Bad Words Aplenty

This arrived today. And, boy, are we excited.

If you are wondering, it’s a sheet of high-density polymer that we’ll use to print a series of letterpress greeting cards. Back in the day, all letterpress work had to be hand-set. Type had to be lined up in perfect rows of tiny lead characters, letter by letter. Illustrations had to be carved by hand in wood or forged in lead.

We have neither the time nor the patience nor the skill set for that sort of mastery. And so Robbi creates her designs in Adobe Illustrator, converts them to a PDF, and sends them off to Boxcar Letterpress. A few days later, we get a sheet of polymer, which we then cut into separate chunks, adhere to the printing plate, and use to create our stuff.

I wish I could show you some of the finished cards printed from the plate above, but I can’t because they are not yet finished, but I can show you some other stuff that we’ve been up to, including our Baby is Disappointing letterpress card set (http://store NULL.idiotsbooks NULL.asp?ProductCode=IB015-01-0018), which includes six illustrations from the book (http://store NULL.idiotsbooks NULL.asp?ProductCode=IB015-01).

Perhaps my favorite is the baby with the flaming baton.

Our partner Jodi is doing all the actual printing. In addition to being a savvy business woman and an excellent printer, Jodi is a flautist, and an accomplished one at that. She goes to all sorts of flute conventions where flute-loving people gather and engage in flute-related consumer frenzy. To sate their desire for flute-themed merchandise, Jodi teamed up with various famous people who have made famous observations about the flute to create a set of art prints.

Perhaps you did not know that the flute was an instrument of questionable moral standing? Are you willing to question Aristotle?

Perhaps you did not know that the flute is nothing but an elaborate metaphor for the body at work?

I am particularly excited about our set of Matthew Draws greeting cards, featuring four of my favorite portraits.

These will eventually be fore sale on the Haywire site, but for now, every Idiots’Books subscriber will receive one card with his or her copy of Matthew Draws Anthology (http://store NULL.idiotsbooks NULL.asp?ProductCode=IB000-43), which is due to go out in a couple of weeks. If you think your subscription might have lapsed, here’s the link (http://store NULL.idiotsbooks NULL.asp?Cat=3).

Yes, the Chandler & Price is getting something of a workout these days.

Jodi is busily printing, creating inventory for the Haywire store, which we hope will launch some time this fall.

We say “hope” because, like all things, the ideal is a moving target. This fall we’re also trying to launch a new umbrella website (, overhaul the Idiots’Books and Bobbledy Books stores, illustrate our book with LB Kids, write and illustrate two more Bobbledy Books and two more Idiots’Books, give two talks, and do a workshop/presentation at a local elementary school.

So we’ll see what’s doable. In the mean time, we’ll keep sharing work as it rolls off the press.


  1. An umbrella website? Knowing you, it will probably include real umbrellas with Robbi’s drawings on them.

  2. Oh I would enjoy an umbrella with Robbi’s drawings on them.

    But I will happily settle for a Fuck, Yeah card.

  3. Dudes! Dudettes! I LOVE where your vision is going, how your business is developing! Those letterpress cards make me drool. The Matthew Draws cards make me drool. It all makes me drool. I am honored to be a small part of your world.