Artist Al Columbia’s (featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 15) credits in the illustration and comic book worlds are extensive — he has been published in high profile publications like The New York Times and The Believer, illustrated for underground weeklies and comic anthologies and released numerous acclaimed books of his own (such as Doghead and The Biologic Show). Columbia recently sent Hi-Fructose some exclusive new paintings that continue the story of two of his signature characters, Pim and Francie. “…I guess, these paintings I’ve sent you, and others I have been working on just sort of happened randomly over the past few years while I worked on other projects,” Al told the editors.
Pim and Francie first appear in “Tar Frogs,” continuing their adventures in later works such as the story “Peloria Part One” and Pim & Francie: The Golden Bear Days, an anthology of Columbia’s previously unpublished work that came out in 2009. With an ironic sense of humor, Columbia thrusts these two seemingly-innocent characters into strange and surreal situations, carrying out storybook narratives in dark, twisted worlds. If and when Al will be publishing something in book form any time soon remains a cliff hanger for his fans, but for now, we get take a look at some of Columbia’s new work below. Many thanks to Al for this sharing this rare glimpse.