I've been meaning to write about this for a while now, but frankly, there aren't words strong enough to describe my excitement for this collaboration between two of my all-time favorite artists, Jim Woodring and Yo La Tengo!
Their love story goes a long ways back, as we mentioned on the FLOG earlier this year when we premiered the band's most recent release Fade at the book launch party for Jim's collection Problematic: Sketchbook Drawings 2004-2012. And now Jim has taken the artwork for Fade and interpreted it into The Tree, a set of three figurines and a DVD produced by our friends at PressPop! We'll let them describe the rest:
Experience the magical collaboration of Yo La Tengo and Jim Woodring. The three band members, Ira, Georgia and James come to life as 3 original characters in the land of “the Tree!”
Present/past/future, the real/unreal, visible/invisible, sadness/joy…… "the Tree” will grow, enveloping all. And the ecstatic creatures that inhabit “the Tree” are the 3 beings blessed by the god of music. The curtain has been raised for Woodring’s mysterious and psychedelic dream land. But the story has just begun……
This product is a set of DVD and 3 soft-vinyl dolls. The DVD contains an original animation (5:20 minutes) of a mind-blowing colorful dream world that centers on “the Tree” and the 3 whimsical characters. It is made by a Japanese production company that specialize in hand-drawn animation: drop. And of course, All NEW music by Yo La Tengo! The 3 colorful soft-vinyl dolls were sculpted by Japanese master sculptor: Tomohiro Yasui. Beautiful packaging design by Jim Woodring with a bonus comic on the back.
As you can see, the resemblance is striking! These figures are currently available (in incredibly limited quanties) at the merch table on the band's European tour, or you can also pre-order a set of your own at the Matador Records website. I am already planning for them to take a ride on Mr. Bumper, and maybe get in some battles with Lorbo.
"The yarn Deitch spins around that outrageous premise includes surprisingly less of the supernatural and many more words than usual, which wrap around the panels and are carefully chosen to project the heroine's personality-that of a smart but unpretentious woman who once had an utterly fantastic adventure. Even more riveting than Deitch's other spellbinders." –Ray Olson
"the heightened emotional stakes are new: Frank's followers have watched him shrug off violent treatment with the resilience of a Warner Bros. cartoon character, but the loss of Fran seems more devastating than the worst punishment he's received at the hands of the devilish Whim."
Join us at Fantagraphics Bookstore this Saturday, October 26 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM for a festive event featuring Jim Woodring's latest batch of ODDLAND beer from Elysian Brewing. We'll taste free samples while Jim demonstrates drawing skills with his oddly giant pen. He'll also be available to sign copies of his fabulous new graphic novel Fran.
Begin your Halloween frolicking at this colorful early evening gala. Odd attire encouraged. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street in Seattle's lively Georgetown arts community. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM. Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
Out the same day as in print is Fran by Jim Woodring, now out for your digital reading pleasure on comiXology. What is to become of the beloved trilobular chuckbuster Frank now that he has journeyed outside the Unifactor and met his soulmate, Fran? The answer is delivered here in devastatingly unpredictable fashion.
At 104 pages, this book is an absolute delight for $15.99 for Fans of Frank, connoisseurs of bizarre romance, and spelunkers in the radiant depths of graphic metaphysical psychodrama will want to add this singular cartoon adventure story to their lifetime reading list. Swipe yourself silly in Jim Woodring's crazy universe and fall into the Unifactor today.
"...a simultaneous prequel *and* sequel to Jim Woodring's excellent Congress of the Animals from 2011, a book which seemed to shatter the cyclical exploits of the artist's Frank universe so as to provide an ending of sorts, though surely you want to know more about that nice friend Frank shacked himself up with for the denouement" -Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal
Seven years ago this weekend, Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery quietly opened for business in Seattle. (Following a 6-week shakedown, we hosted our grand opening gala in December 2006.) Featuring challenging contemporary comix, graphics, illustration, experimental music and other marginalized media, the space was quickly woven into the cultural fabric of the region. We have since attracted a remarkable array of artists and patrons from across the country and around the world. Thank you all so much!
