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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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May 17 2005

'Joss Is Boss' - the t-shirt line. Inspired by Summer Glau's immortal quote at WonderCon this year.

Click here to watch a clip of Summer saying it at WonderCon. Ta to Rhett for the head's up.

I love it! Too bad the sizes only go up to 2X. What's up with that? I could go for a coffee mug though. Or a button, magnet, or mousepad. This is so cool.
Ah bugger, I was actually working on something like that yesterday.
"tweet, tweet" said the little miyu bird. ;)

just ordered mine and can't wait to see how it looks!!!
Caroline, I could go for a Whedonesque t-shirt. "Joss the way we like it". I'd wear it often and proudly...if it were offered in 3X, that is.
I am working on something that is a cartoon drawing of Joss's face, plus some text.
I'd buy a Whedonesque shirt, too!! In a heartbeat, I would!
electricspacegirl, give them a call at 1-877-809-1659 and ask if they can do something bigger than a 2X. The site doesn't show kid sizes, but they let me order ones for my two little Whedon fans.

Got four shirts on the way and should be here in time for the sneak preview next week. Yahoo!

Caroline, count me in for 2 adult larges, 1 kid large and 1 kid medium for the Whedonesque shirts!

[ edited by dcubed on 2005-05-17 01:09 ]
I'd love to see what you're working on, Caroline. Cartoon drawing of Joss's face plus text? Very intriguing.

That said, I'd also kill for a Whedonesque "Joss the way we like it" t-shirt.

Those two things said, I'm itching for t-shirts that promote both our man Joss and his current two big-screen projects: "Serenity" and "Wonder Woman." I like the idea of the front of the shirt being devoted to shameless advertising of the movie and the back of the t-shirt being devoted to shameless advertising of our man Joss. Or maybe vice-versa. Yes, I guess I want many, many t-shirts. Easy enough for me to say, not making them!
Hey! I went to spreadshirt.com the other day and built a Joss is Boss shirt! (Although I did put "Whedon, you idiot." on the back in case some l'il hipster thought I meant Joss Stone)

Good idea, but she should make some available without the Chinese characters. Kind of muddles the text.
Is it legal to use the Serenity logo for private gain? Or are the proceeds going somewhere charity like? I never know the legality of stuff like this...
I like the idea, but I hope the actual "Joss is Boss" + Serenity logo T-shirt isn't as dark as it appears, 'cos the words are almost illegible against the background. But, you know, cool and all.
I'm surprised there isn't a "Joss is Boss" thong. I'm sure it'd be a Top 10 seller.
Rouge Slayer - Copyright policy at Cafepress.

Keypart: "What is a Trademark?
A trademark is a word, name, symbol or other device that identifies the goods or services of a given person or company and distinguishes them from the goods or services of other persons or companies. Trademark law prevents you from using another's trademark (such as the name of a musical group or artist) on your merchandise, because such use will cause consumers to believe that the trademark owner has made, approved of, or endorsed your merchandise. In short, a trademark is someone's name/brand. For example, CafePress.com® is a registered trademark."


[ edited by RavenU on 2005-05-17 01:23 ]
I'd go for a Whedonesque T or sweat shirt. I'd enjoy wearing something that 98% of people have no clue what it means but would be instantly recognised by clued in folk.

Can we have a secret handshake as well? And a decoder ring? And when Joss takes over the world we'll all live as Gods while the masses become our slaves?


And re the coprright thing. Many stores sell kits that let you print anything on an inkjet and transfer it to a T shirt. Doing this for your own use, not for sale or profit (Is it only me who heard that in an Anya voice?) is fair use.

To REALLY make Joss, and the studio, happy, buy official merchandise. It'll help the movie and make sequels more likely. Though I did get my fingers burnt when I bought a Buffy coffee mug and found it wasn't dishwasher proof. What's THAT all about Joss?!

[ edited by zz9 on 2005-05-17 01:28 ]
These are kind of cute but I'm not that taken with them. I would, however, love to buy a Whedonesque t-shirt. Or a black strappy tank top might be nice.
Caroline, I'd love to wear WHEDONesque regalia of some sort or another. (So would my car!) Please?
Heh heh, poor Caroline. This topic comes up periodically. She's WORKING on it, gang! ;)

(Still jonesing for the black T with reversed-out Whedonesque logo! :D)
So the moral of the story is, this is illegal? Since the Serenity logo is a "symbol or other device that identifies the goods or services of a given person or company and distinguishes them from the goods or services of other persons or companies."

