Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

Calvin and Hobbes

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  1. margueritem

    margueritem GoComics PRO Member said, over 4 years ago

    It certainly is, but not quite as thrill packed.

  2. Hobbes

    Hobbes GoComics PRO Member said, over 4 years ago

    Yesterday, adubman said: “Great Peanuts strips. I’m noticing Bill Watterson had many similar storylines to Charles Schulz and wonder if that was an influence or something else. Any thoughts?

    Hi adubman. Also please see Grog’s reply from last night, which includes some information that I didn’t know. I’ll try to elaborate here briefly.


    Bill Watterson said that Peanuts was the main comic strip that had influenced him as he was growing up. That is why I like to find parallels between his work and Peanuts, and share them with other Calvin and Hobbes fans here. But even when Watterson used something that was similar to Charles Schulz’s work, it seems like he always tried to give it an original twist.

    One thing to keep in mind is that Charles Schulz drew Peanuts for nearly 50 years – a huge output of about 18,000 strips – and he was breaking new ground by having kids and a dog do a lot of things they had never done before in comic strips. This made it difficult for cartoonists who came after him to seem as original as Schulz (especially if they were drawing strips about kids and animals), because Schulz had already “used up” so many ideas and themes over so many years.

    So, there is a sense in which Schulz’s originality was easier because he was first. At the same time, it was harder because it required so much insight for him to envision the comics themselves in a radically new way, and to keep transforming them further as time went on. Bill Watterson benefited from Schulz’s genius, but he also added his own brand of genius to the mix.

    Like Charles Schulz, and unlike so many other cartoonists, Bill Watterson drew every line of every comic strip himself, without using any assistants. But unlike Schulz, he also used very complex artwork for some of his backgrounds.

    Watterson’s daily strips had a taller format than Peanuts, giving him more room for backgrounds. And following his first sabbatical (the end of which we are hopefully approaching), the syndicate began allowing him to have total freedom with modifying the shapes and sizes of the individual panels in his Sunday strips.

    In Peanuts, Snoopy is a mixture of fantasy and “reality” (more reality in the earlier years). But in Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watterson takes the interplay of fantasy and reality to an entirely new level.

    Like Charles Schulz, Bill Watterson grew up in the Midwest, and his comic strips include the four seasons.

    Unlike Charles Schulz, Bill Watterson allowed almost no marketing of Calvin and Hobbes items, despite repeated pleas from the syndicate and his readers, who especially wanted a stuffed Hobbes.

    Like Charles Schulz, Bill Watterson was highly introverted and wanted to avoid the public spotlight – even more so than Schulz.

    Unlike Charles Schulz, Bill Watterson’s last name did not begin with an “S.”

    I could go on…….

    In 1999, Bill Watterson said, “Charles M. Schulz is in a league all his own. He was a hero to me as a kid and his influence on my work and life is long and deep. I suspect most cartoonists would say something similar.”

    Nevertheless, I think that most of us would agree that Bill Watterson is also in a class by himself. He was standing on the shoulders of a giant, but he was also a giant.

    (This concludes part 1 of 17)

  3. Pteranodon

    Pteranodon said, over 4 years ago

    Hobbes, I agree about Schultz’ influence. What a sad and brilliant man. But don’t neglect the great Walt Kelly (Pogo), whose masterful brushwork and in-depth characterization set the stage for some of C&H’s most subtle and evocative effects.

  4. Hobbes

    Hobbes GoComics PRO Member said, over 4 years ago

    @Pteranodon: Yes, that’s a good point. Bill Watterson said that, other than Peanuts, Pogo and Krazy Kat were the most influential strips for him. As a kid, he discovered Peanuts first, and then Pogo.

  5. Destiny23

    Destiny23 said, over 4 years ago

    And so begins the new line of study aids, “Hobbes’ Notes”…

  6. Nabuquduriuzhur

    Nabuquduriuzhur said, over 4 years ago

    Always struck me how schools train kids to not like to read by making it a drudgery. Some of us learned to like to read despite it.

  7. bluskies

    bluskies said, over 4 years ago


    And why not? We all can benefit from his in depth analyses, from which we can leap to our own conclusions.

  8. bluskies

    bluskies said, over 4 years ago


    And a rare teacher or two inspired us to look outside the recommended list for something that interested us…

  9. bluskies

    bluskies said, over 4 years ago


    Unfortunately, mention POGO to kids today, and all they can relate to is a free online gaming site. They have no knowledge of Walt Kelly, the swamp, or Pogo, Albert, Porky, and the others. Sad.

  10. Hosfac

    Hosfac said, over 4 years ago

    Yeah, this is going to go over well…

  11. GROG!

    GROG! GoComics PRO Member said, over 4 years ago

    Youll regret not doing it yourself, Calvin.

  12. LX013

    LX013 GoComics PRO Member said, over 4 years ago

    Work is hidden behind pleasure, where is only pleasure for Hobbes?

  13. Makso Kastel

    Makso Kastel said, over 4 years ago

    I caught a student of mine copying homework from his schoolmate today. He blushed and put his notebook away. He admitted he had not done it at all. I wonder what would Calvin do in his place.

  14. hazardboy

    hazardboy said, over 4 years ago

    My mother taught me to read long before kindergarten and I especially liked readers digest. My teachers were amazed but I thought of reading like breathing, not extraordinary but only one of the natural things in life..
    People who don’t read are missing one of the best experiences of the senses. Unexplainable to the non-reader is the thrill of getting “INTO” a book and losing ones self there.

  15. frightenup

    frightenup said, over 4 years ago

    I’ve always loved reading, but never enjoyed writing book reports or interpreting characters. I just like getting lost in the plot and characters.

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