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Weathercraft (Frank)

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  701 ratings  ·  66 reviews
For over 20 years now, Jim Woodring has delighted, touched, and puzzled readers around the world with his lush, wordless tales of “Frank.”
Weathercraft is Woodring’s first full-length graphic novel set in this world—indeed, Woodring’s first graphic novel, period!—and it features the same hypnotically gorgeous linework and mystical iconography.


As it happens, Frank has only a
...more
Hardcover, 104 pages
Published June 8th 2010 by Fantagraphics (first published January 1st 2009)
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The Arrival by Shaun TanThe Number 73304-23-4153-6-96-8 by Thomas OttCinema Panopticum by Thomas OttThe Frank Book by Jim WoodringWeathercraft by Jim Woodring
Silent / Wordless Graphic Novels
5th out of 104 books — 65 voters
Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris WareBuilding Stories by Chris WareArsène Schrauwen by Olivier SchrauwenFun Home by Alison BechdelHere by Richard McGuire
Best Art Comics of All Time
7th out of 158 books — 12 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,105)
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Forrest
There's really no halfway about it. You are either going to love this or hate it. In some alternate universe, Albrecht Durer and Robert Crumb dropped bad acid and had a love child. Jim Woodring is his name, and he has brought his observations from beyond the veils of our reality. They are not for the faint of heart or for those who are looking for robust plotting. All the characters are despicable in one way or another, and even Manhog's attempts at do-goodery are vain debacles that result in th ...more
Mariel
Nov 22, 2013 Mariel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: that's all folks
Recommended to Mariel by: take money money pigs
I missed Frank. The idle idyllic life. Picnic baskets and the knowing smile of sidekicks slash pets slash defenders come heart is true Pupshaw and Pushpaw. They look like the best thing since slice bread and a toaster I've ever seen and I missed them.

Oh yeah, I remember now that I had an aching fascination with Manhog. I remember reading a descriptor once, flipping ages ago, that he was meant to be the nemesis of Mr. Good Time Seeker. No, no, no. That can't be right. I know the back to the wall
...more
Nate D
Aug 08, 2011 Nate D rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: jerry chickens
Recommended to Nate D by: whim
Shelves: comics, read-in-2011
You basically know what you'll be getting here if you've read any of Jim Woodring's prior Frank comics: internally-logical-yet-halucinatory silent-cartoon psychedelia, dense with symbols and portents, immaculately rendered. What sets Woodring's work apart from a lot of similarly crazy material is its clarity, both of line and storytelling. Maybe we don't know why these things happen, but we can almost always easily discern what happens, which is so important in such a subjective vision. Anyway, ...more
Sam Quixote
This is a really difficult book to try to describe to someone - on the surface the story is illustrated in traditional panels in a kind of Crumb-esque style and features no words, it's all pictures. But then you come to describe the pictures and falter. A Manhog - a human-like person who nonetheless has pig-like features. A cartoonish cat called Frank and his faithful box-like pets (dogs?). Two cackling hags who are probably witches but look like dragons and other things. A bad guy called Whim w ...more
Jeff
It's been a few years since Jim Woodring has delivered any substantial new content in his Unifactor oeuvre, known best for the anthropomorphic anti-hero Frank. But to my mind, the pig-human hybrid known as Manhog has always been the most intriguing character in this universe, and with Weathercraft, Woodring finally moves Manhog to center stage. Like so much of Woodring's previous work, Weathercraft is initially baffling and inscrutable, but visually splendid and narratively sophisticated (which ...more
Ian Hrabe
I don't know what an acid trip is like, but if I DID ever go on an acid trip (which, given my acute paranoia, would never, ever happen) I would hope it would resemble Jim Woodring comics. Or I wouldn't. Weathercraft was kind of horrifying, but in a wonderful way. Manhog is one of the most disgusting characters I've ever seen, but SOMEHOW Woodring makes him kind of endearing. Then again, any time Pupshaw is in a panel I squeal with glee and go "Look Jenny! He's angry! IT IS SO CUTE" or "Look Jenn ...more
Jeff Jackson
Another great Frank tale. The perfidious Man-Hog becomes enlightened. The internal logic becomes clearer on a second reading. Start with "The Frank Book" before tackling this one. 4.5 stars
Joe Young
Jim Woodring - Author

4/5 stars

Weathercraft is a story told entirely in wordless pictures that follows the adventures of the odious Manhog in the fantastically surreal titular land. Manhog is a disgusting pig-man hybrid, intent only on satisfying his base desires. During his hedonistic quest Manhog is captured and experimented upon by the evil Whim, a stick-thin, mask-faced demon. In enduring the malevolent punishments Manhog achieves spiritual enlightenment, but his newfound peace is short-lived
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Peter Derk
I guess most people who read a Jim Woodring book know what they're getting into.

