Character Profile #1

(Hey British Mac users, ever noticed how there isn't a hash key on your keyboard? If you find yourself needing to use this symbol hit alt and 3 and it will appear #)

Mr Letterpress...
Lurking in the eastern quarter of the old bindery, in MMU's Chatham building, is a creature mysterious to mankind. His sole purpose seems to be maintaining the upkeep of the letter press equipment occupying the room. His strange habits seem to do the trick, keeping students, technicians, and tutors respectively at bay. He has many different methods of defending his territory including obsessive compulsive tendencies with regards to cleanliness of the area, over-protectiveness with regards to the lead letters, anxiety towards experimentation with alternative pressing methods and layout and ultimately, the tale of the demise of the letterpress industry.
A very interesting specimen. Perhaps most interesting is the mystery of how he came to reside here (so sudden and ominous are his appearances that no one truly knows when to expect him and can only assume that he is ever present in the room.) Rumor has it that Mr. Letterpress was never officially given a job at MMU but mysteriously appeared at an interview, put on his apron, and settled immediately into his self appointed role. Maybe MMU never quite had the balls to let this gentile man down, or perhaps his fragile exterior is hiding a much much darker, frightful interior which is only revealed when threatened. Another rumor is that he is not an employee of MMU but a memory of the Chatham building's bygone purpose. Chatham (the building that houses half of MMU's art and design students - graphic design, illustration, architecture, photography...) previously belonged to the printing industry. Could he be a ghost from the days when Manchester's printing industry thrived? An obscure specter, stalking the press. A piece of his own history. A bitter reminder of the fragile state of, not only the letterpress industry, but all industry, of technology, of the future. He could be a ghost. He is pale enough. No one knows where he appeared from, his history is an enigma. He once spoke to me of his beloved industry, how computers destroyed it all and I swear I saw a tear in his eye. I could not help but envision himself chained to a factory gate yelping and begging as it's exterior was torn down; as lead letters fell to the floor and crumbled beneath heavy, falling, machinery. His story was circular, every ending lead back to the beginning, which meant he turned ever so slightly repetitive and even more slightly difficult to get away from. He is more than happy for you to leave him though. He continues his story to an internal audience with no problem at all, then potters about, finding students to shout at for using equipment incorrectly, or compulsively cleaning and arranging the equipment. What we have to remember about this little grievance is, he is only doing his self appointed job. No matter how unhelpful he seems sometimes, he is in fact only trying to help. No matter how many students tell him to "Leave me alone," or "Fuck off", he is in fact a ghost eternally chained to this relic of the design industry, he will forever return. Just like most of the staff in MMU's School of Art, a truly fascinating character that will not be forgotten.
If anyone out there knows of Mr. Letterpress' darkened history, please fill in some blanks...

(Below is a comic I made one sleepless night. If John Walsh was ever to see this, I apologise, you look nothing like this. It was in second year, I had met you once and could not remember what you looked like properly.)

No comments: