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The Portable Frank (2008)

by Jim Woodring(Favorite Author)
4.37 of 5 Votes: 5
156097978X (ISBN13: 9781560979784)
review 1: I don't think I can say it better than Chris Ware when he says Jim Woodring is "trying to feel eternity within the universal rhythms, gestures and silent music of the corporeal, self-deluding persona."I was intrigued, as I often am, by the deep strangeness of Jim Woodring's art, and yet the fact is that his worlds are also profoundly familiar. Having seen Jim speak at the Graphic festival recently I was moved by his description of his youth and the strange inward life he led. That eschewing of conventional pastimes to seek the delicious terror of the inner imaginative life was a mindset that I immediately recognised from myself, and it was a delight and a privilege to be able to thank Jim in person for articulating it so eloquently. Frank is such a wonderfully simple and r... moreeprehensible guy, tossed willy nilly by his own whims and the surreal forces of the Unifactor within which he dwells. Woodring's beautifully pen and ink rendered images open a window into an alternative world that is both terrifying and amusing, alien and familiar, grotesque and gorgeous, and I can't recommend him highly enough.
review 2: I almost wrote a review for Jim Woodring's The Portable Frank a few different nights. I'd go to sleep instead. They hypnotize me into saying nothing. Wordless, expressionless that's how you can always add more kinda less (that's more!) to zero drawings. If I knew the technical terms on my own and not from picking up how people who are in the know talk to each other talk from reviews of other things I could say "woodcuts" (woodcuttings? What is fringe knowledge good for?). I'd be a fraud. I don't know anthromorphizing, allegories, visions of reality. Lines blur so I can step into them. Do I believe it could happen? Yeah. Did I believe in them? Oh yes. I'd stare at the strips and a feeling would come over me. Perplexities, empathy... Hell, expressions. The bemused smile would turn to one of bittersweetness and laughing to distract from shame and I don't know why. Stubbing toe (the big one!) pain of surprise. Reflecting from them to me. Mind to mind, heart to heart. A high five that'd miss like the ultra cool old school trick of sliding your hand through your hair when the other person thinks you're going in for a hand shake. I was hynotized by the something kinda names of feelings if you could see what others see when they see you going about being yourself as if no one was watching. It means a lot to me to be able to read that way. It's like being able to tell your own story out of what you read (see). (Feel.) It means everything to me to keep that part of myself that feels enough to still decide what is happening. The Portable Frank collection are those kinds of stories.Hynotize. P.s. Something about the Gentleman Hog touched me. I've read in other reviews that he's something of a nemesis for Frank. If anything around you can be a nemesis by breathing the same air and wanting to grab the same stars (basic needs like food and the ability to laugh and react to a stubbed toe). When the hog is a slave for the sinister fork tailed keeper down of the natural tendencies of others (I don't know his name. That's what he is to me)... I tossed and turned in my bed thinking of that that night. I'd want to do something for him. Smile back, I don't know. When he learns more to stand upright and have the luxury to feel for himself instead of a life on all fours in the dirt... I still think about it. less
Reviews (see all)
I love Frank. Reading a Frank comic is like watching silent film-era cartoons on DMT.
Very creative, but not as cute as I would like.
Raw and imaginative work, I want this book.
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