Join the Game with Joe Journeyman
Dec07

Join the Game with Joe Journeyman

It’s inside a converted truck bay in Warsaw, Indiana where Joe Journeyman, the only football player to play for all 32 NFL teams, comes to life. A product of IDNA Brands along with Sportula Products and StadiumViews, Joe Journeyman is an NFL certified search and find book where each page is a different NFL stadium and city to explore. But Joe Journeyman is so much more. Every inch of the Joe Journeyman book is hand drawn, everything from the characters to the text, by artist and co-creator Jed Bruce. It’s in his studio inside a truck bay that Jed is meticulously creating the second volume expected to be released in 2016. Amongst all the game day hype of each page, Jed includes not only Joe, his playbook, and his friends like Touchdown Ted and Pom Pom Polly, but also city landmarks, literal idioms, and hidden characters tucked into the pages. Readers can find Edgar Allen Poe in Baltimore in the middle of a Ravens game or Jed Bruce himself and his daughter as street artists in New York. With 500 things to look for, the Joe Journeyman book is a treasure-trove of entertainment for people of all ages. “We didn’t want readers to just look for a helmet or a football. When someone finds something, we think they should laugh,” writer and co-creator David Bazzoni told me as he pointed out a bald eagle getting his head shaved. “There’s power in laughter.” Jed Bruce and David Bazzoni made Joe Journeyman as a product for kids, benefitting kids. They stay true to their word, donating 10% of proceeds to children’s hospitals throughout the country and Joe’s Kids, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit children’s rehabilitation center providing therapy here in Northeast Indiana. “We want Joe’s success to help kids,” Jed and David told me. “It gives us purpose and motivation to do what we do.” But Joe Journeyman wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for sheer luck. The co-creators, Jed Bruce and David Bazzoni, went to school together in Warsaw until they parted ways in 9th grade. Jed Bruce briefly studied at the Art Institute of Chicago before working various jobs, always able to find work even though it didn’t use his artistic talents. But when the company he was employed with went out of business, Jed was out of the work for the first time in his life and with a daughter on the way. It was 13 years after they last saw each other, at a bar that no longer exists, that Jed ran into David who worked for IDNA Brands. David instantly recognized Jed from their childhood and he...

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