Emily Martin – Funny Ha Ha / Funny Peculiar


© 2017
edition of 25
dimensions in inches: 12 x 10 x 1


About this piece:

Funny Ha Ha Funny Peculiar or Funny Peculiar Funny Ha Ha is the result of my extended study of Shakespeare’s comedies. I find the comedies enjoyable but there is a sameness to many of the plots. So much mistaken identity, gender confusion and various other contrivances while romping their way to a fifth act wedding or two. Even more problematic are the decidedly unfunny themes that are common in many of these same comedies such as hypocrisy, sexual harassment, intolerance, sexism, misogyny, and anti-Semitism. These two aspects are addressed separately, thus a dos a do book. Each side has its own focus and treatment. The characters are the same in both books.

 They are printed using the P22 Blox which are a set of modular shapes that can be interchanged to change the body’s posture and gestures. The P22 Blox allows the presentation of the characters as interchangeable as well. Housed in a clamshell box covered in Japanese linen cloth.

Funny Peculiar is a drum leaf book and presents selected lines from five plays delivered by characters on a stage set. Funny Ha Ha is a slice book allowing the viewer to mix and match the costumes and gender of the characters in a variety of postures. Funny Peculiar is letterpress printed on an SP15 Vandercook proof press using hand set type and P22 Blox combined with rubbings, ink washes, and collagraphs to make the images. Printed on Domestic Etch paper with gray Pescia end sheets. Funny Ha Ha is printed on an SP15 Vandercook proof press using hand set type combined with relief printing using P22 Blox, collagraphs, and polymer plates from Boxcar Press to make the images. Printed on white Pescia paper with gray Pescia end sheets. Bound in a modified dos a do binding to hold the sewn text block slice book on one side and the drum leaf text block on the other side. The hard covers are covered with Arrestox book cloth and three vivid colored cotton papers color matched and custom made by Katie MacGregor.


paper, ink, graphite, ink wash, book board, book cloth

About the artist:

Emily Martin earned a MFA degree in painting, from the University of Iowa in 1979. Martin joined the faculty of the University of Iowa Center for the Book in 1998 where she teaches artists’ book and traditional bookbinding classes. Martin’s books are included in public and private collections throughout the United States and internationally, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; The Victoria and Albert Museum, London; The Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago; the Tate Britain, London, England, the Library of Congress and others.

About Alicia Bailey


Emily Martin – Funny Ha Ha / Funny Peculiar

by Alicia Bailey time to read: 2 min