Ever since I started to follow the indie T-Shirt scene with a keen eye, I’ve been a big fan of the Johnny Cupcakes brand. I even made it a point to visit his shop on Newbury street the last time I was in Boston. Up to this point I’ve always been impressed by his creativity and imagination, as well as the way that he has interacted with his community.
Having said that, the latest collaboration, one with animation pioneers, Warner Bros., just doesn’t do it for me. When I think Johnny Cupcakes I think exclusivity. Everything about the brand is exclusive. They’ve made a ton of money by parodying pop culture. And now that they’ve got an actual pop culture icon on the front of the tees, it makes feel more “meh” than “woah.” For some reason, seeing Bugs Bunny on a Johnny Cupcakes shirt reminds of similar Looney Tunes shirts I’d see in Sears or JC Penny, with the exception of there being a Johnny Cupcakes logo slapped on. Again, more “meh” than “woah.”
Johnny, before you could ever dream of landing big licenses like that from Warner Bros., you were already making the freshest shirts around. Warner Bros might need you, but your brand certainly does not need them. You mentioned, “We did have an entire bound book given to us that was filled with rules and regulations. A what-not-to-do book. From the littlest details like whisker placements.Â All in all, using the tools that were + werenâ€™t given to us, I think these came out great.” I disagree, I don’t like these for the very fact that you played by the rules. What I would have dug would have been a unique take at these classic WB characters. Sorry Johnny, I just feel like you failed to deliver on this one.