Tuesday, December 04, 2007

December 4, 2007 Bonus Blog
Just got this from the Dakotas:

"I just finished reading your latest blog. Interesting about Artists & health problems.....I used to joke all the time that the Impressionist era was most likely started by Artists too poor to afford glasses when they hit 40. It's not so funny now. By the way....I found out this Summer that one of your painter heroes, Jim Bama, is going blind and not painting anymore.

"I also worked at my Father's gas station....my first job. I started right out of 8th grade and worked until I was almost 19. I paid for my Art School education with the money I made there. Oh yeah....one last thing, I may be related to 'Bigfoot' Wallace too. That's the rumor anyway......(My Grandmother was Irma Wallace before she married Clarence Hatzell near Wichita, Kansas.) Howdy cuz!

"I'm very glad that you have continued the blog. I'm reading it now instead of working on the Christmas Illustrations that are due today. Quality time you see."

I didn't know that about James Bama. Ouch! He lives near Cody and I have long admired his work.

Meanwhile, because of the reaction on this blog, I have decided to give Honkytonk Sue at least one more airing. I found this sequence in the garage and am quite amazed at how clean it is. It was created with models: Jackie King Ellis as Sue and Kathy Turner as Donna Jean:

And here's the rest of the panel. Nice silhouette of Sue's face. Clean and mean. Can't believe I did it. Ha. Notice the cat about to pounce on the dog (actually Smokie, a neighborhood dog who died mysteriously about ten years ago):

And by the way, those pencil marks in the corners (see bottle drawings below) are the percentage tags for the PMT camera operator. In the old days, before computers, I would deliver my drawings to a camera operator in production at New Times and he would put the drawings on a big flatbed, glass covered tray. And pulling it up to a vertical position, take a photo of it with this huge camera in a dark room and print out a PMT (Photo Mechanical Transfer, a registered trademark name by Kodak), which we would then paste down on layout boards (paper actually) and then that and all the text, which was also pasted down, would be taken to the printing company where the entire page was photographed again, and metal plates made, and then inked and printed. Whew! A few things have changed, no?

My favorite horror story concerning these paste-up boards happened in 1978, when I was the art director at New Times. We had just graduated to a wax fixative for the sticky material on the back of the type, which was easier than glue and yet pliable enough to pull up if changes were needed.

It was my job to drive the finished boards to the printing plant which was about ten miles away. It was July and the AC in my F-150 was on the fritz. So as I'm driving in rush hour traffic, and I'm looking over at the paste-up boards and every single piece of waxed copy is curling at the edges. I have the window down because it's 122 degrees out, but now I'm leaning over to roll up the window (remember roll-up windows?), but the curling is still happening. Now it's probably 150 degrees in the truck, and I speed up, but now the type is coming completely loose and blowing around the cab of the truck. By the time I get to the printing plant, my dash looks like I drove through a confetti parade. I scoop everything up, throw it back in the box and run inside. The pressmen all roll their eyes ("Oh look what the hippie dragged in.") The presses are idling as I'm frantically trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Miraculously I found where everything went, slammed it down and we got on press without a single mistake, that I know of. Ha. Oh, and I went and got my AC fixed the next day.

"All that we send into the lives of others comes back into our own."
—Edwin Markham

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