THE NOT-SO-PLAIN DEALER

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

A common garden

Posted on cleveland.com, February 23, 2014

Andrea Levy, producer

Andrea is adding a third component — video — to her OpinionArt series. This time she tackles the reasons she’s pro-choice:

(W)hen I lie awake at night, it’s not for the unborn child that I most grieve, but for the child born unwanted.

Tossed into this dumpster of discrimination and inequity.

Born unaware that her first cry may never end.

I fear the prospect of forcing children into a world in which we can’t guarantee food or protection — let alone love.

I fear for the world.

Read the whole column and see the printed art 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.

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Let the games begin

Special section, February 8, 2014

Emmet Smith, designer

Select pages from the XXII Winter Olympic opening ceremonies special section. The double truck with the entire U.S. team roster is a particular favorite.

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Fired up about the Winter Games

Special section, February 7, 2014

Emmet Smith, designer; Andrea Levy, cover illustrator

Our commitment to profound visual coverage of the XXII Winter Olympics is bittersweet, as it marks Emmet’s last project for The Plain Dealer. This selection from the opening salvo of an amazingly ambitious project — 8-page live sections for the run of the Games — is the capstone of an absolutely incredible run.

Gold. Pure gold.

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Mad about this cover illo
Friday Magazine, January 3, 2014
Chris Morris, illustrator; Amanda Petkiewicz, designer
Chris does a delightful turn on the boatload of things to do in Cleveland with this nice homage to Sergio Aragones, Mad Magazine’s master of marginalia.
Want to see the 365 you can do in Cleveland in 2014? Follow this link and start checking off your list.
copyright 2014

Mad about this cover illo

Friday Magazine, January 3, 2014

Chris Morris, illustrator; Amanda Petkiewicz, designer

Chris does a delightful turn on the boatload of things to do in Cleveland with this nice homage to Sergio Aragones, Mad Magazine’s master of marginalia.

Want to see the 365 you can do in Cleveland in 2014? Follow this link and start checking off your list.

copyright 2014

These things seen
Forum, January 26, 2014
Andrea Levy, photographer/illustrator; David Kordalski, designer
After an incredibly emotional week following the candid column about her brother’s death, Andrea needed a bit of relief — and she felt her readers did, too. She found it near a small pond in Middlefield, Ohio:

Last Sunday, I saw boys in Middlefield skating on a pond.
At once, the world resurfaced.
The breath I drew was suddenly deep and familiar.
At last, I could remember that color is simply sleeping,beneath our skating feet, dreaming of spring.
The incredible response from all of you to my loss of mybrother is something that I will never forget.

Follow the links for the first two posts: …these things unseen, her visual essay about her brother’s death, and The Dead of Winter, her column about the hulk of her discarded Christmas tree that connected to it in a personal, poignant way.
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

These things seen

Forum, January 26, 2014

Andrea Levy, photographer/illustrator; David Kordalski, designer

After an incredibly emotional week following the candid column about her brother’s death, Andrea needed a bit of relief — and she felt her readers did, too. She found it near a small pond in Middlefield, Ohio:

Last Sunday, I saw boys in Middlefield skating on a pond.

At once, the world resurfaced.

The breath I drew was suddenly deep and familiar.

At last, I could remember that color is simply sleeping,
beneath our skating feet, dreaming of spring.

The incredible response from all of you to my loss of my
brother is something that I will never forget.

Follow the links for the first two posts: …these things unseen, her visual essay about her brother’s death, and The Dead of Winter, her column about the hulk of her discarded Christmas tree that connected to it in a personal, poignant way.

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

these things unseen
Forum, January 19, 2014
Andrea Levy, photographer/illustrator; David Kordalski, designer
Hours after finishing The Dead of Winter, her essay about the hulk of her discarded Christmas tree, Andrea learned her long-troubled brother had died. The coincidence in timing and the parallels in the essence of the essay and of her brother’s death haunted her throughout the week and long after the funeral.
She put together this touching piece — an emotional poultice for those who have lost loved ones under similar circumstances:

The morning of Jan. 3, I finished writing a rather dark piece about taking down the Christmas tree. I called it “The Dead of Winter.”In retrospect, you might call it an obituary for a tree.Little did I know as I sent the final words to my editors, that within hours, “The Dead of Winter” would include my brother, Todd.Little did I know that the very next day I would be with my siblings in Findlay, writing an actual obituary. I didn’t see it coming.Did I?These things unseen.

