THE NOT-SO-PLAIN DEALER

Work, wit and wisdom from Ohio's best visual team

Trading places, NFL style

Sports, April 20, 2014

Tony Briggman Lariccia, designer; Chris Morris, illustrator

The 1974 NFL draft radically altered the fortunes of two franchises … perennial loser Pittsburgh picked up four future Hall of Famers, while longtime (although waning) powerhouse Cleveland drafted a guy who never played a down in the NFL.

It’s a pattern that has been repeated year after year after year after year, with the Steelers becoming a model of stability and smart choices, and the Browns becoming, well, the Browns as we know them today.

Tom Reed’s wonderful story details the roots of this real-life trading places tale. Read it here.

Our take: Tony and Chris provided the only smile your not-so-plain blogger (and long-suffering Browns fan) ever got from the folly of the 1974 draft.

copyright 2014

Sweet pictures. Sweet page.
North Coast, April 13, 2014
Gus Chan, photographer; Jane Mitchell, designer
As part of our ongoing Sense of Place series, Gus looks at the sweet science of maple syrup making in Northeast Ohio through the eyes of an Amish family in Middlefield. 
Nothing saccharin or sappy about the difficult work. Gus writes:

From sunup to near sundown, John Gingerich’s team of Belgian draft horses makes its way along the well-worn paths that cover 65 acres, with the men going tree to tree, dumping pails of sap into a gathering tank that rolls along on four wheels. While the majority of the men are out gathering, one or two always remain in the sugar house to tend the wood-burning evaporator that boils the sap into syrup.

Jane’s photo edit and display is picture-perfect.
Read the whole piece and see a slideshow of additional pictures here.
For other stories in our Sense of Place series, go here.
copyright 2014

Sweet pictures. Sweet page.

North Coast, April 13, 2014

Gus Chan, photographer; Jane Mitchell, designer

As part of our ongoing Sense of Place series, Gus looks at the sweet science of maple syrup making in Northeast Ohio through the eyes of an Amish family in Middlefield.

Nothing saccharin or sappy about the difficult work. Gus writes:

From sunup to near sundown, John Gingerich’s team of Belgian draft horses makes its way along the well-worn paths that cover 65 acres, with the men going tree to tree, dumping pails of sap into a gathering tank that rolls along on four wheels. While the majority of the men are out gathering, one or two always remain in the sugar house to tend the wood-burning evaporator that boils the sap into syrup.

Jane’s photo edit and display is picture-perfect.

Read the whole piece and see a slideshow of additional pictures here.

For other stories in our Sense of Place series, go here.

copyright 2014

Break those Lenten vowsin (Cleveland) style
Friday Magazine, April 18, 2014
Jane Mitchell, designer; Lisa DeJong, photographer
The day after Easter is no ordinary Monday – it’s Dyngus Day. And in Cleveland, thanks to proud Polish-American and Lakewood native D.J. Kishka, aka Justin Gorski, you can celebrate all day long. Laura DeMarco explains: 

While [Gorski] did not invent this post-Easter Polish holiday – a day to revel and throw off the restrictions off Lent – the host of the popular Polka Happy Hour at the Happy Dog is singlehandedly responsible for introducing it to Cleveland.

To read the rest of Laura’s story, go here.
For a list of things to do at this year’s Dyngus Day festival, go here.
Our view: The Cleveland Dyngus is fun and kitchy, but South Bend, IN, and Buffalo, NY, have been doing Dyngus Day for decades. Either way, Chodźmy się zabawić w poniedziałek! *
copyright 2014
* Let’s have some fun on Monday!

Break those Lenten vows
in (Cleveland) style

Friday Magazine, April 18, 2014

Jane Mitchell, designer; Lisa DeJong, photographer

The day after Easter is no ordinary Monday – it’s Dyngus Day. And in Cleveland, thanks to proud Polish-American and Lakewood native D.J. Kishka, aka Justin Gorski, you can celebrate all day long. Laura DeMarco explains: 

While [Gorski] did not invent this post-Easter Polish holiday – a day to revel and throw off the restrictions off Lent – the host of the popular Polka Happy Hour at the Happy Dog is singlehandedly responsible for introducing it to Cleveland.

To read the rest of Laura’s story, go here.

For a list of things to do at this year’s Dyngus Day festival, go here.

Our view: The Cleveland Dyngus is fun and kitchy, but South Bend, IN, and Buffalo, NY, have been doing Dyngus Day for decades. Either way, Chodźmy się zabawić w poniedziałek! *

copyright 2014

* Let’s have some fun on Monday!

Great. Blue.
North Coast, March 30, 2014
Lynn Ischay, story and photographs; Jane Mitchell, design
Part of our sense-of-place series, celebrating life in Northeast Ohio.
Here, Lynn documents the annual return of great blue herons to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It’s a testament to the efforts of environmentalists that the birds thrive on the banks of the Cuyahoga River, the very same river that caught fire decades ago.
Lynn writes:

Many of the herons return to colonies in the park, where wetlands and the nearby Cuyahoga River provide bountiful feeding grounds.Once the females arrive in early March, the courtship begins. If a female accepts a branch from a male, she will use it to build the foundation of their nest. The male will continue to gather branches, and the female will weave them into a bowl shape, sometimes as large as 4 feet wide and 3 feet deep. The pair will stay together, each incubating the eggs and tending to the young, for the season.

