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10 Things Calvin & Hobbes Did Better Than Any Other Strip


bill watterson calvin and hobbes is one of the most innovative journalistic comic strips ever created. Running from 1985 to 1995, the strip follows the adventures of six-year-old Calvin and his stuffed tiger/imaginary friend Hobbes. Known for his humor, creativity and heart, calvin and hobbes it earned its place in American pop culture.


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calvin and hobbes it was innovative in a variety of ways. Maintaining tight control over all aspects of the strip, Watterson ensured that his artistic vision remained true. Even twenty-five years after the completion of calvin and hobbesthe strip remains an icon of American print media.

10/10 Watterson’s style had tremendous reach

Newspaper comics have a tough line to walk. Your style should be distinct, but it should also be easily accessible. While many cartoonists cleverly use this guide to create simple and charming characters, Watterson’s pencils, inks, and colors in calvin and hobbes it only showed his enormous creative range.

on an average calvin and hobbes strip, Watterson would use simple, slightly exaggerated lines to show the hulking world of his diminutive protagonist. However, when Watterson wanted to introduce Calvin’s imagination to his readers, his style shifted to a more meaty, action-oriented style to complement Calvin’s fantasies.

9/10 Watterson was a master formatter

Spaceman Spiff chased by aliens in Calvin & Hobbes

When Calvin entered the world of Spaceman Spiff or Tracer Bullet, Watterson changed not only his style but also his panels. Along with the more action-oriented art style he adopted in these situations, Watterson employed innovative styles that allowed for giant monsters or spaceships to fly out of the panels.

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Even when Watterson didn’t have the larger space afforded by the Sunday strips, he was still a master of the 4-panel format. Snowy landscapes were a constant element in calvin and hobbes. Watterson used the black-and-white elements of his diaries to great effect, turning frequently overlooked backgrounds into key story elements.

8/10 Watterson explored big ideas

Calvin & Hobbes go exploring on their sleigh

calvin and hobbesBoundary-breaking was not limited to stylistic flourishes. Watterson also used his precocious leading lady to explore ideas that transcended the confines of newspaper comic strips. As an overly-smart kid with no filter, Calvin was the perfect tool for Watterson to tear society apart.

When Watterson wanted to mock modern art, he had Calvin create a series of homicidal snowmen that would have made Goya proud. When he wanted to explore ideas about mortality, he would put his characters on a wagon or a slide that hurtled down a hill. As with his art style, Watterson used his strip to push the boundaries of comic strip vocabulary.

7/10 Calvin & Hobbes was harmless but subversive

Calvin yelling about suburban development at Calvin & Hobbes

Calvin’s musings in the Sunday strips were not mere pretentious meanderings. In fact, Watterson did calvin and hobbes downright subversive. Watterson’s satire of the life of the average American was close to perfect, ranging from the banal but painful occurrences labeled by Calvin’s father as “character building” to the inventive and mischievous “insurance” that Calvin sells at roadside stands. .

RELATED: 10 Funniest Peanut Strips From The ’60s, RankedWatterson was able to discuss difficult topics like hierarchy, academia, and the nuclear family by putting them into the mouth of a precocious child. Through Calvin and his stories, Watterson introduced a critical analysis to the Sunday comic strips.

6/10 Calvin & Hobbes captured the realities of childhood

Calvin and Hobbes hide Calvin's mom's shoes to avoid being watched

Weather calvin and hobbes he tackled many adult concepts, he never left the world of childhood. calvin and hobbes it is firmly grounded in Calvin’s understanding of the world. The duo’s adventures take place in familiar places like school, home, and playgrounds, and their characters were figures readers recognized from their own childhoods. Calvin was surrounded by parents, neighbors, bullies, and teachers, making his world relatable and recognizable.

Calvin constantly struggles with his desire for control. Like most kids, Calvin doesn’t have much power, not even over himself. Watterson embraces the wonder and difficulties inherent in childhood to effectively tell the story of a boy and his best friend.

5/10 Calvin & Hobbes emphasized the power of the imagination

Calvin shows his mother his Snowman House of Horrors in Calvin & Hobbes

While capturing the spirit of childhood, Watterson focused on the imagination. For every strip that showed Calvin sitting in class or dealing with his parents, there was a strip that featured aliens, fantasy worlds, or bloodthirsty snowmen.

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Watterson vividly portrayed Calvin’s fecund imagination, allowing him to do things like transform ordinary cardboard boxes into time machines and race cars. One of the central concepts of the strip is that only Calvin can see Hobbes as more than just a toy, a concept that forces readers to admit the raw power of imagination.

4/10 Watterson created a deep and memorable tradition for Calvin & Hobbes

Calvin & Hobbes participating in the random impromptu game, Calvinball

Growing out of Calvin’s imagination and his relationships with the other characters, a vast mythology emerges that pervades the strip. This mythology works on two levels: imaginary elements like Calvin’s adventures as Spaceman Spiff, and real elements like Calvinball’s lawless game.

In addition to helping to emphasize the power of the imagination, the recurring tradition of calvin and hobbes underlines how much young people build their own worlds. While Calvin is forced into situations like homework and babysitting, the plethora of concepts created by Calvin in-universe, such as Calvinball and the murderous snow thugs, illustrate the power of youth to remake his world.

3/10 Calvin & Hobbes was always relatable

Calvin explains GROSS to Suzie Derkins at Calvin & Hobbes

By telling stories about avoiding babysitters and using your imagination, Watterson made her stories incredibly accessible. Even today kids love it calvin and hobbes due to their relationship and Calvin’s mischief, while the adults read the strips and reminisce about the halcyon days of youth.

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Calvin’s precocity formed a perfect middle ground for his readers. Everyone can relate to being frustrated with a teacher or the weird gender politics of the schoolyard. By choosing themes at the heart of American culture, Watterson made calvin and hobbes one strip for all.

2/10 Watterson’s Independence Let The Strip Stay Untouched

Bill Watterson smiles as he leans over a drawing board

Just as Calvin was fiercely independent, so was Bill Watterson. The creator of the strip is famous for refusing to create licensed products, and even turned down Steven Spielberg when the famed director approached him about making a movie about his characters. Watterson also fought tooth and nail for creative control, always pushing the boundaries of newspaper comics.

Watterson’s unusual ambition allowed his strip to flourish; the way he protected his ideas ensured his lasting power. Watterson could write about life and love honestly. This day, calvin and hobbes it is still considered a brilliant work of art, not just simple stories about a boy and a stuffed tiger.

1/10 Calvin & Hobbes stayed true to itself

Calvin and Hobbes read the Sunday comic strips lying on the floor

The combination of Calvin’s childhood perspective with the big ideas and realities of childhood made calvin and hobbes a single strip Watterson poured his heart into his work to create a world anyone could empathize with, never compromising his vision for the sake of corporate greed.

Ultimately, Watterson’s insistence on keeping calvin and hobbes a creator-controlled comic strip is what made it so different. At once biting satire, humor for the ages, and a heartfelt recollection of childhood, calvin and hobbes it remains the gold standard for American cartoons.

NEXT: 10 Times Calvin And Hobbes Broke Our Hearts



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