This set of prints, titled "The Devil & the Mortician," was created for my Advanced Printmaking class at the University of Minnesota. As students we were given the project with very opened ended parameters: create a series or set of prints, three or more, that were thematically. these prints could either be screen or relief. While the majority of the class chose to use the screen, I was anxious to get away from the medium and experiment with relief. In the end, I chose to create an eight-panel mini graphic novel a set of illustrations based on a short story.
"The Devil and the Mortician" is a classic story of boy meets girl with some complications. In this case, a woman is found in the boot of a car and then proceeds to wake up on the mortuary table. One thing leads to another until it is revealed that she sold her soul to the devil in exchange for love. The story ends on an unanswered "Unless you volunteer yours instead?"
The goal I had been striving for was to pull away from the cold crisp nature of prints and illustrations I had been creating and find a more organic feel. The problem I had been running into was that using the current set of tools I had, Illustrator & screen printing, everything I was creating ended up looking like a paper cutout, which not to say that it was bad, it was just monotonous. Relief printing allowed me to create textures and organic rhythm. With each new cut, I was learning something new. I was in uncharted waters, I did not have precision. Even in the actual printing, this is evident the haze that occurred near the top of each print as the result of the worn-out packing wrapped around the cylinder of the press. I some of the prints especially the fourth this haze enhances the mood of the print.