The Return (Sort of) of Calvin and Hobbes

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Bill Watterson still keeps an exceedingly low profile, but here’s the first significant Calvin and Hobbes news since the strip left newspapers nine years ago: Andrews & McMeel will be publishing The Complete Calvin and Hobbes in September. Unlike The Complete Peanuts, this won’t be a long, drawn-out publishing project: For $150, you’ll get three hardbound volumes with the strip’s entire decade-long run. (I’m not sure if the Sundays will be in color or not.)

I’m also still not sure if C&H was a strip to rank with the best that newspapers ever saw, but I think it’s pretty clear it’s the best strip we’ve seen in the last twenty years. (I’d also rate the best of Berke Breathed’s Bloom County as being something of lasting importance; if there was a complete BC, I might buy it.) It’s nice to know that Watterson’s work, unlike that of some great cartoonists, won’t have to wait until decades after the artist’s passing to end up in a definitive, complete collection.

Meanwhile, if September seems a long time away or $150 sounds like a lot of money, you can read Calvin strips for free here.

3 thoughts on “The Return (Sort of) of Calvin and Hobbes”

  1. I’m sure my comments reflect how embarrassingly young I am, but for the sake of discussion:.

    Before C & H, I don’t remember reading any strip that treated reality as subjective or succeeded in aspiring to be more than a gag-a-day routine without coming across as cheesy or pretentious. And it was the only strip that was really gorgeous to look at. In fact, the only strip I see today that matches C & H’s visuals is Mutts.

    Granted, I don’t know much about the classic strips. Peanuts, Pogo, and Terry & the Pirates are the only ones I enjoy. (I’ve been meaning to get my hands on some of the old Disney comics.) Yet I think it’s safe to say that C & H was influential enough to warrant a spot among the greatest strips ever drawn. You just have to turn to the comics page to see that influence. Everyone and their granddaddy uses the subjective reality gag now.

    ‘Course having said all that, I’m not sure I’m willing to plunk down 150 big ones for strips I’ve already got collected elsewhere.

  2. I’m curious as to whether the various commentaries and articles that Watterson wrote for the earlier collections will be included or not. I would hope so, but I’m guessing that they’re not.

    Watterson gave some of the history of the strip and some of his battles with his syndicate coverage in those pieces, and if this new volume is intended to be complete and historically accurate, those articles should be included.

  3. It’s sad a generation of kids thinks of Calvin as merely that kid who’s stuck on the back of car windows peeing on things like rival auto logos and numbers of NASCAR drivers.

    Therefore I’ll be looking forward to seeing the real deal back in action.

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