THE NOT-SO-PLAIN DEALER

Work, wit and wisdom from Ohio's best visual team
A wild (card) time in the 216!
Special section, October 2, 2013
Chris Morris, Illustrator; Emmet Smith, designer
This page came together pretty quickly. In fact, they started planning it this morning and by 11 pm it was done and at the plant. 

Morris writes: 

[Emmet] called this morning and said he needed me on the truck. It would accompany a great player-by-player breakdown by staff writer Dennis Manoloff. I didn’t draw everyone he profiled but set out at 10 am to get as many as I could. I delivered the truck illo shortly before 10 pm …
Per Manoloff, valuable utility player Mike Aviles has “enormous calves”. I made sure to draw said hams.

If you’re any kind of Tribe fan, Dennis Manoloff’s must-read mini-profiles are here. See the aforementioned Mike Aviles’ hams above.
Our view: Your not-so-plain blogger swears Morris can draw a caricature faster than Michael Bourn runs to first base … 17 players in 12 hours! 
copyright 2013

A wild (card) time in the 216!

Special section, October 2, 2013

Chris Morris, Illustrator; Emmet Smith, designer

This page came together pretty quickly. In fact, they started planning it this morning and by 11 pm it was done and at the plant.

Morris writes:

[Emmet] called this morning and said he needed me on the truck. It would accompany a great player-by-player breakdown by staff writer Dennis Manoloff. I didn’t draw everyone he profiled but set out at 10 am to get as many as I could. I delivered the truck illo shortly before 10 pm …

Per Manoloff, valuable utility player Mike Aviles has “enormous calves”. I made sure to draw said hams.

If you’re any kind of Tribe fan, Dennis Manoloff’s must-read mini-profiles are here. See the aforementioned Mike Aviles’ hams above.

Our view: Your not-so-plain blogger swears Morris can draw a caricature faster than Michael Bourn runs to first base … 17 players in 12 hours!

copyright 2013

Win! In! Indians make the playoffs
September 30, 2013
Emmet Smith, designer; Chuck Crow, photographer
After an improbable 10-straight wins to close the regular season, the Cleveland Indians return to the playoffs for the first time since 2007. An amazing streak by an amazingly fun team to watch.
Our view: Not sure who’s had a better baseball season — the Indians or PD photographer Chuck Crow!
copyright 2013

Win! In! Indians
make the playoffs

September 30, 2013

Emmet Smith, designer; Chuck Crow, photographer

After an improbable 10-straight wins to close the regular season, the Cleveland Indians return to the playoffs for the first time since 2007. An amazing streak by an amazingly fun team to watch.

Our view: Not sure who’s had a better baseball season — the Indians or PD photographer Chuck Crow!

copyright 2013

Father’s Day, 2013

Published on June 16, 2013

Joshua Gunter, photographer. Bill Gugliotta, picture editor. Allison Carey, dad wrangler.

Should have had this posted a while back, but had some technical difficulties, then it languished in the draft folder. But the portraits are so delightful, that our view is better late than never.

Of course, some of these kids are probably out of college now…

p.s. The very last picture on the very last page is Josh and his three children, Reid, Luke and Lilly.

copyright 2013

We the beast
Forum, September 22, 2013
Andrea Levy, photographer/illustrator
For some time Andrea tried hard to avoid two polar-opposite YouTube phenomena that had been making major headlines …
But when she finally did watch the videos of Miley Cyrus twerking and the Syrian gas attacks, Andrea — as usual — connected dots in weird and wonderful ways. She writes:

Unfortunately, these two videos drew an unwanted and nauseating parallel in my mind: Two bodies, one twisted from pain, the other from pleasure. Flesh gone bad. Everyone now knows that our mouse clicks are observed and counted. Clicks equal revenue. It is we who set the hierarchy of the information we’re fed. So since we are all now editors, I’m thinking it’s imperative that we maintain the muscle to distinguish between titillation and genocide… (that’s a low bar, right??!!) Then even if it’s just mechanical at first, every time we look at junk, shouldn’t we look at something socially pertinent? It could become a discipline, like drinking a glass of water with every beer.  We cannot allow the real monsters to slip from view. And with journalism endangered, this is an increasing possibility.

This work is part of a regularly occurring feature that we call OpinionArt. For other OpinionArt pieces, follow Andrea’s blog here.
copyright 2013

We the beast

Forum, September 22, 2013

Andrea Levy, photographer/illustrator

For some time Andrea tried hard to avoid two polar-opposite YouTube phenomena that had been making major headlines …

But when she finally did watch the videos of Miley Cyrus twerking and the Syrian gas attacks, Andrea — as usual — connected dots in weird and wonderful ways. She writes:

Unfortunately, these two videos drew an unwanted and nauseating parallel in my mind: Two bodies, one twisted from pain, the other from pleasure. Flesh gone bad.

