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Slice 132 of 365 Calvin-and-Hobbes-calvin-and-hobbes-1395571-1024-768When Calvin and Hobbes ended and Dilbert took its place in my local newspaper in 1995 I silently boycotted Dilbert. Who was this Dilbert anyway? How could any self-respecting comic take up the space where a boy and his tiger were quietly, ok not really quietly, living their lives? It would be almost as disrespectful as replacing Peanuts. There are just some things you don’t do. Now I know it was Bill Watterson’s decision to end the strip and Dilbert was not responsible for it but did you have to jump right in there? And of course I love Dilbert too. I’ve worked in that cube-farm world and the strip is accurate. Every single thing that has happened in the strip has happened to me at least once. My C&H quest today started with a Facebook post I spotted of fan fiction I suppose you might call it. An old, dying Calvin requesting his wife, Suzie believe it or not, really sweet actually, to find Hobbes in the attic. I’d seen it before but it’s easy reading it to tear up each time. I loved the comics when I was a kid. I would race for the newspaper on Sunday mornings after I got up. It wasn’t like anybody else was reading it anyway, it was just a vehicle for supermarket coupons. They were never long enough so I would read slowly and try to appreciate the artwork. Then one day I discovered there were comics in the daily paper, it was a life-changing revolution! I loved being at my grandparents in the Bronx on Saturday evenings because my grandfather went for a paper each night and on Saturday they got the inside (non-news stuff) of the Sunday paper, it was like I got a special head start. I have read all the strips at least ten times each, I have almost all the books (I’ll have to take an inventory) and have not so subtly requested the new one for Father’s day from my children. Watterson’s artwork is just so simply spectacular and expressive in what it captures. His story lines of child-like activities mixed with the maturity Calvin imagines he has are pure brilliance and just so much fun. No matter what may be happening in life I can turn to C&H and smile no matter what random strip I flip to. I cannot remember if I saw the first strip when it came out or even if my local paper carried it that early. I do remember the last strip and the sorrow I felt when it appeared that last Sunday. That’s happened sometimes with books, TV shows and movies too. I’ve been so drawn in that when they end there is a very distinct feeling of loss. I admire and respect Watterson’s not wanting to license his creations. I have to admit though, there are plenty of times where I could use a stuffed tiger to have adventures with that I could catch with a tuna fish sandwich. Until tomorrow…

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