Genius Literature Without Words


The Stranger has announced cartoonist Jim Woodring as the winner of their 2010 Literature Genius Award:

 There are only a small number of medium-changing geniuses in the history of cartooning who have managed to develop a singular visual language, and Jim Woodring is one of them. His re-creation of the world in gorgeous, obsessive-compulsive, wavy lines—which he calls the Unifactor and which first saw print in 1992—has its own freestanding physics and morality. The sky isn’t clear. It’s a series of tight ripples, like a pool of water in a heavy rainstorm. There is water and weird plant life that looks menacing or friendly, depending on where you’re standing, and brilliant Middle Eastern architecture, and it’s the setting for the sort of fairy tales you dreamed about when you were a child.

2010 Stranger Literature Genius Jim Woodring, Paul Constant, The Stranger

A Hearing by Jim Woodring

Woodring’s acceptance speech acknowledged the controversial decision of The Stranger to present an award for literature to a creator of wordless comic books and he poses the question: Does literature require words to exist?

Spinning Top

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.

Eat Me, Jim Woodring, The Woodring Monitor

Harvest by Jim Woodring

Read an excerpt from ‘Weathercraft’

Harpo by Jim Woodring

All pictures: Jim Woodring