Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I had lost interest in Halloween for a while. It’s not so much that I outgrew it, but more that too many other adults refused to. We forced trick-or-treaters into the background with nebulous-to-dubious accounts of sabotaged treats and furthered the job with all too real subdivisions that were all about cars and dangerous to walkers. And then we took over, buying our own costumes and treats and turning Halloween into one of the biggest party events of the year, trailing only Super Bowl Sunday or New Year’s Eve (depending, I suppose, on who’s counting, who’s playing, and who’s in rehab).
I don’t have the power to just hand Halloween back to the kids, but maybe I can distract the adults a little. So I do, and now Halloween is fun again. Every year in Frazz, Caulfield dresses up as a character from a great book, and I make my readers guess which book. My smarter readers, which is most of them – in my circle of friends as in Garrison Keillor’s world, everyone is above average – love it, and the smart but perhaps less patient ones seem to forgive me for it. I think I lost one newspaper because of it, when they chose Halloween week to test-run the strip and decided their readers found it a wee confusing. Which I imagine they did.
Since it’s my strip, and I have to have control over something in this life (I clearly can’t control when editors test-run Frazz), I don’t feel a need to feature books I don’t like. But this week, this year, I’m featuring one of my absolute favorite books, one of the few very nearly perfect books. I think I’m making it easier than usual to guess which one, but, as is typical, I’m lousy at guessing. Some people nailed it right away and some people remain baffled. See where you stand. But guess quickly, because tomorrow is the big reveal. Sort of.
Enjoy. It's my treat.
Posted by Jef Mallett at 10:34 AM