LIMITED PAPER #5: Interview with John Davis of Poster Mountain, the Poster Community’s Miracle Workers

     June 20, 2012

For this week’s Limited Paper, we’ve got something really cool for you guys.  In fact, we have information that might be flat-out priceless to you one day (especially if you’re new to the poster-collecting world and have never heard of John Davis, Poster Mountain, or what those guys are capable of).  Meet me after the jump to find out how Poster Mountain could save your favorite screenprint from total destruction one day…

If you’re new to the poster/screenprint-collecting game, you may or may not know of a place called Poster Mountain.   I’d been collecting prints for many, many months before I heard the name for the first time, and I recall being very skeptical of the things I heard during that conversation:  I was told that “Poster Mountain can perform miracles”, which—let’s face it—sounds a little hyperbolic.  One guy told me, “I heard they can repair rips…big ones”, and I couldn’t help but wonder how a couple of guys in a big-ass garage might perform that particular magic trick:  how would somebody un-rip paper?  And why did so many people tell me that Poster Mountain “soaks the prints in chemicals” in order to fix them?

At the time, I was convinced that the information I’d been given was either A) too good to be true, or B) the ravings of a coked-up, poster-obsessed lunatic.  Months passed before I finally had a reason to contact Poster Mountain, but—on that occasion—the poster I wanted to send them for fixing wasn’t utterly trashed:  the piece had a few dings and bends along the edges (clearly it’d been tossed from one coffee and dining-room table to another over the years), but it wasn’t going to be the kind of project that Poster Mountain might use their blog to (rightfully) brag about.  No, that poster would come along even later, and the work Poster Mountain did on that piece convinced me beyond any doubt that all those seemingly hyperbolic things I’d heard so many months before…weren’t all that hyperbolic, after all.  See this?

That looks like a pretty hopeless situation.   Or is it?!

Wow.  Guess the Poster Mountain guys really can work miracles.

But how does this work?  Pretty much exactly as you’d expect it to.  Let’s say you have a screenprint.  Let’s say it’s got some value to it—we’ll call it $500, just to have a nice, round number —and let’s also say that you come home one day and find a stranger banging on that poster with a hammer (happens all the time) .  Now your favorite, $500 print is dented all to hell, and after a good long cry you decide there’s not much that can be done:  poster’s gotta be chalked up as a complete loss, right?

Well, not exactly.  A poster that’s been beaten into a non-frameable coma by the average hammer-wielding psycho is precisely the sort of poster that Poster Mountain and its employees love to come across:  it’s gonna be a challenge, but they are confident they can restore that print to its former glory.  So, you mail your print to what is currently Poster Mountain’s only location—in California—and you wait.  John Davis and the rest of the Poster Mountain crew, meanwhile, break out their magic wands and get to work…

Depending on how damaged your print is (and how many other critically-injured posters are already getting rehabilitated when yours arrives), the whole process could take anywhere from a couple days to a few weeks, but once it’s completed you’ll get an email telling you that the patient survived the procedure:  you’re going to be able to get that super-expensive, glow-in- the-dark Curly Sue poster framed, after all.  You get online, pay Poster Mountain an extremely reasonable amount of money, and a few days after that, your print shows up on your porch.

And when you open it up…holy crap, it’s entirely restored, not a scratch on it.

It really is just that easy, and is—more or less—the experience I had with Poster Mountain when I send them a print for the first time earlier this year.  If you’re anything like me, the first thing you’re going to think upon seeing that newly-undamaged print is, “So, did Poster Mountain’s owner only sell his soul to the Devil, or did everyone on the staff agree to fight on the side of Darkness in exchange for these glorious powers?”

I sat down with Poster Mountain’s John Davis to get to the bottom of all this:  I wanted to know what the average “refurbishing” process actually involved, if the company plans on opening any other branches, and if there has ever been a job deemed to be “too much for Poster Mountain to handle”?  (Oh, and speaking of “too  much to handle”,  I learned that a friend of mine had recently sent his most enormously damaged print to the Poster Mountain guys for fixing:  would that be the one that stumped the Poster Mountain team)?  Click on to page 2 for the answers.

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