Read Fran by Jim Woodring Online


For the past 20 years or so, Jim Woodring's beloved trilobular chuckbuster Frank has enjoyed one mindbending catastrophe after another in the treacherous embrace of The Unifactor, the land into which he was born and from which escape seemed neither desirable nor likely. And then, abruptly, in 2011's acclaimed Congress of the Animals (the second Woodring original graphic noFor the past 20 years or so, Jim Woodring's beloved trilobular chuckbuster Frank has enjoyed one mindbending catastrophe after another in the treacherous embrace of The Unifactor, the land into which he was born and from which escape seemed neither desirable nor likely. And then, abruptly, in 2011's acclaimed Congress of the Animals (the second Woodring original graphic novel, following Weathercraft) Frank did leave the Unifactor for uncharted lands beyond--where, after a string of trials, he acquired a soulmate named Fran. This development raised far more questions than it answered. Would Frank become placid and domesticated? Would he be jilted? Would he turn out to be a dreadful cad? Would he become a downtrodden and exhausted paterfamilias staring vacantly into the dimming fire of life as obnoxious grandchildren pulled his peglike ears and stole his porridge? The answers to these fruitless speculations and many more are delivered in a devastatingly unpredictable fashion in Fran, which is in effect part two of Congress of the Animals. Fans of Frank, connoisseurs of bizarre romance, and spelunkers in the radiant depths of graphic metaphysical psychodrama will want to add this singular cartoon adventure story to their lifetime reading list....

Title : Fran
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781606996614
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 120 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Fran Reviews

  • Jan Philipzig
    2019-01-16 05:33

    Is it possible that Woodring is still getting better? What an absorbing, fantastically meaningful trip this was: all the way from romantic bliss to nightmarish breakup to sobering yet life-affirming basics. Wise, dreamlike, gorgeous, touching - when it comes to wordless comics, there is no one quite like Jim Woodring.

  • David Schaafsma
    2018-12-26 06:57

    This is either, Woodring says, a prequel or sequel for Congress of Animals, one of his Frank stories, where Frank is in a relationship with Fran, so it seems, more than other Frank stories, sort of recognizably humane and relatable. But… it just begins with them together. Of course they experience relationship "issues" and then the wild, hallucinatory "fun" begins for Frank who, I am told, has had his own experiences with hallucinations. This is as it always is with Woodring, a wild ride, but for me, it is one of my favorites.

  • Sam Quixote
    2019-01-15 05:39

    Jim Woodring’s carnival of the fantastique aka his latest creative vision, Fran, is another marvellous and enchanting comic set in his extraordinary world of The Unifactor. In typical Woodring fashion, Fran is billed as both a prequel and a sequel to his last book, 2011’s Congress of the Animals, and actually manages to be both! You can read Congress first, then Fran, or vice versa, or just Fran – all variations work! Woodring’s long-time character, Frank, gets a girlfriend, Fran, whom he met in Congress of the Animals. Their relationship hits a rocky patch when Fran won’t tell him about her life before she met him. This being a silent comic, ie. wordless, the sequence ingeniously plays out with Frank putting on a movie projector on his head and displaying the images on a white sheet. Fran refuses to do the same, gets annoyed, breaks the machine, and she and Frank have a bust up with Fran walking out on him. After a while Frank realises his error and goes after her, taking him on a journey of crazy backgrounds and weirder people. It’s hard to describe Woodring’s comics to people unfamiliar with them. Using words like crazy and weird can be off-putting as new readers might think it means his work is abstract and unapproachable but while his imagery is certainly strange and bizarre (in the best possible ways), he’s such a good cartoonist that his stories are absolutely easy to follow. The meanings of the stories are ambiguous, utilising a dream logic and feeling unanchored from reality but they’re no less fascinating to read and enjoy. The scope of his imagination is simply astonishing and his Unifactor world is breathtakingly unique. One thing you can say about a Jim Woodring book is that you never know where the story’s headed because one second Frank’s painting a picture and the next he’s chasing a little mummy to an underground cave of treasures. And that’s just part of the setup! He also has one of the best “Author’s Note” sections on the inside cover that I’ve ever seen. Anyone who loves comics should experience Jim Woodring at least once but from my own experience you’ll come back again and again – it’s too good not to read.

