December 02, 2011
Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller(notes) and artist/designer Alex Voggel of Airxess Masks are like the Johnny Depp and Tim Burton of the NHL: Hiller's mask is a canvas for inventive, playful and sometimes macabre creations from Voggel.
We had the instant classic that was Hiller's Movember mask, in which all of his teammates were depicted with mustaches of varying sizes and compositions. (Really, seeing Jason Blake(notes) with a midnight black crumb-catcher was a vision.)
Before that, we had the dark abyss of Hiller's "murdered out" mask, which was glossy black punctuated by a small Ducks logo on the forehead.
Via The Goalie Guild, the new Hiller/Voggel mask is just insane in its concept: The shadowy depiction of Wild Wing, the Ducks mascot, breaking through the "black abyss" mask in an effort to change the team's poor fortunes.
And it's in 3-D. Yep.
Justin Goldman of The Goalie Guild writes:
The "3-D" effect of Wild Wing is really unique. Up close, it just looks like lines. But from far away, it looks like one "piece" as the shadowing effects are very clear! Very cool concept, something that has never been done before. I think it will look great for the fans that sit close to the ice.
Goldman wrote an amusing short story about the creation of the mask over on GG, that included this note from Voggel:
Everybody is expecting that the new mask has the power to change the luck! We were blamed for that. Since the Movember mask, they started losing. So we for sure have the power to change that! We at AIRXESS are a team. Master Hiller requested a very "used" look. So the black spots are from his "Batman" matted mask. But underneath THE NEW DESIGN WITH THE POWERFUL WILD WING.
The Ducks were 2-8-3 in Movember, er, November, and it cost coach Randy Carlyle his job. But good news: His mask fetched $16,875 in an NHL auction.
So there you go, Ducks fans. Bruce Boudreau and his 201 career victories since 2007 matters not; Jonas Hiller will change your fortunes with this super magic 3-D mascot mask. Just be sure to grab your red-and-blue glasses before the next game at the Pond …