Congress of the Animals

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NUMBER OF PAGES

106

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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED

June 2011

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• 2012 Angoulême Jury Prize Winner

Readers of the “Frank” stories know that the Unifactor is in control of everything that happens to the characters that abide there, and that however extreme the experiences they undergo may be, in the end nothing really changes. That goes treble for Frank himself, who is kept in a state of total ineducability by the unseen forces of that haunted realm. And so the question arises: what would happen if Frank were to leave the Unifactor?

That question is answered in
Congress of the Animals, Jim Woodring's much-anticipated second full-length graphic novel following 2010's universally acclaimed Weathercraft, and first starring his signature character Frank. In this gripping saga an act of casual rudeness sets into motion a chain of events which propels Frank 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, surviving a catastrophe at sea, traveling across hostile terrain toward a massive temple seemingly built in his image, being treated roughly by gut-faced men and intervening in an age-old battle in a meadow slathered in black and yellow blood. And when he finally knocks on opportunity's door he finds... he finds...

Suffice to say he finds what most of us would like to find. Can he bring it back with him? Will the unifactor accept him as he has become? Are his sins forgiven? Is love real? Is this the end of Frank as we know him?

• 2012 Eisner Award Nominee: Best Writer/Artist (Jim Woodring)


• Finalist, 2011
Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Graphic Novels

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REVIEWS

Scott McCloud

•Author of Understanding Comics

“Jim Woodring may be the most important cartoonist of his generation. The Frank stories are masterpieces, each and every one. Read them. Re-read them. Re-re-read them. Every cell in your body will remember this spellbinding, visionary work.”

TIME magazine

•News and entertainment magazine

“The Frank stories have a meditative, hallucinatory feel... They tap into a universal consciousness of archetypes. But ultimately Frank tells one story, everyone's story, the same story as life: “How Laughably Absurd It All Is.’”

Vice

•Pop culture magazine

“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.”