Thursday, September 13, 2007

Phil Frank, 1943 - 2007

Phil Frank, creator of Farley and a couple of other comic strips, died yesterday.

Frank's humor was whimsical and good-natured, even when he covered politics--when, for example, he regularly depicted Mayor Brown in a monarch's robe and crown. (Brown bought copies of the collection of Farley strips about him--Don't Parade on My Reign--and gave them to friends.) That was never how I saw politics, and at times I was annoyed by the lack of bite, but at the same time the generosity of spirit was very appealing.

Farley was unique in that it was a purely local comic strip, rooted in San Francisco and the Bay Area; most folks from outside the area probably never heard of it, and those who did probably missed most of the humor. It was ours, a part of Bay Area life--for me more than for some, because it began the year before we moved out here. It's difficult for me to grasp that now it's over.