Artwork by Seth Boyes
As our publisher Brad Hicks recently explained in a column, the printing and mailing operation housed within the offices of our sister-paper, the Spencer Daily Reporter, will soon cease to churn out this community's newspaper. That task will be taken up by another printing operation elsewhere. Subscribers shouldn't notice much if any difference, but the financial decision to literally stop the presses also comes with the unfortunate loss of several of our team members.
Now, on the one hand, this decision didn't come as too big a shock. Brad's predecessor always said that there would be a press running as long as she was at the helm but likely not long after – and here we are about seven months after the paper changed hands fulfilling that prophecy. The real sting is the loss of the people. I started at the Spencer Daily Reporter. This printing group is the only one I've ever known. I thumped out draft after draft to the rhythm of the laboring press on the other side of the wall and the din that came pouring into the newsroom if anyone opened the side door.
I like the people that made it work.
We had a tradition back then of helping the mail room staff stuff inserts from time to time – it's not easy. And what Brad said about them not getting to start their work until others finish theirs is entirely true – I once held up the press as a fledgling staff writer trying to cover a controversial local election I was thrown into the middle of my first year.
Even after I became news editor here at the DCN, I'd still call down to the press room for help when I couldn't figure out where to place more color pages. And they always answered. No judgement. No trouble. Just getting it done.
There's a saying in our industry – "Once you get the ink on your hands, it's hard to get it off."
I know the people who worked alongside that press and physically got our papers out the door for who knows how many years got some ink on their hands.
And I for one am sad to know they won't be the ones handling our beloved newspaper from here on out, and I wish them all well where ever they find themselves next.
This cartoon, like the one before it, was a bit of a rush job, but it was also more successful as there was less detail to work into the composition.
The concept was pretty well set in my mind, and it only took two sketches to solidify the idea (plus, I didn't have too much extra time to waste on Election Day). The background elements are actually a rough-and-ready mock up of the actual press in Spencer. I happened to snap a shot of the beast when last I was in that printing room, but I had to ad-lib some details since the photo didn't capture everything.
I started on this particular cartoon around 3 p.m. and was done less than two hours later – again, rush job. Fortunately, the text on the page came together easily, and some warping via editing software helped sell it visually speaking.
Thanks for reading.