I guess I'd say, make your own stuff but don't buy other people's stuff.
I would say that they need Universal's permission to sell products with the movies name and logo on it. Anyone agree?
It's nice to see folks coming closer to producing something stylish in a fan shirt. Don't know about y'all, but I was wishing for the longest time that someone would produce a BtVS shirt that wasn't black, man-shaped, with massive, and often disturbingly placed cast photos all over them. Lotta us girls want something fashionable, a bit more discreet and tasteful, cut for a woman's curves (and fair point, electricspacegirl, in all the loverly, womanly sizes of the rainbow). You know, a bit shaped with a graceful, non-choky neckline, not made out of the the icky 50/50 poly-blend as our junior high gym uniforms?

When such a top with a small 4 inch-ish Spike logo on the chest hit the internet, they appeared to sell out in days and there was a many month waiting list to score one. This, I could have worn and worn proudly. The heavy-metal looking Spike manshirt with his turkey-platter-sized human face morphing into vampface and threatening to bite off my right breast? Not so much. So I welcome this effort. (Tho' since I'm already pulling a Cordy, I'll say that I'm not sure "Joss is Boss" is for me. But I'd jump at the chance for a simple, white, shaped tee with a small Serenity or Whedonesque logo front and center, with a tiny little tagline on the back.) Wow, custom special order, much? I'm such a brat.

Edited to add: Ooooh, didn't see the "ringer" tee in mint. So cute...wish it said "Whedonesque."

[ edited by barest_smidgen on 2005-05-17 02:27 ]
I really, really like them.
This is the closest I've come to an online purchase. I'm not allowed.
But no camisoles in women's sizes. Huh.
I'm with marmoset (unless I give in to pink temptation), how about some black strappies? Willowy's "black T with reversed-out Whedonesque logo"? Sure thing, Caroline. Count me in.
barest_smidgen, I get ya. Subtlety? Not big with the Buffy shirts.

I saw this one online years ago: It was a shaped T, with a small Buffy 'B' and the word "prepared" underneath, all in the BtVS font. It was very cool and kind of an inside joke thing because really, only fans would pick up on the font. No garish pictures or SMG striking a seductive pose (does anyone really BUY those?). I didn't buy it at the time, then could never find it again. Woe was I.
I have bought a couple of shirts from cafepress, including the "I want a Spike movie", which I haven't received yet, but I like these and I would definitely buy a Whedonesque shirt.
I'm still wanting a t-shirt that says "wish me monsters", which is probably my favorite quote from the series. I could go for a shirt with the Whedonesque logo on the front, and "wish me monsters" on the back. Wouldn't it be cool if we could order Whedonesque t-shirts and select our favorite jossverse quote for the back? I know, I'm asking for too much, aren't I? I'm just saying.
I'm with Rogue Slayer. This seems to be illegal. I was thinking of doing the Serenity logo on a black shirt myself, just as Zz9 described but was worried that that would also be illegal. Thanks Zz9 for clearing that up.
Well, I bought one, I hope it gets here in time for the 26th so I can wear it to the preview. I definitely would buy a Whedonesque t-shirt.
I always wanted the one with the Watcher's Retreat 2004 and on the back had all the Sunnydale-like sponsors. Too bad it was a limited run. I so would've bought one.
BlindHawkeyes, wasn't that a TWoP shirt? They might still have it available. Worth a check.
I just noticed that the site says this:

Q: Is that the official Serenity logo? Is that a violation of trademark or copyright?
A: First: No, it's NOT the official Serenity logo. If you look closely, you'll see the shading and especially the Chinese characters are different. It's meant to invoke the Serenity logo because the point of these shirts, beyond doing something cool for our fellow fans, is to start conversations about the brilliance of The Whedon and the BIG DAMN MOVIE! Regarding the trademark concern, have you noticed how many fan created things there are on the web that use everything from the character's likenesses to the ship, the logos & such? We worked hard to make it our own while still retaining the vibe of the original. ALSO: Have you noticed the other designs? Sheesh!


I like the implication that since everyone else is doing it, it's okay! But I frankly, most of the 'fan created' things I've seen on the net aren't for profit. Not saying it's not out there, but just not in the circles I shop in. I'm sure the shirt designers managed to squeeze by the legality issue by tweaking the logo, but I think I'd just rather create my own t-shirt with the official logo and save $3. I appreciate the basic sentiment, but to me it's like saying "I created a new hero, she's called Fluffy the Vampire Slayer." But that's just me.

