Monday, October 17, 2005

Welcome Back, Old Friends!

By Mitchell

I'm not sure about other papers in the country, but here the Strib has decided to run classic Calvin and Hobbes strips in the comics section for a limited time. I've mentioned in the past my opinion that, Peanuts notwithstanding, Calvin & Hobbes was the best comic around at the time that Bill Watterson ceased production.

Thanks to Steven Spruiell at NRO, I've been directed to this fun piece by Gregory Favre (timely in light of the new three-volume boxed set of the complete Calvin and Hobbes) that reminds us, if we needed reminding, why Calvin and Hobbes was the best. You can't read a page without running into one great line after another (on page 260, Hobbes asks Calvin if he thinks there's a God. Calvin pauses to ponder this, then replies, "Well, somebody's out to get me." Or page 161 of Volume 2, where Calvin announces "I've decided not to go to school this fall. I don't need an education. I don't need to learn things. I don't need to develop skills. It's too much trouble." Hobbes, ever practical, asks him how he's going to make it it the world without those skills. Replies Calvin: "I'll go on talk shows and hype myself."

One could go on and on with this, but better to read Favre's article to get it all. I may have mentioned before that Calvin and Hobbes had a profound influence on me, when Calvin comments on the privilege of paying for the right to walk around wearing clothing that provides free advertising for the manufacturer. Only in America, he says. It wasn't long afterwards that I started only buying clothing without visible logos.

Anyway, like Favre, I probably have every Calvin strip, only I have the paperback collections. Perhaps someday I'll plunk down the bucks to get the really nice collection. In the meantime, it's always a good time to relive the adventures of the enthusiastic boy who's a little too smart for his own good, and his loyal (if skeptical) tiger pal.

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