Tag Archives: Calvin and Hobbes

So cool: ‘Calvin’ creator comes back – briefly

bill watterson pearls before swine

How cool is this?

Artist Stephan Pastis, like other comic strip artists, sometimes makes reference to Bill Watterson’s much-loved and long-gone strip “Calvin and Hobbes.”

Pastis and the notoriously private Watterson struck up an email friendship recently and that led to Watterson actually drawing a couple of days worth of Pastis’ strip, “Pearls Before Swine.”

One of those days’ strips is above.

Here’s Pastis’ blog explaining how it happened.

Today in Halloween: Calvin goes trick-or-treating

calvin and Hobbes 1995 halloween

Apparently only a couple of Bill Watterson’s “Calvin and Hobbes” newspaper strips make reference to Halloween, although it would seem like a natural holiday for a kid like Calvin.

Earlier this month, I posted the first Halloween-themed Calvin here.

Here, as we begin the long slow wind-down of our month of Halloween, is the other.

Comic classic sequel: ‘Hobbes and Bacon’

2011-05-10-Hobbes-And-Bacon

I’m not sure how I never saw this until now.

Every few days, I mourn the passing, in 1995, of Bill Watterson’s “Calvin and Hobbes” newspaper comic strip.

I post Calvin strips every once in a while here.

But not until today did I see a reference to “Hobbes and Bacon,” a totally unofficial sequel to Watterson’s great work.

In 2011, the web-based comic “Pants Are Overrated” did a series of four “Hobbes and Bacon” strips that visits, more than two decades later, the household of grown-up Calvin and Susie, their daughter Francis Bacon and, of course, tiger Hobbes.

hobbes-and-bacon-2

The strips are wonderfully clever and nostalgic and guaranteed to bring a tear or two to your eye even while they’re making you smile.

And in light of the many, many, many bootleg and offensive rip-offs of Calvin, I’m guessing the famously reclusive Watterson wouldn’t terribly mind these tributes to his characters.

What the heck did we know: Things kids believed

When we were kids, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, we believed a lot of crazy stuff. Childhood myths were the playground currency we traded in. Here’s a look back at some favorites.

Sea monkey were magical creatures! The ads, appearing in comic books and magazines aimed at kids, were pretty straightforward: Sea monkeys were a bowl full of fun! They were instant pets! The lady sea monkeys wore pretty bows in their um … hair? Antenna? Your whole family would gather around the fish bowl and laugh at their antics!

Of course, some of us ordered sea monkeys and found out the truth. Sea monkeys were brine shrimp. They were most often a bowl full of dead brine shrimp. They were instant pets if you considered brine shrimp pets. No hair bows were visible on the teeny, tiny heads of the teeny, tiny lady brine shrimp. And your family didn’t want any part of dead brine shrimp floating in brackish water in a bowl on the desk in your room.

Pop rocks and Coke would blow your head off! You remember the urban legend. Mikey, the kid from the cereal commercials, did the unthinkable: He ate a bunch of Pop Rocks, the fizzy candy nuggets, and drank some Coke. The intense mixture of Carbon Dioxide and, well, whatever else, was too much for his still-growing skull. Boom!

Of course, it was an urban legend, even if most of us lived in fear of accidentally mixing the two for years, until the Internet came along and snopes.com debunked the story.

According to snopes, General Foods actually took out newspaper ads around the country in 1979, claiming that Pop Rocks were safe.

If your turn your eyelids inside out, they’ll get stuck that way. This is the corollary to the belief that if you make an especially hideous expression your face might freeze that way.

When I was in second grade, a kid in my class named Lonnie could turn his eyelids inside out. Not through muscle control or anything; he just reached up and, using his fingers, flipped them over. I never tried it; Lonnie’s crazy eyelids freaked me out.

Don’t look now, but there’s something under the bed. At one time or another, all of us believed there was something under our bed or in our closet. A hideous monster ready to drag us under, to some horrible place from which we would never return.

Heck, the Pixar movie “Monsters Inc.” was based on the premise and “Calvin and Hobbes” got a lot of humorous mileage out of that fear.

Curiously enough, of all these childhood myths, “there’s something under the bed” is the only one that turns out to be true.

