February 07, 2019
January 17, 2018
Yesterday, grayleaf said, “@Hobbes… In one of his collections, Watterson spent more than a little time praising the luxuries of space that were afforded comic strips in the first half of the (20th) century… I got the sense that Watterson felt he may have been born fifty years too late. In our opinion, of course, he was born right on time…”Hi grayleafIf Bill Watterson had been born fifty years earlier, it’s hard to imagine how different his strips would have been from what we have today. He would have grown up reading Krazy Kat, but not Pogo or Peanuts. In that case, perhaps today we would all be marveling over a much more simplistic strip with lots of room for backgrounds on Sundays, but maybe containing mostly a lot of slapstick humor. Perhaps it would be called “The Zany Tiger,” or something like that. Who knows?What actually happened was that George Herriman’s Krazy Kat heavily influenced Charles Schulz, who broke the comic strip mold with Peanuts, which then, together with Walt Kelly’s Pogo, finally inspired Bill Watterson to take things a step further in Calvin and Hobbes, by adding his own brand of genius and more complexity.As an imperfect analogy, I like to think about the world of classical music. To me, Bach was the “George Herriman” (Krazy Kat) of the Baroque period. Mozart was the “Schulz” (Peanuts) who was influenced by Bach. Mozart broke the mold during the Classical period by creating music that was incredibly beautiful in its simplicity and yet touched deeper human feelings, like Schulz with Peanuts. Then Mozart inspired Beethoven (“Watterson” – Calvin and Hobbes) to take things a step further by adding his own brand of genius and more complexity.Even a genius does not live in a vacuum, but builds upon the past.