Friday, June 6, 2014

Flashback Friday: Domer the Skydome Mascot

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Whether they want to admit it or not, I think a lot of people have a soft spot in their hearts for mascots. Perhaps it's their big sympathetic eyes, but mascots are a fun and accessible part of the game where often times the players are inaccessible.

Occasionally, we take time to remember our forgotten mascots, and such is the case with this week's Flashback Friday, where we take a look back at Domer; the mascot of Skydome.

Admittedly, I'm going back to the well one more time since Domer was already featured on a Flashback Friday a few years ago. But considering this week marked the 25th anniversary of the Skydome and Domer will be in attendance this evening, it only seemed fitting.

Domer is kind of the forgotten one when it comes to mascots associated with the Toronto Blue Jays, namely because he wasn't a Blue Jays mascot per se ... but a mascot for the Skydome itself; which is quite the rarity in professional sports.

I was lucky enough to hear from Jim Caswell, the illustrator who originally designed Domer. He was kind enough to send his original character sketches, and here's what he had to say about the concept and design of Skydome's first and only mascot:
"With Bearspots Creative Director and Nelvana co-owner, Clive Smith and the marketing VP, Dave Garrick, we worked over a number of weeks to finalize a look and two basic “hero” poses and then I illustrated 10 poses in different costumes.

I designed the look of Domer by a number of sketches, trying different heads, body sizes,etc. and client input.
The direction from the client was to use a turtle as the shell was reminiscent of the dome. Once the black and white version was developed, we used Skydome’s defined PMS colours.

I used Walt Kelly’s Pogo as a starting point to develop a thick thin ink line for the final artwork. Back in those days, it was literally inked artwork. Today, because of the need for flexibility for multiple applications, it would have been produced as vector art."
Here are a few images below of Domer in action, one taken from the commemorative Skydome Opening Celebration magazine (which I happened to pick up for 99 cents a few years back).


And courtesy of Ed at Retrontario, there's this very rare photo of the late John Candy alongside Domer.


Luckily thanks to the advent of Youtube, we can travel back in time and unearth lots of great videos featuring Domer. Judging by the videos below, it looks like Domer was a prominent feature around 1 Blue Jays Way.

The opening of the world's first multi-use retractable roof stadium was like the premiere of a Hollywood blockbuster, which included virtually everything. The reveal of a brand new mascot being just one of them.

Here you can watch Domer's grand entrance during "The Opening of Skydome: A Celebration", which is really nothing more than just a flying balloon of Domer. For many, this was their first introduction to the Skydome's new mascot.




Proving that turtles just can't help but congregate together, Domer meets up with Michaelangelo from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at Ontario Place.




Here's Domer entertaining the masses during an NBA Game between the Detroit Pistons and Utah Jazz at the Skydome.




And for some strange reason, it's Domer inexplicably going down a slide, which I can only assume is at the Canadian National Exhibition.



Featured Domer image courtesy of the ever-awesome Retrontario.
Domer character sketches courtesy of Jim Caswell.
"Make Tracks" image courtesy of Toronto Archives.

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