Bizarre Tiger Goes from Warren Barber Shop to T-Shirts (Sold Out)

April 18, 2015, 2:49 PM by  Alan Stamm

Isn't this a great country, really?!

It took just three days for a local social media topic to generate a souvenir garment.  

"It will probably look good on that weird body of yours," the Detroit designer says.

Buyers who acted fast Saturday can wear the woebegone, mutant-like tiger added to Dee's Barber Shop by a freehand painter known only as Little John.

The creature, which generated chuckles heard 'round the region, is on long-sleeve shirts rushed online by Detroit designer Jeff Arcel, as posted early Saturday by Lee DeVito of Metro Times. The available supply sold out in a day. 

"Another joke gone too far," says Arcel, a 30-year-old tech whiz,. "Buy it before I get the pants sued off me."

He echoes that possibility on Instagram, posting: "Watch me get sued by multiple parties over this."  

In an effort to stay legal, he avoids saying Detroit Tigers on the unauthorized merchandise.

The $20 curiosity is an American Apparel baseball raglan in small, medium, large or extra-large (unisex sizes). "It will probably look good on that weird body of yours," posts Arcel.  

Earlier update, Thursday afternoon:

Warren haircutter Denise "Dee" David understands why social media wags lob zingers at the bizarre Detroit Tigers mascot painted on her shop's front window.

"I was, like, a little surprised when I first saw it," she tells Deadline. "I was not in the building when it was painted. . . . It looks more like a badger than a tiger to me."


David, who opened Dee's Barber Shop last year, paid $100 to an artist she knows only as "Little John." He did holiday season window decorations for a next-door merchant and was hired to illustrate a Tigers ticket giveaway promotion.

"He did it freehand, not from a stencil," the barber explains by phone Thursday afternoon, confirming what some critics assume. Asked how customers react, she says: "Some like it, some think it's different."

She's amused by the online wisecracks and would rehire Little John, especially now that reactions led to a WXYZ news crew's visit Thursday morning. "I love it," David says of the unexpected attention.

In fairness, we'll add to her $100 worth of bargain-priced publicity: The shop at t 31079 Hayes Rd., just north of 13 Mile, gives away a pair of Tigers tickets every three weeks in a random drawing of slips dropped into a jar by haircut customers.    

Original article, Wednesday evening:

We're not artists, which is one reason we don't illustrate store windows (or anything else).

But we are art critics (who isn't?) So are social media users with no hesitation to crack wise about a woebegone creature intended to resemble the Detroit Tigers mascot at a suburban barber shop.

"Oh my god, what is that thing," asks a Detroit-area tweet Wednesday afternoon from "Mike With Bats" with this photo of the toothy, neckless feline. He adds: "Artist takes hit of LSD, begins painting.*

It's apparently on the front window of Dee's Barber Shop on Hayes Road, just north of 13 Mile in Warren, which uses an Old English "D" as the first letter of the owner's name. Deadline left a phone message at the shop, requesting confirmation and a reaction. 

Deadspin spreads the lighthearted ridicule by posting Mike's tweet a half-hour later with the headline "How Hard Can It Be To Draw A Tiger?" 

These are among comments there, under the original tweet and on reposts at Facebook and Reddi:

  • Looks like the quotes should be around Tigers and not Free.
  • Hope haircut is more artistic than the window. -- Andy Losik, Fennville, Mich.
  • What kind of monster would remove a tigers eyelids? At least it had the bat to bite down on. -- Rob Sternowski
  • Looks like the poor kitty is biting down on a bat during a particularly troublesome poop. -- Scott Spielman, Canton
  • Where does the head begin and end? -- Cameron J. Kaiser, Toledo
  • The stuff of nightmares.
  • Barber: We want a Tigers-themed window, but don't want to have copyright issues. Artist: I got just the thing. -- Karl, Atlanta
  • I want this tattooed on my body.
  • Yeah, "free" alright. Just looking at that thing cost me my soul.
  • It looks like a werewolf. -- Tracy Wells
  • For the love of all that is holy!!!!! -- Jen DeCoster, Detroit
  • Looks like a bad tattoo. -- Dave Hager, White Lake
  • Reminds me of that horrible Lucille Ball statue. -- Christine Moellering, Rochester
  • I would pay an absurd amount of money for that on a T-shirt.
  • It doesn't really even resemble a tiger. Looks like some type of mythical sea monster. -- Christine Dempster, Canton
  • In their defense, at least they didn't call them the Tiger's. -- Patti Smith, Ann Arbor
  • Seriously, what is that? It's like Godzilla and Battle Cat from He-Man spawned a terrible offspring. -- Dave Kim, Detroit Sports 105.1
  • I can't stop laughing at this and I don't know if I will ever be able to stop. -- M. Thomas Watson, Jefferson, Wisc.
  • It looks like someone tried to modify a Chicago Bears logo. -- John
  • It kinda looks like the Chicago Bears logo with the eyes whiskers and mouth added on afterwards. -- Justin Asbell, High Point, N.C.

OK, your turn now to add a comment below. After all, everyone is an art critic.

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