The Frank Books

The Portable FrankThe Frank Books, Jim Woodring

When I was eleven years old I went into surgery and had a very intense hallucination involving the nurse taking flight above my head, and the ceiling tiles opening to envelop me.  Next to that, the most hallucinatory experiences I’ve had were in the pages of Jim Woodring’s Frank comics.

Part Alice in Wonderland, part David Lynch, the Frank comics are wordless explorations of what Woodring calls the Unifactor.  Defined by its own bizarre internal logic, nothing is as it seems in the Unifactor.  Seemingly benign creatures expand into terrifying beasts.  Terrifying beasts become benign.  The laws of cause and effect bring to pass both hilarious situations and horrifying transformations.

Calling to mind early 20th century comics like Nemo and Krazy and Ignatz, as well as R. Crumb’s underground comics, there is nothing like Frank in the world of comics.

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