Bad Taste & T-shirts
By Mr. Francis
I’ve been reading comic books for as long as I can remember. The biggest problem I had growing up was deciding whether I wanted to run as fast as the speed of light or if I wanted the strength of a God. I never did figure it out, but I kept reading comic books anyway. Over the years, I devoured all kinds of comics: superhero, horror, war, sci-fi, etc. Eventually, comics grew up and became a powerful medium for storytelling on another level. But the one thing that’s remained consistent is the cover.
The cover of a comic book is an art form itself. It either grabs you or it doesn’t. Bad Taste are two funny words put together. Or, at least, they are to me. One person’s love is another’s disgust. The images for my T-shirts come from a time when comic book covers were, according to some, inspiring mayhem in society.
Parents and politicians said the kids reading these books were acting out the scenes drawn on some of the covers. Was it true? No, of course not, but the damage was done, and soon, these artists and publishers who went too far with their covers were out of business. A skeleton judging a beauty contest. An evil robot kidnapping a scantily clad woman. A magician pulling a shrunken head from his hat. These are insane, absolutely absurd, and just some of the crazy images that I feature on our T-shirts.
The sheer outrageousness of these covers inspired me to share these images. And I’ve been lucky enough to see in person the effect these shirts have on people when buying them. A 14-year-old girl howling in delight when picking out a Bad Taste T showing a skeleton calling his wife from the grave. Or a grown man, easily in his late 60s, struggling with what shirt to pick. “Do I go with the monster with the body of an ant and the head of a human, or do I…”
This makes me crazy happy. These T-shirts and our Big Ass Posters (yes, we sell these too at the Maker’s Market) are meant for everyone to have fun wearing or displaying. You don’t need to read comic books to show off your love of a cool T-shirt. Or your enjoyment of the absurd.
I also love what Maker’s Market does and am proud to be a part of it. There’s no wrong or right way to be creative, and no matter how you express yourself, it should be celebrated. For me, sometimes it’s about making a T-shirt, writing a book, or even making a film. (The next big project.) But, whatever it is, it’s about expressing that which cannot be easily explained.