Chronology of a front page illustration
By Graeme MacKay, Editorial Cartoonist, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday July 25, 2015
The illustration on today’s front page of the Hamilton Spectator began mid-week with a vision explained to me by Saturday editor Cheryl Stepan as a graphic to promote a fireworks display marking the end to the 2015 Pan Am Games. Art Director, John Bullock, further envisioned the fireworks being let off by Pachi, the Pan Am mascot from a barge in Hamilton Harbour. The shape of the illustration was measured out which resembled a big letter T allowing for text on either side of the rocket smoke streams. A difference of opinion emerged on what to do with the background. I insisted on a black sky background, and John argued that it would be too difficult to read white text on black especially on newsprint. To me there was no sense putting fireworks on a white background. So when I finished drawing the firework bursts and rocket lighting Pachi on the barge I supplied a version with a white sky and another with a grey gradient transitioning from white to black. Side by side it made better sense to editors to go with the black sky version, and working with it John came up with the idea to lay the entire masthead atop the fireworks and voila, the resulting A1 illustration.
Spectator front page (July 25)
Graeme Mackay’s front page illustration was ingenious!
As a longtime subscriber to The Hamilton Spectator, I daily look for his brilliance in depicting current news, whether political or social. With keen insight and imagination, he often weaves humour with reality.
TO2015’s mascot, PACHI, is so lovable, one of the best ever in Olympic or Pan American Games. Daily, this spirited raccoon greets me as I open my refrigerator door.
And to include him with the spectacular fireworks accompanied by Boris Brott’s orchestra – how wonderful. Kudos to Graeme Mackay and Boris Brott, both local professionals.
Merle Baird-Kerr, Burlington