Only in this day and age can a completely disturbing drawing of Thomas the Tank Engine created in Japan be discovered by a company nearly half a world away in the UK, and then be purchased from the Japanese artist and turned into a T-shirt. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the power of the internet at its best (or worst, depending on how you look at it).
And if this drawing looks familiar, it should. Read on to find out more.
We’ve featured this very doodle on our site just a few months ago. With tens of thousands of retweets, the Japanese internet was buzzing about this strange and somewhat twisted version of a beloved childhood character. Created by Sendai Prefecture-based Twitter user Yui, the doodle was uploaded with the caption, “I found an old doodle in my notebook. I wonder what I was going through at the time I drew these.”
We all were wondering the same thing…
But it looks like Yui will be laughing all the way to the bank, because as it turns out, UK-based T-shirt company, Bottle of Smoke, liked Yui’s drawing so much that they decided to contact her, asking to purchase the doodle. Here’s her story:
▼ “A summary of the story behind this doodle: I discovered some doodles in my old notebook while cleaning my room→I landed up uploading them to Twitter→It spread all over the internet→A UK T-shirt company liked it and contacted me, saying, “We’d love to turn this into a T-shirt”→Manufacturing starts→Completed→They’ll start selling the shirts in the UK next week.”
Japanese netizen reaction to the news was mixed. Many were happy to hear of Yui’s success:
“Fate is funny like that, isn’t it?”
“I want it! I’m going to buy one!”
“I guess I’ll have to start looking for some of my old doodles, too.”
“Are they going to sell these in Japan?!”
Others weren’t as supportive or were secretly jealous they hadn’t thought of it first:
“They’re being sold, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that people will buy them.”
“UK T-shirt companies are quite daring, aren’t they?”
“This is crazy.”
“I’m starting to question the fashion sense of the English.”
“You were able to sell a scribble as is?”
“People in England sure do like this sort of avant-garde person, someone so strange it makes you think ‘Are they alright in the head?'”
But one Japanese netizen sums up our reaction to Yui’s newfound success:
“OMG, I laughed so hard!…I don’t want one though.”
We’re not so sure we’ll be getting out our credit cards to purchase one of these shirts, but we’re glad that Yui has found some success with her Thomas the Tank Engine doodle. We can’t wait to see photos of people in the UK walking around with this shirt on!