My first exposure to Calvin and Hobbes came when I was probably around thirteen years old at my grandparent’s house. My grandpa had recently received or bought one of the collection books and had it on the living room table. I picked it up and was pulled into the world of the precocious six year old and his imaginary best friend/stuffed Bengal tiger.
Suffice to say, Calvin and Hobbes will always remind of my grandpa. I have great memories of growing up and creating outlandish scenarios with him (his imagination was just as a vast a child’s). This coincides with my love for Calvin and Hobbes because the comic strip is more about imagination than it is about a misbehaved child. Just peruse the examples I’ve included in my post.
As a thirteen year old (I’ll remind you I was not reading a whole lot during this time of my life), I naturally gravitated more to the pictures and art of comic strips to understand Calvin’s current escapade. As I grew up though, I began to read beyond the more minimal scenarios and found a great intellect and wonder in the kid. His alternate personas (Spaceman Spiff, Tracer Bullet, and Stupendous Man) exemplified my own imagination as I played with action figures and created several different characters and worlds faced with conflict (a precursor to my days of writing).
We’ve been blessed with ten years of Calvin and Hobbes by the great Bill Watterson. I continue to revert back to the comic strip whenever I need a quick laugh. In my mind, there is no better cartoon strip for children and you can bet my kids will be introduced to it at a young age.
Call to Action: What are your memories of Calvin and Hobbes? I’d love to know how others first encountered the strip and how it has affected them in life. Also, check out the great documentary, “Dear Mr. Watterson,” if you can find it. It’s a great exploration of the comic and its creator.