Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A Boy and His Tiger (or is it the other way round?)

The tenth anniverary of the end of Calvin and Hobbes is being marked with the release of a three-volume - comprehensive - collection. (HT to Common Grounds Online)

I've had three "must-read" comics in my lifetime - Bloom County (at least the first two-thirds of its run), Dilbert, and Calvin and Hobbes. Bloom was surreal and irreverent, an apt fit for my teenage years. Dilbert is my job. I just change the names and acronyms and it's a 100% match.

But C & H - it was pure magic. I don't think anyone else could combine childhood fantasy, cultural comment, and a Pythonesque sense of humor like Bill Watterson did. It was heartbreaking to see him drop the strip, but I understand why he did so - better to quit at one's peak rather than churn out boilerplate to keep your syndicate happy.

I ordered the set as soon as I heard about it. Did I need to spend that money, did I need to have it? No. But some things transcend need, and touch the basic human condition. Calvin and Hobbes did that. And I will reread and treasure Watterson's art and insight for the rest of my life.

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