Arts & Culture

Pass the Torch

Leanne Hannah has collaborated with Baltimore PressBox to create the official "Your Turn" Ravens/Orioles t-shirt.

Leanne Hannah, a local freelance illustrator and former Towson University graduate (yay Tigers!), has collaborated with PressBox to create the official “Your Turn” Ravens/Orioles t-shirt. Hannah’s illustration shows a raven and an oriole bird giving each other a “fist-bump,” implying the hope of another winning season and ultimately the championship! Symbolically speaking, the Baltimore Ravens are passing the torch to the Orioles. (No pressure!)

You can purchase the tees ($18.95) at the
Pressbox store.

For over a decade, Hannah has worked on many projects including her nostalgic yet exuberant design,
Blue Milk Special. This web comic (which was voted number 9 on TopWebComics) features parodies of the classic movie, Star Wars, done by her and other artists. More of her designs include comic illustration work for Whatever Happened to Baron Von Shock, Casper and the Spectrals, and Marvel Comics.

If you want to catch up on the latest work by Hannah, join her at the
House of Pop Culture in Waldorf, MD on May 4th, the Baltimore Comic-Con on September 7-8th, and the ANS Sci-Fi & Comic-Con on Saturday May 11th. Check out the websites for more information.

I had the pleasure of interviewing the talented designer herself, and here’s what she had to say:

What inspired you to design this piece? I know the love of the O’s played a big role.

It was a love of both teams that did it, really. I wanted to do a piece like this right after the Ravens won the Super Bowl. I was so proud of the guys and how much heart they showed throughout the playoffs. I’ve been an Orioles fan since I was little (through the highs and the lows), and after the tremendous season they had last year, I wanted to do something to show the Ravens passing the torch in a way, and extending that momentum to the O’s. These last few months have just been an awesome time to be a Baltimore sports fan!

How did you think of the concept of the fist bump?

The ‘fist bump’ between the birds was actually the very first part of the image that I imagined in my head, but I went back and forth over how to present it. Originally I was going to have the teams’ mascots sitting together and fist bumping, but in the end I thought going with actual birds casually perched on a tree branch would be cooler and a little subtler.

I really just did the piece for fun to show my love and support for my teams. I was incredibly surprised when it took off the way it did online.

I’ve heard that some people were trying to sell counterfeit shirts using your design. How are you handling that?

Unfortunately, when something like this goes viral you’re always going to have people out there trying to take advantage. A couple weeks ago I was told that someone had stolen my drawing of the birds, removed the tree branch and my signature, and put them on a t-shirt with the ‘Your Turn’ slogan. My drawing is registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, so my lawyer and I are in the process of sending Cease and Desist letters to the people selling them and trying to profit from my work. Right now it looks like these shirts are primarily being sold at farmers’ markets around Baltimore. We’re trying to get it taken care of. I appreciate everyone who has written or let me know when and where they have seen these shirts being sold. It helps.

Do you have other designs on the horizon for other teams?

Not at this time, but I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to it!

If you love art like I do and bleed orange and black for the O’s, then this is definitely and “win-win” situation. Let’s help the Ravens pass the torch to the Orioles so Baltimore can bring home another Championship ring, while also supporting a local artist. (All smiles.)