Friday, September 24, 2010


What a disappointment!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Spectacularly unpleasant goings-on from CONGRESS OF THE ANIMALS, page 60. Wouldn't this be nice in color?


Here is the text of my acceptance speech, delivered at The Stranger Genius Awards upon receipt of the coveted porcelain head.

"THERE IS a controversy I have to address. I know some people feel that giving the Stranger Genius award for literature to the creator of comic books, and wordless comic books at that, is a travesty.

The redoubtable Charlie Krafft spoke for many when he posted the following on Facebook:

'I just read that Jim Woodring received a Stranger "Genius Award" for literature. Have any of the cartoon characters he draws ever uttered anything? Was it literature? Had I been a judge for this I would have given The Stranger "Genius" award for literature to a writer, maybe David Stoez or Doug Nufer, not to a guy who draws mutes. If I was Jim W. I would accept this prize then turn around and and give $1,000 each to five deserving local writers and poets. Five persons who toil away with words, not pictures. Those who think cartoonists who don't even use word balloons are entitled to cash awards for "literature" can un-friend me right now and go get in line for another tattoo. You've been so dumbed down by hipster culture you think Archie and Veronica is Crime and Punishment.'

Well, part of me agrees with this; after all, it's the default position. But the part of me that is more, oh, progressive thinks that the Stranger may be ahead of the curve here. They've gone and said that a wordless comic book can be rightfully considered literature, and it falls to you and me to prove otherwise. The question, obviously, is Does literature require words to exist?

Well, now that I think about it, no, I don't think it does. I would go so far as to say Milt Gross' 1930 wordless novel He Done Her Wrong is as much literature as the hackneyed melodramatic plot it tells in pictures. It never occurred to me to care whether He Done Her Wrong was literature before, but, now that you mention it, why not? Perhaps it's only literature in a theoretical or technical sense, like non-musical music or a printed painting. In which case, who cares?

But I don't think the Stranger is playing an elite prank here. I think they see that we are living in a transitional period where traditional categories are melting, blending together. Boundaries everywhere are being dissolved. A high school kid can choose to be either standard gender, or make up a new one. An utter dullard can be the life of the party online. Strictures that no longer need to exist are evaporating. Liberation and paralysis are merging.

Personally I don't think that it's a coincidence that the computer has emerged and become ubiquitous just at the moment when humanity has everything so mapped out and pinned down that the sense of a future has effectively vanished. I think the computer is training wheels for that unborn generation who will live outside the world and ultimately outside the computer, in a state of secular empathetic samadhi. The blurring of the line between the drawn image, the written word, the video and the game is disturbing, but nothing can stop it, and I salute the Stranger for their far-reaching and prophetic vision.

The question of whether I personally deserve this is open to debate. But I think I do, and I can sure use the money. Thank you."

Friday, September 03, 2010


Wednesday, September 01, 2010


But first, this UPDATE! As of 8:45 PST the total amount raised is $3020. With just sixteen hours to go you may think it's a lost cause. But I tell you, there are matching funds waiting in the wings! If only the amount rises to a certain level... not much more...

The nib itself will be a replica of a dip pen; There will be a brass reservoir that will clip onto the underside. The reservoir will be a receptacle, filled with an eyedropper through the hole in the top of the nib, and contain a nested stack of curved plates to hold and slow the flow of the ink, which will be carried in a narrowing, flattening 'v' channel to the underside of the tines. The ink will be concentrated acrylic ink, partially dehydrated for an extra syrupy viscosity.

The pen will have to be kept level until the stroke is ready to be applied. Before the stroke starts the tines will be primed with a brush. The pen will be tilted until the ink flows onto the paper, and then the flow will be controlled by tilting the pen to let more or less ink flow into the line, as determined by the nature of the line desired.