By now everyone knows the story of Three Wolf Moon, the Internet’s favorite shirt of 2009/10. To briefly recap (for those readers too “busy” with their “real lives” to track Internet yucks), the shirt, produced by a New Hampshire firm called The Mountain and featuring artwork by Antonia Neshev, rose to web-wide prominence thanks to a series of tongue-in-cheek Amazon user reviews praising it in hyperbolic terms, espousing its powers of male enhancement, and ascribing supernatural qualities to it. The tee has collected almost 2,000 such reviews, and was featured alongside such legends of cyberspace as Mahir, Keyboard Cat, and Aleksey Vayner at ROFLcon II.
The thing is, though, 3WM’s towering profile rather upstages The Mountain’s other totally awesome shirts. It turns out 3WM is only the Michael of this family, and there are dozens of Titos and Jermaines and Marlons in its shadow. You could literally wear a different t-shirt from The Mountain every day for months without repeating, and all of them would turn heads. It’s time we called out just a few of our favorites.
Patriotic Reflections of Freedom
It’s like Leonardo da Vinci had a baby with John Ashcroft, and the baby grew up to be a super-painting super-patriot. A quartet of bald eagles soar over purple mountains majesty, gliding upward toward everlasting glory on the thermal updrafts of awesomeness. A pattern in the snow suggests the Stars and Stripes—with all the subtlety of a Sidewinder missile. Boom goes one dynamite tee!
Skullbone Graveyard Vamp
Does it bother anyone else when artists put wings on mythical creatures in addition to their standard limbs? Birds and bats don’t have wings and forelimbs; their wings are their forelimbs. What is this lady, some kind of insect?
You might recognize this cat from another shirt in The Mountain’s “Manimals” collection of anthropomorphic critter tees. It’s “DJ Saber,” marking his turf in the manner customary of urban youth! In the wild, tigers actually do this by spraying a mixture of urine and secretions from their anal glands, but no one wants to wear a shirt depicting that.
There’s something pretty weird about the way the helmet sits on this guy’s head, but I guess they just aren’t manufactured in the right sizes for birds. Not shown: The even worse-fitting “piddle pack” in his flight suit.
Most of the user reviews that brought 3WM all its attention focused on how manly the design was, and how potently virile it made wearers look and feel. But wearing a shirt with such self-consciously macho imagery on it comes off as kinda compensatory, don’t you think? Take it from us: The baddest asses are secure enough in their bad-assery that they don’t need a t-shirt to telegraph it. Yeah, it takes a real man to wear “Kitty Overalls.”
The idea of non-human primate astronauts doesn’t seem that far-fetched. After all, chimps went up before the Mercury Seven. But astronauts with facial piercings? That’s ridiculous. We don’t care what species they are.
Skullbone Sea Treasure
The runaway success of 3WM has to have emboldened The Mountain’s art director to give artists a looser rein. One imagines him looking over the sketches for this shirt and saying “OK, sure, go ahead and draw it. I mean, I personally wouldn’t wear a shirt with a picture of a haunted coral crab creature sexually assaulting a nurse shark, but who knows? Maybe the Internet is ready for that.”
Somewhere in Rockford, Illinois, a 300-pound man just stopped fretting about what he’s going to wear under his trenchcoat to this year’s Wiccan conclave at the Marriott. You’re welcome, whoever you are.
Evolution War Dragon
Alright, so if Zack de la Rocha ever collaborates on a single with Rhapsody of Fire, it looks like we’ve got our disc jacket artwork.
Stairway to Paradice [sic]
A lot of critic types deride the Kinkade aesthetic, dismissing it as saccharine, as kitschy, as lurid, nauseating, lowbrow schlock. But you know what? Critics were uncharitable toward Van Gogh in his day, too. And Van Gogh couldn’t wipe his butt with twenty-dollar bills like Kinkade does. So nyah.
It’s hard to imagine there’s a huge group people who are heavy into both rave culture and tropical rain forest preservation. But they’ll probably all buy this shirt. Next The Mountain should sell glow sticks made from sustainably harvested bioluminescent plants, and give a portion of profits to some reforestation campaign. They’ll own this demographic.
You often hear a certain strain of anti-hunting sentiment voiced like this: “Sporting? Maybe if they gave guns to the deer, then it’d be sporting!” The thing is, that would actually do little to change the essential deer/sportsman dynamic unless “they” are planning to give the deer fingers as well.
What is it about this design? We’ve surveyed the office, and we all like elephants. We all like guitar-based pop and rock music. And yet we have tried to imagine a person who would buy and wear this shirt who is not a totally insufferable tool. Do you own this shirt? Are you a non-tool, and totally sufferable? Tell us about it! We want to understand.
This is pretty much as EXTREME as it gets, people: Chestburster great white. You’re gonna need a bigger torso.
Ah. Well, this design kind of explains the others, doesn’t it?
There you have it! Just a few of the many, many shirts of The Mountain! Every last one of them a bold fashion choice guaranteed to get attention! (Eye rolls and snide comments are totally “attention,” by the way.)
Did we single out your favorite? If not, point us to it! We can always use another fancy outfit for weddings and what-not.