As an 80′s kid, I tend to distance myself from the decade. There are a lot of people out there that are completely enraptured with the 80′s and everything about them. There was a lot of horrible, horrible shite in that decade, and thankfully 8 Bit Zombie is handpicking the most awesome parts and bringing them to us in a way that transcends wistful nostalgia. Their designs feel as fresh and cutting edge as ever, and prove that retro isn’t a state of mind synonymous with “living in the past”. Because if something’s awesome, it can break space and time on that merit alone.
Designs range from the most adored movies of the day to classic video games we grew up on in gonzo, superbly illustrated style. Cult reigns supreme here, ranging from Punch Out! to Little Monsters and everything you considered excellent as a kid. Dig their logo, a stylized skeleton hand brandishing a power glove. Undead Lucas isn’t far behind, and that bastard from The Wizard never looked as good in “It’s So Bad” skeleton form, with aviator shades and that Saved By The Bell brand hairdo.
This is where 8BZ shines – not content to just slap a cherished character on some fabric, we get a high concept that’s full of humor and badassery. Example: The Breakfast Club, bleach boned, trapped forever in detention. Bub and his walkman, proudly advertising Bub’s Records. These bail on mere novelty in favor of pure head trip, and are better for for it.
I picked up a tee based on Labyrinth for a loved one (yes, I actually have those) and was very pleased with what I received. The design had some beautiful line work, the tee was very soft, and the red ink blazed on the crème-colored shirt. Quality stuff. I also got more than I was expecting. 8 Bit Zombie sent a nice little 1980′s care package along – I got trading cards, stickers, pins, and M.U.S.C.L.E. Men with my order, and the kid in me squealed in delight. I forgot how much fun little collectibles are, and I truly appreciate their ebay mining for making happy customers.
Also, 8BZ recently did a collabo with one of our favorite sites, Strangekidsclub.com which looks stellar. The titular Strange Kid is hunched over in obsessed bliss, rocking a Gameboy that presumably plays the background of the shirt – a Mega Man-esque Strange Kid in pixelated glory, getting ready to throw down with another 8 Bit Zombie, notably one of the pesky mofos from Ghosts and Goblins. Radness.
Keep an eye on 8 Bit zombie, if you’re a perpetual kid, like me, you’ll get nothing but bliss. If you want a higher calibre of art and design for your wardrobe, the art on display is top notch. I was bemoaning the lack of kool merchandise from my obscure favorites recently, and lo and behold, 8BZ is probably the only place you’re going to find a shirt with Maurice from Little Monsters, or what could be the holy grail of trucker hats – Jack Burton and the Porkchop express on the lid, Lopan on the bill, this is unarguably the most awesome Big Trouble in Little China hat that will ever exist. There are more Neverending Story fans than I ever thought could be out and about in the world, and they’ve got you covered too.
I only pray they re-print some of the stuff that I missed, because some of their best designs are all sorts of sold out, and that makes me sad, but I remain hopeful that they’ll become available in the near future. Their Kid Icarus shirt eschews the comedy for a second and looks flat out breathtaking, and I would wear that with full on nerd pride.
All designs copyright 8 Bit Zombie. Strange Kid x 8BZ Copy SKC & 8BZ.