Manticore Press (Emily Dezurick-Badran)

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Manticore Press is tiny imprint under which Emily Dezurick-Badran makes relief prints, cards, and comics. These images are inspired by Californian nature and culture, vintage children's books, archives and book arts, histories of resistance, and the mysterious wonders/horrors of the universe in which we live. About printing, Emily says:

"I’ve made drawings since as long as I can remember and wanted to be an artist since the time I was 7 – but in June 2017 I took a class and discovered my favorite medium: printmaking. I learned how to carve linoleum blocks and print them on a letterpress and was immediately enamored of the process. I’ve been practicing since then, carving and printing as much as I can. Since I’m also a writer and librarian, it makes perfect sense that I’d be drawn to such a bookish art form. I enjoy the physical quality of carving linoleum, and the labor-intensive (sometimes frustrating!) practice of printing in the old-fashioned way. I draw a lot of inspiration from the illustrations in children’s books, the natural world, historical books, manuscripts, and marginalized/radical archives. Making prints is one of my ways to celebrate all the things I find wonderful and scary in the world."

Emily prints at the San Francisco Center for the Book, where she pulls each individual print on a Vandercook printer, an early/mid-20th century printer. For each small batch of prints she mixes ink, sets the hard-carved block up on the press, and runs each piece of paper through individually to create a satisfactory image.

These processes are all time-consuming, and require attention and care, which create more idiosyncrasy, texture and detail than in commercially designed and printed artwork.

The manticore is a mythical creature with a scorpion's tale, lion's body, and normal human head containing three rows of sharp teeth. The manticore originates from Persian myth, where it was called "mardyakhor" – both the original Persian and its Latin derivative mean "man eater."