I made some 7 color, screen printed reproductions of an advert for Nash skateboards Park Rider model. These ads appeared in comic books around 1978. I thought I had posted my copy here, but I must have been thinking of this old Bullwinkle ad instead. The idea of printing these has been in the back of my mind for a long time. I went as far as working on the separation file before sitting on it for a year. Earlier this week I got it in my head that I should try to crank these out in time for the Above Coping art show benefit at Commonwealth Skateboarding in Portland tonight. On Tuesday I called RC Screen Shop, luckily they had four screens stretched that the original buyer never picked up. They were large enough that I could burn two colors side by side on one screen, so I decided to go for it. After a few sweaty late evenings (cutting it down to the wire) I have a finished print run. If you buy one at Commonwealth, all the proceeds will go directly to Above Coping. Original advert and more after the jump.
Here’s the original ad, which is about 9″ tall. This one is much cleaner than the one I have.
The posters I printed are 11×17 inches. I approached this poster as a proof of concept. I have screen printed the hell out of skateboards and t-shirts, but I’ve only done one very simple poster previously. I wanted to try my hand at something more intricate. I committed just about every cardinal sin in poster printing when I made this run, including not pre-racking the paper, printing in an open air garage while it was raining, not using a vacuum table or any adhesive, shooting two colors side by side on each screen, assuming the separations I made 12 months ago were already as good as they could be without double checking, mixing colors from different ink types, cleaning screens in the dark with a garden hose in my backyard, using every vaguely flat space in a dirty garage to dry prints, printing on damp prints, and waiting until the last possible minute to pull the trigger on this project. All in all it came out halfway decent despite everything.
How will the “official” print run differ? Seeing the original image above made me realize higher quality source material was available. Mine is pretty degraded. I chalked that up to cheap printing of kids comic book titles and assumed that was as good as it got. I also didn’t source my inks in time. I had some random inks laying around, and I went out and bought one small jar, but I really need to spend time thinking about and mixing colors in advance. The stock lemon yellow I used looks like crap, the blue is too vibrant and the stock brown is too dark. The black plate needs to be created from scratch or better source material. So this must be what they mean by “artist’s proof.” I only printed 22 of these, some of which are unsellable due to fingerprints and ink smudges. Truly “limited edition!” I will be making 10 available for the show to help fund Above Coping.
Here’s a couple pictures of an actual Park Rider skateboard found on Silverfish Longboarding from a user called “Powerslide.” Click the links to see more.