Synopses & Reviews
This gorgeous grimoire is part alchemy, part art book, part storybook, part comic book, and part conceptual art from the pen of Al Columbia, a longtime fan favorite contributor to comics anthologies like , , and more recently, . Collecting over a decade's worth of 'artifacts', excavations, comic strips, animation stills, storybook covers, and much more, this broken jigsaw puzzle of a book tells the story of Pim & Francie, a pair of childlike, male and female imps whose irresponsible antics get them into horrific, fantastic trouble. Their loosely defined relationship only contributes to the existential fear that lingers underneath the various perils they are subjected to. Columbia's brilliant, fairytale-like backdrops hint at further layers of reality lurking under every gingerbread house or behind every sunny afternoon. Never have such colorful, imaginative vistas instilled such an atmosphere of dread, and with such a wicked sense of humor. This is a comprehensive collection of Columbia's Pim & Francie work, including paintings, comics, character designs, and much more, all woven into something greater than the sum of its parts, with Pim & Francie careening from danger to danger, threaded together through text and notes by the artist. This is the first book collection by Columbia, a well-regarded talent amongst longtime fans of the alternative comic book scene, and one who will thrill an entirely new audience with the singular, inspired, fully-realized fantasies within .
"Columbia's legend over the last two decades has as much to do with the work he's destroyed or never finished as with the few spectacular, horrifying pieces that actually have seen publication. This, his first book, makes a point of being unfinished and unfinishable. These aren't actually stories about Pim and Francie, a pair of little-kid characters (drawn in a vintage animation style) who are perpetually stumbling into ghastly, wrenchingly violent scenarios: they're mangled fragments of stories, closeups of incomplete comics pages and animation storyboards, stained and crumpled sketches and notes. The book's spine calls its contents 'artifacts and bone fragments,' as if they're what's left for a forensic scientist to identify after a brutal murderer has had his way with them; Columbia obsessively returns to images of 'bloody bloody killers.' (His cartoon shorthand for destruction is a human tornado with lots of bent arms holding knives at daffy angles.) Many of the pieces are just one or two drawings, as if they've been reduced to the moment when an idyllic piece of entertainment goes hideously awry. But they're also showcases for Columbia's self-frustrating mastery: his absolute command of the idiom of lush, old-fashioned cartooning, and the unshakable eeriness of his visions of horror." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Nominated for two 2010 Ignatz Awards (Outstanding Artist and Outstanding Graphic Novel): Al Columbia's lavishly produced portal into the fantastic and frightful world of Pim & Francie.
About the Author
Al Columbialives in Connecticut.