Nate D's Reviews > Pim and Francie: The Golden Bear Days

Pim and Francie by Al Columbia
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really liked it
bookshelves: comics, favorites, read-in-2017, oneirics, horror
Recommended to Nate D by: writhing behind the sunny painted facade
Recommended for: it never ends well

Unlike typical entries into the Macabre/Childlike zone of comics and pop-surrealist art (much of which, it seems likely, has drawn inspiration from Columbia), at no point does this feel like a gimmick or throwaway shock effect. Pim and Francie dwell in an ambiguous put seamlessly realized world of dreams and nightmares where deepest fears drag themselves out from behind the surface mechanisms of old-style cartoons and comics. There's a heavy Fleischer influence here, and Fleischer always had a haunting, ominous undercurrent to begin with -- Jim Woodring, one of the only other artists to get this sort of thing right, pinpoints the formative effect of Bimbo's Initiation. But Al Columbia's clean bright lines trace pure horror in a way that, in anyone else's hands, would be far too on-the-nose. In fact, in his earlier works, it can be. But Pim and Francie's rictus of whimsy finds a disquieting balance all it own. Even the incomplete nature of the work ("Artifacts and Bone Fragments" reads the subtitle, remains of a universe that collapsed and disintegrated in self-terror) works to its advantage. What remains here, scorches and patched, are a collection of perfect moments, maps of the nightmare, slivers of anxiety and disaster that need no further explanation than the tumult of dread that any reader can supply from one's own interior reserves.

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Reading Progress

January 19, 2017 – Started Reading
January 19, 2017 – Shelved
January 20, 2017 – Shelved as: comics
January 20, 2017 – Shelved as: favorites
January 20, 2017 – Shelved as: read-in-2017
January 20, 2017 – Shelved as: oneirics
January 20, 2017 – Shelved as: horror
January 20, 2017 – Finished Reading

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