Fall Semester Update, 2018

BatCat has kept busy this year with new projects, events, submissions, and staff members. The beginning of the year always proves to have a bit of a learning curve for the BatCat staff. With each new staff, we see different techniques, interests, and visions for the press.

This year, BatCat welcomed three new sophomores: Bridget, Jayden, and Ariana. Despite being new, they have hit the ground running. Jayden and Ariana have already begun to learn bookbinding.

“I feel like I’ve gotten to learn a lot through BatCat,” Ariana said. “I’ve made lots of books: some longstitch ones, one with multiple stitches. I made a coptic and that one sold really fast, and I was really impressed with myself.”

One of Ariana’s beautiful books!

Bridget, though not yet a bookbinder, has been learning the ropes on the letterpress. Affectionately nicknamed “press baby,” Bridget has been taken under the wings of senior Bailey, her “press Mama.”

“I haven’t made a book yet,” Bridget explained, “but I’ve been learning the letterpress.” Bridget and Bailey were especially dedicated to our letterpressed zine this fall.

Bailey working with the letterpress

However, the new experiences don’t end with the sophomore staff; the returning junior and senior students are constantly learning as well!

Henry, a senior in his third year on staff, has been honing in on a new skill. “I’ve been making books for the first time,” he said. “I’m learning a bunch of new styles.”

Henry with one of his books

This year we attended the Pittsburgh Zine Fest, a first for BatCat. We debuted two awesome zines: Love Poems for Monsters and Snapchats I almost sent (But decided against). The first was printed on the letterpress and features one poem by each of the ten students on staff. The latter was the project of seniors Cecil and Sierra, both in their second year on press.

One of BatCat’s zines

Of course, BatCat also attended one of our favorite events of the year – Handmade Arcade!

This was senior Alexa’s third year at the event. “Handmade Arcade this year felt both incredibly organized and surprising,” she said. “We tried a lot of new things; between the Hands-On area and new products like patches and letterpressed posters, there were plenty of new things. But of course there was lots of familiarity, and we felt right at home there, happy to talk to people about what we do!”

For the second year in a row, we were featured in the Hands-On section. This year, however, we made personalized prints on our line-o-scribe. Did you get one?

BatCat’s handmade posters

Handmade Arcade is one of my personal favorites, but since I’m away at college, I was unable to attend. Even though I couldn’t be there, I did have some BatCat students pick me up some of my favorite bath bombs from Hip Modern Soap!

And, of course, we had many conversations about the amazing submissions we received this year. The editing process has already begun, so stay tuned for our publication announcements!

The awesome projects, however, don’t stop in the fall. This semester is going to be jam-packed with publications, AWP, and a brand new adventure! Most of the students on BatCat are going to be creating personalized projects, and you can check out Alexa’s new blog here.

2018 saw a lot of amazing students, books, and events, but I have a feeling 2019 is going to be even better!

-Olivia Smith, Post-graduate intern

-Photos by Cecil Starr and Julia Aloi

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