Interview With Jim Woodring
By Hervé St.Louis
August 20, 2006 - 13:52
The First Appearance of Frank, 1989
Last month I interviewed Jim Woodring as he was presenting a news series of animated films based on his work. As I interviewed Woodring, I asked myself whether he was stranger than Grant Morrison. I think he is and his ideas made for an interesting but brief interview.
CBB: Jim looks like a lot like Flash animation. I know your work came before, but can you comment on that?
That’s an insult - I’m joking (laughing). I don’t know, maybe I invented Flash.
CBB: How is your relationship with Fantagraphics, your publisher?
Fantagraphics is an easy publisher. They will back you up.
CBB: Have you ever done some animation yourself?
I have done some animation for Frank for the Seattle Public Library and I composed the menu title for tonight’s show.
CBB: How is the distribution of your books?
About as well as it should be. I used to hallucinate and capitalize on that. I haven’t had an hallucination in two years.
I had a few two years ago on St.Catherine Street. I saw a man with horns.
I don’t take drugs anymore. I knew a guy who couldn’t remember his wife’s face. He could not remember her face after he got married.
CBB: Didn’t you go to San Diego - it’s occurring at the same time as this festival?
I travel a lot. It’s embarrassing to go to San Diego. I don’t remember my friends’ faces. It’s also too big and too noisy. Half of the time I enjoy myself, the other half, I’m not happy.
CBB: Have there been any action figure of Frank?
Cover, Jim v.2 #1, 1993
My Japanese publisher wanted some figures. They are made in China and came out earlier this year in 2006.
CBB: What is your next project about?
My next book is 96 pages and all sketched out. But I need a contract to do it. It’s about a lot of excruciating torture followed by redemption. It’s the best Frank story thus far.
CBB: What would you tell people in order to interest them about this book?
Read it you fool.. What more do you want?
CBB: How about the animations for the current screening?
The animations are based on the stories. They changed them a bit. There all types of animations. Some psychotic.
CBB: What about Krazy kat? Is he an inspiration for Frank?
Frank 2 cover, 1997
I’m always thinking about it. I have read Art out of Time, by Dan Nadel. Comparisons happen all the time. Krazy kat is greater. I also like Hergé, Jack Davis and the Hernandez brothers.
CBB: How do you manage the creative function of creating a comic book?
Different duties are given to different departments. Drawing is the dull part but someone has to do it. With storytelling, I write words, descriptions, concepts, not looks. I keep words that I feel are right or else, I discard them. I don’t think about how it will happen or look. Just what happens.
CBB: Now’s the time to plug yourself or your work. What can you plug us?
Frank action figure
I’d like to plug this mole skin sketchbook that I have. It keeps all ideas in there. I think it’s Italian-made. I also have my blog at http://jimwoodring.blogspot.com. It’s full of stuff.
CBB: Jim Woodring’s Web site is at http://www.jimwoodring.com/
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