I'd read a couple of his short comics before, but picked up this one based on a recommendation.

To me, it was really trippy, which is to say that, like tripping, it made me feel a sort of uncomfortable boredom that lasted longer than I'd like.

Imagine: A pig man unzips a zipper on a tree and pokes his head in to see a plant boy lobotomizing an old radio.

This is the kind of thing you'll get.

If there was a theme, I'd sa
...more
Tessa
There's nothing that gets me as jazzed as a good wordless graphic novel. What else could demonstrate the essence of narrative through pictures? Getting closer to getting straight to the signified instead of dealing with the linguistic signifier. See? I like it so much it makes me silly and prone to pretension.

I was looking at Fantagraphics' catalog and saw its listing for this title. Woodring's world, made with woodcut-style black and white lines (including some of the best clouds I've seen late
...more
Andrew
YES! More "Frank!" Unlike previous "Frank" collections, "Weathercraft" tells one long, circular story. Frank himself is more of a supporting character this time, as disgusting villain/pitiable victim Man-Hog experiences an increasingly abstract series of ups, downs, upheavals, and epiphanies. This is not the place I would recommend for a Frank newbie to start, but established fans will find a lot to love here. The FAQ on the back flap is a helpful guide as well. All in all, it's a quick read, bu ...more
Garrett Zecker
Feb 08, 2015 Garrett Zecker rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Garrett by: Gil Roth
Jim Woodring’s Weathercraft is a bizarre, psychedelic rip in the fabric of the reality of the Unifactor that pits Manhog against the seeming frustration of gaining one’s own comforts in the face of the bizarre and factional creations of Betty, Veronica, and Whim’s messing with the fate of all of the characters. This leads to a series bizarre enslavements, including that of Manhog, Frank, and a variety of other small characters who Manhog attempts to free regardless of the trouble it brings.

This
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Scapeghost
Welcome To The Unifactor

Since the early nineties Jim Woodring has been keeping a record of the daily life of Frank, a 'generalized anthropomorph', his cartoonish physiognymy a hybrid: a cat, a chipmunk, and an otter, could, perhaps, be found playing in his genepool. His tubular limbs and three fingered hands, always hidden by familiar white gloves, betray the part of his genealogy contributed by Disney and Winsor McCay and countless other Master Cartoonists.
Frank and his world, The Unifactor, a
...more
Hamish
I don't know if there's a lot I could say about this that would really do it any kind of justice. While reading Weathercraft I had a flash of insight that Jim Woodring is making the best art in any medium (except for the mighty Michael Gira, of course); and not just visual art. His work can go up against ANYTHING. It's painful, it's funny, it's frightening, it's beautiful.

If a book is good, it should warrant multiple readings. Woodring's Frank stuff basically requires multiple readings, which is
...more
Alex
The first "novel" in the Frank series. The central character this time, however, isn't the purple gormless chuckbuster as usual, but instead his repulsive foil Manhog who, upon the arrival of two bird-legged witches who can manipulate the weather among other things, is forced to endure a gauntlet of torment and physical pain before he can begin a personal transformation which rectifies the divided parts of his personality, allows him to transcend his previous iniquity & gain an almost quantu ...more
Corey Pung
I thought by now I had a decent idea of what Jim Woodring’s Frank comic series was. Essentially, I thought it was about a Steamboat Willie/Felix the Cat hybrid named Frank who got into bizarre misadventures that often served as parables for the ill-effects of greed and desire. Weathercraft takes the series in a slightly different direction. For one thing, the lovable, bumbling hero Frank appears mainly as a peripheral character here, as do other characters like Pupshaw and Whim. Instead, for the ...more
Callie Rose Tyler
I enjoyed this book more than Congress of the Animals, maybe that's because there was less Frank, or maybe because there was more story, but it might just be that I knew what to expect this time around.

