The Cane Toad Times. On show 5 November 2011 - 25 March 2012. Poking fun in a police state


"We had to do everything… write stories, typeset, layout, think up headlines, and then scratch out each letter of them on to the page from a big piece of plastic."
− Dave Richards, who worked on the very first edition of Cane Toad Times

All 22 issues of Cane Toad Times were produced using a technique called 'paste up' which was common before the days of desktop publishing. Text was typeset into long continuous strips which were physically cut up and stuck to a layout sheet using glue or wax. Photographs had to be converted to dots using a bromide camera the size of a small car inside a darkroom.

The seven issues of the First Collective were produced at Planet Press which had all the gear required including a dedicated typesetting machine.

The first few Second Collective editions were produced at Semper using an IBM Selectric Composer, an electric typewriter with a tiny memory that could produce camera-ready justified copy with manual font change.

In 1987, the team rented an old house in Lockhart Street, Woolloongabba to use as an office. Acquiring more Macs, a second-hand bromide camera and a laserwriter, Cane Toad Times became an independent operation. Issues 9 to 15 were typeset on an Apple Macintosh using software called 'JustText', making Cane Toad Times a pioneer of desktop publishing in Queensland.

One obvious development across the 22 issues was the use of colour as adding colour became more affordable and less labour intensive.