This post is inspired by Libby Hill’s delightful article, aptly titled “Calvin And Hobbes embodied the voice of the lonely child” . So much of what she states in there is true. Like her, I too was appalled by this strip that’s been doing rounds on the inter-webs for a very long time. Kids are supposed to be hyperactive!
On Finding Calvin and Hobbes, Discovering My Own Loneliness, and Discovering the Fact That I Was Never Alone; Not At All Alone.
The First Strip of Calvin and Hobbes.
Calvin and Hobbes ended in 1995, after ten long years. While it was ending, it was only beginning for me. Again, being in India you never did come across finds like Calvin and Hobbes in the late 80s, and early 90s. Yes the strips were presented everyday in the comic section of the local Times, but not many knew about its existence, unless someone pointed it out to you. At the least, that’s what happened in my case.
Why I loved reading it was not clear to me until much later. It dawned suddenly one day that I was alone, and the comic is about a kid’s loneliness, and the disappointment of living in a world where he wouldn’t fit in; no that’s not right. It is about a kid’s loneliness, and the disappointment of living in world where he didn’t want to fit in. Naturally the only other option was to create his own world, and What a world it is! A world where your geometrical shapes never matter. A world where any one can fit into.
The comic was never really available, separately in a book store where I lived at that point in time. Hell, there wasn’t even much of a book store around. Yes stationary shops were abundant, filled with school text-books, and other school stuff, but never really comics. Comics were available at the local news stands, and finding books full of comics like Calvin and Hobbes was unheard of. This fact was especially true for the place I was last schooled at.
The First Spaceman Spiff Comic Strip.
I never quite did fit in. The reasons behind that fact may be many, and all of ’em lead up to me being myself; but the fact of finding myself alone, even today, stands true. And every-time I feel or ‘ve felt like that, there’s always been Calvin and Hobbes. So, yes Calvin and Hobbes embodies loneliness, and it is about a kid taking the loneliness in his stride, but it’s definitely not meant for just kids. I never felt alone when I read the comic.
Today I own the complete set of all Calvin and Hobbes; thanks to the only other best friend, and soul mate I’ve. It sits upon a shelf, and sometimes I take it out. Then I start reading it right from the beginning, and tend to always sink in, and smile. Just like what I am planning to do now. In a world of ever endings, Calvin and Hobbes is something that will never end. For many of us.
Hobbes and Bacon by pants are overrated.
I was in for a surprise when I followed the link shared above, and stumbled upon Hobbes and Bacon by pants are overrated . It’s only four strips, and as Robert Krulwich on NPR put’s it - it may be un-sanctimonious, and what not. But, nothing else even comes close to the originality, and creativity of Calvin, Hobbes and Bill Watterson .
The entire premise that it starts with, is something that feels somehow connected with Calvin and Hobbes, and with Bill’s creativity. Bacon and Hobbes starts with Susie, and Calvin having a daughter of their own, awesomely named Bacon.
The only sad part is that pants are overrated have stopped drawing. And it’s a shame that something so promising, never got a chance. Oh well, I am happy with the four we have now.
Hobbes and Bacon by pants are overrated - All Comic Strips.
Credit: Pants are Overrated