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Fran Frisch – RIP

Cartoonist Fran Frisch has passed away.

Francis John (Fran) Frisch, Jr.
August 18, 1948 – August 29, 2021


From the obituary:

Fran, the globally recognized Artist known as FRISCH, was the first Artist to put a Bear on a T-Shirt (entitled Can U Bear it?) and thereby created a visual identity in 1988 for the emerging Bear Subculture in the Gay Community. His “Beartoons” and his pioneering efforts supporting and growing the Bear Community earned him his “Beartoonist of San Francisco” reputation.

From Fran’s GLBT Historical Society page:

Fran Frisch (born 1948) is a native of Minnesota who called San Francisco home from 1990 to 2007. Since 1989, he has worked as a cartoonist for the Bay Area Reporter and for BEAR magazine and other bear-related publications. He was involved in producing the Bear Expo (1992–1994) and International Bear Rendezvous (1995–2007). In addition, he is a founding member of Bears of San Francisco and has created logos and graphics for San Francisco and other bear organizations and events.

Also from that GLBT History page:

… the community of bears, a subculture that developed in the 1980s to celebrate older, larger, hairier, ruggedly masculine gay men who were largely excluded from standards of attractiveness in gay popular culture.

“Fran Frisch’s bears are both cuddly and sexual, playful and laid back, yet radical and subversive; his cartoons epitomize what it means to be a Bear,” says curator Jeremy Prince.

© Fran Frisch

The Bear Ephemera & Archival Repository has a gallery of Fran cartoons. May not be safe for work.

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