  • Hamish
    2018-12-27 07:02

    When Mr. Woodrings suggested that this both preceeds and continues Congress of the Animals, I thought it was a typical flight of oblique Woodring fancy. So I just re-read Congress of the Animals and then read Fran. Then I understood. He was not exaggerating. You'll understand too. So then I decided to follow Woodring's advice, and read Fran again, followed by Congress of the Animals. It works both ways, though for best results follow the same pattern I did. In the dusk jacket of Congress, Jim talks about how change never comes to Frank's world, no matter what events transpire, until the events of that graphic novel. And in Fran we see that those changes have indeed stuck, until they unhappen, only to happen again? It's an unexpected play on the immutability of Frank's world. But if I had a criticism, it's that it follows the structure of Congress a little too closely. In both, some strange events happen that result in Frank going on a very bizarre journey and seeing a number of very bizarre things. But again, it seems like a play on what we usually expect from a Frank story: Frank's journey in Congress ends with actual change while Frank's journey in Fran ends with that change being undone. And as usual there's a lot of imagery that I can only begin to grasp at the meaning of, but confusion and uncertainty have always been the principle joy of Woodring's comics.And as usual, it's magic. Not quite as Magical as The Frank Book or Weathercraft, though then again it might just be that his work is so familiar now that I take that magic for granted. I've generally had a really difficult time explaining Woodring's work to other people, as it always comes across as too reductive and describes only the most superficial aspects without getting at what makes it so special. So let's just say that it's magic and that it's unlike anything that anybody else is doing in any art form and that I genuinely believe that Jim is one of the greatest creative minds working today. We're incredibly privileged that he's working at the rate he is right now and I hope everyone will go buy this book to ensure that he's financially able to produce more.

  • Keith
    2018-12-28 09:03

    I should not have said "whooooa" at the end of this, as if Frank could get weirder and more amazing, but it did, it got weirder and more amazing. Maybe not quite as good as Congress of the Animals, but omg the thing it does, it does.

  • Vanni Santoni
    2019-01-24 08:36

    Tutti i lavori recenti di Woodring sono capolavori; questo forse è il migliore.

  • Derek Royal
    2019-01-12 03:41

    I loved this book on a couple of different levels. First, it concluded (I guess) the story that Woodring first began with The Congress of Animals, which came out in 2011. This is the second half of the story, basically picking up where that book left off. In Congress, Frank meets Fran (whom we don't yet know of as "Fran"), and that's how the narrative ends. The book Fran, as a second installment of this longer narrative, even turns back on itself, with visual references on the last page of the scene that opened Congress. But I also appreciate this book because it's perhaps one of the most psychologically engaging that Woodring has created. I love his Frank stories, and his hero's relationship with Pupshaw and Pushpaw does bring some "human" drama. But with the introduction of the character Fran, a companion and love interest, the stakes are higher in the area of interpersonal relations. As such, we see a more complex and complicated side of Frank. Reading these most recent Woodring books now has me wanting to go back and rereading those earlier Frank comics.

  • Jeff
    2019-01-09 09:56

    A companion volume to Congress of the Animals (from the same author), Fran completes a circular journey of discovery, a process that is new for Frank, Woodring's best-known protagonist. Where the previous volume ended on something of a happy note, the beginning of Fran reveals that there has simply been a pause in the flow of events, and there are many adventures and predicaments to be experienced before Frank can find his way home again. Once again, Woodring extends the possibilities of the graphic novel format, and the reader cannot help but be simultaneously comforted and overwhelmed by the author's extraordinary vision.

  • Carlos Jungstedt
    2019-01-16 06:41

    Jim does it again.This one works together with Congress of the Animals to form a sort of Möbius Strip of a comic story, there seems to be some sort of commentary on the nature of time and causality here, but I'll be dammed if I can articulate it in words.Learning to deal with situations as they arise instead of trying to make sense of everything is a lesson that always comes to mind as I read Frank's stories, everything sort of flows and conclusions (vague as they may be) seem to come in the form of visual, instead of literal, thoughts.

  • Troy
    2019-01-07 07:48

    This review sums up my thoughts on the book perfectly. Woodring is an all time master. This is must read if you like him or weird / experimental / artistic / literary, or just flat out beautiful comics.

  • Eisnein
    2019-01-07 06:00

    Woodring is a genius and a visionary. If he started a religious cult based on the Mysteries of the Unifactor, I'd probably end up drinking the Kool-Aid... and I'm an atheist.

  • Kathy
    2019-01-23 04:51

    All I can say about any Woodring Frank book is wow. Fran (Frank minus the k) was as usual far out and mind boggling. I won't pretend to understand all of the meaning so I looked at journal reviews. On the inside cover flap, Woodring suggests that either Congress of the Animals can be read first or Fran. Both should be read back to back regardless of the order. Frank is a bit of a selfish "guy" and is not pleased that Fran doesn't want to share everything about "herself". Frank actually has a melt down and Fran takes a walk on him. I think ultimately Frank gets jealous and self righteous and just goes home, picks up a book and settles in. Alone. The expressions by Pushpaw and Pupshaw are priceless as usual and add to the story. Fran is like watching one of those complicated Star Trek episodes about time warp continuum minus the dialogue. This may drive some people mad but for me it drives me mad but I also really enjoy the ride. The marvelous thing is that you can read these books and come to your own conclusions regardless if it is the same as someone else's conclusion.The reviewer I wrote about earlier used the word Solipsism. After looking up the definition it is fitting. Solipsism has to do with the self, being alone that anything outside one's own mind is unsure. Deep yet holds truth. Read Fran, read all of Woodring's Frank books and as sure as a strange dream, you can interpret how you like and find the meaning that works for you.

