new take on B. P.

Working on a new daydream, (bored with all the gobbledegook on B. P.) >>>”Mean Mary James” shredding “Deerings” Good Time Banjo, sitting beside Colt Armoury Press, with Samuel, in the background along with, Mark twain, Merrit Gally and Bruvver Frank for back up, should blot out EVEN the Monotype Crap, any better offers???

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Am I the only person who can’t figure out what planet this guy is from?


I wish he’d post videos.

Banjos and Mark Twain sounds like fun. I have heard lots of banjo styles, but shredding is new to me, and all this time I thought Twain was dead. Silly me.

If you look up Samuel Colt, Mark Twain, or Merrit Gally, you may just get an insight into your OWN heritage, or aint you bothered where it started from? Bet some of the new ones will. KRANKY posts from a Kranky guy from another planet YES! But if just one new/would be letterpress exponent looks up and learns just one FACT, perhaps I have achieved something. I.E. when a serious question is asked, and more than 20 differing responses come back, HOW, can the wheat from the chaff be sorted, (19 have to be Gobbledegook from WHOM?) Hands on, lifetime in the trade, heresay, conjecture, speculation, secondhand, apprenticeship, read it in a book, etc. PERHAPS sit back, read just a few of the recent posts, with multiple responses and try to think, as an impartial reader (uninitiated in L/Press matters) how they may view the alleged info. NO CHANCE fall about with laughter. As the saying goes, “Too Many Chiefs, and not enough Indians” I try to post comprehensive/informative details, (because there always seems to be somebody waiting to cross the “T”s and dot the “I”s) after I have posted my best shot, and stuck my neck out, it is on the premise that, “Bin there Done that, got the “T” shirt” applies!!! If this does not apply I always state Idea, NOT fact, perhaps with a little kranky humour, to point the enquirer to the facts, not who,s “handle” is the author? Slag Me off Online, by all means, please! but do it in such a way that those that want/need to know look for the real facts, one each in every case? not 19 out of 20 Red Herrings!! Have a nice Day. Mick

@Mick. Perhaps it would help if you would simply state your observations, or even offer a leading question, but you lay out a bunch of twaddle and expect us to decipher your stream of consciousness (with improper punctuation and excessive capitalization). Some here can be long-winded, but most do it without stage directions.

Devils Tail Press:
Reports of Mark Twain’s death have long been greatly exaggerated! It has been reported recently in the National Enquirer that he has been seen in a Traverse City, MI restaurant along with Elvis Presley, D. B. Cooper and Michael Jackson.
How’s that for gobbledegook?

Although such a thing is totally impossible, at least I understood what you wrote. I do hope that D. B. Cooper was buying.

Micks strange analogies are his way of writing in a form of exhasperation .
If I say that wont work and he knows it will i get ….The bl…… romans did it with a stick and you are struggling with the modern tools and so on . Hes good at his thing which is amazingly varied ,just the spoken/ Written angle leaves you scratching your head a bit !
We have a love hate friendship ,we love hating each other !
You dont want him to post pictures what we need to do is video him when he is watching someone go the wrong way at a job or is getting annoyed he impersonates a heidelberg with his arms…

I’ve spoken to Mick on the phone. He’s a nice guy - very passionate about the Monotype. As to what he’s trying to convey? I’m not sure. Perhaps edit your copy before you post with the preview comment option. I use it myself. Writing at the keyboard is not a good idea. Rereading what you wrote before posting always helps. Sometimes I read what I’ve written and think what the hell? Then I rewrite. Easy peasy on the these new fangled computer jobs. Give it a go Mick and get these fellas off your back. I know you mean well! Jez.

Aha its midday time to go out in the 90o sun as expexcted!

The man knows his kit and likes his grass blue.

To expand the spectrum of banjo selections, I’ll offer Bela Fleck on one end and Black Jake on the other. Somewhere in the middle are Dave Grisman (mandolin) & his cohorts.

The scariest thing about Mick is I understand him, I enjoy his very passonite posts, hope he’s around as long as I am, at least another 40 years or so. Look across the pond, the guy in the blue shirt is me waving at you. Dick G.

