Grown-ups in Frank and His Friend

Curio & Co. consider the role of adults in the classic childhood comic Frank and His Friend. Curio and Co.

If they’re not with us, they’re against us.

In the world of Frank and His Friend, relatives come in only two categories: Those bearing gifts or cookies, and those that require everyone to wear their uncomfortable Sunday Best.

Although the main characters are often seen addressing the audience as a parent or relative, Frank and His Friend are most often alone, and the adults are left to our imagination. The aftermath of adults’ actions is shown – Frank and His Friend sitting out a punishment in the corner, perhaps, or covered in Grandma’s lipstick. But the two characters are in the kid world, where adults are on the sidelines.

And since adults aren’t part of the day-to-day dreaming and playtime of children, in Frank and His Friend they are reduced to the most basic of characters. No teachers, since the child isn’t quite school age, and no babysitters. That leaves only parents and relatives, and aside from parents, these family members are old enough that their ability to relate to children has somewhat diminished. They don’t get down on the floor to crawl around and play with Frank and His Friend, but instead communicate through the supposed desire of the child (cookies), or their own (cheek-pinching).

And just like life, sometimes those cookies cost more than they’re advertised.