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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Jim Woodring Is the 2010 Stranger Genius of Literature

Posted by on Wed, Aug 4, 2010 at 12:56 PM

Jim Woodring and the Cake (Click to Enlarge)
  • Kelly O
  • Jim Woodring and the Cake (Click to Enlarge)
Just an hour ago, The Stranger delivered a Genius cake to Jim Woodring's house, an adorable U-District-area home decorated with anatomy posters and furniture that appeared to be pulled directly from one of Woodring's own drawings.

Woodring is a cartoonist (his work has previously appeared in The Stranger) and he's always been a singular talent. But his newest book, Weathercraft (which I briefly wrote about earlier this year) is his most exceptional work to date, and a sign that his best is yet to come.

Woodring is the first Stranger Genius of Literature who has been published by local publisher Fantagraphics Books (they've been ardent promoters of Woodring's work from the very beginning of his career). Quite simply, that's insane: They're the best comics publisher in the world. They publish geniuses on a regular basis, and many would argue that Woodring is the greatest cartooning genius on the Fantagraphics roster. We agree with that sentiment.

When presented with the cake, Woodring seemed excited and flattered. After we assured him that it wasn't a mistake and that he was, in fact, a Genius, Woodring said the $5000 cash prize would definitely help with the necessary installation of a new sewer system in his home. Then he offered to buy his wife a bike. Congratulations to our newest Literature Genius; you'll be reading much more about him in the weeks to come. If you'd like to read more about the Genius Awards, you should click right here.

(Bonus trivia: Weathercraft is the first wordless book to win the Genius Award in Literature.)


Comments (22) RSS

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"Woodring said the $5000 cash prize would definitely help with the necessary installation of a new sewer system in his home. Then he offered to buy his wife a bike."


Posted by Gloria on August 4, 2010 at 1:04 PM · Report this
this makes me happy.
Posted by paulus on August 4, 2010 at 1:05 PM · Report this
Cienna Madrid 3
That picture is adorable. I want to dissect his smile!
Posted by Cienna Madrid on August 4, 2010 at 1:07 PM · Report this
Best news of the year.
Posted by Eric Reynolds on August 4, 2010 at 1:18 PM · Report this
34x42 5
i approve this. grats, jim!
Posted by 34x42 on August 4, 2010 at 1:20 PM · Report this
slake 6
Genius award season makes me happy.
Posted by slake on August 4, 2010 at 1:20 PM · Report this
mattereaterlad 7
Congrats, Jim!!
Posted by mattereaterlad on August 4, 2010 at 1:23 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 8
Obviously we need to see him in a Turkish oil wrestling competition with either Joe or Toby.
Posted by Will in Seattle on August 4, 2010 at 1:34 PM · Report this
You are a genius. I KNEW it. Cake proves it. <3
Posted by Elizabeth OHara on August 4, 2010 at 1:42 PM · Report this
Eric F 10
Great pick!

That neighborhood, though, is Ravenna.
Posted by Eric F on August 4, 2010 at 1:54 PM · Report this
GlennFleishman 11
I love his work, but it's so creepy and surreal, I can only look at a little bit of it at any given time.

I once asked Gary Panter (long story about why I met him) about Charles Burns, whose work is so insidious normal looking hiding its Chthulu-like tentacles in every panel, what he was like. Gary said he was a totally normal, well-adjusted guy. Which, based on Woodring's appearance and reaction, sounds pretty much like him!

I guess if you can exorcise your daemons in pastels and paints, you can whistle through the rest of life. (R. Crumb and others excepted.)
Posted by GlennFleishman on August 4, 2010 at 2:32 PM · Report this
yelahneb 12
I am hypnotizing myself by repeatedly enlarging the pic of him
Posted by yelahneb on August 4, 2010 at 2:52 PM · Report this
Fistique 13
Aw, how neat. Well-deserved.
Posted by Fistique on August 4, 2010 at 4:24 PM · Report this
Paul Constant 15
@14: They say "You are a frickin' Genius." I don't know if QFC will put cuss words on cakes.
Posted by Paul Constant http:// on August 4, 2010 at 6:05 PM · Report this
This is a great pick!
Posted by Michael Wells on August 4, 2010 at 7:18 PM · Report this
Posted by COMTE on August 4, 2010 at 7:50 PM · Report this
Rich Jensen 18
100% genuine genius.
Posted by Rich Jensen on August 5, 2010 at 7:57 AM · Report this
He used to have a regular piece in the Stranger - don't know what happened to that, it was very cool.
Posted by Patti on August 5, 2010 at 10:33 AM · Report this
Henry_Chamberlain 21
That's perfect. Jim looks quite pleased. I got a chance to interview Jim recently. You can read it here:…
Posted by Henry_Chamberlain on August 5, 2010 at 2:01 PM · Report this
Great! Congrats to Jim!
Posted by Stacey on August 6, 2010 at 1:35 PM · Report this
Jim Woodring is trying to create a GIANT steel tip pen and ink holder for a drawing demonstration. He's a little over halfway to his goal. Check it out, support if you can, & definitely share with your friends - the funding period closes in 2 days!
Posted by skybawn on August 31, 2010 at 5:30 PM · Report this
Genius Literature Without Words…
Posted by Berfrois on September 30, 2010 at 9:01 AM · Report this

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