Ha!

Sometime we’ll explore those childhood beliefs that really, really were true, including using a magnifying glass to start a fire and how you will never, ever, use that complicated algebra formula your teacher forced you to memorize.

The Great Newspaper Comics Challenge Part 15

It’s a very special time! No, Calvin, not bath time! It’s time for our regular look at what’s funny in newspaper comic strips. Because surely all the fun didn’t go out of the funny pages when Opus left “Bloom County” for other pastures?

In “Classic Peanuts,” Charlie Brown uses Snoopy as a substitute for his kite. Snoopy doesn’t end up in a tree, but he does crash to the ground with a “crunch.” Then Snoopy wakes up and realizes he was having a bad dream. Posthumous points to Sparky Schulz for the surprise and the visuals.

Speaking of Calvin, today’s “Baby Blues” made me smile as the kids quiz Dad about where his car keys are, how you start the car and long his nap was expected to last. Shades of “Calvin and Hobbes” letting the car roll down the driveway and into a ditch.

And speaking of trouble-making kids and meta humor: In “LiO,” the protagonist blows a hole in the panel of the comic with a bazooka (!) and Hagar the Horrible peers through. Nice!

“Dilbert” gave me a warm feeling. Wally outlines his plan for his career. Wonderful.

“Blondie” finds Dagwood, armed with a bow and arrow, hunting a ham. It’s a “Hunger Games” joke. Get it? Sigh.

 

The Great Newspaper Comics Challenge Part 8

Our weekly look at the Sunday funnies. Because surely the best comic strips didn’t set sail with Prince Valiant?

“Classic Peanuts” gives us Charlie Brown vs. the Kite-Eating Tree, Part 127,423. Charlie taunts the “stupid tree,” avowing that it won’t get his kite this time. What does the tree do? It “wumps” over onto the kite. Look at it this way, CB: The tree’s roots are pulled out of the ground, so surely that’s the last time this will happen, no?

“Baby Blues” finds the parents worried that the kids haven’t uncovered all the Easter eggs. They do … except for the one left over from last year. Mercifully, it was on the porch. Otherwise, you know, I think they would have noticed it before now.

“Pickles”: Grandpa advises Nelson not to take it personally that Gramma is grouchy. “We need to be slow to judge others, though, son,” Grandpa says. Then Gramma comes in, announces “I believe these are yours,” and throws dirty laundry all over Grandpa. Funny.

“Lio” shows the little boy wishing for a companion. The Good Fairy turns his doll into a real boy, ala Pinocchio. Final panel: The newly created boy is doing Lio’s homework. Good, very “Calvin and Hobbes.”

I literally laughed out loud at today’s “Dilbert.” A female office worker asks Wally to lunch. He tells her he’s become “digisexual” and is no longer attracted to people. “I only like technology. People creep me out. You’re basically a delivery system for viruses, germs and unreasonable favor requests. I’m willing to take a picture of you, but that’s as far as I’ll go.” he says. “This is the most disturbing conversation I’ve ever had,” she says as Wally snaps a picture. “Thank goodness for photoshop,” he says.

In “Blondie,” Dagwood gives us our second Easter egg hunting joke, finding his treat in the attic. Not a lot of laughs, but it’s topical!

“Foxtrot” brings the Easter funny as the kids dye eggs in a manner that turns the egg inside funny colors, thus convincing kids at school that they’re eating rotten eggs when they takes egg salad sandwiches for lunch. Funny, but do kids take egg salad sandwiches to school anymore? Do kids even eat egg salad anymore?

And it’s the return of Ghostly Grandpa in “The Family Circus.” The spectral ancestor shows baby PJ where to find hidden Easter eggs: On a step (that’s just asking for a smashed egg), under a bush, behind a trash can. Then Grandpa’s ghost lifts PJ up into a tree so he can get one there. Now, let’s think about this for a moment. Grandpa’s ghost lifts PJ up. How can he do that? How can he touch PJ, no less lift him? And what would the rest of the family think if they saw PJ suddenly floating up into a tree, aided by invisible Grandpa? I think the Keanes just wrote the script for the “Poltergeist” reboot.