Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Weathercraft is a 100-page long journey into Jim Woodring's dreamlike world, and the book practically defies description. The all but wordless tale may be read as a philosophical or spiritual journey. It mostly follows the plights of Manhog, a pig/man hybrid who lives in a rubbish pile and is ruled by his basest appetites. He encounters many strange creatures in this tale, including devils, carnivores, paisley-shaped critters, and Frank, a cartoon animal who resembles a dog or a bear. In this world creatures typically eat or are eaten; they go through transformations, see visions, are imprisoned, and are magically transported across time and space. Over the course of the strange and fantastical events a kind of logic starts to emerge.

Jim Woodring is a Seattle artist who has been drawing comics for decades now. He gained some notoriety lately for making a functional, seven-foot-long ink pen. He is best known for his independent comics series Jim which featured the adventures of Frank. He won two Harvey Awards in 1993 for his work on the series. He also won the Inkpot Award in 2008. This interview with the Onion AV Club as well as this one with Shaun Manning lend insight into his work on Weathercraft.

Woodring's first graphic novel has been almost universally praised. Reviewer Jason Michelitch wrote that "Weathercraft paints small moments of beauty and mystery on a huge canvas of twisted wonder. If you've never ventured into the deranged world of Woodring, take it from a belated first-timer that this book is as good a starting place as any." Henry Chamberlain and Brian Heater also have great things to say in their detailed reviews of the book.

A video preview is provided here from the book's publisher Fantagraphics. They also provide a great number of links and images here.

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