Calvin and Hobbes
by Bill Watterson
I had almost forgotten how much I like this cartoon. It was one of my favorites back in the days I used to read newspaper strips every week. I was almost afraid to try Calvin and Hobbes again after my disappointment with recent Phoebe and Her Unicorn– maybe this one would also have lost its charm for me. Happily, nope!
For those of you who don\’t know (my kids didn\’t- they kept asking me why I was chuckling over \”that dinosaur book\” as my six-year-old referred to it, seeing the back cover) Calvin is six and his constant companion is a stuffed tiger, who in his imagination is larger-than-life and very real. Calvin is constantly getting into all kinds of trouble for his high energy level, creative imagination, sarcastic and matter-of-fact arguments with adults, refusal to follow rules he thinks are nonsensical, resistance to things like baths, cleaning his room, doing homework, etc. I think my favorite aspect about the comic strips is not just Calvin\’s spunky, vibrant character but the way his daydreams are depicted- drawn in a more realistic, dramatic style you can always tell when you\’re inside his head. Of course, he\’s not at all a nice kid- he teases a neighborhood girl mercilessly, criticizes his parents, depicts his teacher as a hideous monster, always wants to pummel people or dunk them with water balloons, etc. But- he\’s just a kid. Glorious, riotous kid. How quickly any game with his tiger devolves into an all-out fight- hilarious. He makes me laugh.
The only disappointment I had, is that I probably won\’t keep this book. I noticed right away when I started reading the next Watterson collection on my nightstand, The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes, that all the sunday panels in this volume are reprinted in the next. So I don\’t know what\’s the point. (Except that wiki tells me the Spaceman Spiff storyline is unique to this book). Seems like if I acquire all the Treasuries, I won\’t need as many volumes on my shelf to have a full collection.
Rating: 4/5 128 pages, 1989