Calvin and Hobbes


Calvin and Hobbes, #1

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:

Boink!

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.

Sledding

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.

I own many of the books, which are well worn from years of love. My favorite (at least for its title. I can’t choose based on content, because I love them all!) is Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat.

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!

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One thought on “Calvin and Hobbes

  1. I have to admit that your entry about Calvin and Hobbes was very endearing and your praise of the strip has me curious to read some of the books. Although I knew of Calvin and Hobbes, I have never really read any of the strips.

    Since you discussed the comic of your childhood, I thought I would discuss mine. There were two that absolutely dominated my childhood. I would work hard to purchase any available comics I could get my hands on from the comic book shop down the street and I would continually check out compilations from the library until I eventually purchased many of the books in my 20s.

    Dick Tracy by Chester Gould
    Batman by Bob Kane

    Both strips were eventually taken over by other writers. Dick Tracy was later written by Max Allen Collins and Rick Fletcher. Batman at this point has been written by a number of authors although Frank Miller is often credited for re-energizing the Caped Crusader in the 80s.

    I prefer the classic strips though from the 30s, 40s, 50s, some 60s and some 70s.

    Both men are mortal with extraordinary abilities. Both men are detectives. Both are also noted for their enormous gallery of of colorful, outlandish, and deadly villains. A good portion of my youth was spent reading the comics and drawing the characters. Dick Tracy and Batman were men I aspired to be. I respected and admired them for their solitary dedication to making the world a better place and their overwhelmingly strong sense of morality.

    In writing this comment, I almost feel like thumbing through some old comics which I may go do right now.

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