Clam Boy and Big Sister Kitty Liberate the Tree and the Sun and the Moon and the Entire Landscape. Three-color linocut artist book by Michael Gill, 2006. Edition of 100. $50
I came to printmaking as a writer, at about the same time my own children were learning to read. I was looking for a way to reproduce stories and give them as gifts to my own kids, as well as to nieces and nephews. This book was the occasion, and my first foray into printing.
My first step was to imagine a way to transfer the image of type in reverse onto the linoleum for carving. The solution I devised was to set the type on my computer and print it using an inkjet printer onto wax paper. The waxed paper would not absorb the ink or allow it to dry, which made it possible to transfer in reverse onto the linoleum block.
Clam Boy and Big Sister Kitty are superheroes invented by my children. Eliot seems to have modeled Clam Boy after Spiderman: Clam Boy shoots streams of clamshells at the problem, and they pinch and pull until it is solved. Big Sister Kitty seems to have been the result of Grace’s love for our cats and her resentment of being the little sister.
In this story, their achievement is working together to remove a plastic grocery bag from a tree. They succeed by cooperation.
They are motivated by a true sense of patriotism–a love of their country–to clean up the landscape. They know this is a never-ending job.