Though Brian Allen has lived in State College, PA since he was 10, his influence on the city of Philadelphia cannot be understated. Brian is the artist behind Philadelphia’s most notorious export of the past few years: Gritty, the new Flyers mascot. At first, Gritty got a lot of hate. Fans were confused, if not bummed out that the organization had decided to adopt a mascot in the first place. The Flyers had gone all of these years without one. So why now? And what is this thing? Some kind of muppet or monster? Brian was gracious enough to talk about Gritty’s inception, the design brief he received from the Flyers, the rejected mascot concepts, as well as what happened to Gritty’s identity after he was unleashed upon the world.