Portable Frank

Portable Frank

by Jim Woodring
     
 

A visionary work of comic art for all-ages! Readers who haven’t discovered Jim Woodring’s Frank stories have a colossal treat waiting for them in this all-ages gem collecting the character’s greatest adventures.Frank is a unique, visionary comic, exquisitely drawn and so fully realized that adults and children alike find themselves drawn deeply

Overview

A visionary work of comic art for all-ages! Readers who haven’t discovered Jim Woodring’s Frank stories have a colossal treat waiting for them in this all-ages gem collecting the character’s greatest adventures.Frank is a unique, visionary comic, exquisitely drawn and so fully realized that adults and children alike find themselves drawn deeply into Woodring’s hallucinatory mindscape. The stories, almost entirely wordless, unravel like a good puzzle, rewarding re-reading, providing an experience as immersive as that first love affair, that first samadhi, or that first breath. Simply put, the world of Frank must be experienced to be understood.
Frank is an 11-year-old generic anthropomorph who lives in a force-laden landscape called the Unifactor. He is curious but not smart, naive but not noble, and his most outstanding character trait is his ineducability. Along with Pupshaw, Frank’s semi-subservient housedog-like godling, the two traipse across their surreal landscape, occasionally encountering Manhog, the bloated bladder of sin with a heart of radiance who exists to thwart their prosperity. And then there’s the platonic Jerry Chickens, and the lachrymose Lucky, as well as Frank’s Real Pa and Faux Pa, each a part of one of the great cartoon achievements of the 20th century.For all its mystery, the world of Frank is a simple, delightful, mesmerizing example of world-building at its most fanciful, surely to delight parents and children alike.

Editorial Reviews

Dig Comics
“Jim Woodring has been to another spiritual plane, vibrant and frightening, familiar yet totally alien, a place that lives deep inside all our consciousnesses…colorful hallucinatory vistas providing the backdrop for the most primal tales of doing and undoing.”
PJ McGee and Ian Johnson - Comics Foundry
“Frank’s universe follows its own inscrutable laws that are very reminiscent [of] a dream’s free association.”
Sam Thielman - The Guardian
“All ofJim Woodring’s glorious Frank stories are so terribly inviting that it is difficult to pick just one. ... Fantagraphics’ collection of short Frank stories is a great sampler, like a glass of water from the Challenger Deep.”
Publishers Weekly

As with so many works of near-genius, the first reaction to reading Woodring's perplexing, bewitching Frank is bafflement, followed not long after by wonder and delight. The kind of cartoonist other cartoonists rave about like love-struck bobby-soxers (Chris Ware and Daniel Clowes hyperbolically blurb this collection), Woodring presents in these 14 almost entirely wordless tales a strange sort of wisdom, spun out of low humor and harsh but simple truths. His none-too-bright protagonist is a Mickey Mouse-like character living in a world of magic surreality that resembles a Grimm fairy tale gone horribly awry. Buildings sprout like onion-domed planets, and nightmare creatures (usually either dumb or malevolent) wander a landscape that frequently molts into cross-dimensional traps. Curious Frank goes wandering, often drawn by the promise of greener grass, and usually pays for his greed or callow cruelty. Lessons are taught but often ignored, with Woodring leaving the occasional gnomic clue in the bottom of a frame ("His father was a great machine"). A calamitous comedy that reads like silence, this concise edition is an ideal entry into Woodring's unique universe. (Sept.)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781560979784
Publisher:
Fantagraphics Books
Publication date:
09/01/2008
Pages:
200
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Jim Woodring lives on Vashon Island in
Washington State’s Puget Sound with his wife, Mary. The recipient of numerous rewards—including a Genius Award—he is an animator and a fine artist as well as a cartoonist.

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