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Chop Shop Tees

New York

It's a cheap thrill when someone checks out your t-shirt, gets it, and walks off leaving you feeling slutty and used up. Make them want to form a relationship with your shirt, with Chop Shop.

Meticulously drawn by Bklyn web designerds (you've probably seen their work at RachelRay.com), Chop's tees double as esoteric challenges via silhouetted graphic montages of iconic-to-obscure pop-culture figures, whose identity the observer's intended to guess -- basically, an MTV game show on your rack. Starting with sci-fi, Chop presents rosters of 50 notable aliens (Silver Surfer, a space invader, Alf...), 51 robots (Voltron, Robot Godzilla, Robocop's ED-209...), and 55 vehicles, including Kaneda's motorcycle from Akira, the lightcycle from Tron, and the General Lee -- technically not sci-fi, unless Hazzard's a parallel universe where rednecks refuse to sleep with even the hottest of cousins. The geekier-than-thou trivia-art continues with a guess-the-Internets-meme tee (dancing baby, spaghetti monster, Connery telling you you're the man now, dawg) and three ridiculously difficult to suss rock tees: Video Rock, displaying 31 80s musicians in famous music vid poses (MJ on his toes, Eddie Van Halen jumping...); Rebel Rock, with 34 '72-'82 rockers in the shape of a Fender Strat (Stevie Wonder w/ keyboard, Alice Cooper w/ snake...); and Rock Star, with 28 '60s-'70s artists gathered in the shape of a five-point star, including Janis brandishing a bottle, Lennon a peace sign, and Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson a flute -- without which you wouldn't recognize him even if you looked out at your dumpster right now and saw him gnawing bones.

Chop also serves up less game-like but just as clever tees, including Maid in the Shade (showing a laptop-cradling, nerd Hugh Hefner being attended to by a French maid), and Helbotica, a robot formed from the Helvetica font -- because when you're looking for the spark that'll lead to a lasting relationship, Copperplate Light just doesn't have the same Impact.

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