Jan 31, 2018

The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes

A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury
by Bill Watterson

This thicker volume of comic strips contains all the material from previously published collections Yukon Ho! and Weirdos from Another Planet, the small print on the cover tells me. What it doesn't mention is that it also seems to have all the color strips from Lazy Sunday Book, which I just read. I know because I instantly recognized them all and my eyes started just automatically skipping over the sunday panels in here.

Nevertheless, it was an awesome read. I enjoyed every moment- the chuckles, the dipping into philosophy and introspective thoughts on social norms- seen from a six-year-old's viewpoint of course- the few touching moments. The struggles of parenting such a wild kid is more obvious to me, reading this as an adult. I really like the tiger's character. I noticed this collection had a few elements missing from the earlier, simpler strips- which seemed to be all about conflicts and curiosities Calvin would encounter at home, at school, on walks in the woods. Here we have a few run-ins with a bully at school. Calvin's torments of the neighborhood girl Susie now include showing off what he claims are gross elements in his packed lunch. His family goes camping in the rain- Calvin and his mom hate it, his dad remains optimistic and cheerful (until his glasses get broken). There's run-ins with a babysitter (how I'd hate to be in her shoes) and Calvin starts to spout political-sounding rhetoric (polls on his dad's popularity- as if he could vote him out of the role) and point out things like global warming and pollution. Makes it feel a bit more grown up, but still with a mischievous kid's take on everything.

Rating: 4/5            256 pages, 1990

No comments: