First read: 1988
Owned since: 1988
This is one of several Calvin & Hobbes collections I own; some day, when I win the lottery or sell a screenplay, I will buy the box set. If you are not already familiar with Calvin and Hobbes, I can't imagine how I know you.
This book begins at the beginning, with Calvin snaring Hobbes with a tuna fish sandwich ("We're kind of stupid that way," says Hobbes). It introduces all the major characters in Calvin's universe, making no distinction -- because Calvin doesn't -- between the real and imaginary: Calvin's nameless parents, Susie Derkins, Miss Wormwood, Rosalyn the babysitter, Spaceman Spiff and Tracer Bullet.
I still laugh out loud at some of these strips, especially the "Tracer Bullet" sequence, a noir homage that begins with Calvin's need to hide the fact that Hobbes gave him a haircut. I wish I'd been as creative after any of the times I tried to cut my hair.
Calvin: This haircut had better look good, Fuzz Brain.
Hobbes: You'll love it. It's kind of "New Wave."
Calvin: New Wave? Like how?
Hobbes: Well, sort of "punk," actually.
Calvin: Like a Mohawk?
Hobbes: In some places, it's sort of like a Mohawk.
Calvin: I want a mirror.
Hobbes: You know what's the rage this year? ... Hats.
People should keep Calvin and Hobbes collections around the way they keep aspirin and ipecac on hand, in case of emergency.