Remember when Scott O’Brien put together a Kickstarter to help fund his coloring book of depressing moments in Cleveland sports history? After the news of LeBron James returning to the Cavaliers, the artist announced his intentions to create another coloring book. Only this time, it’s about the good times in Cleveland sports.
I spoke with O’Brien about his decision to start up another coloring book project about Cleveland sports.
“I’ve kind have been bouncing around (the idea for this book) in my mind,” said O’Brien. “In researching the first book, I came across a lot of things in Cleveland sports history that I was aware of and some of them I wasn’t too familiar with. After doing the first one, I always thought about doing a ‘great moments’ book. I never knew what the right time would be. But when LeBron announced his return, there was a lot of optimism for Cleveland sports now. It seemed like a good time to do it.”
The announcement of this new Kickstarter project came right after James announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Having already featured James’ decision to leave Cleveland in his first book, the reaction to his return was of a different tone.
“The way he did it (in announcing his return) it seemed mature, very classy,” O’Brien said. Having already moved on from the way he left Cleveland, the return was worth celebrating for him. “It made his return a lot more exciting than I thought it would be.”
There’s a challenge in creating this new coloring book. The heartbreaks of Cleveland sports is well-documented throughout the country, but the joys and successes aren’t as well-known. Finding the right stories, and enough stories to share, will give this new book a different feel. O’Brien said that some of the greater moments have come right before the tougher moments.
“In order to have some disappointments, you have to have some expectations,” O’Brien said of the relationship of the good and bad times in Cleveland sports. One moment that stands out was the 2007 playoff run by the Cavaliers. The triumph of getting past the Pistons to make the Finals was followed by the sweep by the Spurs that year. Without the good, there would be no bad, he said.
Don’t expect the book to feature successful Cleveland sports stories seen in films like “Major League” and Draft Day,” instead the book will feature what has happened on the playing field in Cleveland history. And it might also have a mention of Johnny Manziel.
O’Brien felt that the first book was a more nationally recognized project. But with this new book, it will have more of a local few that people of Ohio will enjoy. Most of the stories will feature the championship seasons by the Browns and Indians, along with great playoff runs by all three major teams. The new book, O’Brien said, hopes to have a special appeal to “solely of the Cleveland fans.”
Having shipped out over 1,200 total books from his first project, O’Brien is confident that this second book will be a success. The success has helped him launch some other materials that fans of his work can buy. From shirts, mugs and even a 2015 calendar, there are new merchandise that’s available. The calendar will be in full color and fans who pre-order before Tuesday, can have their names included in the calendar.
“I wanted to do stuff that I wanted to see exist,” said O’Brien. “And now that I have a platform for it, it’s fun to do.”
For more information on O’Brien’s project, or if you are looking to back it, visit the Kickstarter page for more information.