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The April 2012 Buzzer and Mark Atomos Pilon: Buzzer illustrator interview

Illustration and illustrator

Another month, another Buzzer newsletter. This month’s issue came out last Friday and was devoted primarily to April service changes (mostly starting on April 23rd). Although most of the changes were included in the issue, some last minute additions were made after the publication. You’ll want to check the transit service changes page for the most up-to-date changes.

Rob's image of the "Vancouver Buses" board game

Also in the issue was the acknowledgment that we’ve reached 20,000 Twitter followers (actually, we’re currently almost at 21 000)! To commemorate the event, we asked our followers to tweet their photos of transit in Metro Vancouver. One of the winners of the contest was @fayemccreedy.

Faye's winning image

In the February issue of the Buzzer, I asked if anyone knew anything about a board game created by a teacher’s aid with the help of B.C. Hydro Transportation Division engineer-in-training Barry Sanford. I received a few emails about it including an image from Buzzer reader Jason Vanderhill who thinks his image is an earlier version of the game. Michael Taylor-Noonan’s image of a Victoria version of the game was included in the print issue. Just yesterday, Rob Chew sent in this image and this note:

“I just read in the recent issue of the Buzzer that you’re still looking for the Vancouver Buses game. I only have the board itself. I picked this up from fellow TRAMS (Transit Museum of Society) member Ron Finlayson who had been hanging on to it in his basement. Apparently, it came from another TRAMS member who had passed away in the last few years. I’ve attached a picture showing the board game. Hope this helps.”

The illustrator this month is someone you may already be familiar with since his images are regularly featured in the George Straight. Here are Mark’s responses to my questions about his work and transit:

Tell us about yourself and your art.

A pretty fantastic cover, if I do say so myself!

I’ve been an illustrator and painter for over 20 years. Over that time,  I’ve developed a look and a style that I like to think is unique–not that I’ve stopped there because I’m finding that it’s continuing to transform over time. I like bold colours and sharp lines.

How did you come up with your illustration?

I came up with the illustration for the Buzzer based on change. Changes to the spring transit schedule and changes to the city. I live in the Downtown East Side, and I’ve been watching the slow renovation of Hastings Street near the Woodward’s development. Some might call it gentrification, but I think a lot of these buildings needed some TLC to be saved from the wrecking ball. It’s nice to see a little bit of life and youth come back to the block. Having these buildings open up to the public again isn’t a bad thing. Like spring, it’s in bloom again.

Do you use transit?

Yes, I use transit. My buses of choice are #50, #16, or #14.

What’s your favourite mode of transportation?

I really mix up the ways I get around. I’m a big walker, and it’s not uncommon for me to walk 5k to work. I use transit mostly in the winter, but I also ride my bike and Vespa. It all depends on my mood, time and weather.

Remember, you can always download a .pdf of almost every issue of the Buzzer. Want a physical copy? Pick one up on a bus, SeaBus, SkyTrain or West Coast Express, or ask your driver for one if you don’t see it. Happy reading!