THE NOT-SO-PLAIN DEALER

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

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.

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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.

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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

I heart my job
Special Business Workplace section, June 16, 2013
Andrea Levy, photographer/illustrator; David Kordalski, designer
Not sure if it’s always true, but it certainly is when working with Levy’s illustrations. Plus, it made a cool headline for a best workplaces section.
Major nod to the inimitable Milton Glaser original, circa 1977.
copyright 2013

I heart my job

Special Business Workplace section, June 16, 2013

Andrea Levy, photographer/illustrator; David Kordalski, designer

Not sure if it’s always true, but it certainly is when working with Levy’s illustrations. Plus, it made a cool headline for a best workplaces section.

Major nod to the inimitable Milton Glaser original, circa 1977.

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Final thoughts on Ariel Castro
Forum, September 8, 2013
Andrea Levy, photographer/illustrator; Regina Brett, columnist; Connie Schultz, columnist; David Kordalski, designer
In the aftermath of the suicide of Ariel Castro, the man convicted of holding three women hostage for a decade or more, Andrea, Regina and Connie offered their rather nuanced takes. Individually, each were strong works; packaged collectively, the pieces gained even larger power:

Regina Brett: Almost every day at the end of my morning meditation, I offer up a prayer for whoever needs a prayer most.
Until this week, I never imagined it would go to Ariel Castro.

Read the rest of Regina’s column here.

Connie Schultz: It’s a question we all should be asking ourselves, particularly if we’re willing to cheer the suicide of Ariel Castro. Celebrations erupted on social media and in the comments threads of news sites. As though Castro’s death rids us of what created him. As though the circumstances that made it possible for him to hold those three young women captive in the same neighborhood, same house, for more than a decade, have magically evaporated.
We don’t want “closure.” We want amnesia.


Read the full text of Connie’s column here. She comes to us via Creators Syndicate now, but we’re proud she won her Pulitzer Prize with us!

Andrea Levy: In the brief span of time that his freedom was denied, could Ariel Castro understand the devastating injustice of his actions? Did the agony of imprisonment finally brutally penetrate him? Was the road from “I am not a monster” to self-destruction fueled by dark epiphany? Not just an escape?
Our hopeful speculation is all that remains.

Andrea’s full text and image can be seen on the OpinionArt above. To see other OpinionArt pieces, follow her blog here.
Note: With hope, this closes a rather dark chapter in Cleveland’s history — and the lives of the three remarkable women who survived the rape and abuse of their captivity can finally begin.
copyright 2013

Final thoughts on Ariel Castro

Forum, September 8, 2013

Andrea Levy, photographer/illustrator; Regina Brett, columnist; Connie Schultz, columnist; David Kordalski, designer

In the aftermath of the suicide of Ariel Castro, the man convicted of holding three women hostage for a decade or more, Andrea, Regina and Connie offered their rather nuanced takes. Individually, each were strong works; packaged collectively, the pieces gained even larger power:

Regina Brett: Almost every day at the end of my morning meditation, I offer up a prayer for whoever needs a prayer most.

Until this week, I never imagined it would go to Ariel Castro.

Read the rest of Regina’s column here.

Connie Schultz: It’s a question we all should be asking ourselves, particularly if we’re willing to cheer the suicide of Ariel Castro. Celebrations erupted on social media and in the comments threads of news sites. As though Castro’s death rids us of what created him. As though the circumstances that made it possible for him to hold those three young women captive in the same neighborhood, same house, for more than a decade, have magically evaporated.

We don’t want “closure.” We want amnesia.

Read the full text of Connie’s column here. She comes to us via Creators Syndicate now, but we’re proud she won her Pulitzer Prize with us!

Andrea Levy: In the brief span of time that his freedom was denied, could Ariel Castro understand the devastating injustice of his actions? Did the agony of imprisonment finally brutally penetrate him? Was the road from “I am not a monster” to self-destruction fueled by dark epiphany? Not just an escape?

Our hopeful speculation is all that remains.

Andrea’s full text and image can be seen on the OpinionArt above. To see other OpinionArt pieces, follow her blog here.

Note: With hope, this closes a rather dark chapter in Cleveland’s history — and the lives of the three remarkable women who survived the rape and abuse of their captivity can finally begin.

copyright 2013