Book Arts Improv Book #2: Godzilla, Extreme Couponer

I had such a hard time developing content for this week’s Improv book. Thankfully, this week’s winner sent me some additional inspiration – “Spam”, she said. Thanks Marcia!

I discovered that in the United States, Spam has the highest consumption in the state of Hawaii. The state is also home to the annual Spam Jam, a celebration for the whole family with food (Spam in its many forms) and entertainment.

That information seemed to get my brain moving. This morning I woke up, headed to the computer, and started writing. I wonder why it took me so long to realize that Godzilla was a compulsive bargain shopper?

Here are the themes I was working with this week:

  • A rejected theme for a restaurant: Canned goods
  • An intriguing title of a straight-to-video movie: Godzilla Goes Hawaiian
  • Something that should never inspire a topiary: Dumpster

I proudly introduce Godzilla, Extreme Couponer:

Handmade artist book by Elissa Campbell – “Godzilla, Extreme Couponer”

Handmade artist book by Elissa Campbell – “Godzilla, Extreme Couponer”

The bookboard covers were covered with a gold and black embossed lizard paper. The text block was printed in Book Antiqua on Mohawk Superfine paper. The end papers are Construction Blacktop cover stock.

The signatures were sewn over goat leather straps. I scalloped the ends of the straps to mimic the shape of the spikes on Godzilla’s back.

The images were created using a linoleum cutter and Speedball Speedy-Carve. I hand-stamped the images using dye-based ink. I’m really proud of my Spam stamp. I ended up not using the Hawaiian flower stamp I carved on Wednesday – I just couldn’t find a good place for it.

Hand-carved stamps and ink pads

Handmade artist book by Elissa Campbell – “Godzilla, Extreme Couponer”

Handmade artist book by Elissa Campbell – “Godzilla, Extreme Couponer”

Handmade artist book by Elissa Campbell – “Godzilla, Extreme Couponer”

Here’s the complete text of the book, along with notes in parentheses so you know which image goes where:

They call me a monster, but that’s no good.
The truth is that I’m misunderstood.

When I seem to be acting out in rage –
it’s because I don’t get a decent wage. (dollar bill image here)

I’ve had to become thrifty in order to be    
able to afford things needed by me

The thing that has the most appeal
is to discover the perfect deal.

Into the dumpster I often go,
looking for coupons that hide below. (coupon image here)

When I look at my stockpile
I just can’t help but widely smile.

I’ve got it all, but I’m most a fan
of anything that comes inside a can.

And I’ll do whatever it takes
to get for free what Hormel makes.

Every year, I save my money
with dreams of going to Waikiki.

So if you really give a damn,
just help me get my ass to Spam Jam. (Spam image here)

This book was printed in a limited edition of 5 copies.

I’ll be posting the next batch of Improv themes tomorrow, so be sure to come back if you’d like to enter the weekly drawing.

I’m looking forward to next week!

5 Responses to “Book Arts Improv Book #2: Godzilla, Extreme Couponer

By Janet Hickey - 17 January 2015 Reply

You’re an inspiration!. Thanks.

By Elissa - 19 January 2015 Reply

Janet –

Thanks so much!


By seley1 - 18 January 2015 Reply

Hi Elissa,

I love your imagination. Impressive. And, it’s great to invite your friends to join in. I have a thought that I would like to pass along. You seem to have an excellent following. It shows that yours friends are engaged with you. Have you ever thought about having a pool of contributors, a sort of ‘club’, where everyone that wants to play can throw their name into the hat, so to speak. Then each week you could take out a couple of names to help play the game. For example, three names could be drawn with each name coming up with one of the three themes.

Or, a drawn name could be asked to provide a photo or other piece of art work which would then be the inspiration for the theme. Or, nuttier still, maybe a round robin idea where each person on the email list needs to do something to further the book before they email it to the next person on the list. I know I’m getting whacky cracky. Just wondering if you were up for more input from your followers.

By Elissa - 19 January 2015 Reply

Sidney –

You offer an interesting variation on the Improv. It would be fun to involve more people. I’d still want to be able to give everyone a copy of the book they contributed to, but I think that would be difficult if the number of contributors increased. It’s hard to do a minimum edition of three each week – five would be even harder! I’m embarrassed to admit that I have an incomplete edition from last year (one book left).

I’ve heard of people creating books from things that had been sent by others – that could be an interesting project. I also like round robins – the Book Arts Guild of Vermont might be doing one in the near future. If I ever decide to retire the Improv, maybe I’ll take your ideas into consideration!


By Ellen - 19 January 2015 Reply

That’s fantastic, Elissa! I’m very impressed. And on such a rapid timeline, too!

So what do you think? I'd love to know!

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