Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Mascot That Wasn't – Part 1

When Lorain High School students voted to abandon the long-established Steelmen name in favor of the Titans, a new mascot was needed. Thus, in Spring 2010 the Morning Journal reported that the athletic director was asking for help developing a new mascot. The article stated, "The district will begin accepting submissions for a logo and mascot today through April 30. He is asking that only district students or graduates participate."

Reading this, as a cartoonist and 1977 Admiral King graduate, I thought: I've got to enter this.

But what should the mascot look like? I did a little research about the Titans of Greek mythology before doing a few roughs of a big goon-like Titan. But I was unhappy with the results.

I thought about it for a few days, and about Lorain in general, and how the city has really taken a beating in the last few decades. I reflected on how the city has pretty much lost almost all of its industries, and the exodus of families from the city has resulted in a shrinking school population, and how the city is down on its luck in general. Plus its sports teams had not been the powerhouses of the past.

Thus in my opinion, it didn't seem right for the city to be represented as a powerful, bully type mascot.

So I thought about it some more, and during the drive in to work one day, I imagined a small but wiry Titan. One who wasn't a bully, but an average guy who just keeps getting up each day and doing battle, even though he's probably going to get creamed.

When I got to work, I quickly dashed off a rough sketch of this guy.
I drew him in my usual style – which is naturally a little bit retro. I was hoping that if he was chosen as the mascot, that he would work well stylistically with the other local high school sports mascots that had been around for decades.

I eventually cleaned up my sketch, added some details to his garment and made him a little more aggressive looking. Then I inked him – the old-fashioned way with a brush – and submitted a copy of the artwork.

To my surprise, I was contacted by the athletic director. He said that my mascot was one of only a small handful that had made the cut and was still in consideration. While he was having professional artists clean up the other entries, he asked me if I would mind modifying my mascot slightly to include their new LHS sword and shield logo design and resubmitting it.

I quickly replaced my generic shield and sword with the approved designs. Here is the result (below).

Within weeks, I was informed that my mascot design had been chosen, and that it would appear in the Morning Journal on May 27, 2010.

I was ecstatic – but had no idea what lie ahead for the mascot and me.


Ken said...

No Hanna - Barbera beard muzzle?

Dan Brady said...

He looked too much like a Hanna Barbarian already!