Howdy, and happy Friday!
It’s my pleasure to introduce you to my pal Brett, comic book artist, print-maker, librarian and super-star thrifter.
Me: First off, where’d you get all the pieces of your outfit?
Brett: Well, I guess I’ll start by saying a few years ago I worked as a donations sorter for Value Village Thrift Store. It was a really great job for getting first crack at weird items. I got the belt and the buckle that way along with countless other items. My pants and jacket are also both from Value and my shirt was my dad’s. The Popeye watch was found at a flea market and given to me by an ex of mine.
The buttons and patches I wear are often made by friends of mine and given to me. This patch in particular I got in New York a few years ago, at the MOCCA convention. It’s a patch by Gary Panter. He says it was his proposed design for the Twin Towers monument, intended to strike fear into the hearts of America’s enemies.
Me: Who inspires your style?
Brett: I like Western wear and work wear, especially work clothes from the ’60s or ’70s. Dickies shirts—I like the utilitarian look of stuff like that. And simple inexpensive Levis, Lee or Wrangler jeans—those kinds always seem to fit me best.
Though not thrift stores, Schatzlein
and Kaplan Brothers, both on Lake Street, are great stores. And those Mexican shops on East Lake? You can find some interesting belt buckles there. I have a few. I used to have one with a rodeo clown on it, but it broke last fall and I am still grieving the loss.
Me: Do you have a favorite thrift store in town? Why do you like it?
Brett: Value Village in Richfield. It’s a great place. Richfield is my hometown, and it’s ranch-style houses all have attic crawl spaces and basements full of strange stuff from the’ 50s, ’60s and ’70s. So Value Village is always a place where I’m able to find unique and unusual items. And it’s run by the nonprofit ARC, a great organization to support with your money.
Me: Any tips for successful thrifting? Any advice you learned from being behind-the-scenes?
Brett: Thrifting for clothes is kind of difficult for me. I am a big dude, I think here in the Midwest large men wear our clothes till we are done with them and rarley donate anything. So when I go hunting, I try and just look at the sizes and see if there is anything I could wear. I don’t bother getting sidetracked looking at stuff that looks cool. It’ll only be depressing when I see that great vintage maroon suit is sized only for a Dio- or Frankie Vali-sized man.
Also, I try to get in and out quickly if I can’t find anything. Otherwise I get that thing where I’m wandering around looking at random stuff video game cartridges for systems I don’t have, or a dirty plastic kids table mummified in Garbage Pail Kids stickers. And suddenly I’m like “hmmm…well, maybe I actually want this stupid thing and what if it’s not be here next time” and then I accidentally buy something I don’t need at all.
I am a dude whose home is filled with loads of wacky weird stuff, suffice to say many people’s trash is my treasure. It may be beautiful garbage, but I just don’t have room for more. I have to remind myself to be a discriminating collector, not a hoarding amass-er.
Me: You’re kind of
a comic-making genius. Will you be at Zinefest
tomorrow? What projects are you working on now? Where can people check out your work?
Brett: Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it to Zinefest, but I will be at the Minneapolis Indie Expo on August 21st at the Soap Factory. Comic books are the great passion in my life. Currently Kelly Krantz, Tim Sievert and I have been making a fantasy adventure nerdstravaganza series called “The Intrepideers.” If I don’t screw up anything, our fourth issue will be debuting at the expo in August.
Unfortunately, I am bad at websites and keeping them alive, but I’m good with plants, so maybe that makes up for the difference? Tim is so much better than me in the Web department, and information about “The Intrepideers” can be found on his site and also, here.
Copies of our comics are available at Big Brain Comics and here.
Me: Of course I have to ask you something about music…Do you have a favorite, summer-is-here-let’s-party classic rock anthem?
Brett: Yes, Wig Wam Bam by Sweet. That song has magical properties.
[Dear God, he’s right. This video is amazing!]
Me: Lastly, what are some of your dream thrift-store finds. Like, what would you freak out if you found?
Brett: It’s hard to say. The great thing about thrifting is never knowing what you will find. However if you see any clown belt buckles, cheap plastic Halloween masks (this type) or any madballs, let me know….
Will do, man! I hope you all enjoyed our little Q & A!
If you’d like to have your thrifty style featured on High Plains Thrifter, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!