After a lot of preparation, the San Francisco Chronicle has officially begun printing on new, state-of-art presses based in Fremont, CA. Some of the advantages were immediately obvious -- more color at higher resolution; fewer wrinkles; a smaller, more convenient width. Other changes will roll out over the coming months -- heatset glossies, different ad configurations, innovative marketing products. I've spent a lot of time over the past few months working on the marketing campaign announcing "Chronicle HD," as it's called.
For the purposes of this blog, though, I want to publicly state how pleased I was with the first Hi-Def Sunday edition. My article about recent comics and comix was the cover story in Books and ran as a double-page spread, illustrated with color panels by Jason, Darwyn Cooke, David Mazzucchelli and others. And it looked gorgeous! The colors were accurate, the registration was correct, the pictures "popped." For the first time in five or six years, I made an effort to track down hard copies. The archived Web page doesn't do it justice.
I'm not about to make any prognostications about the long-term health of the newspaper printing business. But in terms of my column, I'm really happy with this new development.