God Bless Printers

Fleener Cartoon

When I was in book and magazine publishing, nobody – not even the crossest author or the most bedeviled editor – could intimidate me the way printers could (and did). They seemed to know everything.

I finally visited a printer for the first time back in 2007, when I was sponsoring the first edition of the T-Bodies calendar. The salesman at Hemlock Printing in Burnaby gave me a tour of the very grand premises. I was overwhelmed: All these stacks of books, cards, calendars, and reports; the gigantic presses; the futuristic computer stations; the impeccable cleanliness mixed with the perfumes of ink and paper. I left in tears, feeling as though I had been baptized in a cathedral made for muses.

Last month wonderful comic-book artist Mary Fleener published this cartoon in The Encinitas Coast News, to honour a local printer who had been serving their community for 42 years. This afternoon on Facebook she announced that the printer had passed away today: “Even though I already posted this cartoon, I am going to again in remembrance of Mark Anderson. I probably went to his store several times a week since 1984, and every single mini comic I did was printed there, as well as zines, postcards and thousands and thousands of copies…they were the only place I could find the kind of ink I liked, and it was just like going to a country store, and everybody knew your name. Such a loss for the community of Encinitas. My sincere condolences to his family. We will all miss him.”

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