Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Print day: the stresses and strains

Print day for ShadowPlay is always a stressful occasion with last minute adjustments and chopped off edges always standard fare. I’ve been looking for a new print shop for quite some time, since moving to London in fact, and received a great tip off from a fellow zinester about one in the centre of town a couple of months ago.

I’ve started using an annual, How It Was To Be Young Then, about the swing era to keep the master copies flat and it was from this that everything fell immediately on entering the bizarre copy place. Housed in a disturbing quiet school-type atmosphere, it is staffed by a man of indeterminate eastern European origin wearing a large knitted jumper adorned with a Scotland flag on the top floor. After a last minute cut and Blu-tack job on some flyers featuring beautiful artwork from ShadowPlay fave Os Gemeos, everything is ready to go. Thus ensues the most circular conversation of my life:
“I’ve put this next to the edge to make it easier to cut, will it get cut off?”
“No, that’s not a problem. Is this not the finished cover then?”
“Yes, it is the finished cover.”
“Then why do you want to cut it?”
“It’s just the design. I do.”
“But why?”
“It doesn’t matter”

And so on. And so on for literally three minutes before the Groundhog day was broken by a paper jam, thank fuck. Of course there’s problems, missed off headlines that have disappeared, marks on the cover and a change in the price but, on getting the copies home (having skipped down the stairs of the weird building avoiding the lift in a cage and grappling with the heavy box and big umbrella given to me by a potato company on a tube packed tighter than battery hen) and assembling the protype it doesn’t matter. A new ShadowPlay is born and a sense of pride and dread installed. Now for the hard part, pass the long-armed stapler…
ShadowPlay #27 is available by emailing shadowplayfanzine@hotmail.com with your address, simple eh.

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