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25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips.

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25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips
Why Bill Watterson is our hero
compiled by Jon, Bill and Nick - September 7, 2004

Hundreds of comic strips have been published in newspapers. The majority are terrible, and almost all the rest are mediocre. There have been maybe four or five good comic strips in the history of the world. So saying that Calvin and Hobbes is the best comic strip ever doesn't really hold a lot of weight. And it's really a shame that it's so difficult to quantify this strip's greatness. I can confidently state that Calvin and Hobbes outclasses the rest of the comic strip world more than anything else has ever outclassed the rest of its medium. Sans this strip, the industry is characterized by guys sitting on rocks making stupid puns, a Family Circus kid misunderstanding the meaning of a word, or an overweight father playing golf while telling jokes such as I LIKE GOLF and GOLF IS HARD. It's a medium that doesn't really deserve something as good as Calvin and Hobbes, but it got it anyway, and the newspaper-reading world was made a better place by it. Calvin and Hobbes ran from 1985 to 1995. Bill Watterson drew thousands of strips, and while I wish like hell that he would come back and draw more, it's probably best to reflect and be thankful for what he's done. Below we have showcased, in no particular order, some of our favorite Calvin and Hobbes strips of all time. If you love them as much as we do, let us know if you think there are any that we should have included. And if you missed out, well, hopefully we can give you some idea of why Mr. Watterson is our hero.

"Virtue needs some cheaper thrills."

file://C:\Users\emanphu\Desktop\25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips.htm

9/3/2010

and savage beast. or feel like it needs to point out that it's mean to whack an innocent person upside the dome with a snowball. This strip introduces their dynamic rather well. casual observer. It's kind of refreshing to see a strip that doesn't feel the need to have an uplifting message. Hobbes is his tiger friend who plays the role of Jiminy Cricket. Calvin's a grossly misbehaving child. —Jon "He's one of the old gods! He demands sacrifice!" file://C:\Users\emanphu\Desktop\25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips.htm 9/3/2010 .25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips. and no matter how he tries. Page 2 of 19 © Universal Press Syndicate Calvin is an unbelievably intelligent six-year-old. he can't betray his nature.

I can only imagine the initial reaction across the country to a dark. The school system is more of a test for being able to acquire knowledge than preparation for anything worthwhile.htm 9/3/2010 . —Bill "You've taught me nothing except how to cynically manipulate the system. gothic tale of supernatural creation and destruction. but a whole and complete work that uses every inch of space. Page 3 of 19 © Universal Press Syndicate One of the top classic Calvin strips. Dead on if you ask me.25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips. —Nick file://C:\Users\emanphu\Desktop\25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips. but tonally it's a huge departure from other strips of the time (or of today. Not only that. wedged between Gasoline Alley and Mark Trail." © Universal Press Syndicate Pretty much the voice of Bill Watterson dictating the current state of our school systems. It serves as an example of what set C&H apart from other comics: It's not a simple set-up to a punchline in the last panel. for that matter).

Hobbes' bizarre reply is the icing on the cake. There are some subtleties in this strip that I like. Page 4 of 19 "We prefer your extinction to the loss of our job.25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips. —Jon "It's psychosomatic.htm 9/3/2010 . such as the guy in the third panel doing the "end is nigh" pose and the futuristic spacecraft revealing an old-timey loudspeaker. You need a lobotomy. and this is definitely one of the more bizarre strips." © Universal Press Syndicate Calvin and Hobbes is sometimes at its best when it's bizarre." file://C:\Users\emanphu\Desktop\25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips. Perhaps it stems from his disdain for humanity's willingness to stomp over nature to gain the extra dollar. I'll get a saw.

I mean. and this was one of them. are funny enough when they're real. Calvin and Hobbes isn't particularly unique in this respect. after all. the last ten years of "Funky Winkerbean" have chronicled him making his bed. so Watterson didn't have to stretch too far for a parody. why would anyone actually read this? Also. Calvin and Hobbes stories are so great because they give the strip the opportunity to spin completely out of control.25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips. His intent is to create a file://C:\Users\emanphu\Desktop\25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips. Calvin invents a device which allows him to instantly duplicate himself.htm 9/3/2010 . In this story. M. that second panel is scary and I think Rex is driving so fast because his passenger has to hurry and get back to The Human League. Some of the stories told in this strip last weeks. Page 5 of 19 © Universal Press Syndicate The "realistic" art style and dramatic angles of comic strip soap operas like Rex Morgan. look at this. I wouldn't listen to two real people talk about whether to put their kid in day care. —Bill "Scientific progress goes 'boink'?" © Universal Press Syndicate The Duplicator Story.D.