Everyone now knows that our mouse clicks are observed and counted. Clicks equal revenue. It is we who set the hierarchy of the information we’re fed. So since we are all now editors, I’m thinking it’s imperative that we maintain the muscle to distinguish between titillation and genocide… (that’s a low bar, right??!!) Then even if it’s just mechanical at first, every time we look at junk, shouldn’t we look at something socially pertinent? It could become a discipline, like drinking a glass of water with every beer.  We cannot allow the real monsters to slip from view. And with journalism endangered, this is an increasing possibility.

This work is part of a regularly occurring feature that we call OpinionArt. For other OpinionArt pieces, follow Andrea’s blog here.

copyright 2013

Seasonal beauties

Fall Arts previews, September 1 (film), 8 (TV), 15 (dance and classical music) and 22 (theater), 2013

Andrea Levy, illustrator; Amanda Petkiewicz, designer

Just as the turning trees are at once predictable and surprising in their beauty, so too is the PD illustrators’ annual handling of this annual ssignment. This year, Andrea used a loose, painterly approach.

For some seasonal diversity, see last year’s efforts by Chris Morris here.

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A pretty great day
for Cleveland sports fans

A1, Browns Extra and Sports front, Monday, September 23, 2013

Emmet Smith, Greg Darroch and Keith Bracken, designers

John Kuntz, Joshua Gunter and Chuck Crow, photographers

Browns got an unexpected win after a very turbulent week, and the Indians kept their hands on a wild-card berth with a sweep of Houston.

In your not-so-plain blogger’s view, the only thing that would have made this an even sweeter visual package would have been a blimp shot of Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field as it emptied out well before the 2-minute warning of the last place Squeelers loss.

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Yet another rampage
Forum, September 20, 2013
David Kordalski, designer
Would that we never have to do editorials or Forum pages on this topic again, but as the nation stubbornly refuses to address the two fundamental issues that contribute to mass shootings — stigma over mental illness and easy access to weapons — we fear it’s lather, rinse, repeat. 
Go here to link to the editorial.
Or simply wait to read one the next time. If history is any gauge, it won’t be long.
copyright 2013

Yet another rampage

Forum, September 20, 2013

David Kordalski, designer

Would that we never have to do editorials or Forum pages on this topic again, but as the nation stubbornly refuses to address the two fundamental issues that contribute to mass shootings — stigma over mental illness and easy access to weapons — we fear it’s lather, rinse, repeat.

Go here to link to the editorial.

Or simply wait to read one the next time. If history is any gauge, it won’t be long.

copyright 2013

The Sketchbook by Chris Morris

Sunday Page 2, various publication dates

Chris Morris, artist and reporter

The always-busy Mr. Morris has been even busier after our transition, what with writing and illustrating this new feature — The Sketchbook — that anchors Sunday A2. Here’s what Chris says about the concept:

A sketchbook format is not new — Sharon Henry, now with the OC Register, has been doing it brilliantly for years — but it’s fun for me because I’m now reporting the stories, shooting video, writing and illustrating the packages. It gives me the opportunity to explore the city and seek out interesting people and things, and then capture the story in a loose visual form.

We like it because the relatively new Clevelander Chris is finding really interesting people we’ve never met and places we’ve never been … and we’ve lived here for years!

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Bustin’ their chops

North Coast, September 1, 2013

Lisa DeJong, photographer and reporter; Emmet Smith, designer

Down in wild and wooly Burbank, Ohio, Lisa found a bunch of real cowboys and cowgirls — that is, boys and girls in the chronological sense. And as for cows … well, sheepishly we have to admit, maybe not so much. Lisa writes:

The wee wrangler is bursting out of the chute strapped to a wooly rocket. With a white-knuckled grip of a future bull rider, Riley, now 6, is learning the art of hanging on for dear life. To a Suffolk sheep, that is.  Riley is taming the flying fleece at the Mutton Bustin’ School held at Buckin’ Ohio at Creek Bend Ranch in Burbank, Ohio.

Read and see Lisa’s photo story here.

Note: This is the fourth of our newly launched “Sense of Place” photo essays. Find them in print Sundays in the PD’s new North Coast section and online at the Sense of Place blog.

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Changing face of work.
Forum, September 1, 2013
Andrea Levy, photographer/illustrator; David Kordalski, designer
A Labor Day editorial makes the case that an imperative to better, high-tech jobs for Northeast Ohio is even more emphasis on higher education. Read it here.
Note: We at the not-so-plain have this transition thing down to an art form, if any of you powers-that-be are looking for a quick consult.
copyright 2013

Changing face of work.

Forum, September 1, 2013

Andrea Levy, photographer/illustrator; David Kordalski, designer

A Labor Day editorial makes the case that an imperative to better, high-tech jobs for Northeast Ohio is even more emphasis on higher education. Read it here.

Note: We at the not-so-plain have this transition thing down to an art form, if any of you powers-that-be are looking for a quick consult.

copyright 2013