Meet Calvin, an energetic 6 year old boy who lives with his mum and dad and his best friend, tiger and stuffed toy, Hobbes. Calvin is forever getting into trouble but he doesnt mean to, its not his fault that the monsters under his bed need whacking with a baseball bat or that the aliens from outer space keep coming for him when he’s meant to be concentrating at school. In between this and theological debates with Hobbes Calvin tends to keep himself entertained, much to his parents dismay.
I was given these two collections by my wonderful friend Laura, after she was introduced to Calvin and Hobbes and thought I would love them too. I had heard of the strips of course but as the strip ran from before I was born to when I was just seven. I wish I had read these earlier though as they are still absolutely brilliant even with age.
Calvin was brilliant and I loved his sense of adventure and his imagination. To everyone else Hobbes is just a stuff toy but to Calvin he is an actual tiger – one that Calvin even tries to pass off as himself when he doesn’t want to go to school and that calvin makes his parents take to a restaurant. He often takes Hobbes to school and that causes even more problems but as Calvin said, one guy tried to pick on him for it and no one has since. I loved Calvin’s interactions with his parents – something which appears more in the second volume – and especially his dad’s polls. His mum often wonders why they didn’t have a girl or a dog but you can tell she loves him even though he drives her insane.
With school days being spent chasing aliens and tormenting the love of his life Susie, Calvin doesn’t spend much time working and often tried to get Hobbes to do his homework for him… which doesn’t work out well obviously. The answers are nearly always hilarious as the pair claim that ‘Atlanta’ is a correct answer for a maths equation. However Calvin does come across as quite intelligent sometimes when he is theorising about life after death with Hobbes, something which Hobbes finds terrifying as it often happens when the pair are doing something really dangerous.
The art style is simplistic but brilliant, it gets the point across really well and the facial expressions, whilst subtle, work so well. I love that Hobbes switches between real tiger when he’s just with Calvin and stuffed whenever there’s someone else in the frame and Hobbes’ face when Calvin’s mum says he needs stitching up is soooo sweet yet sad – apparently she doesn’t use pain relief – he was easily my favourite when it came to the art and the personality that it gave the comic.
I really did enjoy these collections and will definitely be keeping look out for more Calvin and Hobbes in the future, as a strip that lasted ten years in the eighties and nineties, its still got live left in it yet! There are a couple of my favourite parts of the books below for you to gander at.
Calvin and Hobbes: Thereby Hangs a Tale and One Day the Wind Will Change were published as volumes in 1992 along with a third volume In the shadow of the Night. My copies were sent as gifts from Laura, AKA SisterSpooky.
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