A visionary work of comic art for the ages.
Readers who haven't discovered Jim Woodring's "Frank" stories have a colossal treat waiting for them. Since 1991, these lusciously rendered, hypnotic fables have dazzled comics readers the world over. Now, for the first time, Fantagraphics will collect all the Frank stories in one massive and deluxe tome, The Frank Book.
Between its handsome cloth covers are 344 pages of Frank comics, drawings and oddities. A fancy dustjacket, swoon-inducing endpapers and ribbon bookmark make this book a decorative object as well as a repository of storytelling genius.
Frank is a unique, visionary comic, exquisitely drawn and so fully realized that readers find themselves drawn deeply into Woodring's hallucinatory mindscape. The stories, almost entirely wordless, are told with brilliant, candy colors that people of all ages find alluring.
Is The Frank Book a book for children? For some children, certainly: smart, secure children who enjoy a good puzzle and aren't too upset by a little grim mayhem. This is strong stuff, in places. What are the stories about? It's impossible to say... clued-in readers all agree they are about something, but the world of Frank must be experienced to be understood.
Who is Frank? Another unanswerable question. Does it explain him to say that he is an 11-year-old generic anthropomorph who lives in a force-laden landscape called the Unifactor? That he is curious but not smart, naïve but not noble? That his most outstanding character trait is his ineducability? What of Pupshaw, Frank's semi-subservient housedog-like godling? Or Manhog, the bloated bladder of sin with a heart of radiance? Who can explain the platonic Jerry Chickens, or the lachrymose Lucky? Does it explain things to say that Frank has a Real Pa and a Faux Pa, and that they are indistinguishable? The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget The Frank Book. This definitive collection is the very best way to give, receive and experience one of the great cartoon achievements of the 20th century. 9g pages full color.
"Woodring's talent is finally captured in a definitive collection that lives up to his genius." (starred review)
Publishers Weekly, 09/15/2003