Sunday, December 28, 2008

A good comic is always relevant

Note that this "Frazz" is from 2002, but it's certainly timely this weekend and has been much on my mind the past couple of weeks. (As always, click on the image for a larger, more readable version.)

Frazz is one of the smartest strips around, but it's so consistently good that I find myself rarely commenting on it. I do have the signed original of the strip below, also from 2002, which I found masterful in the tangle of cultural references -- you really have to be plugged in to a lot of different things to follow this cascade of cultural references, which is the fun of Frazz.

Jef Mallett works on the assumption that an educated person is one who doesn't simply know one set of things, and who has no problem reading well-written books (Frazz's school is named as an homage to Bill Bryson, and Mallett is also a Richard Russo fan), knowing something about classical literature and popular music and also following the NFL, and he riffs across a broader spectrum than any other cartoonist I can think of.


ronnie said...

Frazz simply can't be over-praised. It's brilliant and clever and wise and consistantly very, very funny.

I had no idea that Bryson Elementary was named for Bill, but I'm pleased to learn that. My introduction to Bill B. was via Notes from a Small Island. I clearly remember reading it while riding the subway in Toronto, largely ineffectual in my attempts to stifle my laughter, which was forcing its way out in loud sniggers, with tears running down my face, as fellow commuters looked at me as if I was a complete madwoman(not an unusual sight on the Toronto subway). I later read many other people report having the same experience (Bryson's books reducing them to hysterical laughter in public fora). He is a treasure and I'm not surprised, in retrospect, that Jeff Mallet would "get" and acknowledge that.


Vt Teacher said...

I'd like to note that it's still relevant due to the Lions also being consistent.

I haven't read his strip since then so maybe I should...