"What are you doing watching TV?" #4 replies casually. Page 6 of 19 clone that will do all the hard work for him.htm 9/3/2010 . sometimes she's pretty cool. —Jon "For a mom. being exactly like him. It's also the only strip where Calvin gets what he wants. Figures that she shits all over him at the same time. It probably reaches its climax when Calvin's mom sees #4 glued to the television when he's supposed to be doing chores and yells. —Nick "Words fail me." © Universal Press Syndicate Probably the best approach a parent could take when their child asks of cigarettes. this is where we got the name of this website from. Needless to say. "Why. Calvin #2 manages to create Calvins #3-6. is just as much of an asshole as he is." file://C:\Users\emanphu\Desktop\25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips. It's just about the best alibi a kid could have. and they all cause chaos because they know that Calvin #1 will have to pay for it.25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips. but hell unleashes when he realizes that the clone. they would have shot me in the kneecap. are you taking a survey?" If I had responded like that to either of my parents when I was a kid.

that is. The Transmogrifier. The art. because Calvin is adorable. there are many people who would find the "artwork" in these two strips to be utterly brilliant and pay a ton of cash for them. The Transmogrifier was composed of several strips. This was also the strip where I realized that all Calvin and Hobbes strips were written in allcaps. Ahhhhhh. I dunno.25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips. Sad to say. Page 7 of 19 © Universal Press Syndicate The Transmogrifier Story. hell. and was even made more efficient when held within the parameters of a squirt gun. Then they'd melt. paraphrasing. Watterson admitted in the Calvin and Hobbes 10th Anniversary collection that he had held quite an interest in art for many years. I'm." © Universal Press Syndicate © Universal Press Syndicate Also setting Calvin and Hobbes apart was how surprisingly literate it was.htm 9/3/2010 . uh. especially for a comic that was not a specific commentary piece like Doonesbury or Bloom County. file://C:\Users\emanphu\Desktop\25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips. —Nick "I notice your oeuvre is monochromatic. and always had sort of a bemused fascination with the amount of bullshit people build around it. of course. Or maybe the people who bought it too. This is my favorite Transmogrifier strip.

I came across the first Calvin and Hobbes collection. I could at least take solace in the fact that my struggles were shared by someone else. I hated getting up early every morning. It was incredibly spot-on.25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips. Page 8 of 19 —Bill "OK. I hated water.'" © Universal Press Syndicate When I was six years old (Calvin's age). I memorized all the landmarks on the way. I hated the cold. The drive from my house to the pool was about half an hour. —Jon "AIEEE!! THEY GOT FRANK!!" file://C:\Users\emanphu\Desktop\25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips. It was without doubt the worst experience of my entire life (and it's quite terrible to think that I had to suffer the worst experience of my life at the age of six). my mom dragged me to swimming lessons all summer. I identified with it immediately. The first page I opened to was the beginning of the story of Calvin's experience with swimming lessons. first we're going to learn the 'Deadman's Float. After coming home on the second or third day. I honestly anticipated swimming lessons like one would anticipate a lethal injection. This story reminds me that I've been able to relate to "Calvin and Hobbes" more than just about anything else in the world. and as each one passed my wish that I was dead would grow more fervent. even if he were a drawing.htm 9/3/2010 . I hated the peer pressure. I was scared shitless of drowning. No matter how horrible my day was.

Page 9 of 19 © Universal Press Syndicate It's hilarious to see Calvin take a huge shit on the hunting industry's favorite rationalization. This is a prime example of the animal-loving influence that Hobbes has had on Calvin. Huge kudos to Bill Watterson for graphically murdering a guy in the funny papers.25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips.htm 9/3/2010 . —Jon "KaZAM!" file://C:\Users\emanphu\Desktop\25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips.

I know that people of all ages enjoyed Calvin and Hobbes.htm 9/3/2010 . and no extracurricular activities. and this strip pretty much sums up what being a kid like Calvin is like. Page 10 of 19 © Universal Press Syndicate I always identified with Calvin as a child (I suppose you could say I still do). and yet the strip became hugely successful. If you think about it. Susie. it was Calvin who managed to truly express the idea—without being preachy. be it movies. and didn't need to be a smile-plastered Mouseketeer to enjoy life. —Bill "Think BIG! Riches! Power! Pretend you could have ANYthing!" file://C:\Users\emanphu\Desktop\25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips. all of whom he detests and all of whom detest him. He is. Rosalyn. but I have to think that it meant even more to those of us who grew up with him. who he has a strained relationship with. TV. The kind of kid most people would entirely ignore all through school is not generally the kind you make the star of your show. it was nice to see someone like us. Calvin was really quite an anomaly in popular entertainment -. and Moe. Going to school every day and seeing all the ways we didn't fit in. etc.not just in comics. for all intents and purposes. He has no friends. and thus retreating to the world you create for yourself in your mind. The only person he ever has any real interaction with exists only in his head. Though numerous motivational posters and guidance councelors and after-school specials had said it again and again.25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips. the only people he ever sees are his parents. without being sappy. and Miss Wormwood. completely alone. And he's fine with that. Constantly feeling out of sync with the rest of the world. but in anything. perhaps even without trying—that it was okay to be different. who was intelligent and independent.

