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.)