As you might guess from my many posts about artist Jim Woodring, I'm beside myself with excitement about his upcoming 300-page collection of sketchbook drawings, Problematic: Sketchbook Drawings 2004-2012 [UPDATE: The original video went kaput. In its stead I've posted a video of Jim sketching for a fan.]
If you are one of the fortunate thousands who enjoy untangling the enigmatic images that fill Jim Woodring’s comics and drawings, Problematic is just the book for you to put under your pillow and dream on. Woodring is a devotee of the pocket-sized Moleskine sketchbook and has filled at least one per month since 2004. Quick concept sketches, figure studies, self-challenges, finished drawings, revenge portraits and caricatures, scene tryouts... everything goes into these idea batteries. Problematic provides the adventurous viewer with a bounty of unfiltered, hand-captured glimpses of life by an artist that Publishers Weekly called, “a modern master of hallucinatory cartoon fables.” Lots of this material re-emerges in the form of pictures and storylines, but much of it is just too baffling to be harnessed for any practical use. Of course, these untamable notions are the best and most interesting ones; and there are plenty of them here in the 300-page brick of Problematic. Problematic is a rollicking amalgam of reportage (i.e. the man who blew his arm off), speculative anatomy, fancy women, make-a-face games, picture-puzzles, gags, riffs and burlesques. Catalog and exhibition simultaneously, Problematic is your best bet for a brief, energizing stroll in a distinctively enjoyable neighborhood.