Having said all that, I do like the "Joss is Boss" idea. Rhymes better than my mantra of "Joss is God." :)
I just think it's wonderful people are so passionate about the show that they're making their own shirts. Very old school, DIY punk rock :)

Occasionally I still cut and hand-stencil my own designs on clothes (a baby blue tee with Violent Femmes in hot pink used to be one of my faves during the '80's). Lately, I've been doing more simple and strong graphic designs without words, but I keep thinking how cool it would be to have a shirt that says "No power in the 'verse can stop me" or "We've done the impossible and that makes us mighty" on the front with a really contrasty, rough image of the ship on the back.

Very happy to hear you're working on a design, Caroline. If you ever do that black shirt with the Whedonesque site logo, count me in for one. "Joss the way we like it" is just about the most perfectly apropos site catchphrase I can think of. Kudos to whichever of you came up with it!

Don't know if such a thing's possible, or even practical, but I wonder if eventually Whedonesque could have its own Cafepress site? Then maybe everyone could have a chance to submit designs or ideas for apparel 'n' stuff, and vote on which ones to distribute. The money could help the site, or else go to one of Joss's fave charities. Just a crazy thought...

[Added:] Having said all that, I do like the "Joss is Boss" idea. Rhymes better than my mantra of "Joss is God." :)

Well, I think Todd Rundgren's unofficially got the "... is God" catchphrase trademarked. Doesn't matter, though -- in our corner of the 'verse we all know Joss is god. I guess for now it'll just have to stay our little secret ;)

[ edited by Wiseblood on 2005-05-17 06:35 ]
Yet yours is more accurate, isn't it, Rogue Slayer? ;)
Yet yours is more accurate, isn't it, Rogue Slayer? ;)

Well, yes, but Joss doesn't like to brag! :)

Maybe I'll make a shirt that says "I'm a scabby little minion of Jossificus." Or, ya know, maybe not...

*hubby just added that he'll photoshop a pic of Joss in a bathtub while I prostrate myself in front of him...*
Heh. Interesting, and 'arty', they'll be lining up for it!

Hey! I'd buy one!

Pssst...Ed has a pic of Joss in the tub? *quivers* ...gimme! ;)
Pssst...Ed has a pic of Joss in the tub? *quivers* ...gimme! ;)

Shhhh! He doesn't know I took that! He reads our posts sometimes! You girls trying to get me in trouble here? (I do happen to sell prints though;-)

Seriously, I've been thinking of making some of my own tshirts. And yes I would sell them to people who wanted them too.

I'd make sure I wouldn't make any profit though...
Maybe you could work it into the Serenity dvd! Gotta go for the commerce, yeah? ;)
EdDantes, let me know when your t-shirts go on sale. I'll buy one.
Maybe you could work it into the Serenity dvd! Gotta go for the commerce, yeah? ;)

What I REALLY have to do is kill every other designer in California so I get to MAKE the Serenity DVD stuff! Hmm, is that frowned upon here?? Eh, I'm sure Joss will appreciate my enthusiasm.

EdDantes, let me know when your t-shirts go on sale. I'll buy one.

That's sweet. Such trust! Especially since for all you know they will turn out to be utter crap! Not that there aren't plenty of people who made millions selling utter crap... ;-)
Whedonesque shirt sounds like a really great idea, but then I am not the one who has to do all the work and it is rather asking a lot. Alternatively just transfers would be cool too. If you decide to go for it, merely a suggestion: maybe some proceeds could go towards a charitable cause of your choice?

Slightly off topic, this is for Caroline and the other Netherlanders: my second great obsession is Formula 1 and I recall many a happy hour in the company of large men wearing bright orange shirts with ‘Joss is Boss’ emblazoned on them, partaking in one beer or two or several more and watching Joss Verstappen going round and round. Talented driver with a crap car which was a shame but he always struck me as a nice guy as well and he is missed.
Hey!
How 'bout a T-shirt contest? (Dry, of course.)
We could spent X weeks designing and making them, like a month or so, then post digital pics, and... we'll have a winner!
Just to add to what Rogue Slayer was saying ...

