Jim Woodring’s “Weathercraft” Named #6 Graphic Novel of 2010

So apparently Jim Woodring’s smash hit “Weathercraft” was voted as the #6 Graphic Novel of 2010 by Douglas Wolk at Techland.  I for one could not be happier.  I first stumbled upon the work of Jim Woodring this past spring during a Comics and Graphic Novels course I was taking.  I instantly became intrigued by his silent compositions and his dynamic, bizarre story-telling.  His characters struck me as both humorous and grotesque at the same time — an admittedly strange pairing.

It took some further research and deeper reading of his previous work to better understand where Woodring was coming from in these pantomime-masterpieces, but what I discovered only deepened my interest.  As it turns out, Mr. Woodring has an incredibly consistent and complex Tolkien-esque mythology constructed for his  world called the “Unifactor.”  The Unifactor is a hallucinatory environment where anything and everything seems within reason, and creatures with eyeballs-a-plenty sprout out of every rock, valley, and tree.  Just imagine the movie “Inception” on LSD… or a Dalí painting converted into a comic book!  It would be a disservice to paint it as merely psychedelic pleasure, though.  It’s quite clear that Woodring is dealing with such lofty and difficult subjects as ignorance, enlightenment, and naivety.

If you haven’t ever heard of him, stop depriving yourself of this modern-day behemoth of comic book legend and snag a copy of Weathercraft or The Portable Frank…or anything else you find by him (those just happen to be what I currently own).  From the looks of it, his new book Congress of the Animals (set for an April release) should be chalk full of disguised commentary and fantastical creatures.  I for one can’t wait.

For more info on the world of Jim Woodring, I found a great fully-illustrated blog post about it, which can be found at the Hooded Utilitarian.

Be sure to look for my sketch-of-the-day later this evening!