Heaven's Love by Kevin Frank
'Heaven's Love Thrift Shop'.

Kevin Frank is an American cartoonist, living and working in rural Ontario, Canada. He began his career making faith-based comics and cartoons, most notably 'Oboe Jones' (1984-1998) and the syndicated Sunday comic 'Heaven's Love Thrift Shop' (2006-2016). He tackled his experiences of moving from the USA to Canada in his 'True North' comic strip (2002) and eventually turned to creating early reader graphic novels, including the 'Scurvy Dogs' series.

Early life and career
Born in 1962 in Peoria, Illinois, Kevin Frank was exposed to the arts early on, watching his father make paintings. To entertain his school friends, Frank created self-made comic books and later worked as a cartoonist for his high school newspaper and local church bulletin. One of his strongest graphic influences was Charles M. Schulz. Later in life, he also admired Bill Watterson.

Faith-based comics
After high school, Frank moved from Peoria to Chicago, where he joined an inner-city charity. In 1982, he became a member of the art staff. Between 1984 and 1998, he had a regular feature called 'Oboe Jones' in Cornerstone Magazine. In monthly two-page full-color episodes, Oboe experiences recognizable slice-of-life situations, combined with important life lessons. An anthology of 'Oboe Jones' was released in 1992. During the 1980s and 1990s, Frank also began to freelance on faith-based comic books for publishers, including DC Cook.

True North by Kevin Frank
'True North'.

True North
After spending about two decades in the city of Chicago, Kevin Frank and his Canadian wife Kathryn moved to a small town in Ontario, Canada. His experiences during and after the move formed the basis for his syndicated family comic strip 'True North' (2002). In this series, a father, Foster, tries to adapt to the rural Canadian lifestyle. 'True North' was picked up by Universal Press Syndicate, but - despite winning an award from the Ontario Community Newspaper Association - had only a short run in just a handful of North-American newspapers. In 2020, Frank collected his comic strips in the book 'True North: The Nearly True Story of an American in Canada', available both as a print and Kindle edition.

Zed by Kevin Frank

After 'True North', Frank created a comic strip called 'Zed' for Campus Life Magazine (2004-2005). Zed was the inspiration for a newspaper comic feature called 'Heaven's Love Thrift Shop' (2006-2016), about a charitable thrift store run by three people of faith, who serve their local community through recycled clothing, a soup kitchen and friendship. King Features Syndicate distributed the strip internationally to Sunday newspapers, and it has since then run in Faith & Friends magazine. The comic strip was profiled in The New York Times in 2006. 

Books & graphic novels
In 2009, Kevin Frank published 'Balaam's Chicken', a collection of over a hundred Bible-themed cartoons. He allowed anyone who buys the book to reprint his cartoons - if credited - in their own church's bulletin or newsletter. In the mid-2010s, Kevin Frank began creating early reader graphic novels for children. In 2016, the publisher Kane Miller released Frank's first book, 'Scurvy Dogs', that followed the swashbuckler backyard pets Captain Hooktail, First Mate Chubs, Helmsman Patch and Tinkles in their treasure hunt for bones. The second volume - 'Scurvy Dogs and the Dinosaur Boneyard' - followed in 2019, and the third in 2021. In 2018, Kevin Frank also released the children's story picture book 'There’s a Monster Under My Bed', that was inspired by the artist’s own family.

'Scurvy Dogs' (2016).

Commercial artist
Over the years, Frank has worked as a freelance illustrator and cartoonist for clients such as Cook Communications, Group Publishing, Christianity Today magazine, Tyndale House Publishers and the Discovery Channel. One of his specialisms is creating cartoon maps, for instance for MerleFest and Muskoka Woods Camp. Frank also does school visits, where he describes his road to publication and gives tips for aspiring authors and illustrators.

During his career in Christian comics, Kevin Frank received two Evangelical Press Association awards; the first for a 1989 'Oboe Jones' cartoon, the second for the Thanksgiving 2004 episode of 'Zed'. In 2018, the publication of 'Heaven's Love Thrift Shop' in Faith & Friends magazine won Kevin Frank the Canadian Church Press award in the category "Humor Cartoon". Special praise for Kevin Frank's work came from the cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, with whom he exchanged letters in the years before the 'Peanuts' creator's death. Schulz called Kevin Frank's cartoons "extremely original" and "very funny".


Series and books by Kevin Frank in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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