Weird, surreal, strange, disturbing, trippy.

Brendan
Jim Woodring has long tantalized us with trippy, Disney-meets-Lovecraft comics about cartoony characters in horrorshow worlds. Among the most bizarre of his strange managerie is Manhog, a malevolent incompetent who steals and lies and menaces the other denizens of Frank's world. Weathercraft lets Manhog take center stage as he goes through a transformation from shiftless ne'er-do-well to thoughtful, be-robed philosopher. Alas, I had a much harder time following the narrative of this story than I ...more
Derek Royal
I wanted to reread this book before I picked up Woodring's latest work, Fran. (I'll finally get to Congress of Animals, as well). I appreciate this one better than I did when it came out. Manhog is treated like crap here -- no surprise there -- but in this story he does undergo a quest, and as a result, becomes something more admirable. I liked the manipulations of the two hags, Betty and Veronica, who apparently set in motion what Manhog undergoes. But I would have liked to have seen them more ...more
Jeff
I'll say it again: i need to read Woodring's books in a classroom with people who really know their sequential arts cuz i really like them but i'm confident i'm getting only 25% of the experience through my visually inept brain.
Earline
I really am a sucker for wordless comics! This is the first Woodring comic I've read, and while I appreciate Woodring's trippiness and knew what I was getting into.. I guess his comics are just not for me.

Perhaps this isn't the best Woodring comic to start with. Since this was my first exposure to his characters, I wouldn't necessarily pick up on any of the subtleties or back-stories that a Woodring fan might have.

Overall, not bad, but not panty dropping.
Jesse
This is my first introduction to Frank's world, although I understand now, there were years of shorts setting the stage before this full-length wordless graphic novel. A picaresque read the first time through, it takes on more meaning each time I go through it. An Everyman story, I suppose, although it's hard to find the ultimate redemption. Visually hallucinogenic, the pages suggest an artist who has conquered the fear of creativity and original beauty.
Steve
Jim Woodring is among my favorite authors; I could stare at his drawings all day, everyday.

Despite its seeming abstruseness, the Unifactor maintains an internal logic which grounds the comedy as well as the despair of the Frank books -- and, of course, the aesthetics of the world itself. Weathercraft pulls this logic to its furthest extremes, yet never gets away from itself. Well, almost never.

When I read/interpret Woodring, I feel exultant.
Dan
Jim Woodring has a frightening imagination. I'll refrain from the "What drugs...?" thing because usually minds like this don't require that sort of stimulus (and yeah, that shit gets old).
This may be the most satisfying and least appalling to me. Usually his books with their plastic abstraction get me nauseous, but this one with its fairly clear narrative of a path to enlightenment and its slapstick conclusion proved satisfying to me.
David Stewart
I feel like I "read" this in ignorance, without ever having familiarized myself with any other of Woodring's works, which apparently feature the same characters. That said, with words this would have been vaguely comprehensible. Without words, it's just one long acid trip, though an interesting one if you manage to make up your own story to go along with the drawings.
Whatsupchuck
I didn't care for this one as much as the short comics, or 'Congress of the Animals'. This should never be a recommendation for a newbie to Woodring. Had I not been familiar with the characters I would have mentally checked out before the halfway mark.

Still a very enjoyable read. I can't imagine Jim Woodring putting out anything but great work.
flannery
Why aren't there six stars? Horse hockey.
Will
I think I'm too impatient to fully appreciate Woodring's work. Maybe too much detail? The weirdness is sometimes clogs up the panels. Too many eyes on the creatures, perhaps? I think I like his color stuff better. Unique, no doubt about it. But I think one has to be in a calm surreal and open state to really enjoy this stuff.
Peacegal
These are the days I feel like Manhog—a hapless, emotion-ruled beast whom the fates toy with for their own personal amusement.

Readers may just find deeper meaning and relatable situations in Woodring’s bizarre, hallucinatory netherworld. There’s more going on here than just pretty pictures of fever dream imagery.
Troy
As good as comics get. Just pick up it up and see for yourself.

I'm not even into "maya" or "piercing the veil" or any metaphysics whatsoever; not that it matters when the story (and the metaphysics) is as multivariate and stunning as this. And the art? Unbelievable.
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Frank (4 books)
  • The Frank Book
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