When I stumbled upon Fran Krause’s cartoons it was laughter that immediately took over.
And that’s not a generic reaction to somebody’s artwork. In fact, I think most artists would be insulted to say the least if you creased up in front of their carefully crafted sketches.
But that’s why Fran is different.
His four picture comic strips tell endearing stories about people’s “Deepest Darkest Fears” with one liner captions that childishly and depict each stage of the fear that the person has and effortlessly turn it into something that everyone can relate to. The fears are sent in anonymously by members of the public.
Each fear tends to be rooted in deep paranoia. Ranging from Facebook stalking, avoiding crime scenes and peeking under toilet cubicles; each is the product of an overactive imagination. But this is what them so funny and fascinating. They say surprise is a massive element of humour and it’s definitely true in this case.
By scanning a four piece cartoon strip you gain a tiny little snapshot of what’s going on in the depths of a stranger’s mind.
We’re all curious creatures, and who can resist that level of nosiness?
After reading around 105,890 of his comics, I was in stitches and dying to find out a bit more about Fran and his weird and wonderful creations..
“Deep Dark Fears” are your hillarious 4 piece comic strips that turn people’s often irrational and funny fears into art. What’s the story behind how you got started with this?
I found Tumblr about five years ago, and I was really excited to find a website where people seemed to be searching for things that they enjoyed. There are many negative places online where it seems like people are just looking for things to dislike. Anyways, Tumblr felt like a positive place, and I thought it would be nice to make something for the people there. I realized that I had a lot of irrational fears. I made a list and thought, “there’s enough to make a comic series here!”
So I did. And then, people thought that I was taking submissions, so I started getting submissions. As soon as I started drawing submissions, I started getting fears from people all over the world, and it took off from there.
What’s the weirdest, deep and darkest fear you’ve had sent in?
I wouldn’t say any of them have been weird. I mean, I’ve read a whole lot of fears at this point, so fear seems very normal to me. Maybe if someone submitted something and it was just a personal letter to me, or they just told me about their day. That would be weird.
Which is your favourite cartoon you’ve created?
There are a bunch that I’m pretty happy with, but this one’s my favorite right now (see below).
Have you had any fears submitted that are too strange or dark to turn into cartoons? (if so can you tell us what)
If they’re strange or dark enough to be interesting, I’ll draw them. And I wouldn’t blab about stories I haven’t drawn. Those are secret. Shhhhhh!!!
What do you do when you’re not at pen and paper, sketching away?
I like fixing musical instruments, and running around Los Angeles is a lot of fun too.
If you could create a rumour about yourself, what would it be?
Fran’s been dead for six years and nobody knows who’s been posting his comics.
What’s your party trick?/secret talent?
Party trick: Hiding
Secret talent: I can make pancakes well.
What’s your deepest darkest fear?
Probably living an unfulfilling life and dying alone…
For your information, some of our deepest darkest fears in the office are:
Getting a tea spoon stuck in the roof of the mouth whilst eating.
You need to get smaller spoons, I think.
Also, getting your tongue stuck inside a coke can whilst trying to drink it.
That’s why you’re supposed to taste it after it’s out of the bottle.
He makes a good point.
We were also totally delighted to find out you can buy Fran’s cartoons in hardback form. The perfect present for your eccentric/fearful friend. You can get Fran’s book of Deepest Darkest Fears here.