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Batmania T-Shirts, 1989

You may have some of these t-shirts, buried in the back of your closet.

For those of us who were collecting comics in 1989 — and if you’re on this blog, very good chance you were — you clearly remember the months of “Batmania” anticipation during the first half of that year, culminating with Batman‘s release in late June.

Batman licensed merchandise started hitting MAINSTREAM retail stores in early ’89. And okay, I remember this like it was yesterday: I’m fifteen years-old, casually wandering around the Macy’s at Garden State Plaza in Paramus, NJ in let’s say January(?) 1989. I stop in my tracks…in the Macy’s Men’s Store, there are Batman t-shirts. With like, comic book art on them. In MACY’S.

Of course, very soon thereafter, Batman t-shirts were everywhere…it was a fashion craze during the spring of ’89, with Bat-shirts being sported by all the cool kids. At times, it almost felt like a violation that non-collectors were encroaching in on our hobby, “Yo, you posers, I was into this comic book stuff for REAL, before you knew about it…” Kinda like being into a band, before they blew-up.

Well, anyway, we legitimate collectors were for the most part thrilled that comics were getting this much mainstream attention via the Batmania. As for the t-shirts, below are six of the designs that were very popular (I’ve intentionally excluded the most obvious one, the yellow-on-black “Bat Signal” design). Designs below, followed by some quick comments…

Batmania T-Shirts


1) The top left t-shirt was one of the first designs available at that NJ Macy’s. Yes, I bought it right then and there…and I eventually had two or three of the other six pictured…

2) …including the middle left Bolland Killing Joke Joker design. What a f’awesome t-shirt!

3) Top right is I’m pretty sure a Jerry Bingham shot from Son of the Demon. For reasons too boring to explain, I wasn’t able to 100% confirm it by looking through my copy of that OGN. But again, pretty sure!

1 comment to Batmania T-Shirts, 1989

  • I totally had the Jerry Bingham-inspired (or at least I always thought it was Bingham-based) second from the right T-shirt (upper right hand corner, here). Loved it!

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