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Behind-the-Scenes

Friday, December 7, 2018

Pittsburgh City Podcast takes on visual journalism

Posted By on Fri, Dec 7, 2018 at 7:19 PM

CP photographer/videographer Jared Wickerham, Pittsburgh City Podcast host Paul Guggenheimer and CP editor Lisa Cunniningham with students from Connellsville Area High School - PHOTO: SARAH RIDER SKORIC
  • Photo: Sarah Rider Skoric
  • CP photographer/videographer Jared Wickerham, Pittsburgh City Podcast host Paul Guggenheimer and CP editor Lisa Cunniningham with students from Connellsville Area High School
Pittsburgh City Paper photographer/videographer Jared Wickerham and editor-in-chief Lisa Cunningham talked about the importance of visual journalism on this week's Pittsburgh City Podcast. Listen to the Dec. 7 edition as they share behind-the-scenes stories from Wickerham's photo assignments and answer questions from a live studio audience of students from Connellsville Area High School.

The Pittsburgh City Podcast is a collective effort between Pittsburgh City Paper and Point Park University's Center for Media Innovation, hosted by Paul Guggenheimer.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Pittsburgh City Paper writers discuss this week's Health Issue on Pittsburgh City Podcast

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2018 at 4:59 PM

Pittsburgh City Paper writers Amanda Waltz and Jordan Snowden
  • Pittsburgh City Paper writers Amanda Waltz and Jordan Snowden
Why did we choose seasonal affective disorder as the focus of this year's Health Issue?

Go behind-the-scenes as Pittsburgh City Paper senior writer Amanda Waltz and staff writer Jordan Snowden discuss this week's Health Issue on the Nov. 30 edition of the Pittsburgh City Podcast. The journalists also answer questions from a live studio audience of students from McKeesport High School.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

A conversation with Pittsburgh City Paper cover artist Xiola Jensen

Posted By on Wed, Nov 28, 2018 at 9:00 AM

Pittsburgh artist Xiola Jensen - PHOTO: EMILY HERSCHL FOR CLOTHING DESIGNER JULI SHERRY
  • Photo: Emily Herschl for clothing designer Juli Sherry
  • Pittsburgh artist Xiola Jensen
Xiola Jensen's Instagram account is full of sad girls. Sad girls with cats. Sad girls reading. Sad girls with birds. Sad girls surrounded by nature. Illustrations of sad girl after sad girl in beautiful pastel color palettes, accented with striking line art and patterns. They're dreamy and perfect and depressing all at once. "Is the artist OK?", you can't help but wonder.

Then, in the middle of the artwork, breaking up the illustrated teardrops, a photograph of Xiola smiling and dancing with friends, alive. A talented 22-year-old college senior, with a portfolio that would be impressive even for a seasoned professional.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Increasingly Surreal Work Assignments: College Issue edition

Posted By on Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 8:15 AM

Behind-the-scenes of this week's College Issue cover: CP graphic designer Maya Puskaric behind the camera - CP PHOTO: LISA CUNNINGHAM
  • CP Photo: Lisa Cunningham
  • Behind-the-scenes of this week's College Issue cover: CP graphic designer Maya Puskaric behind the camera

The Challenge

The following is a paraphrased account of what our Creative Director and Managing Editor, Lisa Cunningham, said to me one sleepy afternoon last week: “We are doing a college nihilism theme. I am looking to really embody the essence of a college student here. I was thinking ... a cover ... like a teen fashion magazine! All bright and peppy but WAY more depressing. We need someone innocent and youthful and then we need to corrupt that. The model needs to look like they are trying their best but is also in a constant state of complete emotional destruction. Also let’s make it cute.”

Okay. I could work with that. After all, stylish yet full of unrelenting existential terror is kind of my daily look.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A conversation with this week's Pittsburgh City Paper cover artist Caitlin Rose Boyle

Posted By on Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Artist Caitlin Rose Boyle
  • Artist Caitlin Rose Boyle

Squeeeeee! Could this week’s cover be any cuter? It’s by comics and animation cartoonist Caitlin Rose Boyle, whose whimsical, anime-inspired artwork of a young, wide-eyed student just arriving in Oakland couldn’t be a more perfect fit for our College Issue. Caitlin went to school in Pittsburgh herself, arriving here back in 2008 and graduating with a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in 2012.

Some folks will recognize her work from Boom! Box’s Jonesy, a comic book created with writer Sam Humphries, about an angst-ridden teenager with the secret power of making other people fall in love with anyone or anything. If you’re not familiar and you dig this week’s cover art, definitely check them out, especially if you've ever felt tortured in high school like, ahem, me. Humphries’ writing is super smart, but it’s Caitlin’s playful art that really brings the comic to life. Plus, it's refreshing to find a comic with so many strong females and minorities in the storyline.

Caitlin was also the co-creator for the 2014 Nickelodeon Short Toon Buck n’ Lou and the Night Crew, and just this spring, local comic and cartoon arts museum Toonseum awarded her their Emerging Artist NEMO Award, given to “notable individuals for excellence in the cartoon arts,” according to its site.

Sadly, after nine years in Pittsburgh, Caitlin has packed her bags and is heading to Los Angeles. We caught up with her over email after she finished this week’s cover illustration and talked to her about her upcoming move, her comics and robot octopus arms.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Rejected cover designs from Pittsburgh City Paper's Animal Issue

Posted By on Wed, Jun 28, 2017 at 9:30 AM

This week's Pittsburgh City Paper Animal Issue cover sits on top of its inferior counterparts.
  • This week's Pittsburgh City Paper Animal Issue cover sits on top of its inferior counterparts.

When we decided to switch things up this year and change our annual Pet Issue to an Animal Issue, I came up with the idea of a cover design putting a common dog collar on an animal not usually associated with pet ownership: to show the broader range of stories we were including in this week's issue and, to be honest, because the idea of putting a dog collar on a penguin made me laugh.

The penguin design you'll see on this week's City Paper cover ended up being the clear favorite. After all, pretty much the entire city just celebrated the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team becoming back-to-back Stanley Cup champions, and what better tie-in than to jump on the bandwagon and give a shout-out to the second cutest penguins in Pittsburgh? (Don't miss our story on how you can feed the penguins at the National Aviary.)

But in addition to the final covers you see all over town each week, I often mock-up multiple versions of cover designs before we choose the final artwork. This week, I'm sharing three alternate covers that were rejected, so you can get a behind-the-scenes look at the creatures who were almost staring out at you from our street boxes.

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