Saturday, September 08, 2007

THE ESSENTIAL CALVIN AND HOBBES by Bill Watterson

The Book: Bill Watterson, The Essential Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury. Andrews and McMeel, 1988. Softcover, good-minus condition; book is warped from water damage, a result (I think) of being left under an open window in a rainstorm.
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.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was divestated when Watterson stopped producing the Calvin strip. I especially liked the snowmen strips, and when Calvin won a football game agsinst Hobbes by the score of 6 to Q.

My favorite and the one that still hangs on the refrigerator goes like this:

Calvin is at the breakfast table when panic sets in. He runs from the room yelling, "I forgot to get something for Show and Tell" His mother hangs her head. Racing through the house like his head is on fire, Calvin sneezes. He shouts, "Never mind. Do we have a plastic bag?" It's classic Calvin.

Larry

Anonymous said...

Oh, the places we will go


RB

Jennifer Lechner said...

My favorite Calvin and Hobbes is taped up next to my desk, right next to the nice Story People card you gave me a few Thanksgivings ago and my Mom's credit card number.

It goes like this:

Hobbes: Aren't you supposed to be doing your homework?

Calvin: I am pretty sure the assignment was optional.

Hobbes: Denial springs eternal.

Calvin: It's not denial. I'm just very selective about the reality I accept.

Tahazameel said...

Calvin: Hey Hobbes better check this out. A popcorn stinker.
Hobbes: Really!? How does it Work!?

Calvin: You just push the button and...
Hobbes: Uh huh...

POM PA POM PA POM!
Calvin: EEEh this stinks.
Hobbes: Yeah, For What you go press the button for!?