When we last checked in with Zipperface, we got to know Jimmy Fata, the man behind the mask.
One of the most recognizable faces in any TD Place crowd, Fata has kept busy since Ottawa’s season came to an abrupt end last year.
Although the Redblacks did not participate in the Grey Cup game, Zipperface was present throughout the week long lead up to the big game. And not only as an Ottawa super fan.
Fata, an Assistant Division Chief with the Ottawa Firefighters, was a part of the official security detail for Lord Earl Grey’s trophy during its time in the nation’s capital. Part of his duties consisted of driving the Grey Cup around town and being among the trophy’s guard crew anytime it was publicly displayed during Grey Cup week.
For one of Ottawa’s most passionate football fans, it was a dream come true. A story fit for a comic book if you will. Which is exactly what it came to be.
Liam Quigley is a talented illustrator and one of Fata’s close friends. Upon hearing of Fata’s Grey Cup week story, he brought up the idea of illustrating a comic strip.
After months of labour, the two have come up with a story and visuals they are happy with. The fruits of their labour are now complete and a three page, 24-panel comic is ready to be released publicly. The comic is mostly in black and white, with occasional splashes of red to emphasise specific images.
Without spoiling anything, the comic centres on Zipperface’s efforts to ensure the Grey Cup arrives at TD Place in time for the big game.
Fata has decided that before releasing the comic in its entirety (as a free downloadable PDF), he’ll leak a few panels a week in the R-Nation Facebook group.
Beyond self-promotion, Fata hopes to raise money for the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. He intends to do that by directing any momentum raised by the comic towards a line of Zipperface T-shirts that will soon be on sale.
“The comic will be free and I’m truly not interested in making money for myself. My hope is to turn the interest generated by the comic into shirt sales that will then be donated to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. Although the CFL owns the Grey Cup, the Hall of Fame are the custodians, and I’d like to do my part to help them out.”
In order to be completely transparent, Fata has promised to publicly post all his profits and donations on his Twitter account.
“The Grey Cup is dear to me, and I think this is a fun way to give back” he says.
Depending on the reception of the initial comic strip, Fata believes further issues are possible.
“The sky’s the limit really. You could have Zipperface visiting other towns and interacting with other super fans. If I can represent the Redblacks, engage fans across the CFL and raise money for the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, why not?”