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Blog - Gary Blehm

PENMEN T-Shirts

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Before Grin Big! ™ there were PENMEN® Posters, PENMEN® T-Shirts, the PENMEN® Comic Strip, and the PENMEN® Book. The ever present message of optimism and positivity was expressed through Penman's exploits and creator Gary Blehm's speeches to schools encouraging kids to "Be Positive and Follow Your Dreams". The fact that Blehm had first began working on his optimistic character in the fifth grade created a wonderful chance to encourage other kids to do believe in their dreams.

While the Sunday version of the comic strip was seen by millions in color every Sunday in the 90's, the posters, book, and daily comic strip were published in black and white. In that tradition we're offering PENMEN® T-shirts in the same black and white purity.

Gary Blehm, The Optimist Since 1989. Be Positive and Follow Your Dreams with the Power of Optimism

There is always a reason to smile. Find something you love to do and give it everything you've got! That's how you spread the power of optimism. That's how you make your own trail. That's how you become genuine. That's how you become unique. That's how you become an original.

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​Gary Blehm, The Optimist Since 1989, a Life of Optimism in His Own Words

Gary Blehm, The Optimist Since 1989, tells his story of spreading optimism in his own words. "Be positive and follow your dreams. Take what you love to do and make that your dream. Shoot for the moon, and only settle for top of the world.

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The Optimist, Gary Blehm Spreads Optimism and Positive Vibes from a Colorado Campsite

The Optimist, Gary Blehm Spreads Optimism and Positive Vibes from a Colorado Campsite after selling t-shirts at a local spring festival.

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When All You Have is a Glass Half Full Get a BIGGER GLASS! ...and a Grin Big!™ T-Shirt

When All You Have is a Glass Half Full Get a BIGGER GLASS! ...and a Grin Big!™ T-ShirtGary Blehm, The Optimist, has expressed the power of a positive mental attitude with a big half full glass on a poster published in 1990 and 1991. The message of spreading the power of optimism and positive vibes [...]

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Penman Gary Blehm, The Optimist in 1996 Syndicated Comic Strip within 6 Years of First Publication

In 1989 Optimistic Cartoonist Gary Blehm, nicknamed "Penman" after his character with a broad half moon shaped smile or grin. The character was often shown wearing his round sunglasses in posters, books, and comic strips. In this promotional photograph Blehm is shown tied down to his drawing table symbolizing the commitment to producing a daily [...]

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Printing Grin Big!™ T-Shirts at PENMEN® Studios

PENMEN® Studios Prints Grin Big!™ T-Shirts in Colorado Springs, Colorado, home of the character, Penman, Since the 1980's. The Optimist, Gary Blehm has entered the 28th year of spreading optimism and positive vibes with the activities we love to do. Be Positive and Follow Your Dreams with a Grin Big!™ tee today.

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