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Trosper: Drawings/Story by Jim Woodring

Seattle has spawned some weird things: grunge; the Space Needle; iced half-caf cappuccinos with a hint of mocha. But nothing is weirder than Jim Woodring’s art.

Woodring is best known for his surrealist comic Frank, about the dream world of a bearlike anthropomorph, and his autobiographical The Book of Jim. Jazz fans will know Woodring’s work from the CD covers of guitarist Bill Frisell’s 1998 album Gone, Just Like a Train and 2001’s Bill Frisell With Dave Holland and Elvin Jones. The two have teamed up again for Trosper, a children’s hardcover book that really shouldn’t be read by children: kidnapped babysitters don’t go over so well with the little ones. Adults with wide imaginations and brief attention spans will love it, however. Frisell provides a suitably moody soundtrack-all of six minutes long, which is longer than it takes to read Woodring’s wordless 18-page narrative. (The inflated page count is because all but one drawing is printed on its own page, with nothing on the back, giving the book an object d’art vibe.)

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