Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Wisdom of Gelman

Well cowpokes, I am still digging through the stash from my latest purchase form what might have been, at one time, part of the actual Topps archives and have gotten around to reading a letter from Solomon & Gelman to the Lord Baltimore Press with detailed instructions on printing the 1953 Tarzan & The She Devil set from Woody Gelman himself.  I've shown this here before but it was murky and I think the process described is interesting enough to warrant another look:

Each card in the set, which was drawn by Joe Kubert, had four layers to it when created:

You can see how this created depth. Gelman's instructions indicate each card was to be shot in layers and then because there was to be a 3-D effect, the acetates (apparently prepared by Solomon & Gelman) would be shifted slightly. You can see how this worked on the finished product which is card no. 54 in the set:

This letter also clues us in that Lord Baltimore Press, which printed most of the Topps cards sets through at least the late 1950's -- before International Paper changed the operation a couple of years after acquiring LBP in 1958 into a folding carton manufacturer -- could shoot the artwork in either Manhattan or Baltimore before it was sent to the printing plant in Baltimore.  Topps of course switched over to Zabel Brothers of Philadelphia to print their cards once LBP got out of that line of work.

The (she) devil is in the details sometimes....

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