shirt emblazoned with the Cable 54 logo from They Live (Out of print now it seems), or the Knox Industries logo from Bill Forsyth’s brilliant Local Hero.  My personal favourite, and first one I bought, was for The Raven in Patan, Nepal, otherwise known as Marion Ravenwood’s Bar in Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Annoyingly, a washing machine mishap has ruined it and its out of print now…  Hint, hint guys!  But it is the level of thought and detail that goes into the tops that is what makes them worth the £20 fee.  The hoodies are great too, with headphone loops and made from heavy weight cotton, they feel quality.  The only complaint I do have is that my preferred Fitted fit t-shirts do seem to be made of lighter weight cotton than they used too.  You’d only notice it if you’d been buying them for a while and can compare them, but it is a noticeable difference, especially given the £2 price hike a little while ago.  It is a criticism worth making, but it is the only one I can think of.  The T-Shirts are still of a very high quality and the customer service is superb.  A delivery mishap (regular rather than fitted T’s arrived) was quickly sorted and apology received with a discount on my next purchase, now used on a Peach Trees and a Spinner (the flying car in Blade Runner) t-shirts.  The online community they have built up is great fun too.  Regular Twitter competitions for photo’s and ideas attract some incredible entries, so much so I’ve stopped entering all but the “are you wearing a LETN T today?” ones, as its basically a selfie in a strange place.  I’m yet to win…  The Facebook page is a regular home to debate on the latest movie news (no way in hell should they remake, sorry, reboot” Escape From New York, the Carpenter original is perfect!) and previews of upcoming ideas.  It is a very engaging community that is worth getting involved in.  If you don’t, you’ll miss the discount codes!  More fun is celeb spotting wear a LETN T.  For example, I am a huge BBC Radio 4 fan.  Whilst catching up on some older Mariella Fostrup’s Open Book episodes, there on the iPlayer cover is Nick Harkaway (sorry to do it Nick but if you have know idea who he is, he is an Author of such books as Tigerman and his dad is David Cornwell.  Cornwell’s nom de plume is John le Carre) is a LETN Quint’s Shark Fishing T!  If you frequent Empire Magazine’s site, Chris Hewitt never seems to be shown without his LETN Nakatomi or Nostromo t-shirts on.  LETN bingo is rather fun, keep your eyes pealed, they pop up more often than you’d think!  Hell, someone even gave Terrence Stamp a Kneel shirt, he looked delighted.  Andrew Stanton, writer/director of A Bug’s Life, Finding Nemo and WALL-E is such a fan that he had LETN create the crew t-shirts for John Carter.  While the film didn’t live up to his Pixar work, the T-shirt is pretty cool.

Less subtle and with a longer delivery lead time is Woot Shirts.  Woot is an American discount site that in recent years has branched out into many things, including an impressive community of T-Shirt designers.  What was originally limited run shirts for a while are now, for the most part, printed on demand and shipped as you order.  While not of the ilk of Last Exit To Nowhere, the guys and gals that contribute shirts on Woot lean to the wonderfully absurd.  My favourite are the 8-bit retro shirts.  As I’m writing this, I’m wearing an 8-bit SCUMM (Scrpt Utility for Manic Mansion, Google it if you’re lost) inspired Star Wars T offering the gamer the choice of Han either 1) Surrendering to the Bounty Hunter, 2) Negotiating or 3) Shoot.  I’m sorry George, we are NEVER forgiving you for that.  The Woot Shirts are fun, my “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Chainsaw” Evil Dead inspired top gets lots of love when I’m out and about, almost as much interest as the LETN Terrence Stamp/General Zod KNEEL shirt.  Stamp’s Zod in Superman 2 still gives me nightmares…  I’m 35 years old already!  I saw Superman 2 for the first time 28 years ago, I should really be over it by now.  Mind you, Stamp was oddly alluring as Bernadette in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.  I jest, of course.

The Woot shirts are good fun, the Vader/Inigo Montoya “You Killed My Father” shirt is totally getting ordered.  It just goes to show that the talent is out there for the T-Shirt collector.  Seriously, go looking, you’ll be amazed what you can find.



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