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The Frank Book (Frank)

4.41 of 5 stars 4.41  ·  rating details  ·  1,186 ratings  ·  77 reviews
-Introduction by Francis Ford Coppola
- Major review attention
- Advance reading copies
- Trade advertising
- Website promotion
- Gift book appeal
Hardcover, 351 pages
Published August 1st 2003 by Fantagraphics Books (first published June 2003)
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The Arrival by Shaun TanThe Number 73304-23-4153-6-96-8 by Thomas OttCinema Panopticum by Thomas OttThe Frank Book by Jim WoodringWeathercraft by Jim Woodring
Silent / Wordless Graphic Novels
4th out of 105 books — 66 voters
Watchmen by Alan MooreThe Complete Maus by Art SpiegelmanV for Vendetta by Alan MooreThe Sandman, Vol. 1 by Neil GaimanThe Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Best Graphic Novels
234th out of 1,935 books — 4,473 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,726)
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Eddie Watkins
Throwback looking comics (60's trippiness & innocence pureed w/ menace) yet timeless for the open mind on edge dipping into platters of happiness with one eye on the vicious squigglies and massive sky stomps. Most of Woodring's comics are set in the shapeshifting inner void of dark dream shudderings (candy littered) reachable only by the innocence of cat hybrids. Frank is a furry Virgil with little or no brain but big smart eyes tethered to a sunshine heart.
Much as I liked Seeing Things, reading something with a narrative, like The Frank Book, puts Woodring's abilities in a whole new light. It's part Carl Barks and part Fritz the Cat, only without that icky feeling the latter gives me. Frank is a creature of pure id, moving in a world that is held together by visual themes. Clues are all around, but how much they mean is hard to tell. Danger? A sign of something that needs to be done? It's easy to understand why Frank himself frequently becomes fru ...more
My desert island book. Possibly even my dessert island book. It's that, good.

My copy is signed, too, which is like having The Bible signed by Peter, Paul and Mary. So, that's something.

Seriously, tho... this is my Favorite Book of All Time. Go to and buy a signed copy ... if it doesn't become your Favorite Book of All Time just give it to me and I'll pay you what you spent on it.*

*offer not valid outside** the 48 contiguous United States

**or, in
Is this philosophy or madness? I was collecting them separately when the hardcover came out. I bought it and immediately read it from cover to cover. It’s savage and beautiful.

It’s what I love most about comics.
Javier Alaniz
When nerds like myself insist that Comic Books are "capital A" Art, there is no better example they could give you than Jim Woodring's "The Frank Book." Through the simplest of designs, Woodring creates disarmingly insightful stories of emotion and humanity, despite the complete absence of "human" characters or dialogue. The characters and stories in "The Frank Book" are timeless and ambiguous metaphors for the human condition, or for God, or for something. something important. I think... And wh ...more
i once had a copy of woodring's "frank" comic in the back seat of my car. a friend of mine picked it up and started reading it. after a few minutes he put it down and said, "man, this shit freaks me out." i guess i could tell you how great i think he is but...seriously, woodring's drawings are beautiful, and there is no one like him.
Oct 24, 2014 Andrew rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Andrew by:
I guess I'm just not a fan of "surrealism", whatever that word means. I enjoyed the more character driven and slap-stick elements of this book and I loved the art in places, especially the colored sections, but as a whole this was a pretty exhausting read and I didn't get any new insight into life from it.
Kane Simmans
Wow. Part of me thinks I should reserve my rating of this book until I've read it again. I loved it but I cannot honestly say I fully understood it.

Almost completely wordless, this is a collection of comics Jim Woodring made about an anthropomorphic animal of ambiguous species. The art is absolutely beautiful but it really shines in the assortment of full-colour comics included in this collection.

I've seen these comics described as parables and I wouldn't necessarily disagree - though "fable" ma
What did The Frank Book teach me?

That weird shit can happen at any moment...especially if you are a half-cat half-weasel-type creature with geometric chickens for friends and an anthropomorphic pig named Man-Hog for an enemy.
I've been following the work of Jim Woodring, in particular the Frank stories, since the late nineties. He is one of the few artists able to translate the rules and revelations of dreaming into something cohesive and beautiful. Many try it, but most fail. Everyone finds their own dreams fascinating, but listening to someone else recount the 'crazy nightmare' they had last night is always a mind-numbingly dull experience. Even the best writers struggle and fail when it comes to incorporating drea ...more
Darran Mclaughlin
Astonishingly original and imaginative. This book is a collection of Frank comics published to mark the 20th anniversary of his creation. The comics feature a bizarre cast of characters who seem to have somehow emerged from the world of dreams to engage in a series of hallucinatory, Beckettian adventures. Woodring is equally adept at drawing them in colour or monochrome, but one of the most unusual and original aspects of these comics are that they are all 'silent'. There is no dialogue at all. ...more
zaCk S
i want to like this collection so much. i really do. the character designs are out of this world. the surrealism is fun. and it's just gross enough to make me laugh. i just can't do it. there's an afterword in this volume that probably would have better served as a foreword. i understand why it's not at the beginning though - the artist would obviously rather have readers approach Frank knowing as little as possible. and i can understand that. the problem i have with it in this case is the tone ...more
It's hard to explain the bizarre charm and strange appeal of Jim Woodring's Frank comics to someone who hasn't experienced them, but I'm gonna try.