Simply altering an image a little bit does not protect you from being liable for copyright violation:

Establishing Originality. - The party to any action or proceeding under this chapter who alleges rights under this chapter in a design shall have the burden of establishing the design's originality whenever the opposing party introduces an earlier work which is identical to such design, or so similar as to make prima facie showing that such design was copied from such work. - Chapter 13, Section 1309 US Copyright Law

The copyright holder has exclusive rights to sell or distribute the design. Anyone selling it without the copyright owners consent has infringed on their copyright.

I know people get away with it all the time, but its still a violation. Besides, most of the sites I've seen using these sorts of images aren't using them to make a profit.
I'd go for a Whedonesque T or sweat shirt. I'd enjoy wearing something that 98% of people have no clue what it means but would be instantly recognised by clued in folk.

Oh so true! That's kind of grand isn't it. What joy you would get meeting other Whedonites just randomly walking along.
Closer to the truth would be to say that the design may be a copyright violation. It's kinda like baseball: a pitch isn't a strike before the umpire calls it as a strike; here, the design is a copyright violation if it is adjudged to be so, or if the designer basically acknowledges that it is. 'Course, if Universal (or Fox or whoever holds the copyright) decides to act, I'd imagine they'd have a pretty strong case. But whether people want to buy one or not depends on their own set of values, natch. I see good on both sides here: a small entrepreneur who sees a niche in the market and wants to provide a nice service for fans v. the right of the creator to gain the just rewards of his or her hard labor.
alrighty... just so we can refocus the discussion on the general coolness of the shirts, they have taken down all the questionable logo-ish designs. Now we can all bask in the glory of their completely original artwork....

personally, me likes the one with the lariat font. It's all retro/cowboy/glam. yeehaw! ;)

also for the record, this is a labour of love, not profit. I kept whining at meetups about wanting this kind of shirt and then *poof* they did it! So if it's anyone's fault it's mine. Or no wait - it's PIP's fault. that's the ticket...

:P
also for the record, this is a labour of love, not profit.

If they're not profitting, I don't think there's a problem-not a lawyer here, but I'd assume it's okay.

But I'm glad they took down the designs. Just didn't feel right. And yes, the other designs are pretty cool. I like the minimalist feel. Sometimes stuff like that can be too 'showy'.
>I like the minimalist feel.<

exactly!!! very sleek and simple.
There's not a lot of Firefly/Serenity merchandise out there and no this is not a big deal and if they're not making a profit there's no problem for me.

(Although after checking out their entire store, I find it hard to believe they're not making any money on this. Hey maybe it all goes to charity but I don't see that anywhere. But if it's true, good on them.)

I find it a bit odd though that they took the shirts down. What, because some of us don't like the idea of making money off someone else's property as a concept? It's not like we're Joss' lawyers threatening to sue. I doubt Joss or Fox or whoever is going to take action so why take them down just because of this thread? We ain't the boss o' no one.

(And if we are, I would've liked for someone to let me in on that!;-)
We ain't the boss o' no one.
(And if we are, I would've liked for someone to let me in on that!;-)


I think Willowy and I are the bosses of you. :)

[ edited by Rogue Slayer on 2005-05-17 18:52 ]
> I find it hard to believe they're not making any money on this. Hey maybe it all goes to charity but I don't see that anywhere<

Ok now - not entirely my place to talk, but I'll speak of what little I understand. They did a smidgin of markup on each item, but depending on sales this will barely cover the cost of the site (they signed up for some sorta premium service.) And as for charity, well not directly from this particular site, but they are being most active in our charity event for ComicCon, benefitting Equality Now - one of Joss's personal charities of choice. They are in fact donating prizes. So let me assure you all these are top notch Browncoats who are in this for all the right reasons.

www.equalitynow.org

(we'll post on the comiccon event soon, when we have all the details sorted out.)

>We ain't the boss o' no one.<

no sir - JOSS is boss. ;) They just wanna keep things focused on the fun of the shirts and not a legal debate.
*cracks whip*

;)
But miyu_tVP, legal debates are such fun!

I'll get me coat.
*cracks whip*


Thanks, mine's on backorder. Broke the first one...
Speaking of fan-made t-shirts, The Eugene, OR Browncoats have regular t-shirt screenprinting parties over there. One of these days, the Portland Browncoats need to attend one of their shindigs to get in on the fun. If you go to the Eugene Browncoats group you can see them wearing some of the shirts they've made.

11th Hour has some Serenity inspired artwork at CafePress too. I also really like his/her Firefly poster art. I believe the Eugene Browncoats have used some of those designs for their shirts.

