Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
Type: Comic Strip
Perhaps the most brilliant comic strip ever created, Calvin and Hobbes is celebrating 30 years of entertaining the world with dazzling art and humor. Bill Watterson's comic duo was first introduced in newspapers in 1985, when 6-year-old Calvin captured himself a tiger named Hobbes and the adventure began. Join Calvin and Hobbes on their amazing, imaginative journeys -- through space and time, in school and even in their own back yard -- for fun that will delight and transport you.
Bill Watterson was born in Washington, D.C., in 1958. His love of art began at an early age, and cartoonists including Charles Schulz (Peanuts), George Herriman (Krazy Kat) and Walt Kelly (Pogo), were early influences.
Watterson developed his artistic talent during his high school years in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and later at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where he studied political science. This ultimately led to a brief career as a political cartoonist for The Cincinnati Post immediately following his graduation in 1980. But Watterson's first experiment in newspapers lasted less than a year — because he was fired.
Watterson developed a number of concepts for a daily comic, but all were rejected. On his seventh go-round, he created Calvin and Hobbes, the engaging chronicle of a 6-year-old's psyche. The strip was signed by Universal Press Syndicate and debuted on Nov. 18, 1985. By the end of its run on Dec. 31, 1995, the award-winning Calvin and Hobbes was carried in more than 2,400 newspapers.
Calvin and Hobbes clearly has gained worldwide appeal: More than 23 millionCalvin and Hobbes books are in print, and each of the 14 book collections has been a million-seller within the first year of publication. The most recent collection, The Complete Calvin and Hobbes, was published in the fall of 2005 by Andrews McMeel and became the most expensive book to make the New York Times best-seller list. In 1986, Watterson became the youngest person to win the prestigious Reuben Award for "Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year" from the National Cartoonists Society. He won the award again in 1988, and also was nominated for the honor in 1992.
In a letter to newspaper editors announcing his retirement, Watterson stated: "This is not a recent or easy decision, and I leave with some sadness. My interests have shifted, however, and I believe I've done what I can do within the constraints of daily deadlines and small panels. I am eager to work at a more thoughtful pace, with fewer artistic compromises. I have not yet decided on future projects, but my relationship with Universal Press Syndicate will continue."
Watterson, who has always shunned the spotlight and rarely gives interviews, makes his home in Cleveland.
Meet the Cast of Calvin and Hobbes
Calvin Calvin is a typical 6-year-old: He hates baths, school and his babysitter, and his imagination often gets him in trouble. He's an avid comic book reader. Calvin is a troublemaker, and he doesn't always grasp the concept of consequences. He has several alter egos, and he really dislikes girls. Calvin is named for the 16th-century theologian John Calvin, who believed in predestination.
Hobbes Hobbes is a tiger, though whether he is real or stuffed depends on whom you ask. To Calvin, Hobbes is his big, furry best friend and partner in crime. To everyone else, Hobbes is a stuffed toy that gets the blame for many of Calvin's exploits. Hobbes is smart, patient and a skilled pouncer -- a fact that Calvin knows all too well. Hobbes was named after the 17th-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes, who had a dim view of human nature.