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Peptic Robot Press ~ Iowa
(Joseph Lappie)

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Lappie is an associate professor of art at St. Ambrose University, teaching book arts, printmaking, and papermaking.

The Sorrow Sea of Shallows
By Joseph Lappie
Irving, Texas: Peptic Robot Press, 2009. Edition of 40.

5 x 5"; 26 pages. Created at the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas by the artist and the Master's of Fine Arts at the School's program. Images drawn by the artist. Text set in Myriad Pro and burnt into Polymer. Two-color letterpress. Bound using link stitch with cloth over boards.

Joseph Lappie: "All about humanities supposed purpose, importance of life and all that junk."

If you are still breathing in 2050, most of us will not be. Our parents, our lovers, the tiniest of hands on our arms will all be buried or burnt or left for the pigeons. Our country, our world our universe will capture that energy and move on.

$80 (Last 2 copies)

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These Ghosts Are Never Behind Us
By Joseph Lappie
Chicago: Peptic Robot Press. Edition of 100.

3.75 x 5.5"; 8 pages. A one sheet book letterpress printed in two colors.

One of the themes running through Lappie's work is "communicative constipation." He defines that as "the inability to either internally or externally realize one's emotional expressiveness. ... A figurative clogging-up of excessive feelings." In this one-sheet book he profiles Elise, a sufferer of "communicative constipation," a woman who continues to dwell in past memories - reliving, reconstructing, remembering - but not able to move forward constructively.

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How To Be a Man In Five Easy Steps
By Joseph Lappie
Chicago, Illinois: Peptic Robot Press, [2007]. Open Edition.

2.75 x 4.25"; 8 pages. Single sheet folded. Design and text by Joseph Lappie.

This guide to macho-hood has tongue planted firmly in cheek (although we could be talking about other body parts). The superhero images are indicators of the ironic tone.




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The Articifer Arisen, The Articifer Fallen
By Joseph Lappie
Chicago, Illinois: Peptic Robot Press.2007: Edition of 25.

7 x 7"; 48 pages. Dos-a-dos construction. Handmade cotton/flax paper. Boards finished with beeswax and closed with twine string ties. Includes two pop-ups and four foldout pages. Typeface Minion Pro. Produced at the Columbia College of Chicago's Book & Paper Center.

An ambitious project, full of typographical and literate wit and insight. Puns, both visual and word-based, abound. Even the nonsense makes sense. You have to be willing to play the game, but if you are, The Artificer… is engineered to provide much fun — and food for thought.

Joseph Lappie: "The Artificer Arisen, The Artificer Fallen aims to present the archetype of the engineer (or obsessive maker of mades) as a symbol for human potential and the failure to achieve that potential.

"I use the mythological figure of Daedalus, or more specifically the ideal of Daedalus, as the central character throughout the cyclical storyline. Formatted as a Dos-I-Do binding, one half of the book examines the ancient Greek engineer’s recurring habit of creating something fantastic only to have it cause personal tragedy. As time moves along things slowly become worse with larger ramifications. During the other half of the book a Daedalus-style person reappears in the twenty-first century and is immersed in a world where the desire to make things for the right reasons is the same as making them for the wrong ones. The quick ascension of the artificer leads directly to his inevitable and repeatable downfall. "


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God's Country
By Brandon Graham and Joseph Lappie
Chicago, Illinois: Center for Book & Paper Arts, Columbia College, 2007.

4 x 5.4"; 12 pages. Saddle stitching. Offset and letterpress printing.

Ironic use of format. Coming-to-awareness of two boys in religious worlds is played out in text and typography. This pamphlet could be mistaken for a religious tract, but it contains two short stories — one printed in a narrow vertical column, the other as a narrow horizontal row — set so that together they resemble the Christian cross. Because of the way the type is set, you can read only one story at a time, and then must turn the book over to read for the second story. With each story the horizontal member of the cross moves lower and lower as each story moves forward and as the iron rule of fundamentalism falters.

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Five Thoughts on Sincerity
By Joseph Lappie
Chicago: Peptic Robot Press, 2006. Edition of 15.

6 x 5.5"; 10 pages. Accordion fold attached onto free endpages. Printed in three colors at Columbia College using handset Clarendon type and Stonehenge paper. Three fan folded pop-ups. Bound in cream cloth-covered boards with linoleum relief prints and title letterpress printed.

Joseph Lappie: "Five Thoughts on Sincerity consists of five flash fiction stories about classical mythological characters set into contemporary political or ethical situations. Each story is coupled with a relief print illustrating the story. They are: The Minotaur facing off a series of tanks in Tiananmen Square; the shoe-maker elves striking for immigration and worker rights; Danae seeking an abortion after her rape by Zeus in South Dakota; ten creation gods fighting for supremacy; Janus, the two-faced god, surveying his countries government. Each character was chosen for their archetypal interpretation and to present the idea that we are fighting the same battles we fought millennia ago."

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Page last update: 02.19.2-22


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