Read the rest of her story and see a gallery of images here.
copyright 2014

Great. Blue.

North Coast, March 30, 2014

Lynn Ischay, story and photographs; Jane Mitchell, design

Part of our sense-of-place series, celebrating life in Northeast Ohio.

Here, Lynn documents the annual return of great blue herons to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It’s a testament to the efforts of environmentalists that the birds thrive on the banks of the Cuyahoga River, the very same river that caught fire decades ago.

Lynn writes:

Many of the herons return to colonies in the park, where wetlands and the nearby Cuyahoga River provide bountiful feeding grounds.
Once the females arrive in early March, the courtship begins. If a female accepts a branch from a male, she will use it to build the foundation of their nest. The male will continue to gather branches, and the female will weave them into a bowl shape, sometimes as large as 4 feet wide and 3 feet deep. The pair will stay together, each incubating the eggs and tending to the young, for the season.

Read the rest of her story and see a gallery of images here.

copyright 2014

Not easy being green
Forum, March 9, 2014
Mary Lou Sneyd, designer; Ted Crow, illustrator
A nice, simple illustration in a nice, simple frame. For an editorial saying that the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District should revisit their decision to use a gray-water strategy of massive holding tunnels for sewer overflow instead of embracing potentially less expensive green options.
copyright 2014

Not easy being green

Forum, March 9, 2014

Mary Lou Sneyd, designer; Ted Crow, illustrator

A nice, simple illustration in a nice, simple frame. For an editorial saying that the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District should revisit their decision to use a gray-water strategy of massive holding tunnels for sewer overflow instead of embracing potentially less expensive green options.

copyright 2014

Grammy gold
Arts, January 26, 2014
Chris Morris, illustrator; Sharon Yemich, designer
Catching up on some blog-worthy pages … this is a nifty one from the team of Morris and Yemich for our Grammy preview. Like the boldness of the type as it plays with the boldness of the caricatures.
copyright 2014

Grammy gold

Arts, January 26, 2014

Chris Morris, illustrator; Sharon Yemich, designer

Catching up on some blog-worthy pages … this is a nifty one from the team of Morris and Yemich for our Grammy preview. Like the boldness of the type as it plays with the boldness of the caricatures.

copyright 2014

Hush, Little Baby
Forum, April 6, 2014
Andrea Levy, photographer/illustrator; David Kordalski, designer
Andrea takes on the topic of our carbon footprint. An excerpt:

Roses are deadIcebergs are dewI make too much carbonand so do you.

Follow the link for the full post here.
For other visual essays in this continuing OpinionArt series, follow Andrea’s blog here. Andrea has started a FB fan page. You can like it here.
copyright 2014

Hush, Little Baby

Forum, April 6, 2014

Andrea Levy, photographer/illustrator; David Kordalski, designer

Andrea takes on the topic of our carbon footprint. An excerpt:

Roses are dead
Icebergs are dew
I make too much carbon
and so do you.

Follow the link for the full post here.

For other visual essays in this continuing OpinionArt series, follow Andrea’s blog here. Andrea has started a FB fan page. You can like it here.

copyright 2014

Tribe time, face time

Special section, March 30, 2014

Tony Briggmin Lariccia, designer; Chris Morris, illustrator; most photographs by Chuck Crow

Second baseman Jason Kipnis is the face of the Cleveland Indians in 2014. Tony and Chris came up with this striking in-your-face approach to capture the why. The section also looked around the league for other players who are the face of their franchises — and the league.

The last page is composed of other players who have formed the face of the Cleveland Indians over the years.

copyright 2014

Rock on!
Arts, April 6, 2014
Jane Mitchell, designer; Chris Morris, illustrator
Our preview of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class of 2014 builds on the style that Chris did with his ambitious caricatures of all 542 previous performing inductees in 2012. Jane takes a deft touch with the type as the format changed from tab to broadsheet.
Read pop music writer Chuck Yarborough's profiles of all the inductees here.
copyright 2014

Rock on!

Arts, April 6, 2014

Jane Mitchell, designer; Chris Morris, illustrator

Our preview of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class of 2014 builds on the style that Chris did with his ambitious caricatures of all 542 previous performing inductees in 2012. Jane takes a deft touch with the type as the format changed from tab to broadsheet.

Read pop music writer Chuck Yarborough's profiles of all the inductees here.

copyright 2014

Crown jewel

Special section, April 6, 2014

Lisa DeJong, photographer; William Neff, graphics artist; David Kordalski, designer

Special section highlighting and reviewing the Cleveland Museum of Art’s recently completed renovation and remodel. Plain Dealer art & architecture critic Steven Litt reports. Find links to the entire report and see additional photographs here.

copyright 2014