Tag Archive: paper


This lunchtime I made a very brief visit to the Artists Book Fair at Leeds University. The pieces ranged from books that documented art projects, to books that were art in themselves (not necessarily having any content or being for anything other than display), to art made out of cut up books and maps (like Deckle Edged), to hand-made paper and cards, to small booklets of the kind I’d expect to see at any comic gathering (A5 or A6 size, coloured paper, black and white printing with fairly simple drawings, illustrating conversations or everyday life or a common saying or poetry) (try Artists Books Online for examples of several types). Where is the line drawn? What makes these eligible for something where the catalogue costs at least £5, and others not? Is it a matter of what you declare your work to be? Word-art seems popular at the moment, so if you market something as thoughtful ‘art’ it gets taken seriously, exhibited, and priced accordingly, but if you call it a comic it’s relegated to specialist outlets and dismissed as ‘mere’ entertainment? Seems unfair, but sadly it also seems true.

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Paper thickness?

Some things really bring out the scientist in OneMonkey. Questions of paper weights (or, if we’re being picky, the mass of a square metre sheet) allowed him a happy half-hour with Vernier calipers, a conversion table, and a stack of comics and books. How thick does paper have to be before it looks and feels like a book cover? How thin before it starts to seem inconsequential (by which I mean amateur, not see-through)? The three of us sat rubbing pages between our fingertips, hmm-ing and considering, ranking our preferences (if we had the cover like this comic and the pages like that book…?). Entertaining, useful, and it makes us feel like we’re progressing. Hopefully fast enough.