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Moving Forward By Looking Back

Like many other veterans, Clarence 'Otis' Dooley had a hard time adjusting to life as a civilian, especially since he couldn't talk about his time in the 22nd Division Caricature Corps because it was classified. (Much of his work done for the military has yet to be released under the Freedom of Information Act.)

But one sunny afternoon, when it seemed particularly hard, he calmly put aside his commercial illustration projects, and just walked out of the office and down Main Street. There was the tiny candy store where his grandfather's face would wrinkle up into a smile every Saturday when he bought them both a Sweety bar. There was the nearby orchard where he and his friend Max spent lazy afternoons catching frogs, and catching hell from old Mrs. O'Donnell for stealing her apples again.

Dooley realized that his childhood was full of memories of that brought him joy, and he figured they might bring other people joy - as long as as other people loved building cardboard rocket ships and climbing trees and sneaking cookies and daydreaming and sharing stories with your best friend. So Dooley went back and made the very first sketches that would later become Frank and His Friend.