Go here to read the entire piece. And be certain to read the previous post to see how the dots were connected in a more personal, poignant way.
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

these things unseen

Forum, January 19, 2014

Andrea Levy, photographer/illustrator; David Kordalski, designer

Hours after finishing The Dead of Winter, her essay about the hulk of her discarded Christmas tree, Andrea learned her long-troubled brother had died. The coincidence in timing and the parallels in the essence of the essay and of her brother’s death haunted her throughout the week and long after the funeral.

She put together this touching piece — an emotional poultice for those who have lost loved ones under similar circumstances:

The morning of Jan. 3, I finished writing a rather dark piece about taking down the Christmas tree. I called it “The Dead of Winter.”

In retrospect, you might call it an obituary for a tree.

Little did I know as I sent the final words to my editors, that within hours, “The Dead of Winter” would include my brother, Todd.

Little did I know that the very next day I would be with my siblings in Findlay, writing an actual obituary. I didn’t see it coming.

Did I?

These things unseen.

Go here to read the entire piece. And be certain to read the previous post to see how the dots were connected in a more personal, poignant way.

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

Dead of winter.
Forum, January 5, 2014
Andrea Levy, photographer/illustrator; David Kordalski, designer
In her unique way of connecting seemingly unrelated dots, Andrea had some interesting observations as she hauled her Christmas tree to the curb:

Out my frozen window, beneath the harsh streetlight, I think I can see a body on my curb. Whoever left it there had the nerve to drag a bloody trail straight from my front door.
Well, the sight of it is practically making me sick. I wring my curiously scratched and sticky fingers.
Why should I care anyway? Someone else killed it.Right?


Go here to read the entire piece. And be certain to read the next post to see how the dots got connected in a more personal, poignant way.
For other visual essays in this continuing OpinionArt series, follow Andrea’s blog here. Last but not least, Andrea started a FB fan page. You can like it here.
copyright 2014

Dead of winter.

Forum, January 5, 2014

Andrea Levy, photographer/illustrator; David Kordalski, designer

In her unique way of connecting seemingly unrelated dots, Andrea had some interesting observations as she hauled her Christmas tree to the curb:

Out my frozen window, beneath the harsh streetlight, I think I can see a body on my curb. Whoever left it there had the nerve to drag a bloody trail straight from my front door.

Well, the sight of it is practically making me sick. I wring my curiously scratched and sticky fingers.

Why should I care anyway? Someone else killed it.
Right?

Go here to read the entire piece. And be certain to read the next post to see how the dots got connected in a more personal, poignant way.

For other visual essays in this continuing OpinionArt series, follow Andrea’s blog here. Last but not least, Andrea started a FB fan page. You can like it here.

copyright 2014

Tough crowd
Forum, January 23, 2014
David Kordalski, illustrator/designer
One of the issues that our editorial board has championed over the past several months is the overcrowding in Ohio prisons. And rightly so. From the editorial:

Ohio’s prisons noware so overcrowded — they currently house 50,526 inmates, projected to reach 51,601 by June 30, far above their 38,500 capacity — that it could put inmates and guards in danger.
That’s a warning sign that Ohio has to move quickly to reduce the prison population.

Read the entire editorial here.
A side note: Since The Plain Dealer’s transition to three-day home delivery, we’ve committed to a Forum section for each of the home delivery days. We lead each one with the main editorial. The challenge — and the thrill — is that these pages are done live … often conceived and completed within a six-hour (or in this case, a two-hour) window.
Need an easy way to follow along with the not-so-plain? Like us on Facebook.
copyright 2014

Tough crowd

Forum, January 23, 2014

David Kordalski, illustrator/designer

One of the issues that our editorial board has championed over the past several months is the overcrowding in Ohio prisons. And rightly so. From the editorial:

Ohio’s prisons noware so overcrowded — they currently house 50,526 inmates, projected to reach 51,601 by June 30, far above their 38,500 capacity — that it could put inmates and guards in danger.

