Calvin and Hobbes’ Birthday (Well, the creator’s anyway)
Bill went to college for political science and his first job was as a political cartoonist but only lasted a couple of weeks. While creating advertising for grocery stores he created the characters Calvin and Hobbes – a nod to his poli-sci studies, John Calvin and Thomas Hobbes.
The comic ran in papers from November 18th, 1985 to December 31st, 1995 – Watterson ended the award winning run with a note.
I will be stopping Calvin and Hobbes at the end of the year. This was not a recent or an easy decision, and I leave with some sadness. My interests have shifted, however, and I believe I’ve done what I can do within the constraints of daily deadlines and small panels. I am eager to work at a more thoughtful pace, with fewer artistic compromises. I have not yet decided on future projects, but my relationship with Universal Press Syndicate will continue.
That so many newspapers would carry Calvin and Hobbes is an honor I’ll long be proud of, and I’ve greatly appreciated your support and indulgence over the last decade. Drawing this comic strip has been a privilege and a pleasure, and I thank you for giving me the opportunity.
I have to admit, I cried when I read this at 14. As a blonde spikey haired kid with a crazy imagination Calvin and Hobbes was one of the main reasons I picked up the Sunday paper.
It wasn’t just because they were funny (they were), or touching (definitely), but because like The Simpsons I grew up with and because of them. Here’s just a couple of my favorite… (please post yours in the comments)
(Mike Yingling created a pretty cool Calvin and Hobbes search engine based on key phrases and things in the toons here.) All images are of course copyright of Bill Watterson – you can buy the collection of C&H here.
1. The simplicity of these three panels and the framing… just pure genius.
2. The Snowmen… if you grew up in an area that had enough snow to make snowmen… admit it, you tried to make these…
3. I loved Calvin’s social critique.
7. His ability to mock his parents.
8. The end… I don’t think any other series, whether tv, movie, cartoon or comic has ended better.
Or did it? Dan and Tom Heyerman of the ‘Pants are Overrated’ strip created a far too short 4 comic series picking up with the idea that Calvin and Susie got married and had a kid named Bacon (guessing after Francis, the philosopher). Several other artists later picked up the idea. You can link through to all the other spin offs through this excellent AV Club (The Onion’s non-fiction side) article.