SPX Pulls: I Read Banned Comics Shirt / by Alex Jarvis

When we announced the REVIEWENING, I believed I mentioned that I would review everything I bought at SPX. Well, I’ve worked through all of my books, but I was reminded of something else I bought, something a little out of tune with the rest of our haul--and yet, oddly relevant. I bought this shirt.

It’s from the CBLDF booth, and I bought it right along side my copy of Habibi (which, though I bought, Beth will be reviewing this week since she had already read it by the time I bought it). I said I’d review everything I bought, and I am a man of my word.

For those who would prefer to wear the shirt themselves, there are spoilers in this review.

Coming in at a brisk 20 dollars (a donation made to the CBLDF) The shirt comes in both grey/blue and black/yellow. It’s printed on Gildan Ultra Cotton, which is not my usual preference for shirts; say what you will about their business and politics, but something about an American Apparel shirt really breathes easily. With that in mind, I don’t find this shirt uncomfortable, even in humid weather. The cotton easily breathes--maybe not to the extent of an AA shirt, but definitely well. The sleeves come to a comfortable mid bidcep (allowing me to show off my Harvey Pekar-inspired tattoo without coming off as obtrusive) and the neckline sits just at the collarbone. It looks comfortable tucked in, worn out, and great with jeans. I like it underneath my thinner cardigan, as can be seen on our Facebook Page and some pictures we’ve posted live to the site.

The center graphic displays, proudly, “I READ BANNED COMICS” with a trail of “SUPPORT THE COMIC BOOK LEGAL DEFENSE FUND” and a relevant URL. The type of the “BANNED COMICS” bit is reminiscent of old horror comics, with it’s seaweed wiggle of a border. This is likely a reference to the fact that such horror comics were banned in the days leading up to the formation of the Comics Code Authority, the institution that was only recently made 100% obsolete.

This is the real centerpiece (literally and figuratively) of the shirt, and the real draw in buying it. Want to show off your awareness of free speech? It gets it done. It says, “I’m into comic books--but in a really progressive way.” You might as well get a TV camera, because the amount of dates this shirt will deliver to you will rival those on reality TV.

In fact, immediately after putting it on, there was a knock on my hotel room door. When I opened it, there was a nicely sealed envelope, and in it, containing the numbers of no less than fourteen women in the mile radius from my apartment who thought the shirt made me dateable.

So, that story may have been a lie. That being said, it’s a magnet for the cute and nerdy. Wear your shirt, and strike up a conversation with the nearest intellectual. “It was a tax write-off,” you can say, swirling your drink. “I really enjoy, you know.” Present your smile, show off that flicker in your eye. “Helping people.” Mention that you read Spandexless; watch their heart melt in your hands.

Is that convincing enough? Buy the shirt, people.

TL;DR: This shirt is comfortable, intellectual, and Alex doesn’t know how flirting works. Buy the shirt, it’s for a good cause.

The CBLDF shirt comes in Grey/Blue and Black/Yellow, and is printed on Gildan Ultra Cotton. Pick it up here, and see it in action on Alex at New York Comic Con, 2011!