August302012

Frazz┬ásometimes comes across as a spiritual successor to Calvin & Hobbes (some say.) Although I feel a bit weirded out by the strip mirroring some major aspects of my life (helping students while being a well-educated janitor and blond), I’ve never gotten into the strip. I do like the idea, and the inspiration behind it:

Frazz by Jef Mallett follows the adventures of an unexpected role model: an elementary-school janitor who’s also a Renaissance man. While he’s sweeping the hall, he’s whistling Beethoven. Or Lyle Lovett. He paints the woodwork in the classrooms; he paints a Da Vinci on the cafeteria wall. He’s a trusted authority figure who is every kid’s buddy. He took the janitor’s job while he was a struggling songwriter, and when he finally sold a hit song, he decided to stay on at school. Frazz appears in 200 newspapers worldwide, including the Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times, Chicago Tribune and Detroit News. “A few years back, I wrote and illustrated a children’s book,” says Mallett. “When I was traveling around reading it at school assemblies, I noticed that often, the most respected, best-liked grown-up in the building was the janitor. And I thought, ‘Hmm, there’s a comic strip in that.’

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