Frank is a comic series by Jim Woodring.
Frank began as a doodle. A doodle of a Funny Animal who wasn't rabbit-like or duck-like, but just ... funny looking. It was hard to tell what to do with it, but there was something about it that made it keep coming back in his mind. Maybe it was a snub given to the doodle by a coworker. First, the creature - dubbed Frank - was given human eyes and drawn into a cover of Jim's mildly successful comic autojournal Jim. Later, around this creature Woodring wrote a short comic. The human eyes were dropped, too! Woodring at first wrote the dialogue purposefully so flowery as to be incomprehensible. That didn't work right, so he wrote it with so much profanity that it made his eyes bleed to read it. That didn't work, either. In a lucky flash of brilliance, Woodring decided he'd just erase the speech bubbles entirely and tell the story in pantomime. And it became the most popular comic he ever drew.
But what about Frank himself? Frank is a young purple generic anthropomorph, he is covered with short dense fur, he is innocent but not noble, and one day he will die. He lives in a land called The Unifactor along with Manhog, Whim, the geometrically shaped Jerry Chickens, his pet Pupshaw and her boyfriend Pushpaw, the radially symmetric Jivas, and many other one-shot characters. He finds himself on fairly independent episodic adventures, from as simple as seeing an outdoors house of horrors to getting embroiled in the complex machinations of Whim.
- An Aesop - Jim Woodring claims that every story has one. Some are more clear than others.
- Alien Geometries - The strict adherence to Euclidean geometries makes the Jivas and Jerry Chickens look bizarre.
- Author Appeal: Frogs are Jim Woodring's favorite animal, and they appear frequently in Frank.
- Beneath the Earth - Where Whim lives.
- Body Horror: It's a Once per Episode thing.
- Butt-Monkey: Poor, stupid Manhog...
- Cartoon Creature: Frank's what we call a "generic anthromorph".
- Dada Comics - Woodring says this is his most deliberately plotted comic. This tells you more about how freewheeling his other comics are, than about how much conventional sense Frank makes.
- Eldritch Abomination - Several. One gets eaten by Pushpaw. Whim is hinted to be something like this.
- Whim eats their souls.
- Family-Unfriendly Violence - From everybody. Even Frank can be shockingly cruel.
- Genius Loci - The Unifactor, maybe. Also, remember that monster Pushpaw ate?
- Genre-Busting: Well, what the hell would you classify this comic as?
- It Runs on Nonsensoleum
- Lemony Narrator - in one episode.
- Pig Man - Manhog.
- Punny Name:
- Frank's Pa has an impostor- he's a Faux Pa.
- Whenever a Carte Blanche occurs, a white cart is somewhere on the scene.
- Miniature Senior Citizens: Frank's Pa.
- Negative Continuity: There's no real story to speak of, and the strips can be read in any order. This is canonically a property of the Unifactor setting.
- Transformation Trauma - Whim loves to inflict this on
peoplethe inhabitants of The Unifactor.
- Those Two Guys - The Jerry Chickens, in particular the conic one.
- Satan: Whim is based on the traditional cartoon devil- except he's colored bright blue.
- Silence Is Golden
- Status Quo Is God: The Unifactor is a place where nothing ever changes.
- Surreal Horror: It's a really weird comic, to say the least, and occasionally, things get messy.
- White Gloves: Frank has them, due to being a cartoon thingie.
- Wild Take - Having a cartoon biology, Frank does this often.