North Carolina’s Monster Man

Hypnotic Skull (detail) linoleum cut © Bill Fick
Hypnotic Skull (detail) linoleum cut © Bill Fick

Bill Fick wrote the book on printmaking. Actually, he co-wrote the book, with Beth Grabowski, Printmaking: A Complete Guide to Materials & Processes. He is a part of the group known as the Outlaw Printmakers.

Bill Fick, headshot, (detail) photograph © Bill Fick
Bill Fick, headshot, (detail) photograph © Bill Fick

Bill Fick draws monsters. He is a nice guy. I met him one rainy night at the Atomic Cowboy bar in St. Louis. Tom Huck was throwing a party and Bill Fick was among the invited Outlaws. I remember a protester outside the bar carrying a sign saying, “STRIPPERS ARE BAD.” The bar was so crowded that I never saw the strippers; maybe they were bad.

Fick's Printmaking text, cover image by Sean Starwars
Fick’s Printmaking textbook, cover image by Sean Starwars

Bill Fick teaches printmaking, drawing, and comics at Duke University. He has set his mind to building something off-campus in Durham, N.C. He has a vision of a self-supporting printmaking studio/work space/ exhibition space, with artist access to equipment, workshops, and classes. There is nothing like it in the area. It will be super and it will be called SUPERGRAPHIC!


Bill Fick’s art has been exhibited all over the world. He’s won a National Endowment for the Arts award. His monsters are included in famous collections such as Harvard’s Fogg Museum. His art can fetch thousands of dollars. But his SUPERGRAPHIC dream is your opportunity to own an original Bill Fick artwork for a donation of as little as $35.

pigbat-animated-smaller The details of the SUPERGRAPHIC project can be found here.  If you want to learn more, or donate, check that out. Also check out where, oddly enough, there is a photo of Kutztown printmaking grad Josh Dannin working on a monster print project.

"Homer Johnson"  linoleum cut, © Bill Fick
“Homer Johnson” linoleum cut, © Bill Fick

Jim Haverkamp made a charming 7-minute documentary of Bill Fick at work, Anatomy of a Linocut. Another video by Frith Gowan and Ayanna Seals lets Bill Fick speak his mind. It is called Controlling the Monster. He admits, “I am fascinated with the idea of the monster… ugliness… misunderstanding… For me, making the monster may be some kind of response to the constant drone of bad news.”

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