Craig + “Calvin and Hobbes” = Joy!

Hey, everybody! Reader here.

Remember when the funny pages were a thing? You know, back in the pre-internet days, when the daily newspaper was a regular part of daily life?

Sitting around at the farm over the Easter weekend, and chatting with my family, we got reminiscing about some of our family that has since passed on, including my Grandpa and Grandma Read.

Our farm is a mile west of Conquest, and when I was a kid, we used to spend lots of time at Grandma and Grandpa’s house in town. And one of my favourite things to do at their house, was to go to their bookshelf, grab one of their many “Calvin and Hobbes” books, and curl up somewhere, and read. And laugh.

No matter how many times I’d read the same books over and over, they were just as funny!

Yep… just as funny as ever!

What makes “Calvin and Hobbes” so great?

There are so many reasons, but one of the main reasons is the hilarious and heartwarming relationship between the two main characters, Calvin and Hobbes.

Calvin is a precocious and imaginative six-year-old boy who often finds himself in hilarious and relatable situations. His antics and musings on life are not only entertaining, but thought-provoking, too. From his philosophical conversations with Hobbes to his misadventures at school and with his parents, Calvin never fails to make us laugh and reflect on the absurdities of everyday life.

And then there’s Hobbes, Calvin’s loyal and wise tiger companion. Despite being a stuffed animal in the eyes of everyone else, Hobbes comes to life in Calvin’s imagination and serves as his voice of reason and conscience. Their friendship is heartwarming and authentic, showcasing the importance of having a true companion who understands and supports you unconditionally.

But what truly sets Calvin and Hobbes apart is that it’s actually pretty deep and complex, dealing with everything from existential questions on the meaning of life, to social commentary on consumerism and environmentalism, Bill Watterson masterfully weaves these topics into the humorous and light-hearted storyline, making us laugh while also challenging our perspectives.

The artwork is fantastic, vivid and expressive, especially in the Sunday colour strips, where Calvin’s adventures take him to from the Jurassic era, to the furthest reaches of the galaxy, as his alter-ego, “Spaceman Spiff.” He’d get lost in Film Noir, as “Tracer Bullet,” the hard-boiled private eye, and he’d lose many battles, but win many moral victories, as super hero “Stupendous Man!”

Just a couple of examples of the imagination of Calvin and Hobbes, with stories and artwork by author Bill Watterson that brought it to life so vividly!

Bill Watterson wrapped up the adventures of this dynamic duo on Decmeber 31, 1995, and the funnies were never quite as funny. (Thank goodness for Gary Larson and “The Far Side” – my other favourite daily strip!)

I did a little digging for some fun facts about my favourite comic duo. Some I was aware of, some I wasn’t!

Here are some fun facts about Calvin and Hobbes that you may not have known:

  1. The characters of Calvin and Hobbes were named after the 16th-century theologian John Calvin and the philosopher Thomas Hobbes. Watterson chose these names as a nod to the intellectual and philosophical themes explored in the comic strip.
  2. Bill Watterson was known for his meticulous attention to detail in his artwork. Each strip was hand-drawn and meticulously crafted, with Watterson often spending hours perfecting the layout and composition of each panel.
  3. Calvin and Hobbes was one of the few comic strips that did not have a recurring cast of supporting characters. Instead, the focus was primarily on the adventures and conversations between Calvin and his stuffed tiger, Hobbes.
  4. Despite its popularity, Watterson was fiercely protective of his creation and refused to license the characters for merchandise or adaptations. This decision was made in order to preserve the integrity of the comic strip and prevent it from being commercialized. (So all of those crude decals of Calvin peeing on all matters of logos, from auto manufacturers to sports logos – completely unauthorized! And frankly, pretty lame, too)
  5. Calvin and Hobbes has been translated into over 40 languages and has been published in countless countries around the world. Its universal themes of friendship, imagination, and the innocence of childhood have resonated with readers from all walks of life.

There’s a really interesting documentary called “Dear Mr. Watterson,” about the author and the journey of “Calvin and Hobbes,” that came out in 2013. Amazingly enough, the whole thing is available for viewing on YouTube. If you’re interested in checking it out, here it is!

Calvin and Hobbes is perfect for young and old, is that it appeals to our inner child while also engaging our adult minds. It reminds us of the power of imagination, the value of friendship, and the beauty of simplicity in a world that is often too chaotic and busy.

It’s a great escape, and it always takes me back to a time when life was much simpler!

I’ll love “Calvin and Hobbes” forever!

More from FOX FM