Frazz’s consistency is one of the joys; Mallett hasn’t dumbed the strip down to fit a lower common denominator.  Another side of her character is seen when Caulfield gets a summer job in her garden (a summer 2005 sequence in Frazz) and they come to have a sense of respect for each other. 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. In any given week, Mallett might write jokes about Thomas Hobbes, Lyle Lovett, pi, and milk spurting out of your nose. , In a 2011 interview, Mallet said that his wife, Patty, does the lettering. Frazz is a syndicated comic strip by Jef Mallett about school custodian Edwin "Frazz" Frazier and the school and students where he works. Enter here. The first Calvin and Hobbes strip. 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. Enter here. , In the comic, Edwin "Frazz" Frazier works as a school janitor at Bryson Elementary School. If I had my way, Mallett’s compilations would be just as popular as The Days Are Just Packed.  He spends a lot of time in detention for speaking out in class, but whiles away the hours talking with Frazz. And why aren’t there more Frazz books? No other comic strip, even Calvin, has me searching out so many interesting references or reaching for the dictionary so often, giggling as I do. Even the name of the school, Bryson Elementary, has a literary in-joke, as it’s named for Bill Bryson, one of Mallett’s favorite authors. Been around for a decade but seems to be chronically underappreciated. One year, for instance, he dressed up like a ham, an homage to Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird.  Caulfield is African-American, and Mallet says it was a "conscious decision ... to have a Black hero in my strip.  He frequently plays basketball with Frazz, and these games are used in the strip to allow two adults to talk about "relatively adult things" with very little scoring. "Here's a look at the five new comics joining our pages". When asked about these whipsmart underachievers, Mallett notes, “I couldn’t make them normal, and I didn’t want to make them dumb.”. Frazz's Adventures in Athleticism The GoComics Team . Though she's never heard of them. Frazz eggs him on in autodidact adventures.  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.  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. , Mallett has explained that the strip is about discovery, and not merely learning. Triathletes probably get a special kick out of Frazz too, but that’s where I leave you. , Coach Hacker – The physical education teacher, interested only in team sports, with no interest in participatory athletics. " He craves the adoration the students heap on Frazz, and wants to be just like him. So here’s my plea: Start reading it. It’s Frazz by Jef Mallett. Among the students, a boy named Caulfield rocks it; he’s incredibly bright, mischievous, and, inevitably, bored by school. Frazz's job is just the surface.  Frazz loves triathlons, bicycling, jogging, swimming, basketball, songwriting, and talking with the students. Get the comics you want, your way.  Frazz is, at least attitudinally, based on Mallett himself.  Miss Plainwell is modeled on Mallett's wife. Watterson apparently became something of a recluse after he quit the C&H drawing boards. Mallett was flattered by the comparison and acknowledges Watterson's influence, but denies that he is Watterson or that Frazz is in… Calvin and Hobbes for 11/18/1985. If I had my way, Mallett’s compilations would be just as popular as The Days Are Just Packed. The rich fantasy world of a child with the overlaying and impending "reality" of the adult world. But what makes Frazz exceptional is the caliber of writing. In a September 2003 Sunday strip an introverted student tells Frazz that she wants to be famous, and believes it is possible to be famous for one's work, without exposing your private life to the public eye. Are you reading it yet? If you don’t become a fan, I’ll eat my nonexistent bike helmet.  Coach Hacker was an All-Big 10 defensive end in the 1970s, but now is out-of shape and has been married five times. , Mr. Burke – Mr. Burke is the fourth-grade teacher at Bryson Elementary, described as one "we all would have loved to see at the front of our classroom". ", "First Frazz by Jef Mallett for April 02, 2001 | GoComics.com", "The 'Riffs Interview: 'FRAZZ' creator Jef Mallett on art, childhood -- and inspiration at the 10-year mark", "The Art & Practice of Paying Attention: An Interview with Frazz Creator Jef Mallett", https://www.gocomics.com/frazz/2019/08/26, Bass, Adrian, "Joy in learning, joy in work". He won’t give up that joy of learning for the sake of a test score, for quiet approval, for the easy A". The (yikes, I almost typed “level of discourse”) speech balloons bobble between high and low. ", Mallett has alluded to the speculation several times in the strip. Read Frazz! , Mr. Spaetzle – The principal of Bryson Elementary. Start Free Trial. She is also of Scandinavian (probably Norwegian) descent, as she once cooked lutefisk for her class.  Mallet has intentionally moved to including Coach Hacker very little, saying "every time Hacker showed up, the joke was the same each time... plus with all the CTE brain issues around football, it's not funny. On Halloween, Caulfield always tries to stump his teachers in costumes with an oblique literary reference. Thank you for signing up! The strip debuted on 2 April 2001, and as of 2019 appears in over 250 newspapers and is read by tens of thousands online each day.  Many of the characters are based on his childhood experiences at school, and at home as the child of an educator. She had enough of Frazz when he was her student years ago, and would just as soon he leave for good. 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". Works as an emergency room nurse. If you don’t become a fan, I’ll eat my nonexistent bike helmet. She is a composite of several of Mallett's teachers and one of Mallett's wife's teachers. And why aren’t there more Frazz books? Caulfield calls him "The Uhrmanator". Rubin, Neal, "Lansing cartoonist's talks with troops rewarding", 'Frazz' sweeps through the comics with cool smarts, Palmer, Brian, "Washing Machine Post: The Jef Mallett Interview", "New comic strip debuts in today's Advocate", Solomon, Charles, "The unforgettable, irreplaceable Calvin", LA Times Book Review (October 9, 2005) p.R-6. Frank is a character who only appeared in one Sunday strip. 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. and Frazz replies, "Okay, him, yeah. 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). Occasionally Frazz gets dropped from a newspaper, perhaps because the comics editors think it’s too hard, too complicated.  Frazz mentors the students of the school, particularly Caufield, a genius who hates school because it fails to challenge him. When asked about these whipsmart underachievers, Mallett notes, “I couldn’t make them normal, and I didn’t want to make them dumb.”. But what makes Frazz exceptional is the caliber of writing. , Frazz – The eponymous character, Edwin Frazier, is a thirty-year-old songwriter and janitor of Bryson Elementary.  Like Frazz, Miss Plainwell is also an athlete. When songwriting started going well, he kept his custodian job because it was the perfect environment for discovery through the energy and interest of the students. You Might Also Like Calvin and Hobbes Bill Watterson. She has a sibling, as she also has a niece. In a May 2006 series of strips, Frazz and Caulfield invent a game called "Bedlamball" that, like "Calvinball", has no apparent rules or scoring.  She has a pet greyhound named "Mario", which she adopted after it retired from racing. Frazz says, "Good point. Because he doesn't look down on them, the students look up to him, and he also has the respect of the adults, with the possible exception of Mrs. Olsen, who remembers what a handful he was when he was in third grade. We're giving away an iPad you can fill with books! There’s his messy hair and his impish, erudite humor—but can you really see Calvin coming back to his old school? “I couldn’t make them normal, and I didn’t want to make them dumb.”. Thank you for signing up! posted by Eekacat at 4:04 PM on November 9, 2005 Sure, there are playground scrapes, smart-alec classroom moments, and funny stories we can all relate to from our own school days. Keep an eye on your inbox.  During a 1996 book tour of schools to promote a children's book he wrote and illustrated, Mallett noticed that the kids wouldn't quiet down for their teachers or principals, but would for the school janitor; he or she was "the man", existing on a separate plane between the students and adults.