This is the comic of my childhood.
I’ve read Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes for as long as I can remember, and I always felt a little like Calvin. No, I didn’t have a talking Tiger, but I had an imagination that expanded my world into something unbelievable and I wasn’t fully understood by those around me, though I always wanted to make sense of what I saw around me.
Calvin and Hobbes depicts a kid who just enjoys life, and always puts an existential spin on what he sees and does, because let’s face it, kids see the world in a way that grown-ups don’t. Furthermore, Calvin sees the world differently from anyone else–slightly twisted.
The monsters under his bed are vividly real. When his mom makes spinach casserole, it tries to eat him before he can even think about eating it (and it’s spinach casserole, c’mon–Calvin’s not touching it anyway).
My favorites, however, are Calvin’s snowmen. I always wanted to make snowmen like him–maybe that’s why I hate winter so much. I realized that I could never make them like Calvin’s, so why bother even trying?
In that same vein, Hobbes, Calvin’s beloved best friend (and at times, his mortal enemy) was sometimes underwhelmed by the “reality” of things. He was almost the voice of the audience at times, and usually kept Calvin in check (but then, he also egged him on at times). When Calvin finally perfected his transmogrifier, he gets in, Hobbes presses the button, and:
Often quite poignant, Calvin expounds upon Sociopolitical issues on a regular basis, usually while hurtling down a hillside in his sled or his little red wagon–therefore actually making his speeches existential, as he’s often in life-threatening situations which make him ponder.
Calvin has a few alter-egos: Spaceman Spiff (a Buck Rogers character), Tracer Bullet (a Sam Spade-like, gruff character), and Stupendous Man (a superhero who has been known to help Calvin escape from school on occasion). All of which, at some time, have helped Calvin aggravate his parents, Susie Derkins (the girl who annoys Calvin to no end, but really, we all know that when they grew up they got married!), Rosalyn (his babysitter), and Miss Wormwood (who I’m convinced was named that because of C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters, where Wormwood is a demon!).
I could go on for a very long time about my love for Calvin and Hobbes, but suffice it to say, it will always be near and dear to my heart.
Shoot, after all this I may do a series on Calvin and Hobbes…this was fun and nostalgic. I’m getting all sentimental!
Again, comment if there are any comics you’d like me to review!