The Flying Dead: A look at Mason’s Mask

The Flying DeadPut down your torches and pitchforks, it’s time to talk about Steve Mason’s new mask.

Let me say that, from my 17 years of experience with graphic and web design, I know everyone has their own opinions of what looks good.

Today, I am taking a look at Mason’s new mask and pointing out what works and what doesn’t from a personal viewpoint.

Philadelphia, more so than most NHL cities, is rich with historic, athletic, and entertainment relevance. One of my favorite things to see in goalie mask designs is when the goalie and designer embrace the team’s city. I am not talking about slapping the Statue of Liberty on your mask with sparkles, or pasting a NJ Devils logo on your helmet. Taking the time to investigate the city you are going to play for and put your own twist on it is what’s appealing to me.

One of the other things I like in a goalie mask design is developing a character in an “attempt” to throw off the competition, much like Vancouver Canucks goaltender Gary Bromley and his skull mask. Mason has married these two ideas into one badass goalie mask.

We all know that goalies are typically a different breed, a bit crazy and frayed around the edges. The initial stitched-up aesthetic of the mask adds to that mentality of a crazed psychopath who likes to stitch people’s skin together and wear it. Now add in the horde of zombies and the opponent is screwed. No matter how fast they run, they and the puck will be eaten alive.

Here’s where the city of Philadelphia comes into play. It’s not just any zombie horde, it’s mother truckin’ Ben Franklin, George Washington, and, what I am most impressed with, Betsy Ross. Again, Mason is putting his own spin on the team’s city. And the mere thought of Betsy Ross stitching my face onto someone else’s creeps me out.

The art itself is well done. There is a lot of detail up close, which can be hard to do with airbrush. You can appreciate the mask up close due to the detail, but from a distance you see the ripped-up sewn-together chunks of horror. This is indeed a well-rounded design.

If I wanted to get nitpicky, there are a couple of visual flaws in an otherwise great mask. The stitches themselves are a bit too clean. I would have liked to see them a bit more frayed and maybe a different color. I’m not sure if the artist was going for hockey laces, but I think they could have been a little more thought out.

Another thing would be Franklin’s eyes. They look like pea pods split open. With as much detail as there is, I would like to have seen decrepit pupils. But, like before, that is just me being nitpicky on an overall great concept.

I know some of you are saying, “this zombie thing is such a fad”. Please tell me what is not a fad nowadays. I am of the theory that if you like something, you like it. Who cares if it is popular or not or “mainstream”?

So that’s my two cents on Mason’s mask. Some will agree with me, and some won’t. Some downright hate the mask design. Let me know what you think in the comments.


(Pictures from Yahoo! and Anthony San Filippo’s Twitter account)