Tuesday, December 09, 2003

My exciting night. Finally, The Tee Shirt Suggestions....

Yesterday's fedex brought the sheets to sign for the Hill House edition of AMERICAN GODS, with a cover note from Pete Schneider telling me there were about 850 sheets of paper in there, and to sign them all. So I set myself up in a big chair, with a pen (er, the Other Lamy, since you asked) and a copy of the Pythons biography on my lap (because it was large and flat), and I started signing.

You can sign 850 sheets of paper in an evening if you set your mind to it.

Or I used to be able to, anyway. I kept signing and signing, and I didn't seem to be making much of a dent in the papers.

Midnight came and midnight went, and I was still signing...

Around 2:00am I carefully counted out fifty sheets of paper, and then doubled it, and then doubled that, and then doubled that, and estimated that I now knew what 400 sheets of paper looked like, and it was obvious that I had signed it already several times over; and there were still many bubble-wrapped reams of paper left to be signed.

The phone here died yesterday under mysterious circumstances (ie the phone people are saying that the line tests okay and there can be nothing wrong with it, and I point out to them that it's dead as any number of dodos so would they mind fixing it) but by dint of a certain amount of cleverness and luck, I managed to get hold of Pete Schneider in New York.

"Er... you didn't count the 850 sheets of paper before you sent them, did you?" I asked.

"No," he said.

"Well," I explained, "by my count, there's about 3000 of them..."

And he was aghast, and we agreed that I could stop signing now, and I went to bed.

And these are taken from the 45 suggestions for what to do with t shirts...

If Timmy doesn't want to wear the signed t-shirt for fear of it getting all dirty (and the signature wearing away when it's washed), he could always get it framed and displayed in a shadowbox. I've run several marathons and one thing I've seen my running partners do in the past is display their marathon singlet in the shadowbox (along with other souvenirs like their medal, finisher's certificate, even a sneaker) and it looks pretty snazzy on the wall.

Greg McElhatton
Vienna, VA


Well, if it was me, and I had the shirt, and there was one of those cluttered restaurants/sports bars nearby that have all those geegaws on the walls, etc., I'd frame it, sneak it in some night, and affix it somewhere up near the rafters. Then take pictures.

I might even do it several times, and make an urban legend of it (or as best I could).

Well, that's as I'd do if I had the gumption. As it stands, were it me and the shirt, likely it'd go into an old rattan suitcase where are kept a few odd clothes from my childhood, various dolls and doll parts, and a sewing kit with buttons. Just because that's where I have other odd shirts that I wouldn't quite wear, ever, for various reasons (complexion, overfondness, aforementioned childhoodness, and the current lack thereof), but like to open up and take a look at now and again.


I'm quite sure this doesn't qualify as brilliant, but if you'll settle for adequate, here are some options:

1. Frame it. I think most framing shops do that now as I've seen all sorts of sentimental things in frames (an online example is here:

2. Wear it on special occasions (cons, readings). The puffy paint will hand-wash and drip dry so it will last for quite a long time. You *could* have someone embroider over the top of the paint to make it more permanent.

3. If you have a large-ish stuffed animal, you could dress it in the shirt. It would probably look very cool on a Windy Lewis bunny.



Just wanted to offer a suggestion for the guy wondering what to do with your autographed shirt... get a really big teddy bear (or any other stuffed toy with one head and two arms in roughly anthropomorphic spots) and put the shirt on the bear. He'd get to look at it all the time, it'd be more interesting and less scarily fanboi-ish than a framed shirt hanging on the wall, and it makes a good excuse to buy one of those huge stuffed toys that cost much more than it seems they should. Maybe you could suggest what variety of "teddy bear" you'd pick, and whether a shaggy wig should be added. =P


I know that if I were to own an Armani shirt signed by Mr. Gaiman, I would spend an evening impersonating said author. I would get a black curly wig, put it into pigtails, find the nearest karaoke bar and introduce myself as Neil "Scary Trousers" Gaiman, Master of Modern Terror before launching into a rousing rendition of Baby Got Back. And if anyone questioned my identity, I would point to the signature and give them a very stern look.


I have a suggestion on what to do with the shirt.

Depending on where it was signed and whether or not the owner would be willing, I say make a pillow out of it. It's fairly easy - cut off the sleeves, neck, a bit of the bottom, buy some stuffing and sew it up. I've done that with some shirts I refused to part with regardless of how small they were.



In regards to uses for a signed tshirt, I like to take various "souvenier" shirts as I collect them, cut out the logo-bits as squares, and sew quilts out of them. Perhaps with a collector's item like yours, it would be best to use the entire shirt and make it the centerpiece of the quilt. Then one could sleep under your signature for pleasant Dreams. ^_^


Re: What do you do with a signed tee shirt?

Do what I have done with a The The shirt that Matt Johnson was kind enough to sign for me some years ago: say you plan on framing it, but really just keep it in the back of the closet instead, hoping that it never mistakenly ends up in the laundry pile or gets thrown out during an apartment move. I have found that this works extremely well, and it has now survived to its fourth apartment in reasonably nice shape. Every few months when I stumble upon it while, invariably, looking for something else in the closet, it brings a smile to my face.

Damin J. Toell


Something to do with a signed t-shirt:
I'm fairly crafty, and what I've done with one of my favorite shirts is sew up the neck, sleeves, and bottom and stuff it, then use it for a pillow. It's easy to get clear plastic cloth-ish stuff and sew it on either as a full cover or just patches of it over the image and signature.

Equally crafty would be to build it into something -- it's fairly easy to make a bookend out of a picture frame, which would be very appropriate considering who the shirt is signed by. Also you could cover a three-ring binder with it and turn it into a writing notebook (or, as I have with my Ani DiFranco signature, a CD carrier).

If you're not crafty or don't have any tools, if you ask around I'm sure you could find someone who'd be willing to do it on the cheap -- heck, I'd be willing to do such a thing for materials + a couple bucks, or just email the pattern I'd use to you for free. With enough glue of a strong enough type, anyone can build nifty stuff.



5 things to do with a t-shirt signed by Neil Gaiman

Write "pay to the order of [you], lots of money" on it, take it to the bank, try to convince them it is a cheque and cash it.

Starch it heavily and put it on your bookshelf

Run it up a flag pole in your front yard. Delcare yourself soverign lord and ruler of the republic of Neilgaimaniana. Invent national dance, anthem.

Prop in a crazy vodoo ritual to steal Neil's powers.

Wear it to impress girls.


I don't know what you SHOULD do with a signed t-shirt, but I can tell you that when they say tumble dry "low", they mean it.