Posts in Murder

Gather Ye Nuts While Ye May

published by Fran Shea

September is the schizophrenic sibling in the Year Family—one day a beastly 90°, the next day fighting off dinosaurs in the living room. Dust off your crock-pots, it’s time for meat and vegetables to mingle on the countertop for hours. pot-roast-recipeOnce Upon A Time, I got a massage in September. It was from a hobbit—he blessed the vessel that was me and scampered around the table like his footsies were on fire. When it was over, he requested a hug. I consented because I have never hugged a hobbit and I didn’t want to crush his tiny hobbit-heart.

MERRY (name)MAS!

published by Fran Shea

Times were simple then — pre-Facebook… cats fixed… no Dance Moms

The air was thick with anticipation — it wasn’t fair to keep Zeichen Press hidden from the public.mj-blanket-balcony-wordsIt was time to pry open the (heirloom-quality) tupperware lid. Time to expose the rotting and pungent living carcass to the unblinking eye of its critics.

The Universe demanded documentation. Who am I to refuse?

That was four years ago (today).merry-blankmas-2Now, readership of the Zeichen Press blog hovers somewhere between cable-access viewership and meaningful Craigslist encounters.


Leather and Milk and Meat

published by Fran Shea

Every few weeks Paper Source orders the same poopy cards from us.sleep-eat-poop-orangecrapThis makes us happy because there is no faster way to evangelize than through a chain of shops that snakes its way through the country.

Our message? 

Isn’t it obvious by now? Spread (our idea of) letterpress goodness and joy like spackle into every dark crevice on this planet.

No big deal.

This card:u-r-useful-and-delichas nothing to do with fecal matter and so we were surprised (and delighted) to see it on our latest Paper Source order.

Perhaps the following dream was a premonition?:

There were no toilets — but there was a shower scene. The light over the C&Pc-and-p-shop-2012had become a shower head and I had become naked. I prayed that nobody would walk through (why didn’t I just lock it?) the shop door while I took my unnecessary (and might I add: gratuitous?) shower next to my printing press.

But someone did walk in.


I guess his name is Vincent Schiavelli. He was hiding behind the Heidelbergheidelberg-winter-2012with his cow. He wasn’t smiling. I woke up.

The End

Unseasoned Traveler

published by Fran Shea

There were three things needed for airplane travel with a group of (Shea) children (in the 1970’s):

1) Hubba Bubba

2) Mad Magazine

3) Air Sickness Bags

I don’t think there was ever a flight that didn’t involve one (or more) of us vomiting. Because of this, we quickly located our air-sickness bags in the front seat pockets before seat belts were even fastened.

My parents pretended they didn’t know us.

It was shameful (and a relief) to hand your vomit-filled bag to the stewardess. In those days, the airline logo was proudly emblazoned on each bag. But no more. Today, the bag is white! Who wants to throw-up in a white bag?

Not me.

I designed a bag that I can’t wait to get in front of the bigwigs at SunCountry. They’ll love it.


Our #1 Fan just joined us on The Capefran-andy-cape-cod-smallerand I’m so glad he’s not a serial killer. He’ll be here for a few days and then we’ll have to say goodbye. I really, really hate saying goodbye. I hate it so much, I made a card:purple-goodbye

iFran 1.0

published by Fran Shea

Twice a year Zeichen Press releases a batch of new cards. Twice a year Jen and I hold a top-secret meeting in the Zeichen Press Headquarters and discuss which cards should be included in the release. Decisions are made, tears are shed, hair is pulled.

Printing took place this week and, luckily, the temperature hovered around 97°. Jen loves printing in a sauna. I stayed in the shop while she printed, it was an act of solidarity and I’m sure it did not go unnoticed. I sat on one of the metal stools because I wanted to experience what it was like to sit on a stove-top.

There are more top-secret meetings/fist-fights during the printing process. We need to decide which color paper to print the card on and (hold onto your hats) which color envelope to pair with the card.card-compare

Should it be a Green Apple envelope or a Berrylicious envelope?? These are tough decisions but we have to make them.

And don’t think that you could just do what we do, it takes nerves of steel and hearts of gold.

Here are the new cards: These are so amazing, they may melt your faces:new-cards-garage-2012

Gratitude & Regret

published by Fran Shea

Like Bread & Pickle (LOVE their lattes) but it serves turkey chowder in an air-sickness bag. 

Life is full of gratitude and regret. Both should be acknowledged. Hopefully via a Zeichen Press card. I am sure that if we all thoroughly examined our consciences, we would discover a whole room of regret. That room would be furnished with a urine-stained futon, a musty trunk, and an ash tray. That’s sad!

CONVERSELY, the gratitude room is full of Daylilies and cookie jars.

Here are some cards for both occasions: And don’t act like you don’t need both cards.

We still love you.full-of-gratitudefull-of-regret-better


published by Fran Shea

My mind wandered as I listened to the Second Reading. I wondered if I could get my hands on a chocolate milk for lunch. I watched the third graders fidget. I planned my fishing-themed diorama. …Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth… I figured out what the initials TGIF stood for — oh, that makes sense! …I felt something crawl up my uniform blouse. 

I felt something crawl up my uniform blouse! Or did I? The question went unanswered because, like Abraham Lincoln in the balcony of Ford’s Theater, I’d been shot. Most likely, an assassination plot carried out by those boys that dumped Mountain Dew on my head last week. Oh, the pain! I signaled my teacher and was escorted to the nurses office by a girl that needed a hero badge to add to her girl scout sash.

The nurses office was familiar to me. Homesickness was an ailment I suffered from semi-regularly.

When I staggered through the door, the nurse stopped her mimeographing and looked at me. I pointed to my gunshot wound — nearish my right armpit but closer to a more embarrassing region. She lifted up my blouse. I stared at the poster on the wall.hang-in-there-poster-1970shang-in-there-new


Yes, kitten. I will hang in there.

It turned out not to be a bullet lodged in my ribcage, but a bee sting.

In honor of that important event, I created my own Hang in There! card. Do not accuse me of ripping off the original, it is an homage. An HOMAGE.

Status Updates Of Yore

published by Fran Shea

•Managed to trap and skin a rat  — it will make a delicious stew AND the fur can be used to plug my empty eye-socket — the Lord doth provide!

Does anyone know where I can find some food? My family has been living on brown bread and my old trousers for the entire Winter. Help!

Dug such a deep pit today — grandma will surely die this Winter and the grave will be ready in Spring. #planahead

My husband has had a fever for so long — the barber-surgeon is going to start the bloodletting tonight. Fingers crossed…

My son is going to the gibbet tomorrow. 🙁gibbet

Okay, that was nice. How about a new card?dear-god-amen

American Psychiatric Association Adds Clown Phobia to list of Disorders: Clown Uprising Imminent

published by Fran Shea

Do I have to write the script myself? The script that tells the tale of an experiment gone horribly wrong — a pharmaceutical company hot on the heals of developing a drug that ends all pain and suffering forever??

The drug, nicknamed “Bozo” does so well in animal testing… So well, in fact, it is released to the general population of prison inmates.

Death row no longer feels like a death sentence, cold concrete cells feel like a day spa, “relationships” feel special.

Until… The unexpected “side effects” begin to develop… Oh, it’s too sick. Just imagine a zombie movie but replace the zombies with clowns.

Here’s a birthday card:clown-card-orange