The Portable Frank

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201

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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED

October 2008

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“Frank, and I say this without a shred of hyperbole, is a work of true genius by one of the all-time greats.” – Daniel Clowes

The Portable 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, naïve 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, sure to delight parents and children alike.

“Jim Woodring may be the most important cartoonist of his generation. The Frank stories are masterpieces, each and every one. Read them. Re-read them. Re-re-read them. Every cell in your body will remember this spellbinding, visionary work.” – Scott McCloud

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REVIEWS

Comics Alliance

•Comics website and blog

“Woodring is a cartoonist of frightening power... His work is of a caliber where it's hard to know what to say about it, so struck dumb are you by the immensity of the rendering and storytelling skill on the page.”

Publishers Weekly

•Publishing trade magazine

“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.”

TIME magazine

•News and entertainment magazine

“The Frank stories have a meditative, hallucinatory feel... They tap into a universal consciousness of archetypes. But ultimately Frank tells one story, everyone’s story, the same story as life: ‘How Laughably Absurd It All Is.’”