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October 30, 2007

A Very Frazz Halloween, Part 2

Okay, either Jef Mallet has some serious misdirection planned, or he’s not making much of a game of it this year.

Oh, and what’s the principal saying about Builders Bonanza??

Yesterday’s strip


  1. I think the principal is guessing that the “great book” is a do-it-yourself guide, based on Caulfield’s plunger.

    … and I think disclosing that the costume is a Tralfamadorian is a more subtle hint than it might seem. A lot of people who read this comic might not be big readers of literature. Even for those who’ve read the book, it may have been long enough ago that they can’t quite remember where they’ve heard the word “Tralfamadorian” before. I think I would have been puzzled for a while if someone hadn’t just mentioned it – in that annoying “tip of the tongue” way.

    Comment by brien — October 30, 2007 @ 3:49 am

  2. I’d be inclined to think that most people who are familiar with Slaughterhouse Five will recognize the word — and conversely if they don’t, the book will be fairly meaningless to them.

    Comment by Cidu Bill — October 30, 2007 @ 4:28 am

  3. As it happens, today’s Retail addresses this very issue.

    Comment by Mark Jackson — October 30, 2007 @ 8:12 am

  4. I think the principal is saying that he think Builders Bonanza has a DYI guide for making your own costumes, maybe even ones about great books.

    Comment by Nicole — October 30, 2007 @ 9:08 am

  5. Also note that Tralfamadorians appeared in several other Vonnegut books. Wouldn’t be much of a misdirection there, but it’s something…

    Comment by devin — October 30, 2007 @ 11:04 am

  6. I agree with Bill on this one. I was puzzled yesterday, but as soon as I saw the word “Tralfamadorian”, I recognized it as a Vonnegut reference, and thought to myself, “Mallet’s being rather unsubtle this year.”

    Although, to be fair, I haven’t yet figured out where he’s going with the plunger.

    Comment by Morris Keesan — October 30, 2007 @ 12:15 pm

  7. I’m a huge Vonnegut fan; I’ve read Slaughterhouse Five at least a half dozen times, and seen the movie, and I didn’t recognize the word right off.

    Comment by Cedar — October 30, 2007 @ 12:29 pm

  8. I’m not sure what misdirection Mallet could do here. The description from Slaughterhouse-Five:

    “…they were two feet high, and green, and shaped like plumber’s friends. Their suction cups were on the ground, and their shafts, which were extremely flexible, usually pointed to the sky. At the top of each shaft was a little hand with a green eye in its palm.”

    So it doesn’t sound like Caulfield’s going for another book Tralfamadorians were in. In Sirens of Titan they were a race of machines.

    Now, if Caulfield is building a Tralfamadorian, he could be going as Billy Pilgrim. But that’s not much of a misdirection.

    Comment by Jeff Schwarz — October 30, 2007 @ 12:43 pm

  9. The principal thinks he’s dressing up as a scene from the do-it-yourself guide, presumably one from the plumbing section of the guide. His idea of a “great book” has nothing to do with literature.

    Comment by Janice — October 30, 2007 @ 12:50 pm

  10. I’m with Jeff on this one. Since the Tralfamadorians look like plungers, I don’t see how Caulfield could make that his entire costume. Therefore it stands to reason that he’d dress up as Billy Pilgrim with a Tralfamadorian companion.

    Comment by eeyore19 — October 30, 2007 @ 6:40 pm

  11. Wow, wasn’t it just last year that we never DID figure out what the costume was supposed to represent?

    Comment by Laurie Wylie — October 31, 2007 @ 1:03 am

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