Calvin & Hobbes 25th Anniversary Today!
Today, my favorite comic strip is 25 years old. Created by Bill Watterson on November 18, 1985, “Calvin and Hobbes” is the only newspaper comic strip to ever elevate the medium to an art form. I was the same age as Calvin when the strip premiered, and the older I get, the more I appreciate it.
Calvin’s imagination transformed his world. His mind could take him from a dull, dreary classroom to a strange, alien world. People might see him as an ordinary child, but he could become a space explorer, a super hero, a detective, or even a dinosaur. A cardboard box could be a time machine, a cloning device, or a transmogrifier, depending on which side was up. Calvin constantly inspires me to be creative, to imagine, and remake my world. And isn’t that what all writers want to do?
Now that I’m (just a little) older, I admire Calvin’s dad. We never really see this in the strips, but I believe his fantastic, crazy explanations for the way the world works are actually a great educational tool. Once Calvin discovered that his dad was only joking, his curiosity would be peaked and he would search for the answers on his own. Discovering things for yourself is the best way to learn. As an adult, Calvin would have learned a healthy skepticism that would prevent him from just passively accepting what he was told. Independent thought is the best gift any parent can give a child.
After roughly 3,700 strips, Calvin and Hobbes ended in 1995. In 2005, Andrews McMeel Publishing published “The Complete Calvin and Hobbes”, a massive, three-volume set with all the strips, and the best Christmas gift I’ve ever received. (Actually, all the strips save one. See below.)
For ten years, the first thing I did when the newspaper landed on my porch was rip off the plastic and turn to that strip. It made, and still makes, my life just a little bit better. I hope one day to create something that will bless the world in the way Calvin and Hobbes has blessed me.
Thank you, Mr. Watterson.
Calvin & Hobbes links
- Daily Calvin and Hobbes at GoComics.com
- Progressive Boink – 25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips
- A gallery of Calvin’s snow art
- Calvin and Hobbes Wonderland – Great fan site with wallpaper
- The Calvin and Hobbes Album – An amazing fan site
- Calvin and Hobbes: Magic on Paper – Another great fan site. Check out the “bootlegs”!
- Yet another fan site
- Rare Bill Watterson Art
- A college project on Calvin and Hobbes
- Interesting radio show with fans reacting to the end of the strip
- The cheapening of comics – A speech by Mr. Watterson himself
- When real things happen to imaginary tigers – Great essay about the strip
- Interesting alternate strip, the only (?) strip not in “The Complete Calvin and Hobbes”
- The Calvin and Hobbes Search Engine
Did I miss your favorite Calvin site? Leave me a link in the comments!