This article is part of the The Bradford Exchange series.

Born to be Free

There are two indisputable facts about the wolf. First, they're obviously the spirits of our long lost ancestors. Since departing the mortal realm, these spirits have forgotten their human nature, and thus walk on all fours, howl, and generally behave as animals. Second, the wolf is nature's most majestic killing machine.

Sadly, looking wicked has become something of a curse for the mighty wolf. Its stunning visage has been printed on everything imaginable, and very little of it any good. Worst of all: the wolf shirt. Originally the wolf shirt devotees consisted of the sincere and the ignorant, people who saw no sin and knew no better. Now a new class of miscreant has taken a shine to the wolf shirt. They wear it out of proud irony or service to some sad, sad viral meme.

Meanwhile, the poor wolf is still standing on some rock in the dark of night, howling for a justice that may never come. Looking at this piece, I have to admit that it almost delivers some of that justice. Almost.

If you have a moment, I'd like to engage you in a mental exercise. Close your eyes. Now imagine a motorcycle racing down an abandoned stretch of highway at night. A giant full moon glows in the horizon, and swarms of bats fly by, their silhouettes cutting into the glowing orb's shape. Now imagine the rider of that motorcycle: a werewolf. Torn jeans. Black leather boots. A denim jacket with the sleeves ripped off. A headband holding back the long flowing hair. Dark sunglasses. The lone wolf... the outlaw... the renegade.

Now swap out the motorcycle with a unicorn and paint that image on a quality canvas. Mail it to me as soon as possible, along with any extra money you might have.

As for this stupid figurine thing, well, it still sucks.

John Wayne Illuminated Lantern Collection

Prior to his death at the hands of Martians in the deserts of Arizona, John Wayne spent a few weeks posing for various sculptures, paintings, and airports. Knowing death was imminent, Wayne wanted to preserve his legacy by having it plastered on cheap, readily available knickknacks and transportation hubs.

This lantern, the very first lantern created with a little tiny cowboy inside it, captures Wayne at his very best: standing next to a log. One can easily imagine the actual full-sized John Wayne standing in this very same pose as he stared down the barrel of a Martian raygun and told those alien sons of bitches to do their worst. And they did.

As one would expect from a lantern with a little-bitty cowboy inside it, it lights up. Just like the real John Wayne, this lantern is powered by two "AA" batteries.

– Josh "Livestock" Boruff (@Livestock)

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