If you are one of the fortunate thousands who enjoy untangling the enigmatic
images that fill Jim Woodring's comics and drawings, Problematic is
just the book for you to put under your pillow and dream on.
Woodring is a devotee of the pocket-sized Moleskine sketchbook and has
filled at least one per month since 2004. Quick concept sketches, figure
studies, self-challenges, finished drawings, revenge portraits and caricatures,
scene tryouts... everything goes into these idea batteries.
Problematic provides the adventurous viewer with a bounty of unfiltered,
hand-captured glimpses of life by an artist that Publishers Weekly called
"a modern master of hallucinatory cartoon fables." Lots of this material
re-emerges in the form of pictures and storylines but much of it is just too
baffling to be harnessed for any practical use. Of course, these untamable
notions are the best and most interesting ones; and there are plenty of them
here in the 300-page brick of Problematic.
Problematic is a rollicking amalgam of reportage (i.e. the man who blew his arm off), speculative anatomy, fancy
women, make-a-face games, picture-puzzles, gags, riffs and burlesques. Catalogue and exhibition simultaneously,
Problematic is your best bet for a brief, energizing stroll in a distinctively enjoyable neighborhood.
"When most people try to employ dream logic in their work they fail miserably but Jim [Woodring] is great at it. The closest thing to a peer he might have is
David Lynch but even that's a stretch. Jim Woodring is the only Jim Woodring and no one has done what he does except for him." – Nicholas Gazin, Vice
A guided video tour of the book with Jim Woodring: