On November 15, 1985, newspaper comic readers first met a 6-year-old boy named Calvin and his plush tiger doll named Hobbes.
As Jenny Robb, the Curator of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at Ohio State University, writes in her introduction to Exploring Calvin and Hobbes, “Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes had it all: humor, heart, and wisdom wrapped up in a beautiful package of sophisticated and lively graphic storytelling.”
From that date in 1985 until December 31, 1995, when Watterson chose to end the strip, millions of readers around the world delighted in the humorous adventures of Calvin and his tiger, who was very, very real only to the wildly imaginative little boy.
Although the real 30th anniversary of the comic strip is still a few months away, the New Milford Library has recently acquired several terrific items that should please both old and new fans of Calvin and Hobbes.
- The aforementioned exhibition catalog, ExploringCalvin and Hobbes, contains an entertaining and informative interview with the studiously private creator of the strip.
- An unauthorized biography, Looking forCalvin and Hobbes: The Unconventional Story of Bill Watterson and His RevolutionaryComic Strip by Nevin Martell, examines Watterson’s life.
- A new DVD documentary, Dear Mr. Watterson (which is being processed as of this writing), is an exploration to discover why Watterson's "simple" comic strip has made such an impact on so many readers, and why it still means so much to us today.
So, Calvin and Hobbes fans, as Calvin said to Hobbes in the very last strip, “Let’s go exploring!”
Mark P. Hasskarl