Perhaps it’s time for another reminder that we should ventilate our workspaces when cleaning the press. (Said with all good humo(u)r, Mick!)

Twaddle - what a perfect word!!!!!!! I simply give up on Mick’s rants at about the fourth or fifth line. I don’t know if he needs his workspace ventilated or just needs to adjust his meds. Probably some brilliant logic in there somewhere, but I’ll be damned if I am going to waste my time trying to decipher it.


planet=monotype. sun=printing, moon is UK, universe=trying to make sense of existence, life the universe everything like the rest of us……hi Mick…..!


Mick is light years ahead of his time, you just need to read between the lines to understand.

Once sat through a long winding monologue of a very clever and thoroughly well-read gentleman, drunk out of his mind. He could no longer walk at that stage (even sitting presented somewhat of a challenge) but was still capable (and quite willing) to vocalize his rather disjointed thoughts. There was quite a lot there, in those garbled rambles. Clever allusions, metaphysical connections, hints buried inside other hints, alliterations (punctuated with hiccups,) deep and profound truths masquerading as jokes and vice versa.

Of course, these things are easier to pick up face to face…it also helps if you partake of the same intoxicating substance.

I think it was just the noise that has done it , the smoke and frying his dinner in the crucible !!

Friends, Foes, Fans, Followers and others, sincerely thank you all for your input on my behalf! accepted with a little chuckle, because even if my ramblings appear to need an Enigma Machine to decipher, they are well intended and may just be filed, under possibly “check the old F**T out later”, rather than forget it because it was “a Bum Steer anyway” I do Sincerely Apologise for my terminology, or lack of, or over abundace of. When I see some of the extensive posts, that would appear to eminate from alleged/supposed, lifelong bona fide experts who not only invariably shoot themselves in the foot, but after the first 20/30 posts contradict each other, it is then that I tend to think and feel, how can the uninitiated work out fact from fiction. Peter and I have frequent and often heated, disscussions about many items on B.P. and work out 95% of the time, which contributor is trying to pass on the correct answer. Here on a pro rata basis we have our fair share of would be “experts” whom we do question, perhaps not always in a direct fashion. Is it perhaps unethical to even occasionally question YOUR own countrymen/women, they can not, all be right, all of the time?

I get it. Mick is a metaphysical humorist. His language is marked by unconventional imagery.
For land’s sake, he’s a printer, brother. Maybe deserves a break. And his defenders and those making a genuine effort to figure him out are pure saints, true sufferers.
But let’s face it. Down here in the American southland where I am domiciled, I would certainly be afraid to come walking out of the woods talking like that.
My empathetic advice to you, Mick, is to cling to the cleansing thought that Dick G. is waving to you across the Atlantic in his blue shirt.

Mick explaining monotype

image: MickatAmberley2.jpg


For Mick’s sake, please don’t post any more pictures. (But may God bless him for his love of Monotype.)

All old printers look the same, gray hair, thick glasses, round belly, that could be any one of us.

But there’s something else here, Dick.


I have long noted you never break your posts into paragraphs. Breaking your ideas into separate paragraphs really does help reader comprehension.

Then again…

A week or so ago a TA asked me how large I could make photopolymer plates. She was staring at the page of my blog where it said Photopolymer Plate Specifications. I told her the subject heading is right there!, the information is in a paragraph right below it!

“Paragraph”!!! she said in shock. And a student standing next to her had the same expression. Wow, I did not realize how old school even a paragraph has gotten.

I guess there is a good reason Twitter limits posts to 140 characters.


Downright daunting, Gerald. “For real” as my six year old grandson says these days.

It seems even phonetic (?) spelling is acceptable in examination papers these days .

I have been corrected. Twitter posts are technically “tweets.”

In regards to Twitter, interestingly, there is discussion elsewhere as to what constitutes a character (does spacing!?!). My, how far we have not come.

I worked on the typographic setting of a massive collection of bibliographic descriptions of the printed work of the Aldine Press and a primary concern was what constitutes an ur-character!



I rarely find it worth my time to even step around the corner to meet another person face to face. However, for you I’d make an exception.


Hi John

The delicious way you have set up this post makes me second guess it. Should I be armed? :—)