Frank and His Friend: A real “Whodunit”

Curio & Co. looks at the challenges faced by only children as seen in the classic newspaper comic Frank and His Friend.

Place the blame wherever it will stick

When you’re an only child, it’s a little hard not to take the blame for everything that gets broken around the house – since it’s pretty clear who must have done it. So single children everywhere could relate to the attempts by the child in Frank and His Friend to blame a lot of the wrongdoing on Frank. Who hasn’t tried to push some of the blame away from themselves and onto a pet or an imaginary friend?

What makes this so funny in Frank and His Friend is not that Frank couldn’t have done the things that he is sometimes accused of, since he is a doll after all, but that he wouldn’t have done them. Frank is kind-hearted and clever – he knows right from wrong and more importantly, knows what Mom considers right and wrong. We laugh because we know that Frank was most likely strong-armed into any mischief and that any plots that were hatched were certainly the work of Frank’s friend and not Frank himself, since he generally seems to be such a stand up guy.

But Frank is such a stand up guy, and so that’s why he takes the blame. He would rather suffer whatever punishments Mom and Dad can dish out rather than sell out a friend. So Frank says nothing and accepts the punishment. Except, of course, that the punishment never comes. Mom and Dad, we assume, never believe that it was Frank’s fault, and he is never punished on his own.

So I guess, virtue really is its own reward.