FRAN is the title of a projected 100-page graphic novel, the sequel to 2011's Congress of the Animals. This book will not only continue the groundbreaking, influential and award-winning series of Frank stories but will resolve the events of Congress of the Animals in a way that will no doubt be deeply affecting to the thousands of Frank devotees worldwide who have become emotionally invested in these wordless metaphysical fables of love. discovery, transformation and transcendence.
The writing of this story has taken me an entire year. All stories prior to Congress of the Animals have been set with the confines of The Unifactor, a realm of enforced moral algebra where nothing is allowed to change permanently. In COTA, the generic anthropomorph leaves The Unifactor and not only learns things for the first time, he acquires a girlfriend, Fran. The story ends with Frank and Fran back in the Unifactor, settling down to a life of companiable bliss.
This new book will take this situation in an unexpected direction that pulls the Frank mythos into new realms of emotional and philosophical depth and complexity. I can't spell out here what will happen; but if you are a friend of Frank you are bound to appreciate this new layer of emotional complexity; and if you aren't I hope you will have a look into his world and see if this is the sort of thing you an get behind. The Frank Book is a good place to start.
Ordinarily I support myself with sales of speculative and commissioned art, and the occasional simpatico commericial job. When drawing a book, though, that work ceases, and survival becomes a challenge. I don't drink, take drugs or play the horses; any funding I receive from this United States Artists Special Project will be spent entirely and judiciously on those most essential of art supplies: food and shelter.
Fran, by Jim Woodring
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects