The Coolest Gift Ever...

Thursday, January 3, 2008 - 01:15 PM

This past year, when I was at the Small Press Expo (check out pics, here), a Sheldon reader gave me one of the coolest gifts I've ever received.

Convention gifts are always fun to get, but thankfully they're usually under $3, and are usually Hobnobs (see this toon for the reason why)... so my sense of gift-getters guilt isn't clobbered too-too badly.

But at SPX, Sheldonista Lorraine A. brought me the coolest gift I've ever received: Three lead-on-woodblock cartoon printing plates from the 1930s! As you probably know, I'm a big collector of original cartoon art, with everything from a Sunday Doonesbury to an 18th-Century print from Hogarth. But this! This gift is amazing: I have nothing like it!

I've spent the better part of the last three months trying to figure out the best way to ink and press these plates, with (ahem) mixed results of (ahem) terrible-quality prints.

But then, this week, it occurred to me: To heck with inking it, just scan the plate itself and modify the file in Photoshop. And voila! Here is the plate, and the resulting "print":

I'm going to box-frame them side-by-side, and put them up in a place of honor in my studio. Thank you, Lorraine! These are immensely cool.

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