That’s a warning sign that Ohio has to move quickly to reduce the prison population.

Read the entire editorial here.

A side note: Since The Plain Dealer’s transition to three-day home delivery, we’ve committed to a Forum section for each of the home delivery days. We lead each one with the main editorial. The challenge — and the thrill — is that these pages are done live … often conceived and completed within a six-hour (or in this case, a two-hour) window.

Need an easy way to follow along with the not-so-plain? Like us on Facebook.

copyright 2014

Big finish. And great start.
Sports, January 5, 2014
Tony Briggmin, design and research; Dennis Manoloff, research; John Kuntz, photographer
Josh Gordon’s breakout year as an elite NFL receiver was a spectacular bright spot in an otherwise dismal Browns season. He broke several franchise and NFL records, including being the first receiver in league history to have consecutive 200-yard games — 237 against Pittsburgh, then 261 against Jacksonville. He made the Pro Bowl and was named a first-team All-Pro.
Gordon’s potential is the most encouraging thing for Browns fans as we look to 2014.
And your Not-So-Plain blogger notes that this doubletruck detailing each of Gordon’s 87 catches — Tony’s first for The PD — is an encouraging sign for Not-So-Plain fans as we look forward, too, now that Tony’s on our team.
Of course, our view is we’re more like the Patriots than the mess known as the new Browns.
Want more Gordon, or maybe a printable pdf version? Go to cleveland.com/gordon for even more detail.
copyright 2014

Big finish. And great start.

Sports, January 5, 2014

Tony Briggmin, design and research; Dennis Manoloff, research; John Kuntz, photographer

Josh Gordon’s breakout year as an elite NFL receiver was a spectacular bright spot in an otherwise dismal Browns season. He broke several franchise and NFL records, including being the first receiver in league history to have consecutive 200-yard games — 237 against Pittsburgh, then 261 against Jacksonville. He made the Pro Bowl and was named a first-team All-Pro.

Gordon’s potential is the most encouraging thing for Browns fans as we look to 2014.

And your Not-So-Plain blogger notes that this doubletruck detailing each of Gordon’s 87 catches — Tony’s first for The PD — is an encouraging sign for Not-So-Plain fans as we look forward, too, now that Tony’s on our team.

Of course, our view is we’re more like the Patriots than the mess known as the new Browns.

Want more Gordon, or maybe a printable pdf version? Go to cleveland.com/gordon for even more detail.

copyright 2014

Perfect match.
Forum, December 25, 2013
Andrea Levy, photographer/illustrator; David Kordalski, designer
Our friend and former PD colleague Felesia McDonald found out she was a match to donate a kidney to the new love of her life, Ray Freeman. It would have been easy to come up with hundreds of reasons not to — but Felesia found the courage — and love — to go ahead with the donation just before Christmas. Andrea explains:

It wasn’t simply the love and support I witnessed between them that was significant. Felesia is a single mother of two who endured a long, stormy marriage and an eventual divorce. Ray was managing kidney disease, which required three weekly trips to dialysis. In light of all this, what was most striking about this couple was the optimism they shared. The sense of humor. Their electricity was palpable.

Go here to read the entire piece.
And to see and read other pieces in this continuing OpinionArt series, follow Andrea’s blog here.
Last but not least, Andrea started a FB fan page. You can like it here.
copyright 2013

Perfect match.

Forum, December 25, 2013

Andrea Levy, photographer/illustrator; David Kordalski, designer

Our friend and former PD colleague Felesia McDonald found out she was a match to donate a kidney to the new love of her life, Ray Freeman. It would have been easy to come up with hundreds of reasons not to — but Felesia found the courage — and love — to go ahead with the donation just before Christmas. Andrea explains:

It wasn’t simply the love and support I witnessed between them that was significant. Felesia is a single mother of two who endured a long, stormy marriage and an eventual divorce. Ray was managing kidney disease, which required three weekly trips to dialysis. In light of all this, what was most striking about this couple was the optimism they shared. The sense of humor. Their electricity was palpable.

Go here to read the entire piece.

And to see and read other pieces in this continuing OpinionArt series, follow Andrea’s blog here.

Last but not least, Andrea started a FB fan page. You can like it here.

copyright 2013