Making a Mascot

FC Cincinnati calls on the most creative among us
Posted at 10:00 AM, Jun 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-29 14:45:58-04

Let’s face it. Sometimes the news can be a downer.

There’s so much negative going on in the world.

But I look at my kids, and they don’t see that. They see beauty and life and love and their own little worlds they create.

That was the idea behind our FC Cincinnati Mascot Art Contest. We wanted to bring those worlds to life for all to see.

We asked kids across the Tri-State to use their imaginations and draw a mascot for new professional soccer team FC Cincinnati.

We gave these questions as possible inspiration:

  • What says Cincinnati to you?
  • What do you think about when you play soccer?
  • What makes our other Cincinnati mascots memorable?


We received 50 drawings. They were all fantastic.

Then our judges — WCPO cartoonist Kevin Necessary, local comic book artist Matthew Swift and FC Cincinnati midfielder Ross Tomaselli — evaluated those drawings based on creativity, connection to Cincinnati or FC Cincinnati and use of color.

Judges from left, Ross Tomaselli, Kevin Neccessary, Matthew Swift

The judges selected nine winners.

Then Swift, who painted the Origin Story books for Captain America, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, The Mighty Avengers, Wolverine and more, took each winner’s drawing and illustrated it like he would a comic book.

Each winner received a print of Swift’s version of their drawing and two FC Cincinnati tickets.

Phoenix Shafer, of Covington, created the “Cincinnati Water.” He was inspired by the Ohio River and said, “I heard Cincinnati has good water.” The contest was a great opportunity for Shafer, who loves to draw monsters and animals, to have some fun and show his talent.

“That’s all he does in his spare time is draw,” said his mother, Amy Hupp.

For 9-year-old Maddie Forse, the contest combined her love of drawing with her passion for soccer. Her dad, who is also her soccer coach, gave her the idea for her mascot “Queeny” and then she put the art case she received for her birthday to use.

She plans to take her dad/coach to the FC Cincinnati game. It will be her first FC Cincinnati game.

Maddie Forse with WCPO Insider Brand Marketing Manager Ashley Harriman, WCPO Digital Marketing Coordinator Emmalee Reiser and Editor Mike Canan.

Here are the amazing nine winners — both the original versions and Swift’s version.

I bet you can’t look at these and not smile at least once.

Cincinnati Water

by Phoenix, age: 8


Cincinnati Wolf

by Addie, age: 8


FC Bigfut

by Hannah, age: 8

Below, see Hannah's original drawing of FC Bigfut's face, pull the slider to reveal Matthew Swift's interpretation.


The FC Tabbys

by Katherine, age: 10


Lester the Lion

by Lillianna, age: 8

Below, see Lillianna's original drawing of Lester's crown, pull the slider to reveal Matthew Swift's interpretation.


Mr. Victory

by Rylan, age: 8



by Maddie, age: 9


Super Orange

by Cason, age: 10


Soccer Girl

by Emilia, age: 8