Emily Martin, “Funny Ha Ha Funny Peculiar”

front cover, custom handmade paper from Katie MacGregor. Letterpress printed from P22 blox and handset type.

elevated view of the dos a do format, red front cover for Ha Ha side, sewn pages, gray front cover for Peculiar side, drum leaf binding.

title page letterpress printed on Pescia paper from P22 blox, polymer plates and handset type.

page spread. Letterpress printed on Domestic Etch paper from P22 blox and hand set type combined with graphite rubbing and sumi ink washes.

page spread letterpress printed on Pescia paper from P22 blox and polymer plates.


Emily Martin
Iowa City, Iowa

Funny Ha Ha Funny Peculiar
letterpress, graphite rubbing, ink wash
edition of 25
34 pages
12 x 20 x 1
12 x 10 x 1

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 individually to be enjoyable but there is a sameness to many of the plots that allows me to mix them up in my head. 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.

I struggled for a long time to integrate all these ideas. I finally realized that what I needed to do was to address each aspect 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.

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. The book is 12 inches tall, 10 inches wide, and 1 inch thick. Housed in a clamshell box covered in Japanese linen cloth. Funded in part by a grant from the College Book Arts Association. Made in an edition of 25.

Emily Martin has published over 40 artists books through her imprint The Naughty Dog Press. Her work is in collections worldwide. Martin is on the faculty of the University of Iowa Center for the Book. Martin has two adult daughters and lives in Iowa City, IA with her Vandercook SP15. She rides her bicycle as often as she can, sometimes all the way across the state of Iowa.