Graphics of the Americas keynote speaker Dave Barry—humor columnist for the Miami Herald and winner of the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary—began his talk by saying “I am not an expert on printing.” but that hardly mattered as his one-hour, stand-up comedy-like talk careened through a variety of topics that fans of his syndicated column and his books will recognize immediately. He summed up his career as a humor writer as “I sit in my underwear and make stuff up. Like a consultant, except they’ll be wearing your underwear.”


The crowd of a couple hundred were kept laughing, but were also treated to an inspirational moment involving his favorite column, a touching story that features a dead whale, the Oregon Transportation Division, several crates of dynamite, and raining whale guts. (The original “explosive” news footage of this event can be seen here.) “What lesson does this story teach us about the printing industry?” Barry asked, probably rhetorically.

Well, if nothing else, it teaches us that no matter what fate hands the industry, we can always overcome obstacles—just make sure not to call the Oregon Transportation Division.