" He craves the adoration the students heap on Frazz, and wants to be just like him. Mallett says not so, although he always cites Calvin’s Bill Watterson as a major influence. Updated Today. But what makes Frazz exceptional is the caliber of writing. We're giving away an iPad you can fill with books! Frazz’s consistency is one of the joys; Mallett hasn’t dumbed the strip down to fit a lower common denominator.  He spends a lot of time in detention for speaking out in class, but whiles away the hours talking with Frazz. "Barringer, Marc, "Q&A; Cartoonist Jeff Mallett on 'Frazz'". " Also, in a story arc where Mallett corrects a mistake in attribution of a quote by Edison, Caulfield compares cartoonists to gods. On Halloween, Caulfield always tries to stump his teachers in costumes with an oblique literary reference. Climb aboard! A Renaissance man with endless curiosity, Frazz is always ready to teach children and adults more about the world around them. He is described by Frazz as the only one of Caulfield's substitute teachers not to "throw up his hands and quit by 9:30". Enter here.  In a May 2006 series of strips, Frazz and Caulfield invent a game called "Bedlamball" that, like "Calvinball", has no apparent rules or scoring. As the custodian, he’s in that sweet spot in the school hierarchy: a champion to the kids, a hero to the authority figures (since he’s on call to chase runaway gerbils and such). One year, for instance, he dressed up like a ham, an homage to Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird. Frazz replies that that might be a bit of a stretch, but Caulfield replies, "What about that Calvin and Hobbes guy?" She majored in journalism, and worked at the sports department of a newspaper, before she decided to teach at Bryson Elementary, wanting to work with a "more mature audience". But what makes Frazz exceptional is the caliber of writing. Jennifer Paull Jul 12, 2012 While nothing can ever replace the wisdom of Calvin and Hobbes in the funny pages, there is a contender for the comic strip’s perch at … Been around for a decade but seems to be chronically underappreciated.  Miss Plainwell is modeled on Mallett's wife. Among the students, a boy named Caulfield rocks it; he’s incredibly bright, mischievous, and, inevitably, bored by school. When asked about these whipsmart underachievers, Mallett notes, “I couldn’t make them normal, and I didn’t want to make them dumb.”. Rumors have circulated for years that Frazz is a grown-up Calvin.  Mrs. Trevino has been phased away from the strip now that Ms. Plainwell (Mrs. Trevino's former best friend) and Frazz are in a relationship. Because of similarities in calligraphic style, Frazz's physical appearance, station in life as a brilliant underachiever, and his age relative to Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes, jokes and rumors arose that Mallett was actually Bill Watterson. You Might Also Like Calvin and Hobbes Bill Watterson. Start Free Trial. Bookish fans get even more out of Frazz. ", In a piece praising the strip, Los Angeles Times columnist Charles Solomon said, "The humor and calligraphic drawing in 'Frazz' reflect Watterson’s influence, but the strip doesn’t feel like a pallid imitation. , Coach Hacker – The physical education teacher, interested only in team sports, with no interest in participatory athletics. ", Miss Jane Plainwell – The first-grade teacher at Bryson Elementary, and Frazz's romantic interest. Frazz says, "Good point. ", Mallett has alluded to the speculation several times in the strip. If I had my way, Mallett’s compilations would be just as popular as The Days Are Just Packed. The standard 4-frame comic strip is enlarged to approximately 4 x 12 inches.  She has a pet greyhound named "Mario", which she adopted after it retired from racing. Jef Mallett (Frazz) GoComics. While nothing can ever replace the wisdom of Calvin and Hobbes in the funny pages, there is a contender for the comic strip’s perch at the intersection of hilarious and literary. , Mrs. Olsen – Mrs. Olsen is the third grade teacher at Bryson Elementary, and the teacher from hell.  Drawing inspiration from his daily school life, his songs soon become extremely popular.  She is shown to be a hero at heart with the story arc starting the week of 17 June 2013, although she wants to keep intact her public image of a crusty exterior and unsympathetic attitude. Climb aboard!  Mallett was flattered by the comparison and acknowledges Watterson's influence, but denies that he is Watterson or that Frazz is intended as a copy or replacement of, or sequel to, Calvin and Hobbes. posted by Eekacat at 4:04 PM on November 9, 2005 "Here's a look at the five new comics joining our pages". Well, Jef assures me that any similarity is unintentional. In a 2008 interview, Mallett said that Bryson Elementary is named after one of his favorite authors, Bill Bryson. Mallett says not so, although he always cites Calvin’s Bill Watterson as a major influence. Are you reading it yet? If you don’t become a fan, I’ll eat my nonexistent bike helmet. The (yikes, I almost typed “level of discourse”) speech balloons bobble between high and low. So here’s my plea: Start reading it. Here’s the basic setup: Frazz works as an elementary school janitor, though he made his nut writing hit songs. , Mrs. Trevino – The second-grade teacher at Bryson Elementary. ", Caulfield – An eight-year-old named by his parents after J. D. Salinger's Holden Caulfield. Caulfield chooses a literature-themed costume every Halloween, such as Dorian Gray or Gregor Samsa from The Metamorphosis, often stumping most of the teachers but being quickly recognized by Frazz. According to Mallett, he is "dim, a little mean, so closed down", and "doesn't understand Frazz any more than he understands how to work a combination lock". And why aren’t there more Frazz books?  Caulfield is a genius, but hates school because it fails to challenge him. Sizes vary in accordance with the size of the comic itself, but all are printed, centered, on acid-free, archival 11 x 17-inch paper. The strip entails Frank and a co-worker talking before Frank is shot by a pack of deer that are hunting and apparently anthropomorphic. This is the only ever mention of Frank.  Frazz loves triathlons, bicycling, jogging, swimming, basketball, songwriting, and talking with the students.  Caulfield is African-American, and Mallet says it was a "conscious decision ... to have a Black hero in my strip. But even when citing a German philosopher, Mallett always makes you feel in on the fun, even if you have to look it up—much as Frazz does for Caulfield.  In the foreword to Live at Bryson Elementary, Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten wrote, "[The critics are] focusing not only on hair (Frazz's frizz), but also on his station in life: a brilliant underachiever.
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