Reader, I have a question for you: do you like art of gay old men living their best post-apocalyptic lives? Well, The Last of Us fans have you covered this week, as artists are coming out of the woodwork to draw some amazing art of Bill and Frank from this week’s episode of the HBO adaptation.
The third episode of the TV show (titled “Long, Long Time”) aired this past Sunday, and it focused on Nick Offerman’s Bill and his partner Frank, played by Murray Bartlett. In the days since, the internet has been filled with praise for the performances, and the joyful (but still heartbreaking) portrayal of gay love in a hopeless place. After The Last of Us broke my heart, the only thing that’s mending it right now is the incredible fan art that’s come out after. Like this adorable one of Frank planting strawberries while Bill brings him dinner.
The strawberries are the real star
A lot of artists are drawing work that centers around the scene midway through the episode where Frank shows Bill a small patch of strawberries he planted in their fortified town. Which makes sense, because in an episode of standout scenes, it’s one of the best. But the imagery of the strawberry has already taken hold in a lot of interpretations of Bill and Frank fan art.
But it’s not all direct homages to the content we saw in the show, there’s also fans filling in the blanks between the episode’s multiple time skips, like this adorable piece of Bill surprising Frank with some dessert and putting his strawberries to good use.
The painted moments in between
“Long, Long Time” shows that Bill and Frank spent so many years together, so we’re free to imagine the many potential milestones in their relationship. In the final years of their lives, it’s revealed that Frank took up painting at some point, and even has pieces of Bill around their home. Katekomics imagines an earlier point in their life where Frank would have asked Bill to pose for him, and if that doesn’t melt your heart, I don’t know what will.
I’m telling y’all, an entire spin-off series could be written with scenes artists are drawing of Bill and Frank’s lives together. It’d be good. Where’s an envelope? I have a strongly worded letter to send to HBO.
While it’s fun to imagine all the cute little moments of Bill and Frank’s relationship, eventually, we must sit with its conclusion: both men spend one more day in their town and take enough pills with their beaujolais to pass peacefully in the night. Artists like carrot_boi have interpreted their final day in their own style, such as this piece showing the two at the end of their wedding, with Bill’s ring thrown in for good measure.
Those are just some of the cute/devastating pieces I’ve seen over the past few days, but you can bet I’ve got Bill and Frank tags saved on my Tumblr dashboard now to keep an eye on the great work fans are putting out. Every time I open the tag I find new ways to hurt myself as I’m reminded of how much I adored how HBO’s version of The Last of Us handled their relationship.