Of all the things lost in our culture's decaying state, I miss good comic
strips--almost--the most. In the 80s, when I arrived at work each morning, I
would turn the page of my "Far Side" calendar. The whole office
followed "Bloom County", later "Outland". But "Calvin and
Hobbes" was probably the greatest of those. I still read them, myself, in
my own dog-eared collection. The stuff published in our local paper are trite,
poorly drawn, uninteresting things: most just a talking head with no background
whatever, or nearly none. Bill Waterson commented on this in his 10th
anniversary book. Sigh. Oh, well: to paraphrase Humphrey Bogart,
"We'll always have Spaceman Spiff".
We love Calvin and Hobbes! It is an intelligent comic strip full of imagination
and great art. Bill Watterson gets people and what makes them tick especially
little boys. My daughter learned and memorized the famous "to be
or not to be" by Shakespeare at a young age thanks to a dramatic plate of
food contemplating its existence. I think my kids learned more about
history and culture from Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side than probably any
other source. All our copies (the big Costco hard bound books) of both are worn
from many happy hours of reading.
My nephew, appropriately named Calvin, stared bringing me these comic books to
read aloud and now he reads them on his own and loves them. You can't keep
a good tiger down.
I've never heard of Mary Worth...but Calvin and Hobbes along with Bloom
County and The Far Side are some of the best reading I did in my youth.
What you don't want to hear your child say while reading Calvin and Hobbes:
"I should try that." :)
Its true and shocking. I had a bunch of old Calvin and Hobbes Books on my shelf
from my childhood. One day I noticed my 6 year old son sitting on the floor and
glued to them. He has gone through all of them numerous times. I starting
reading in 5th grade (1987) and he is in first grade. Certainly he cannot
understand the complexities of the comic, yet he keeps reading. Its funny to me
to find this article. Calvin and Hobbes contains a glimpse into the childhood
of every American boy - genius.
There are several things that make Calvin and Hobbes so endearing. First, the
visual aspect. It is illustrated beautifully, with amazing watercolor
backgrounds, and awesome facial expressions in all the characters, and getting
creative in the Sunday strip format, for example. Another part is the
imagination of Calvin. He takes on so many different alter egos: Spaceman
Spiff, Stupendous Man, Tracer Bullet, a T-Rex. Plus all the cool inventions he
makes with his cardboard box: The Transmogrifier (later appearing in gun form),
the time machine, Cerebral Enhance-o-Tron, and the Duplicator. I really think
the enduring charm of "Calvin and Hobbes" is that ability to imagine.
In reference to Bill Watterson not licensing "Calvin and Hobbes"
for anything is a smart move. There is no need to fix what isn't broken.
Reading it in print is the best way, in my opinion, to really understand,
imagine, and love "Calvin and Hobbes".