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illustration print and basic typeset

I have heard you-all speak of different methods and types of ways of doing
things,  but what I would like to ask is which method would be best for what I
am hoping to do.

First question is:  Can anyone direct me to the direction of more information
on how to make a plate for the purposes of illustrating a small run book,
Second question is:  Can anyone direct me to the appropriate information on the
easiest way to get started setting type?  Something less painful than making a
woodcut of each page yet not as expensive as buying one of those hotrod
printing setups I've looked at on the web.

I would like to step upward from publications run out of my laserprinter to
publications made with real plates and type,  small-number editions done by
myself by hand,  and any advice on where to start looking would be very

Also,  third question (or extention of first question):  Which method of
illustration would work best for black line art -- metal with some form of
etching,  woodcut,  or what?  I like to use delicate line art, is this possible
without investing in ultraexpensive equipment?  I would ideally like to print
the line art and then hand-color.

I am a good illustrator but although I read most of the posts on this list I
still have great grinning gaps in my knowledge of print processes.



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