Please come visit the store and see the astonishing new exhibition by Jim Woodring. (Yes. He really drew them with the giant pen.) Peruse our wonderfully diverse, yet cohesive selection of comix, graphics novels, and badass books. Check out the colorful collection of new and vintage vinyl offered by our retail partner Georgetown Records. Explore the historic Georgetown industrial arts colony. Hope to see you soon.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street, only minutes south of downtown Seattle. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new titles. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators and web-savvy comic shops are saying about them (more to be added as they appear), check out our previews at the links, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.
104-page black & white 7.25" x 9.75" hardcover • $19.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-661-4
"a simultaneous prequel *and* sequel to Jim Woodring's excellent Congress of the Animals from 2011, a book which seemed to shatter the cyclical exploits of the artist's "Frank" universe so as to provide an ending of sorts, though surely you want to know more about that nice friend Frank shacked himself up with for the denouement" –Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal
100-page black & white 7.5" x 9.25" softcover • $14.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-679-9
"In the 30 years they've been writing and drawing Love and Rockets, Los Bros Hernandez have created wonderfully complex story lines and characters... This web of superior magical-realistic storytelling involves readers in the perplexed yearnings of a huge cast of unforgettable characters unaware of their own capacity for general self-delusion and occasional self-discovery." –Publishers Weekly
"There are acclaimed filmmakers and novelists who can't do what Jaime Hernandez does - or Gilbert, for that matter. When the two of them are at their most inspired, as they are here, they make almost every other comics creator today look like a fumbling hack. [Grade] A" –The A.V. Club
216-page color 7.5" x 10.25" hardcover • $28.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-697-3
"One of comics revered masters gets a fresh new reprinting worthy of his work and accessible to kids.... This volume finds [Barks] at a creative peak, combining the bold adventuring of Tintin with the wisely cynical view of human weakness of John Stanley.... Despite the dark undertones, the comic expressions and dialogue is still laugh-out-loud funny. A wonderful project that should put Barks's name in front of new generations of admirers." - Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
136-page black & white/color 8.5" x 11" softcover • $19.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-684-3
"The Complete Crumb series is especially useful in reminding us that Crumb has continued to evolve through the sixties. His more recent work is quieter and more literary... The most recent installment, collecting material originally published in Weirdo magazine, contains some of Crumb's best work." The National Post
There is only one answer to that question, and you'll find them both in this volume!
You can read Fran before you read Congress of the Animals, and it will blend gracefully into it and explain a lot of what you have previously read; or you can read Fran after you read Congress of the Animals as a continuation of that story, after which you may wish to read Congress of the Animals again. Of course you can read Fran without reading Congress of the Animals at all. But read Fran you must, because between these pages is a situation that every human heart must contemplate to be fully prepared for any contingency.
So do yourself a favor and take the plunge. You can't stay cooped up on the outside of the book forever!
Join us this Saturday, October 12 at Fantagraphics Bookstore for a big Jim Woodring event. The launch party for Jim's stunning new graphic novel Fran features an exhibition of oversized drawings done with his giant quill pen. The 7-foot instrument will also be on display. Musical entertainment will be provided by K recording artist Stephen Steinbrink.
Visitors to this event will be among the first in the country to get copies of Fran, the anxiously anticipated follow-up to Jim’s visionary wordless tales Weathercraft and Congress of the Animals. The reception takes place Saturday from 6:00 to 9:00 PM and coincides with the festive Georgetown Art Attack, featuring compelling visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic neighborhood.
Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 26 when Fantagraphics Bookstore hosts a tasting party for Woodring’s new batch of Oddland beer from Georgetown-based Elysian Brewing. Odd attire encouraged.
Fantagraphics Bookstore is located at 1201 S. Vale Street in the heart of Seattle’s colorful Georgetown arts community. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
Fantagraphics and comiXology bring you the the next volume in the Frank series by Jim Woodring, Congress of the Animals! A chain of events propels Frank out of the Unifactor and into a world where he is on his own at last; and like so many who leave home, Frank finds himself contending with realities of which he had no previous inkling. In Congress of the Animals we are treated to the pitiful spectacle of Frank losing his house, taking a factory job, falling in with bad company, fleeing the results of sabotage, escaping the Unifactor in an amusement park ride…and so much more.
This winding 101-page tale can be yours for $15.99 to read digitally, anytime, anywhere --- that's right, even in the Unifactor --- thanks to comiXology.
Note: Seattle people, Woodring is a-signing this Saturday at the Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery. Read this before coming to grab a copy of his latest book, Fran!