Post by Mark T. Locker.
Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson.
I’m sure those who grew up in a different era would say theirs was a golden age of comic strips, but I really think growing up in the 1980’s and 1990’s was an unspeakably wonderful time for daily comics. The Far Side treated us to a daily dose of nerdy single-panel comedy, while the recently (yay!) revived Bloom County tackled politics and penguins. But for me, the nearest and dearest, as a young boy and now, will always be Calvin and Hobbes. Made all the more enticing and yearned-for because of Watterson’s refusal to license the characters for toys, much less posters and cards, and for his abrupt and total removing of himself from the public eye, these strips were the beloved of kids and adults alike.
My son is about the same age as Calvin now. And there is hardly a waking moment that he isn’t buried one of the many Calvin and Hobbes books strewn about the house. It’s been great for me, as I haven’t visited these comics for a long time so I’m getting the chance to see them again while also enjoying them through his eyes, seeing them for the first time. Like Calvin, my son is a very imaginative only child. Unlike Calvin, he’s not a holy terror and, thankfully, he’s not getting any big ideas from Calvin.
The balance of wry humor, philosophy, cynicism about the human race, and the unconditional love of his best friend the tiger makes this easily the greatest comic ever. If you haven’t picked up a collection in a while, now is a great time to do so. Curl up in bed with a volume tonight.