Ok, this week isn’t actually a webcomic, it’s something better: An online resyndication of Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson.
If you’ve been reading comics for more than a few days, you’ve probably heard of this particular comic. It’s not a webcomic, as it was syndicated in newspapers from 1985 to 1995 and has released numerous books, calendars, merchandise, etc. over the years. Calvin and Hobbes is one of the greats that really defined the art, and by extension webcomics. Truely, it’s been suggested that nearly 80% of modern comics and webcomics attribute one of their inspirations to write comics as Calvin and Hobbes, Bloom County, Peanuts and/or The Farside. Given how many comic artists I’ve seen reference those four, I find it believable.
The above link is to an online re-publishing of Bill Watterson’s work, and it’s nearly all there now. For those who loved the comic as a younger version of themselves will delight in cruising back through the archives and reading this old great again. And for those new to the comic scene, it’s a chance to go back and look at where a lot of their favorite comic artists drew (ba-dum) their inspiration to start off on their own ventures. Indeed, after you read Calvin and Hobbes (And Bloom County / Farside / Peanuts / B.C. / Etc) you can pretty much pick out what comic was the author’s favorite when they were a kid. Comics that I’ve done are no exception. Precocious, Ozy and Millie, and Least I can Do are all good examples of comics unabashedly inspired by a youth of reading Calvin and Hobbes and Bloom County. Don’t get me wrong, they have all developed their own styles for sure, but references and similarites in humor style are more than suggestive of their affection for the comic.
Calvin and Hobbes features Calvin, a young, troublemaking child that has a more adult vocabularing and a squeued pseudo-child/adult viewpoint. Often complex adult issues are tackled with the apparent niavete of a child, or simple things that a normal child takes for granted are explored with a the more sophisticated insights that age would grant. Calvin also has a vivid imagination which is used to animate Hobbes, his stuffed toy tiger. Hobbes is Calvin’s foil. As he’s a figment of Calvin’s imagination, Hobbes is often one step ahead of the troublemaker. The comic is largely about their interactions; but delves into any number of other topics. Politics, parenting, movies, music, pop culture, history, relationships and more are all explored through the 10 year run. And it’s very funny stuff. Some of the best, though, are the snowman comics:
I keep forgetting to make some of these myself. Maybe this year.
I am an unabashed fan of Calvin and Hobbes, and always will be. I grew up reading these comics and have just about every book that was published (Think I’m missing just one). Re-reading them online has me reminiscing about the age I was when I was originally reading the comics. I also appreciate the humor a lot more now, as there were subtle things that I didn’t understand during my youth. It also makes me take a look at where syndicated comics are now vs. where webcomics are. That’s a discussion for later though.
I also see that a lot of the humor in the comic that has influenced my own dry, sarcastic humor. As much as I can blame my father for my sense of humor, I can also place as much blame one Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side – both of which I read voraciously as a youngling.
-Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?