Fran

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NUMBER OF PAGES

104

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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED

October 2013

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“Rendered with a bold line that recalls renaissance woodcuts, Woodring’s art evokes an exotic cartoon reality, opening up his Frank stories from the fate of the individual to something larger, something shared: the collective dreams of our childhoods, in which the individual only plays a part, as in myths or fairy tales.” – Steve Matuszak, Rain Taxi

For the past 20 years or so, Jim Woodring’s beloved trilobular chuckbuster Frank has enjoyed one mindbending catastrophe after another in the treacherous embrace of the Unifactor, the land into which he was born and from which escape seemed neither desirable nor likely. And then, abruptly, in 2011’s acclaimed
Congress of the Animals (the second Woodring original graphic novel, following Weathercraft) Frank did leave the Unifactor for uncharted lands beyond – where, after a string of trials, he acquired a soulmate named Fran.

This development raised far more questions than it answered. Would Frank become placid and domesticated? Would he be jilted? Would he turn out to be a dreadful cad? Would he become a downtrodden and exhausted paterfamilias staring vacantly into the dimming fire of life as obnoxious grandchildren pulled his peglike ears and stole his porridge?

The answers to these fruitless speculations and many more are delivered in a devastatingly unpredictable fashion in
Fran, which is in effect part two of Congress of the Animals. 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.

Winner of the 2014 Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize: “Woodring’s pen-and-ink technique is staggeringly lush and absorbing, yet he is equally proficient at ordering his panels into sequential art, thus driving his wordless story.... Hypnotic and subliminal while entertaining and compelling, Fran’s dream world is at once familiar and unsettling, a conduit to mental states that, in many ways, only the graphic novel can achieve.”

• Ranked #4 on
Time’s Top 10 Comics and Graphic Novels of 2013

• A
New York Times 2013 Holiday Gift Guide selection

• Named to the Asociación de Críticos y Divulgadores de Cómic de España 2013 Essentials list

• A
Comics Grinder Guide to Graphic Novels 2013 selection

• Ranked #89 on
Comic Book Resources’ Top 100 Comics of 2013

• One of Victor Kerlow’s Best Comics of 2013 at the
Atomic Books Blog

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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.”