Detroit Metro Times wins 2022 AAN Awards

What’s up with that RoboCop statue? Our 2021 deep-dive earned praise, as did our cover designs

click to enlarge Metro Times covers art directed by Evan Salt. - Metro Times archives
Metro Times archives
Metro Times covers art directed by Evan Salt.

Last month, I drove to Chicago for the 2022 Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN) convention held at the Intercontinental Hotel, where I met up with my Euclid Media Group colleagues, many of whom I met in person for the first time. There, we attended multiple days of panel discussions, workshops, lectures, and networking with journalists and managers from other alt-weeklies from across the country. But perhaps most importantly, we bonded over burgers and rounds of beers (and Malört) at the “World Famous” Billy Goat Tavern, a haunt favored through the years by journalists from the nearby offices of the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times.

Oh, and the convention was also capped off with the AAN Awards ceremony, where Euclid Media Group, including Metro Times, was recognized for our work.

Our former art director Evan Sult earned second place for his cover design for Metro Times thanks to his expert art direction. That included a spoof of the cover of Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) for my cover story about getting vaccinated for COVID-19; a riff on the Gadsden flag to illustrate Steve Neavling’s report on infighting in the Michigan Republican Party; and an eye-catching cover about the rejuvenated labor movement in time for May Day.

“Three beautiful executions that grab your attention and then communicate clearly and immediately,” the judges said in their notes. “Extra points for being able to deliver such a variety of looks, each with polish.”

Sult’s work for Metro Times came in second place only to… himself. First place went to his designs for our sister paper, the St. Louis Riverfront Times. “Bravo! Each of these covers embody the mission of AAN, command attention (in some cases, appropriately, jarringly), and show a level of design craft to admire,” the judges wrote.

You literally outdid yourself, Evan!

That wasn’t all Metro Times was recognized for. We also earned third place, arts feature for contributor (and long-time staffer) Michael Jackman’s story on Detroit’s RoboCop statue.

Remember that? In 2011, someone famously — and perhaps off-handedly — tweeted to Detroit’s then-Mayor Dave Bing that the Motor City needed a statue of the hero of the 1980s sci-fi cult classic, set in a futuristic, even more dystopian Detroit, because Philadelphia had a statue of Rocky, and RoboCop “would kick Rocky’s butt.”

The tweet went viral, resulting in a crowdfunding campaign that raised more than $60,000 for the effort. Detroit metalworker Giorgio Gikas was tapped to bring the 11-foot-tall bronze monument to life, which was intended to be installed outside of the Michigan Science Center.

But more than 10 years later, Detroit’s RoboCop statue remains in limbo. Jackman got Gikas to open up about his cancer diagnosis, which delayed the project, and broke news that the statue would no longer be displayed at the Science Center.

Said the judges: “The Detroit Robocop statue is legend — and this story does a good job of explaining its origins and what it means now that it nears completion.”

If we hear any news on RoboCop, we’ll report back.

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About The Author

Lee DeVito

Leyland "Lee" DeVito grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, where he read Metro Times religiously due to teenaged-induced boredom. He became a contributing writer for Metro Times in 2009, and Editor in Chief in 2016. In addition to writing, he also supplies occasional illustrations. His writing has been published...
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