Some background first. The Hopeless Vendetta, aside from being the name of this blog, is also the name of the island’s newspaper. By ‘newspaper’ I mean gossip sheet hastily printed on recycled paper. Frampton does the whole thing – he is journalist, photographer, printer and paper recycler. At times he’s also the man in the street shouting about how newspaper should not be taken into privies because he needs to recycle it.
When we started this blog, it ran as the island’s newspaper in parallel with the comics, which were then a webcomic. Much has changed since then. Back in the day, I (Nimue) wrote as Frampton Jones, and Tom did the illustrations that were, in theory, the photographs Frampton had taken. How exactly Frampton got from photos to print I never asked, because I was afraid to.
However, we’ve got a period photography expert in the team, so I asked Gregg McNeill from Darkbox Images what the options would be. He said…
“Depending on the level of technology Frampton has access to, he could make photolithographic plates for printing in the paper. Before that, a photograph would be etched onto an engraving plate by someone who was adept at reproducing artwork. There were also carved wooden plates that would be used. In 1880, the first halftone reproduction of a photograph appeared in The Daily Graphic in New York. Halftone uses a series of dots of various sizes to reproduce an image. The halftone process is talked about here: ted.photographer.org.uk/photoscience_halftones.htm
The engraving process was the earliest way to get a photograph into a paper using the classic letterpress type machine like a Heidelberg press.”
So now we know! And for further interest, it turns out that Tom has run a Heidleberg press, which is a whole other story.
If you’d like to see the island from Frampton’s perspective, do check out the stretch goal involving A Semblance of Truth https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hopelessmaine/hopeless-maine-2-inheritance-by-tom-and-nimue-brown
And you can find Gregg and Darkbox over here – https://www.darkboximages.com/
And a still life, Hopeless themed, by Gregg below…