These days, it’s not only Top 40 stars or festival headliners who are using apparel and accessories to creatively co-brand their work. Recently, art-pop act Peaking Lights collaborated with New York’s Peppercotton on an artisinal bracelet line and Ellen Allien, the German techno priestess, continues to helm a clothing line as cool and minimal as her beats. Now, lo-fi recording artist Daniel Johnston, a longtime underground hero, has teamed up with skate line Supreme for a capsule offering of illustrated tees.
Johnston – who just released his debut comic, Space Duck: An Infinite Comic Book of Musical Greatness – traditionally draws his own cover art. At the 1992 VMAs, Kurt Cobain wore a tee sporting the cover of the singer’s 1983 album Hi, How Are You: The Unfinished Album, bringing the Texan folksinger’s name to a whole new demographic. Over the years, his visibility as a niche artist has increased, as the 2005 documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston piqued the interest of a new wave of crate-diggers. With this new line of Supreme tees, he indulges his visual art side, drawing up four custom designs in his trademark ink-pen style. The tragicomic designs situate comic heroes, including Captain America, in absurd situations, aptly reflecting the bittersweet humor of Johnston’s songs.
“Mr. Johnston’s artwork and illustrations are straightforward expressions that are often connected to his own fears and desires,” Supreme comments in a statement. The tees are now available online and in stores.