Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Nostalgia sells in a big way. Everything that was old is new again. There’s a company, Curio and Co., that has come into existence by selling nostalgia. The company currently sells reproduced ads for a limited time soda, illustrated drawings from a 1960s animated tv show, reprinted volumes of a 1980s Italian comic book series, and a fan club collectors pin, among other items. The company is also responsible for printing FRANK AND HIS FRIEND: SPECIAL COLLECTOR'S EDITION, VOL. 1, a selected group of comic strips from the much beloved comic strip “Frank and His Friend.” However, there’s a catch: none of this stuff actually existed. It’s all been made up. All of it is cleverly created to look and feel like actual artifacts from days of yesteryear, but until the company released it, this stuff never existed.

“Frank and His Friend” is supposed to be a beloved comic strip that ran from the mid-1970s through the early 1980s. FRANK AND HIS FRIEND: SPECIAL COLLECTOR'S EDITION, VOL. 1 is the third book to feature these characters (FINDING FRANK AND HIS FRIEND was the first and that was followed by TIME FOR FRANK AND HIS FRIEND).  Frank is actually the stuffed person that the young boy in the strips carries with him. They go everywhere together and although Frank is stuffed, there are times that he seems to be alive (clearly building on the false history that “Frank and His Friend” were part of the inspiration for “Calvin and Hobbes”). The comics in the book look just like comic strips from the 1970s: the style is a perfect recreation of the period. The paper even has a feel to it of being an older book. The strips are also kind of fun to read. However, there’s not much that happens so there are no story arcs and very little characterization. The comics are just about a boy having fun and exploring the world with his favorite toy. It’s a simple book from a much simpler time, even if it never did exist.

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