Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Essential Calvin And Hobbes by Bill Watterson (highly recommended)

I just finished the Essential Calvin And Hobbes by Bill Watterson.  This is a collection of Calvin And Hobbes comics.  There are both whole page Sunday color stories and 4-panel shorts (from weekday newspaper comics).  I would highly recommend this to anyone.  It was a joy to read.

Calvin is a 6 year old boy.  Hobbes is a stuffed tiger.  From Calvin's perspective, the tiger is a real tiger who can walk and talk but from any non-calvin perspective, Hobbes is just a stuff animal.  We never really know if Hobbes is real or not but I guess that just adds to the mystery.

Calvin is interesting.  He is both rude and selfish and a nightmare to his parents but at the same time, he is charismatic, charming and naive.  But somehow, he always comes across to the reader as cordial and our hearts are endeared towards him.

Calvin doesn't understanding the world that he lives in.  (OR he understands it very plainly and it is us who are blinded by the culture that we live in.)  My times, Calvin asks candid question about his observations of the world that are quite provocative.  Watterson never gives an answer though but the questions themselves, especially since Calvin asks encourages us to consider the question again, maybe through the eyes of a 6 year old.

Calvin is named after the theologian John Calvin and Hobbes is named after the political philosopher Thomas Hobbes.  The characters really have nothing to do with the people that they are named after.

Something that I really like about Calvin and Hobbes is their friendship.  Regardless of what Hobbes or Calvin says to each other, they are loyal.  They are friends through thick and thin.  Many times in my life, I wish I had a Hobbes.  A more serious example of this kind of friendship is Jonathan and King David from the Bible.  Their friendship is truly beautiful.  I think that Calvin and Hobbes, in its own way reflects strong friendships like Jonathan and David and I think, especially in our culture, that loyal and devoted friends are few and far between and innately, internally, we long for those kinds of friendships.

...or maybe I am reading too much into Calvin and Hobbes.

Anyways, some of the comics were okay, some were tender, and show were laugh out loud funny.

Overall, this comic collection was excellent, I laughed and smiled a lot throughout the book.  I would highly recommend this to anyone and at age at anytime during any season.  Outstanding.  I may put another Calvin and Hobbes Collection in my summer reading queue this very night.  Until the next time...

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