The titular character is a cute anthropomorphic creature whose appearance is reminiscent of classic cartoon characters like Felix the Cat, Bugs Bunny and Tom & Jerry. He lives in a world that's drawn in a bold simplicity where everything appears innocent and harmless like an old Looney Tunes episode, but is soon discovered to be terrifying like an
Gordon Lee
This book is hard to describe but I love it. How do you read a book without words? All you have to do is visualize. The Frank Book by Jim Woodring reads like some dream of flowers and sunshine that often becomes a nightmare of strange and frightening proportions. If I was going to compare this book to a film,'Eraserhead' and 'Un Chien Andalou' come to mind. There is an indescribably subtle sort of evil to this book. It's like finding a snake in a lollipop. In this book, you can certainly expect ...more
Pretty bizarre. This book kept making me think that the author was trying to do cartoons without any real-world referents, and he mostly succeeded. It makes for a cryptic read, where character's motivations (and even actions) are sometimes completely inscrutable, and with a world filled with bizarre devices whose purposes are strange and impossible. But it was surely a fun read if you like strange things, and comics that make you ponder what's going on. The best stories were the ones with a defi ...more
World Mythology meets Silly Symphonies, tied together by a sometimes inscrutable but always compelling dream logic. Frank is our "innocent but not noble" stand-in for humanity, and Man-Hog is the saddest villain/victim you'll ever meet. The universe of Frank is always mysterious, but never inconsistent or unbelievable. It is a fully-formed fantasy world that has probably always lived in Jim Woodring's head, and it continues to live - in some strange capacity - in all of ours as well. Beautiful, ...more
Here is a book about the wondrous things that happen after your mind ends, and ingenious parasites infest the ruins of your cerebellum. Your sense of self will become a purple catman with poor judgment, and you will be assisted by end table/raccoons in your struggles against other people, who are swine, and also against Satan and your father. The passementeries and tassels of unseen spiritual curtains will also help and hinder your progress. A story of the mind.
I received the portable Frank book as a gift a few years back, and instantly fell in love with everything Jim Woodring. Nearly all his stories that comprise the life and times of his characters are wordless, which only adds to the magic and mystique. Main character Frank's universe is a random assortment of creatures and landscapes, all of which alternates between creation and destruction. The art is absorbing, the characters are unforgettable, and the stories can be gone over again and again.

This is so cool. Phil you haven't stolen my copy have you? You gave that to me for Christmas and I want it!
But yeah highly recommended - amazing art and disturbing story lines (in a good way).
Jun 19, 2008 Aaron rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Aaron by: Jessixa
This book tucks me in at night. I have developed a way to read the stories aloud to my wife although there is no text.
I love this. It makes me feel queasy and laugh. It makes me want a Pupshaw tattoo.
Garrett Zecker
THE FRANK BOOK is a gorgeous collection of Frank cartoons. it begins with a beautiful introduction by Francis Ford Coppola, and moves to Woodring's work that continue his dark and mysterious story of the Unifactor in short and self contained stories that are unlike the first two books I read (Congress and Weathercraft). My favorites were an unlikely perfect day for Pushpaw and Pupshaw, an exploration of a day in the life of Manhog including a rare narration at the bottom of every page, a piece w ...more
May 03, 2009 Aaron rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Troy Swain
Recommended to Aaron by: Hot Jupiter
At first read, this seemed to be about nothing, or nothing accessible enough to matter. I came into this book without any context except for the fact of its recommendation by someone whose opinion I respect, and I assumed from the conspicuous hallucinatory presentation and absence of both dialogue and an explicit, normal structure of cause and effect that this was the equivalent of being let in on a fever dream, or someone else's bad trip, and it really didn't mean anything.

By about halfway thro
Jim Woodring's comics are some kind of apex of human creativity. A few of the stories are vague nothings with pretty artwork; those with slightly more traditional, cogent narratives—those not centered around the Jivas or Whim—are ridiculously enjoyable, often for their imagination alone. This makes Frank more palatable and meaningful than other avant-garde post-something comics I've read. This is a book I want to show other people.
Shelton TRL
World-building. Amusing, Offbeat, Whimsical. Expiremental.

Black and white, wordless, bizarre, fascinating, alternative. This book follows around Frank, a dog-like anthromorphic character, as he navigates his world where things are often not what they seem. Or if they are, can change into something else at will. Good choice for those who enjoy surreal stories and art.

Recommended for those who enjoyed Little Nemo: 1905-1914, Palomar: The Heartbreak Soup Stories, X'ed Out, and I Killed Adolf Hitler
David Schaafsma
Surreal, hallucinogenic, bizarre, disturbing, humorous...there are aspects of the art that owe something to early days of comics... so at a glance you might be inclined to thin of this as early comics... but at closer examination, there is this twisted nightmare and playful silliness and deeper rendering of human fears and curiosity and longing.... I think most people will find this disturbing. I really do find this guy and his work amazing, but since there are these deliberately off-putting asp ...more
Dec 25, 2014 Owen added it
I really want to like this, in retrospect, Woodring achieves
some of the same ugly-weird territory that Furlqump,
Luigi Serafini's /Codex Seraphinianus/ and achieve, which I find
I find a little on the scary side.
Jason Bootle
Seen Jim Woodring's work over the years but never as one concentrated collection. His stuff is weird. No bones. It's otherworldly, violent and strange and at times very funny. One of the originators.
Gonzalo Oyanedel
Jin Woodring en su mejor faceta, recreando el funny animal desde un prisma psicodélico y simbolista en sus silenciosas aventuras.
Sean Luciw
I totally love this book, it is so imaginative and full of colourful geometry and strange creatures.
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Frank (4 books)
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