Yeah, I’m a few days late on this one. However, I couldn’t let the quarter-century anniversary of the best comic strip ever go by without a tip of the laptop. I’m sure most, if not all, of you reading this blog know about the greatness of Calvin and Hobbes and are fans of the strip; if you do not and are not, then I really don’t want you reading this. That’s how good the strip was/is. I can’t add anything new to the praise heaped on Bill Watterson but I can add my appreciation to the incredibly long list.
Calvin and Hobbes is the best comic strip ever, and for me it isn’t even close – Peanuts is #2 but it is a distant second, kinda like the Washington Generals to the Globetrotters of Calvin and Hobbes. That’s not to say Peanuts isn’t a great strip in its own right. Charles Schultz made the loneliness and despair of childhood into something funny and moving and his strip is also great. However, Calvin and Hobbes is so much better.
For me, part of that is because Watterson never licensed his strip for products, advertisements, or TV shows. I can’t imagine how many millions of dollars he turned down in the process, but he stuck to his beliefs and desires that he decide the reality of the strip, not some advertisers. That’s integrity writ large. Not only that, he decided to stop writing the strip while it was still in excellent form; instead of dragging it on indefinitely he walked away while it was still fresh and funny. I have the utmost respect for Bill Watterson and his desire to keep his creation true to his vision, which shows through these actions. It makes the strip even better, because it maintains the essence of it and keeps it from being diluted by outside forces.
Once again…belated happy anniversary to the best comic strip ever. I miss it, but I’m glad it left on its own terms.