Weathercraft by Jim Woodring

by Jim Woodring
Fantagraphics, 2010

An utter nightmare. Woodring has been working on the Frank stories for twenty years, and the surreal universe it inhabits (the Unifactor) has its own set of rules, like Beanworld but without the ecological message. The book has no dialogue or text except for a cheerful and detailed primer on the back cover and flyleaf, including a spectacularly unhelpful FAQ.

Usually the Frank stories are concerned with the title character, a taciturn white-glove wearing “generic anthropomorph” like Mickey or Goofy, accompanied by a box-radio-shaped pet called Pupshaw, but this volume focuses on the trials and redemption of the repellent Manhog as he is tortured by evil moon-faced demon Whim and a pair of crowned harpies (nicknamed Betty and Veronica on the back cover) who seem to have elemental control over his life. Over a hundred densely-drawn pages, filled with Woodrow’s bejewelled creatures and salamandric hallucinations, Manhog achieves a kind of enlightenment. A great if unsettling work.

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