Neil Grauer, author, journalist and cartoonist, is well known for his Johns Hopkins Blue Jay. He’s drawn it thousands of times over more than a half-century, since his time as an undergrad at Homewood. (Photographer Jim Burger took the photo atop this post and wrote a profile of Neil for the City Paper in 2014.)

In September, Neil received a “Distinguished Service Award” from Hopkins — a kind of lifetime achievement award — for having drawn the Jay for 56 years.

“When you think back on the history of Johns Hopkins athletics,” said Ernie Larossa, the university’s sports information director, “an argument can be made that no single individual, other than Bob Scott [legendary lacrosse coach and athletic director], has had a touch point with more Blue Jay student-athletes than Neil Grauer. He never coached a game, didn’t officially recruit a single player in any sport or directly impact the outcome of any athletic event. Yet, in the five-plus decades since his arrival as a student at Hopkins in 1965, his NAG Jay logo has been the constant in the department. Virtually every men’s lacrosse player has had an individual caricature of himself crafted personally by Neil. The NAG Jay served as our unofficial/official department logo for decades, and now, since we’ve moved on to an official university-developed mark, the NAG Jay is used extensively by every one of our 24 athletic programs in some way.”

Last week, Wes Moore, a Hopkins alumnus and two-sport athlete, was elected governor of Maryland. Not surprisingly, Neil had drawn a cartoon of Moore a decade ago, after his book, “The Other Wes Moore,” had been published. Moore had played football and basketball at JHU and Neil’s cartoon had him twirling balls from each sport.

For his next trick — and Neil’s next ‘toon, commemorating Moore’s election victory — he has Moore twirling the Maryland State House. I guess we’ll see if that image is prophetic, though chances are Moore, a Democrat, will have plenty of support in a legislature dominated by Democrats. 

I thought you’d like to see Neil’s first take on Maryland’s governor-elect. I have a feeling other cartoonists — those, like the Sun’s KAL, who remain at the drawing board— will be working on their Moore, too.

Cartoons by NAG.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s