As you might recall, last Sunday we had a little film festival celebrating all things letterpress. Even though the show’s over, the main event of Wayzgoose is still on deck. So as a little warm-up to get you in the printing mood, I thought I’d share a couple of the films we featured.
First up is an animated short I mentioned over a year ago, after I saw it at the Codex Bookfair in California. I’m pleased to announce that Old Time Film, by Barbara Tetenbaum and Marilyn Zornado, is finally viewable online! So let’s get this party started:
Oh, man. I love that. If you want your very own copy of the film (trust me, you do—there’s a little making-of featurette on the DVD), you can purchase it here. No, Barb and Marilyn aren’t paying me to hawk their movie—I’m just a believer, that’s all.
I’ll leave you with one of my very favorite episodes of The Twilight Zone, circa 1963, where a gleefully terrifying Burgess Meredith gets a newspaper job as the world’s fastest linotype caster. There’s a catch, though: Mr. Smith has a secret. To get in on it, you need to understand the little letterpress inside joke behind the episode’s title.
You see, a typesetter’s inky hands (and quite possibly the inflammatory writ published by the early masters) earned printing the moniker “the Black Art.” So there are all sorts of clever nicknames to go with that title. For instance, a letterpress apprentice was called a “printer’s devil,” and old, broken type gets thrown in the “hell box” to await being melted down. The list goes on.
Get it yet?
Well, watch and you’ll see what I mean. (Gaah! That face.)
Da, da, daaaaaa!
Join us on April 22 for the Wayzgoose, and get in on the devilish fun.
In the meantime, I’m going to practice lighting cigars with my index finger.