The Lost Joy of Making a Parcel

7 February 2013

One of the unintended consequences of artists tooling up with computers and the internet is that they nowadays very rarely have the simple pleasure of putting artwork in a parcel and taking it to the post office.
After the rigours of making the art, what a welcome relief was the almost mindless activity of cutting some backing card to the right size, unrolling some brown paper and cutting off the appropriate length, and then putting it all together with sellotape and parcel tape. An address written in your best comic book lettering, and then a nice walk to the shops. Might even pop into the bookstore on the way back.
I used to reckon myself pretty good at making a parcel, and one day I offered to make the parcel for Dave Gibbons’ latest Doctor Who. Not that it applied in this instance, but one of Dave’s Laws of Comics is that if the pages are starting to get uppity then ‘show them the parcel’, let them know who’s boss.
Whatever, I took one of his finished pages and built around it a magnificent parcel. All the end folds were parallel, the brown paper was taut and as flat as a billiard table, all the tape cut to the same length – symmetry, thy name was Micky – and with one of the ends left open ready for the other five pages, it was truly a wonder to behold.
Except that, try as I might, I couldn’t get the rest of the pages into the parcel. I’d made it just a bit too perfect.


NB Not one of the pages in question, but still full of Gibbons goodness.

10 Responses to “The Lost Joy of Making a Parcel”

  1. Gary O Donnell Says:

    An amazing page!

  2. I bought those early Dr Who as an eight year old. I fell fell ill at the time and was in hospital for about three months. When I got better I returned home and found out my mum had thrown out all my Dr Who comics. I was heartbroken! The weird thing is now when I look at the graphic novel reprints I can even recognise the exact episode where I left off.

  3. ben Says:

    The zen of packaging. Quite the best part of any transaction.

  4. Mark Perry Says:

    Seeing the word ‘Lost’ and ‘Parcel’ in the same title makes me laugh. Amazing to think the trust you placed on the mail service with your hard work, did they always reach their destination on time Mick?

  5. Iain Says:

    Im convinced that Dave is a one-man army when it comes to comic’s. Either that, or he’s cloned himself so he can write, pencil, ink, letter and colour – as the piece requires. Top stuff by a top artist!

  6. David Rees Says:

    Like Paul Kristovic above, my own comics-related childhood trauma revolved around my giant stack of Dr Who Weeklies being deposited in a skip by my Mum… Luckily my 2000ADs were treated better. Dave’s energy and imagination on those strips was incredible – some really classic stuff.

  7. David Bishop Says:

    Working in editorial before everyone went digital, opening parcels from artists was always a treat. [Waiting for Red Star parcels from Mr S Bisley of Oxford was somewhat more stressful.] Even when Carlos started submitting his art on CD, he somehow managed to impregnate the disc with the scent of his beloved cheroots…

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