Even though you can still get it from the Team Cul De Sac blog to help support fundraising for Parkinson’s research, I just wanted to share my particular essay “Calvin and Hobbes” from Craig Fischer’s “FAVORITES” ‘zine because hey, CALVIN AND HOBBES!
My own influences and opinions might sway depending on what’s sitting on top of the to-read pile, or whether or not I’m studying brushwork, lettering, writing, or the use of nibs versus pens. But Bill Watterson will always have a place in my heart, something that I tried really hard to convey in this short thing.
I love comics. I love big fat insane graphic novel collections, I love ultrabright 90’s superhero comics in floppy single issues, I love classic newspaper strips, I love crazy artfreak independent minicomics. I love ‘em all. And while it’s impossible to choose just one to be able to highlight, when I think about it, an absolute favorite that I can always go back to is Bill Watterson’s “Calvin and Hobbes.”
There’s so much that can be said about it critically, so much that can try to encompass why it’s one of the quintessential American Comics of all time.
The thing is though, is that beyond all that, beyond all that the critical eye can show us about “Calvin and Hobbes,” there’s a power in the strip that’s immediately apparent, a power that automatically draws you in the way it drew me in. It’s FUN. It’s summer days and monster movie-filled nights, best friends, secret clubs, reluctant life lessons, and epic battles against your parents. How many of us have hated having to participate in group sports and family trips, eat weird meals mom concocted at the kitchen table, and even just a regular school day? Waiting, slowly but surely until we could escape up to our rooms, into our backyards, over to our own living room TV’s for what we REALLY wanted to do.
I take no small amount of comfort in the fact that there will always be kids that are Calvins, there will always be kids discovering the comic on their parents’ shelves, and there will always, ALWAYS be Hobbeses for imaginative kids to come home and play with. And thank God for that.