Monday, April 03, 2006

The Amazing C&H

Calvin and Hobbes was first conceived when Bill Watterson, having worked in an advertising job he detested, began devoting his spare time to cartooning, his true love. He explored various strip ideas but all were rejected by the syndicates to which he sent them. However, he did receive a positive response on one strip, which featured a side character (the main character's little brother) who had a stuffed tiger. Told that these characters were the strongest, Watterson began a new strip centered around them. The syndicate (United Features Syndicate) which gave him this advice actually rejected the new strip, and Watterson endured a few more rejections before Universal Press Syndicate decided to take it...

The first strip was published on November 18, 1985 and it went on, captivating the minds of all till Bill decided to call it quits. In the first strip, Calvin meets Hobbes when he catches him with a rope noose baited with a tuna fish sandwich. Watterson later wrote that this initial explanation of Hobbes's origins becomes unnecessary and moot as the series progresses. At one point, Calvin describes him as, "On the quiet side. A bit peculiar. A good companion, in a weird sort of way"

The very first C&H, Nov 18, 1985
(I had a hard time finding it on the net)

Named after 16th-century theologian John Calvin (founder of Calvinism and a strong believer in predestination), Calvin is an impulsive, imaginative, energetic, curious, intelligent, and often selfish six-year-old. The strips do not disclose Calvin's last name. Watterson has described Calvin thus:

"Calvin is pretty easy to do because he is outgoing and rambunctious and there's not much of a filter between his brain and his mouth. I guess he's a little too intelligent for his age. The thing that I really enjoy about him is that he has no sense of restraint, he doesn't have the experience yet to know the things that you shouldn't do. The socialization that we all go through to become adults teaches you not to say certain things because you later suffer the consequences. Calvin doesn't know that rule of thumb yet."

Mr. Hobbes
Hobbes is Calvin's tiger who, from Calvin's perspective, is as alive and real as anyone else in the strip. He is named after 17th-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes, who had what Watterson described as "a dim view of human nature." He is famous for his claim that humans' natural state is a state of war, where "the life of man is, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short." Hobbes shares this mentality, and states many times throughout the strip his superiority to Calvin. While appearing real to Calvin, everyone else perceives him as a small, inanimate stuffed tiger. Hobbes is much more rational and aware of consequences than Calvin, but seldom interferes with Calvin's troublemaking beyond a few oblique warnings—after all, Calvin will be the one to get in trouble for it, not Hobbes.

The lovable Duo
Calvin and Hobbes strips are characterized by sparse but careful draftsmanship, intelligent humor, poignant observations, witty social and political commentary, and well-developed characters that are full of personality.

So finally, the 3150th and final strip ran on Sunday, December 31, 1995. The strip was accompained by an explanation with Bill about why he was quitting. It depicted Calvin and Hobbes outside in freshly-fallen snow, reveling in the wonder and excitement of the winter scene. "It's a magical world, Hobbes ol' buddy!" Calvin exclaims in the last panel. "Let's go exploring!"

The C&H Epitah

Its a Magical World... Lets go exploring
(Last C&H Stip December 31, 1995)

Thanks Wikipedia & for the info... Stefan Rundberg rare C&H stips... BTW, checkout this article that views C&H as a polictical commentry on America's governments.


anuprakash said...

u r tooooooooo good......gr8 R&D. i myself is a Calvin fan....Cheers

Raghu said...

thnaks da... more to come soon

TanTriX said...

Another interesting thing about Calvin and Hobbes is that Thomas Hobbes had written a thesis on humour, which states that all humour is basically sarcastic, or making fun of somebody else.. Humour is not funny in itself. But there was John Calvin who wrote another obscure paper refuting this, saying that there is a possibility of humour being fun on its own terms.. And if you read the strip, you can't get more examples of both their theories of humour..

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