Jim Woodring: what order to read?
May 2, 2017 11:50 AM   Subscribe

Are there some Jim Woodring books that should be read in a particular order?

My son (12 years) was turned onto Jim Woodring by a babysitter, and got a copy of Weathercraft as a present. I also found a copy of Seeing Things that's on it's way. He's hesitant to start Weathercraft, though, because he's worried it might be in the middle of a series and he wants to read them in order if that's the case. I haven't been able to find a simple answer to that question. Any suggestions about what order to read those particular books or JW in general?
posted by spbmp to Writing & Language (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
There really isn't much discernible continuity across the Frank books. Jim Woodring notes that Fran is a companion volume to The Congress of the Animals, but he is coy about whether it is a sequel or a prequel.

There is, however, some world-building in the Frank universe: as time goes on, new characters are introduced; not that Frank or any of the other characters has much of an arc to follow. I would probably start with The Portable Frank, although in the long run, it probably doesn't make much of a difference.

The semi-autobiographical Jim books are for a more mature audience. I suggest that you give them a lookover before letting your twelve-year-old read.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 12:32 PM on May 2


Are Weathercraft or Seeing Things in either of the categories you mentioned?
(the Frank Universe, where we might want to think about finding the prequel, though maybe not so critical — or the Jim books we might want to avoid for the age)
posted by spbmp at 12:39 PM on May 2


Weathercraft is a Frank book. Seeing Things is a collection of Woodring's drawings and art. Judging from the preview on the Amazon page, it has some artistic nudity, although probably nothing very egregious.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 12:52 PM on May 2


The books can be read in any order, but publication order is best. There is plenty of dark and nightmarish imagery in there, FYI. These aren't kids stories, although they could be great for the right kids.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:29 PM on May 2


For the most part it doesn't matter much; reading them in the order they were published puts them in about as much order as they're going to get.

All Woodring's stuff is potentially really disturbing. I would have loved it at his age, but might have had some pretty vivid nightmares.
posted by aspersioncast at 8:42 AM on May 4


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