Friday, May 03, 2013
by Ned Wazowski
Slowing down with Frank and His Friend
Let comics help you unwind.
When things get a little crazy and stress starts to overwhelm you, it can certainly seem like the last thing you have time for is to stop and smell the roses. But that might just be the time to break out the flowers.
I have a stack of Frank and His Friend anthologies that I keep next to my desk and when work stress threatens to drown my day, I make it a priority to spend six minutes perusing one of the volumes. Why six minutes? It’s long enough to feel the benefits of some deep breaths and peaceful distraction and it’s short enough that making time for it doesn’t further stress me out (anyone can find at least six minutes in their day). Plus, I have a little hourglass from some old, forgotten board game that runs just about six minutes.
You could use other books for a little stress break I suppose, but I don’t think anything works as well as Frank and His Friend. So many of the vignettes by artist Clarence ‘Otis’ Dooley are themselves about stopping to enjoy life, that you seem to get a double dose of relaxation. The themes are pretty universal: innocence, playful escapism, the quest for cookies and most of all – friendship. What’s more, Frank and His Friend captures children’s sense of joy and ability to find happiness in simple things. Dooley’s work presents the idea that kids usually have a better grasp on the real meaning of life.
For me, six minutes of Frank and His Friend helps put things in perspective and get in touch with those same feelings of boundless joy I remember from childhood.
So the next time you feel yourself getting a little harried, give it a try. It’ll be six minutes well spent.
This giclée of the 1986 Roger Believe cover of Planned Voyage (Viaggio Organizzato) is part...