Weathercraft: A Frank Comic

Overview

The first graphic novel from a master of the form, co-starring his beloved “Frank” character.For over 20 years now, Jim Woodring has delighted, touched, and puzzled readers around the world with his lush, wordless tales of “Frank.” Weathercraft is Woodring’s first full-length graphic novel set in this world—indeed, Woodring’s first graphic novel, period!—and it features the same hypnotically gorgeous linework and mystical iconography.As it happens, Frank has only a brief supporting appearance in Weathercraft, ...

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Overview

The first graphic novel from a master of the form, co-starring his beloved “Frank” character.For over 20 years now, Jim Woodring has delighted, touched, and puzzled readers around the world with his lush, wordless tales of “Frank.” Weathercraft is Woodring’s first full-length graphic novel set in this world—indeed, Woodring’s first graphic novel, period!—and it features the same hypnotically gorgeous linework and mystical iconography.As it happens, Frank has only a brief supporting appearance in Weathercraft, which actually stars Manhog, Woodring’s pathetic, brutish everyman (or everyhog), who had previously made several appearances in “Frank” stories (as well as a stunning solo turn in the short story “Gentlemanhog”).After enduring 32 pages of almost incomprehensible suffering, Manhog embarks upon a transformative journey and attains enlightenment. He wants to go to celestial realms but instead altruistically returns to the unifactor to undo a wrong he has inadvertently brought about: The transformation of the evil politician Whim into a mind-destroying plant-demon who distorts and enslaves Frank and his friends. The new and metaphysically expanded Manhog sets out for a final battle with Whim...Weathercraft also co-stars Frank’s cast of beloved supporting characters, including Frank’s Faux Pa and the diminutive, mailbox-like Pupshaw and Pushpaw; it is both a fully independent story that is a great introduction to Woodring’s world, and a sublime addition to, and extension of, the Frank stories.Weathercraft will be a defining graphic novel of 2010.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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. (June)
Nick Gazin - Vice
“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.”
Booklist
“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.”
Time.com
“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.’”
Paul Rios
“[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.”
Rod McKie
“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.”
Tucker Stone - comiXology
“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.”
Joe Keatinge - Neon Monster
“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.”
Paul Constant - The Stranger
“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.”
Douglas Wolk - TIME/Techland
“Superb.”
Jason Michelitch - Comics Alliance
“Weathercraft paints small moments of beauty and mystery on a huge canvas of twisted wonder.”
The Onion A.V. Club
“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-.”
Francis Ford Coppola
“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.”
Janus Andersen - tegneseriesiden [Denmark]
“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.”
Sean T. Collins - Attentiondeficitdisorderly
“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.”
Douglas Wolk - The New York Times Book Review
“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.”
Scott McCloud
“Woodring is fantastic... his stuff will outlast all but one in a thousand of his peers. His stuff is a revelation.”
Douglas Wolk
Woodring's story flows so smoothly and delightfully from each image to the next that it's easy to ignore that it has its own idea of sense, which may not jibe with anybody else's. For the benefit of the perplexed, he supplies a hilarious set of "frequently asked questions" (and mock-evasive answers) on the book's dust jacket.
—The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606993408
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
  • Publication date: 6/8/2010
  • Pages: 104
  • Sales rank: 764,434
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet 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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