The more I think about it, the more I want to catch one of the Eugene shindigs. I think that will be something I bring up at the next PDX shindig.

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2005-05-17 19:12 ]
> But miyu_tVP, legal debates are such fun!<

SNT, it's all fun and games till someone loses an eye. or... a thsirt? ;)
also for the record, this is a labour of love, not profit

I looked all over the site and I didn't see anything that suggested to me that there was no profit involved.

Anyway, the reason I looked up the copyright law is because I don't want them to get in trouble. Virtually all fan sites use some copyrighted images, but they aren't selling them. Anytime there's money involved there's a greater chance that the suits will take notice. So I'm glad they took heart in the concerns expressed here.

I like their original designs! :)
It's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye...

then it's fun and games without depth perception!
>The Eugene, OR Browncoats have regular t-shirt screenprinting parties over there.<

oh yes! and the shirts are *most* shiny. They donated some of their work to our WonderCon charity event, and I think we may grovel a bit to get some for our ComicCon event... kiraboo rocks!!!!

(check out #10 on the prize listing for WonderCon - too damn pretty.)
They are in fact donating prizes. So let me assure you all these are top notch Browncoats who are in this for all the right reasons. They just wanna keep things focused on the fun of the shirts and not a legal debate.

Glad to hear it. But all the more strange they took the shirts down. If they'd simply put up a disclaimer on their site that says just that, no one would have had a problem with any of this and there wouldn't even have been any legal debate.

*cracks whip* ;)

*cracks whip*

Thanks, mine's on backorder. Broke the first one...


Does anyone care I'm being flogged here by two evil women?

Guys?
Well, Ed, it sorta depends on how much you're paying them . . .
>>It's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye...<<

>then it's fun and games without depth perception!<

ROFLMGAO!!!!!!!! :D

*true* story - I swear. My cousin, who ALWAYS beats me at pool, had set up some big bad rematch and was taunting me to no end... and then the day before the match, in a freak model-buliding accident, he squirted superglue into his eye -- oh it was the funniest thing ever!!! without depth percption his shots were just riduculous. ah, good times....

so maybe the moral is that it's all fun and games AFTER someone loses an eye?
>Does anyone care I'm being flogged here by two evil women?<

not so much.

;)
oh yes! and the shirts are *most* shiny. They donated some of their work to our WonderCon charity event, and I think we may grovel a bit to get some for our ComicCon event... kiraboo rocks!!!!


I think I saw kiraboo at the May 5th Serenity screening. She and her friend were wearing Firefly t-shirts, to the envy of most of us. They did look pretty shiny. Gonna have to get me one of those.


Does anyone care I'm being flogged here by two evil women?

Guys?


Oh, but you're totally loving it!
Oh, we're not evil... a bit wicked, maybe...;)
Well, Ed, it sorta depends on how much you're paying them . . .

Hell they should be paying ME! But apparently it's all for 'my own good.' Something about 'behaviour modification', I don't know.....

Oh, but you're totally loving it!

I have sensitive skin! I am delicate!

Oh, we're not evil... a bit wicked, maybe...;)

I know what it is...'Buffy'! With all those powerful and/or evil women and all those whipped men.....I blame Joss.
I know what it is...'Buffy'! With all those powerful and/or evil women and all those whipped men.....I blame Joss.


That's Joss the way we like it.
That's Joss the way we like it.

Amen, sister!

BTW, now I'm getting an image of Joss being whipped...
oooooh, goodness!

(I know, "goodness has nothin' to do with it!") :D
Kai with a whip... Nekkid, strung up Joss....not sure my mind needs to go there.

Sigh, cruel women... It's just like Giles when he had to fight off Dracula's brides all on his own.... His lone, desperate, epic battle against those evil loathsome creatures.

Barely got out of that one alive, he did.
I want mine to say "Joss is the Big Sky Bully". Can I? Pleeease.
Ok, this thread has gone from Joss is Boss,"Ooh, cool t-shirts", and headed right into porn. And when it comes to Joss, my mind certainly doesn't want to go there! (Joss is pristine, Joss is pristine)

Anyhoo...I checked out more of those shirts, and I like the mint
Joss is Boss Jr. Ringer T-Shirt. I wonder if they'll make it in my size if I call and ask them.
Great idea, Giles. I'm sure Joss would find it humorous. You should make one of your own.
Out to the Black is another Serenity clothing/gift store. I want a companion t-shirt!

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