Weathercraft: A Frank Comic
 
 


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Weathercraft: A Frank Comic [Hardcover]

Jim Woodring
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. A book that sticks with you like a virus, Woodring's newest collection of tales of vague morality and definite oddity keeps intact his status as one of comics most eccentric auteurs. The surreal universe of Frank, "the ignoble innocent who bends with the breeze, rolls with the punches and never learns tomorrow what he has already forgotten today," focuses here on Manhog. Formerly a sideline character, the squat, piggish, and eternally suffering Manhog gambols and charges through the landscape, eating most everything he comes across and suffering mightily for it. The malevolently grinning character half-moon–faced Whim particularly has it in for Manhog (capturing and torturing him) as do the Fates-like creatures Betty and Veronica, who conduct strange spells and experiments on the clueless creature. Woodring's wordless story is a looping and circumstantial affair, concerned more with fantastically rendered backgrounds--his starkly layered landscapes play like minimalist woodcuts of the deepest unconscious--than matters of plot and story. There is a creeping message of sorts, about the wages of greed and what happens to curious cats, but it's mired in a universe of deeply strange beauty and not always easy to divine.
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From Booklist

Most of Woodring’s wordless, dreamlike stories center on the simple, catlike Frank, but this one features Manhog, his brutish, porcine nemesis, who undergoes a series of Job-like torments at the hands of the satanic, moonfaced Whim. After enduring these afflictions, Manhog achieves enlightenment and redemption; but his deliverance is short-lived as the newly altruistic creature must rescue Frank—and perhaps the universe—from Whim, who has been transformed into a mind-enslaving plant-demon. Other inhabitants of Woodring’s bizarre universe make brief appearances as well, notably Frank’s loyal pets, Pupshaw and Pushpaw. It’s all even stranger than that description makes it sound, but Woodring manages to make it all somehow convincing and compelling. There’s a consistent internal logic at work, and his cartoony-but-detailed drawing style, loaded with surreal imagery (think Walt Disney meets Carlos Castaneda) is the ideal vehicle to convey this hauntingly peculiar tale. And if it doesn’t all make perfect—or even imperfect—sense, its mysteries and subtleties reward repeat readings. Over the past two decades Woodring has created a dense and distinctive universe, and Weathercraft is perhaps its most rewarding portrayal yet. --Gordon Flagg

Review

“There’s not much point in trying to sum up the story of this comic. There’s no text, the art is beautiful, and you’re totally consumed by the world he’s created and you exist inside it while you’re reading it.” (Nick Gazin - Vice)

“There’s a consistent internal logic at work, and [Woodring's] cartoony-but-detailed drawing style, loaded with surreal imagery (think Walt Disney meets Carlos Castaneda) is the ideal vehicle to convey this hauntingly peculiar tale. … Over the past two decades Woodring has created a dense and distinctive universe, and Weathercraft is perhaps its most rewarding portrayal yet.” (Booklist)

“The Frank stories have a meditative, hallucinatory feel... They tap into a universal consciousness of archetypes. But ultimately Frank tells one story, everyone’s story, the same story as life: ‘How Laughably Absurd It All Is.’” (Time.com)

“[Woodring] has been called one of the great cartoonists of his generation and at this point, there’s little doubt of his visual storytelling prowess. But it’s the intense, visionary images and worlds that spring from his mind and on to his pages that truly separates him from his peers.” (Paul Rios)

“The work, which centers on the evolutionary and spiritual journey of Manhog, is breathtakingly original, and looking at it just brings home to me how timid many of us in [the cartooning] business are.” (Rod McKie)

“For those who find the work involving enough, Weathercraft will resonate with them on some emotional level — there's moments that unnerve, moments that touch — and while it is an immersive experience, the comic, especially in its hardcover form, operates most like a testimony of events.” (Tucker Stone - comiXology)

“With Woodring’s skill, I never found myself confused [by Weathercraft], at least, more than you’re supposed to be. … In one graphic novel, I got what I think may have been a love story, a treatise on spiritual enlightenment and sometimes just a whole lot of fun.” (Joe Keatinge - Neon Monster)

“Without a single word, Woodring tells an enormous tale of redemption and heartbreak. Weathercraft crackles with the power of myth, and it extends far beyond its pages with a life of its own… You've never read anything quite like Weathercraft, but at the same time it feels eerily familiar, like a dream you had last night.” (Paul Constant - The Stranger)

“Superb.” (Douglas Wolk - TIME/Techland)

Weathercraft paints small moments of beauty and mystery on a huge canvas of twisted wonder.” (Jason Michelitch - Comics Alliance)

“Starred Review. A book that sticks with you like a virus, Woodring's newest collection of tales of vague morality and definite oddity keeps intact his status as one of comics most eccentric auteurs.” (Publishers Weekly)

“It’s better to experience Woodring’s work than to try and understand it. …Weathercraft is mainly about how Manhog — and by extension the reader — sees how sick, freaky, and beautiful the world can be… [Grade:] A-.” (The Onion A.V. Club)

“The ancient myths and folk tales of all cultures which have been preserved for so many centuries have meaning for us today because the fantastic elements in them are rooted in immutable reality. The Frank stories belong to this class of literature.” (Francis Ford Coppola)

“To go into Weathercraft is like sticking your head deep in a witches' pot and letting your brain cook slowly. It is an attack that has the ability to flush from the visual into your other senses, it is like to smell and hear and above all feel with the eyes, synesthesia in cartoon form.” (Janus Andersen - tegneseriesiden [Denmark])

“Part theater of cruelty, part joyous liberating revolution, Jim Woodring's freakishly beautiful Weathercraft is at once the most direct and most elliptical of his Frank comics that I can remember reading.” (Sean T. Collins - Attentiondeficitdisorderly)

“Over the last few decades, Jim Woodring has been drawing a series of wordless, blissfully cruel slapstick fables, set in a world of grotesque entities and psychedelic minarets: half unshakable nightmare, half Chuck Jones cartoon filtered through the Bhagavad Gita.” (Douglas Wolk - The New York Times Book Review)

“Woodring is fantastic... his stuff will outlast all but one in a thousand of his peers. His stuff is a revelation.” (Scott McCloud, author of Understanding Comics)

About the Author

Jim Woodring lives in Seattle, WA, where he was recently awarded the 2010 Stranger Genius Award for literature for his graphic novel, Weathercraft. It was the first wordless novel to receive the award.
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