while the Red Sox held a small lead on their opponents." file://C:\Users\emanphu\Desktop\25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips. what would it be?" I answered. Before I moved to Virginia. "For the Red Sox to have a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the 6th. and here he is just wantonly being an asshole. It's already been established that Calvin's a smart kid.25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips." He called me a dingbat. and one day. —Nick " * " © Universal Press Syndicate This was possibly the first great Calvin and Hobbes strip. he asked me "If you could have anything in the world. —Jon "His eye twitches involuntarily. Childhood mischief had always been played out by assholes like Dennis the Menace and Jeffy from Family Circus. The difference is that those two were wellmeaning retarded kids. I used to watch every single Red Sox game with my father.htm 9/3/2010 . Page 11 of 19 © Universal Press Syndicate This strip has become a personal philosophy for me the as of late. To see a child genius sit there and nonchalantly bang the shit out of a coffee table is hilarious.

htm 9/3/2010 . it is fun. Which you could probably figure out.25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips. Or disagree with. what's not to like? —Bill "Do you believe in ghosts?" © Universal Press Syndicate This. except that it's funny. because hell. Page 12 of 19 © Universal Press Syndicate Don't act like you never did this with your toys. since "fantasy violence" and "terrorist action" are so obviously one and the same. in my developed opinion. A shame that enjoying destruction is looked down on nowadays. Really not much to say about it. file://C:\Users\emanphu\Desktop\25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips. is the funniest strip ever released. Or BE AN IDIOT. Stuff blowing up.

htm 9/3/2010 ." © Universal Press Syndicate Takes a little bit to pick up on.. "Oh shit.25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips. God's not going to help me. Page 13 of 19 —Nick "We're here to devour each other alive. though." © Universal Press Syndicate Probably Hobbes' greatest quote of all time.. The best part. file://C:\Users\emanphu\Desktop\25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips. is probably Calvin staring contemplatively toward the heavens as if to say." —Jon "I fold.

Calvin daydreams a lot.25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips. and just like me. which is awesome. Dinosaur strips were some of the most beautiful that Bill Watterson ever drew. —Jon "Do you LIKE her??" file://C:\Users\emanphu\Desktop\25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips. but in the spacing of his panels. not only in his ability to render things well.htm 9/3/2010 . he usually daydreamed about dinosaurs." © Universal Press Syndicate Just like every six-year-old kid. Page 14 of 19 —Nick "Denial. Sunday comics were just: TITLE PANEL > THROWAWAY JOKE > BUILDUP > BUILDUP > BUILDUP > BUILDUP > PUNCHLINE Watterson is the only newspaper cartoonist to ever convince me that he approaches his comic strip as a work of art and not just a bunch of joke boxes. Before Calvin & Hobbes came around. He uses half the allotted space to draw Calvin as a pterodactyl. and the real-life storyline at the bottom being placed as an inset toward a panoramic rendering of the pterodactyl flying away is just perfect. It really exhibits his depth as an artist.

the line "You know what's the rage this year? .. Hobbes' got all the good lines in C&H.Hats.htm 9/3/2010 . Page 15 of 19 © Universal Press Syndicate This is the first strip that mentions Susie Derkins.. which kicks ass." stuck with me for years and years as one of my favorites of all time. She's pretty much the girl that Calvin has a crush on but makes fun of as to remove any question of the fact. —Nick "You know what's the rage this year? . —Bill "XING" file://C:\Users\emanphu\Desktop\25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips..Hats. This strip also shows how much of a smart-ass Hobbes is. Try to work it into conversation at least once a day." © Universal Press Syndicate Deadpan at some times. For some reason.25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips.. wacky at others.

htm 9/3/2010 . in part because of the ridiculously wild story. Hoffa gut tay askool." © Universal Press Syndicate I quote this strip more than almost anything else. file://C:\Users\emanphu\Desktop\25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips.25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips. Page 16 of 19 © Universal Press Syndicate pwned —Nick "Heeryor lunboks. and in part because mispronunciation is hilarious. Just ask Nick. This is one of the funniest strips in history. I absolutely have to try this trick sometime.

file://C:\Users\emanphu\Desktop\25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips. This one's positively touching. I think it speaks for itself.. Page 17 of 19 —Jon "You squeeze my tears out. What makes Calvin & Hobbes the greatest ever is its ability to make you laugh your ass off." © Universal Press Syndicate The best Calvin and Hobbes strip to my memory.25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips. —Nick ".. and identify with it.htm 9/3/2010 .But don't YOU go anywhere." The Raccoon Story. What makes it one of the great treasures of our culture is its ability to invoke emotions that you never thought you'd spend on a comic strip.

htm 9/3/2010 .25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips. Page 18 of 19 file://C:\Users\emanphu\Desktop\25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips.

com / Archive mailto:bill@progressiveboink.htm 9/3/2010 . Mr.25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips. Jon Nick Bill Home Archives mailto:jon@progressiveboink.com / Archive mailto:nick@progressiveboink.com / Archive Forum About The Dugout file://C:\Users\emanphu\Desktop\25 Great Calvin and Hobbes Strips. Page 19 of 19 © Universal Press Syndicate Thanks. Watterson.