Last night, the World Series took the night off as the teams travel back to Kansas City. Action will resume tonight with Game Six.
The Giants lead the series, 3-2. Tonight, the Royals will tie the series or the Giants will win it. So it’s all on the line tonight for the Royals.
Sarah Morris, an artist+designer for the Kansas City Star, tells us:
The cover illustration and design was done by Neil Nakahodo, who did an excellent job, as always.
The poster page photo is by John Sleezer, who always does a fantastic job. I designed.
The photo is of Giants reliever Hunter Strickland leaving the field after the almost fight in Game 2. We’ve been wanting to work in the Breaking Bad reference for a while, and sports editor Jeff Rosen decided that this was the opportunity to do it.
This month, all of our preview sections have run on a heavier paper. We’ve taken that as an opportunity to run Paper Royals, which were created by Neil Nakahodo.
This is the Paper Royal that ran in Sunday’s section.
Carefully cut out the pieces, assemble as instructed and you can make a do-it-yourself action figure of your favorite Royals players.
Sarah tells us:
Today’s Paper Royal is Billy Butler, who has his bat and some BBQ sauce as accessories.
Sports designer Domenica Bongiovanni has amassed quite the collection.
They’re a way to have a little more fun with our coverage in the post-season.
The first time I had seen these little paper action figures was back in 2007, when the Denver Post published them when the Rockies were in the playoffs.
I thought these were very cool and I wrote an entire riff on them into some of my presentations.
In 2011, the Post upped the ante with a figure of Tim Tebow.
Not long after, the Detroit Free Press countered with a similar cut-out figure of fearsome defender Ndamukong Suh. Which the Freep cleverly displayed here putting the smackdown on the Post’s Tebow doll.
In 2012, Denver Post graphics director Jeff Goertzen moved to USA Today, where he offered up Tom Brady and Eli Manning figures for the Super Bowl.
The idea was adapted into superheroes by the Victoria (Texas) Advocate, when the Avengers movie came out that May.
I even tried to make one of those myself.
Clearly, my superior graphic arts skills made for nothing but success.
That’s OK. I never enjoyed counting to ten anyway.
Even later that year, the Detroit Free Press went crazy with the paper doll trend, offering ten Detroit Lions, plus the team mascot and a page of accessories like goal posts and little tubs of Gatorade.
That fall, Samantha Dellinger of the York Daily Record created 25 — count ‘em, 25 — versions of the football paper doll to represent all the high schools in her paper’s coverage area.
Also that fall, the Tulsa World asked readers to vote on an area high school all-star team. The winners of the poll were turned into paper figures.
And Tim Wertz of the Williamsport (Pa.) Sun-Gazette uses the idea from time to time to pay homage to people from rap musicians…
…to local roller derby sk8r chix.
And those are just the ones I know about.
So this is by no means a new idea. But it’s an effective one, because it’s a talker.
If you use a gimmick, use it well. And that’s what the Star has done here. The Star is also printing Paper Chiefs for football season.
What I like about these is that they’re not online. These are print edition only. If you want Paper Chiefs or Paper Royals, you have to shell out a dollar for the dead tree edition.
So how does the paper push the idea online? They encourage readers to buy the paper, build the figures and then send in pictures of themselves with the Paper Chiefs or Paper Royals for galleries on the paper’s web site and Facebook page.
The paper has also invested to help create awareness of the paper figures with a fun promotion to use at tailgating locations.
I suspect everyone wants to be made into a Paper Chief. Note the hashtag on the display.
So make fun of paper figures all you want. This is nothing but clever, clever, clever.
Tonight’s game begins at 8 p.m. EDT, or 5 p.m. out here on the west coast. The entire World Series is being broadcast on Fox.
More 2014 postseason baseball pages: