Art Direction, Motion Design & Illustration by Patrick Hosmer

I Used To Collect Photos of Papyrus Until I Realized It Was a Terrible Idea

Added on by Patrick Hosmer.

For some reason 15 years ago, Whoopi Goldberg gave a televised tour of her home. It was kind of the way you'd expect it to be: Exotic and future-y like Amidala's home on Naboo. Whoopi walked us room to room and we saw all her framed photos with Michael Jackson and Arthur Ashe and all her sweet leather chairs and then she turned a corner and showed off what was clearly meant to be the centerpice to her home and still one of the most disturbing things I've ever seen. 

Whoopi maintained a wall in her home dedicated to racist antique artwork which she called her "Wall of Shame." Lots of N-word signage, lots of simian caricatures. Enough scowling blackfaces to give you nightmares. And she was always adding to it, finding hateful little knick-knacks and affixing them to the collage. It was like a wall at TGI Racist Friday's. I'm almost positive this moment in TV was the inspiration for Pierre Delacroix's collection from Spike Lee's Bamboozled

The idea that Whoopi Goldberg collected things she hated really scared the shit out of me. A few years later I saw that episode of The Simpsons where John Waters teaches Bart that it's ok for gay guys to collect tacky things. It started to make a little more sense. The mail man that lived on my block in college collected tree knots. 

By the time I was snapping my 500th or so photo of a wind-ravaged bodega awning sporting Papyrus type I realized collecting has nothing to do with love or hate or taste. Collecting things isn't even fun. It's compulsive.

Then I realized, almost simultaneously, that most collections have no end.

A designer named Chris Costello created the Papyrus font in 1982. Like all typefaces back then, it was made by hand. He said his aim was to create what English language texts may have looked like if they were written 2,000 years ago. 

In an interview 25 years later, Costello admitted that Papyrus is a bit overused. 

You can find evidence of Papyrus use going way back to the beginning, but The Organic Food Movement, The Green Movement, The My Pet Can Eat Organic Too Movement, all of these recent Movements have collided to form what a meteorologist might call a Perfect Storm of Papyrus usage. 

This wall features a rare hand-painted Papyrus knock-off. 

Wanna know what the Event Tonight is? I don't think you want to know what the Event Tonight is. 

Scoff all you want but stuff from 1982 is vintage. That's a year before Return of the Jedi and last I checked, my Admiral Ackbar wasn't going down in value, dig? 

Here's how a friend described LA to me. "Everyone is hanging out in bookstores or driving their Priuses and VW's and they all claim to be on some mystic journey." Then I got off the plane and saw this and immediately texted William Shatner and said "I just you'd in my pants." 

Also, PAPYRUS.

Et tu, Hellboy?

Don't hate, James Cameron is passing the savings on to you. Keeping in mind that you can buy the Papyrus Font Family for $39.95, Avatar's $300 million budget had just enough left over for Na'vi Warrior #19 to have an extra motion capture ball on the second knuckle of his right index finger. All for you.

Yeah, it's literally everywhere. Fuck. Good thing I have all these stupid photos. I hate myself. Don't say Papyrus around me because I'll take an iPhone pic of your mouth. Don't eat papayas either because I'll take an iPhone pic of your mouth. This is my curse.

Do you think Lamb of God knows?

There's no way, right? 

To make my collection seem even more insignificant, as soon as I started researching Papyrus, I found this

No Papyrus here - somewhat surprisingly - but I wanted you to check out Jeremy Sisto for a minute. Nice work, Sist! J-Si playing JC! Listen Jeremy, you don't know this but I dog-sat your dog once. I re-named her Pepperjack and called her that the whole day.