Graphic Tees We've Known and Loved
As I mentioned in another article on this site, AAA TEE has had more than a few iterations and incarnations over the years. Our “big boss” (moi) has been creative director, lead artist, web monkey, marketing head, chief cook, salad chef and bottle washer. I had many occasions on which to design funny tshirts over the years. My first designs originated back in the 1980s and '90s, and were produced with traditional methods – drawn and/or painted, photographed, separated and screen printed. Since that era, the times have changed and so has the technology — dramatically.
Over the ensuing decades, AAA TEE appeared online for a year here, or a year there, then would vanish once again as life, work and other factors kept me from continuing the operation. This probably was a big mistake. The site should have remained online, even if dormant, for branding purposes (if no other). Sigh.
On the other hand, when you're doing graphic designs that have a short shelf life, it doesn't make much sense to stress over them. I mean, who cares about an anti-Mitt Romney t shirt after the election's over? Do you? I sure don't. Besides, what I was doing before was never my “main thing,” and AAA TEE was always sort of a side hustle.
Given that much of the focus over the years was on cool designs and/or funny tshirts (after all, who the hell wants to wear non-humorous tshirts when given half a chance?), there were some nice pieces of work produced I was and remain proud of. So I thought I would share a few of them here. Time permitting, perhaps I'll drag more out of mothballs and if there's demand, even resurrect one or two.
Infamy Makes Great News Copy (and Funny Tshirts)
The 2005-2006 era was truly interesting. The media was a-twitter (though not so much Twitter itself, since it didn't fully exist yet) over various upsets, outrages and imbroglios. The scandal rags and infotainment shows were working overtime, even then, and that was long before social media became what it is today. Still, it was a feeding frenzy, and I couldn't help but weigh in.
On the one hand, you had Michael Jackson on trial for molestation charges, and on the other a trio of rich bimbos (Paris Hilton, Brittany Spears, Lindsay Lohan) all trying to out-skank each other by taking pop culture as far as possible into the gutter.
For Mr. Jackson, this was Round 2 of being accused of being a kiddie-fiddler. He'd been acquitted of charges in 1993, and word was he had paid a big chunk of money in both legal fees and hush money to make those charges go away. Somehow, he managed to find himself in the same kind of mess once again. I tend to think that where there's smoke, there's fire, but the jury didn't see it that way. Once again, Mr. Jackson managed to slip the noose.
Shortly thereafter, he was sued for sizable damages, and some of the witnesses that had testified for him in trial told a very different story. The exact opposite, in some cases.
I suppose we'll never know the real truth, but this disgusting spectacle made for some great t-shirt material. AAA TEE did a series of Michael Jackson-themed graphic tees, one of which is shown below. Of course, some people didn't think they were so much humorous as in very poor taste, but them's the ropes when you're doing pop culture-oriented funny tshirts.
About the same time, the Hollywood Sleazettes (as I came to refer to them then) were the laughing stock of town — if not the world. Even I found it shocking and appalling, and I've lived all my life in and around Hollywood. In my years “in the biz,” as they say, I thought I'd seen it all. I mean, I've seen attention-whores do some pretty outrageous things in order to capture the media's eyeblink-and-it's-over attention span. But this was beyond insane. Intentionally being upskirted was well under the bar and way over the top.
And I'm no prude. Far from it. But short of these skanks relieving themselves on camera, the “miniskirt with no panties antics” of Paris, Brittany and Lindsay were about as tacky and low-rent as you could get. Apparently, it was no longer sufficient to make a sex tape. You now had to show split beaver in order to get publicity! I'm guessing their parents and families must have been so proud, especially the Hilton clan.
The problem with doing outrageous things in order to get attention is that you have to keep doing more and more outrageous things every time. I guess these three decided that exposing their genitals was the next great leap forward in pubic… er, sorry, public… relations. Who knows? I would note, however, that since that time, all three have largely receded from public view and, I would argue, public interest.
Parenthetically — and I'm probably speaking as a guy here — but once you've seen a bimbo's pussy, whatever fascination you might have had with it (and her) is largely gone. Let that be a lesson to you ladies, for what it's worth.
It didn't stop me from making a series of shirts, however. In fact, some good did come of the Sleazettes' behavior, as I found it positively inspirational — in a perverse sort of way, of course. It resulted in a series of tees, one of which is shown above. They did fairly well.
The Late, Great AAA TEE – Reloaded for 2016 and Beyond!
The 2011-2012 era saw us doing a lot of political stuff. That went pretty well, but as I learned, doing t shirt designs for something as short lived as an election cycle is hit and miss. If you're lucky enough, you can make a killing with one design that goes bananas. Shepard Fairy did it with his iconic HOPE design for Obama back in 2007-2008. I expect his success (and royalty checks) stunned even him. I had some success with my own updated take on his design. But unfortunately, the DNC did not come calling, nor did the Obama White House. Sigh. Lesson learned.
In 2014-2015 we briefly resurfaced, issuing some very limited edition tees, focusing on popular themes, none of which was more successful than our Breaking Bad shirts. Loved that show! Didn't you? We did quite a few different designs, and marketed them primarily via Facebook. Our Heisenberg designs were particularly hot. Also popular were our kinda-freakin'-awesome zombie-related t shirt designs. Yeah, I'm a Walking Dead fan. I admit it.
So here we are. We're up to date. You're probably wondering (if you care at all)… What can I expect? Well, for starters, look for more fun, cool, funny tshirts (sometimes painfully so) to come, for starters. Be sure to SIGN UP for our newsletter to be notified of new designs as they become available. And, perhaps most importantly, to be entered in our monthly graphic tee giveaway.
Yeah, that's right. The world-renowned AAA TEE SWAGAWAY SWEEPSTAKES is back! Get on it, beyotch, or you're gonna miss out.
And regret it. Really, really regret it. 😉