  • Nick
    2018-12-24 09:51

    This comic depicts an incredibly bizarre and imaginative world. The story has some cute moments, a few memorable scenes, a bit of adventure, and a cozy ending. Unfortunately, I find the book as a whole poorly story-boarded and rather dull. I don't feel that the comic panes lead into each other effectively or clearly enough in many cases. It also feels as if the author did a stream-of-consciousness artistic effort with various similar black and white semi-metaphorical creatures and creations. These creations, while freakish, are -- overall -- not very interesting. I find most of them aesthetically unpleasant, and the globules, amoebas, collections of eyes, and curvy-wavy lines just don't do it for me and are repetitive by the book's end. A flight of fancy, certainly creative and worth a 'read' (wordless) -- particularly if you are looking for artistic inspiration.True Rating: 2.4 Stars

  • Andrew
    2018-12-31 07:35

    Taken on its own, I found "Fran" to be pretty disappointing. X years in, Woodring's art and ideas are still capable of enchanting, but they don't carry the same shock and sense of discovery for me anymore. The dream-like plot mechanics and occasional bursts of extreme cruelty now feel too familiar. THAT SAID, when coupled with "The Congress of the Animals" (Woodring's previous Frank novel), "Fran" takes on new meaning. The two novels form a perfect loop, and can be read in either order. Within that loop is an elegant story about love, loss, self-improvement, failure, and the cyclical nature of the universe.

  • Callie Rose Tyler
    2019-01-04 05:38

    3 1/2 StarsThis might be my favorite yet. Either I'm getting used to the strange disturbing imagery or I've come to accept the dreamlike nature of the story. I really enjoyed the circular nature of the story and how it can either precede or follow Congress of the Animals I feel like it really adds to the surreal mood of the book and series.

  • John
    2018-12-27 05:42

    The line work alone makes this a marvel, but it is particularly fascinating for the little story of love and loss it relates, but it is especially fascinating for the way it complements and completes Congress of Animals, which was a bit of a puzzle plot-wise before. I think Fran works better as a stand-alone story, but anyone who can read both should, though I do not know if a particular order needs to be observed, as it is something of a mobius strip.

  • Ray Dunsmore
    2019-01-09 05:53

    Like watching an Ub Iwerks cartoon on heavy psychedelics. Despite its nigh impenetrable surrealism rife with grotesque creatures lurking in the backgrounds and bizarre echoes of middle eastern architecture scattered throughout the landscape, it still manages to tell a compelling story about love, loss, heartbreak and convalescent recovery. The art is nothing short of stunning.

  • John M.
    2018-12-24 07:45

    Enjoyed it very much, but what makes it a 4★ instead of a 5★ for me is the way Frank end up back in his old home. I felt that the last couple of pages weren't really satisfying. Overall though it's a great book for any Woodring fan.As a physical artifact it's wonderful: high quality paper, printing, and binding.

  • Sonic
    2019-01-16 06:49

    Another fantastic, strange, wordless Masterpiece from Jim Woodring!Ever pushing beyond the boundaries of the familiar and yet in a somehow bizarrely relate-able way utilizing his own language these adventures are mythic and deep even while being almost impenetrable and hard to fathom. And here we find the kind of tragicomedy one usually only finds in real life!Brilliant!

  • Juju
    2019-01-23 04:35

    Jim Woodring is amazing. Imagine Samuel Becket on a steady psychedelic diet making up his own Loony Tunes cartoon universe, then imagine it better. What always blows my mind is how Jim can craft these amazing parables about the screaming insanity of our seemingly mundane existence, and have it look so ridiculously gorgeous. Absolutely amazing.

  • Evanston PublicLibrary
    2019-01-05 02:45

    Jim Woodring is a psychedelic, trance-inducing treasure. His wordless graphic novels tell dreamlike stories of strange, blissful creatures in bizarre, exotic lands. I follow their escapades over and over and always find something at which to marvel. (Heather N., Reader's Services)

  • Mitchell
    2019-01-04 06:38

    Another example of me not understanding others taste level. Wordless. But also pointless. Or at least obscure enough that I'm not interested in figuring out the point. The art is okay but not particularly interesting. Yeah, whatever.

  • Frank
    2018-12-28 02:40

    Woodring is a unique talent, his art and storytelling a psychedelic/whimsical/grotesque mix. I'm awed by artists like this, who have such an unimaginable, distinct vision. Or maybe I'm just a sucker for someone who wrote "The Frank Book".

  • Matt Buchholz
    2019-01-06 03:52

    A repulsive, single-minded celebration of self-satisfied misogyny that pretends to be the sort of unforgiving self-analysis that R. Crumb used to make high art and Joe Matt put to bed with his masturbation memoirs.

  • Mat Tait
    2019-01-21 02:54

    Frank breaks up, and Woodring asks and answers the question: 'is it possible to really know and possess another?'. That's my take anyway, but as with anything Woodring does, other interpretations are available.

  • Arin Williams
    2018-12-31 10:42

    What did I just not read?

  • Dallas
    2018-12-31 06:50

    The Hieronymus Bosch of comic creations.

  • Molly
    2019-01-17 07:44

    The art is awesome. The whole thing is very trippy- I liked it.

  • Dimitris Xanthis
    2019-01-24 06:49


  • Kate
    2019-01-07 06:42

    I'm not sure I understood the story, but the artwork is fantastic.3.5 stars for story all the stars for the artwork