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"Bye, Calvin and Hobbes!"

Happy New Year, regular and one-time readers alike! Sorry this week's soapbox is a bit late; I'm suffering a bit from writer's block, lack of discussion topics, and a newly-found interest in World's Chat.

We all opened our newspapers this morning, didn't we? Didn't we?? Okay, well I did and right off I knew it was missing something... The placement of the many cartoons was different -- Calvin and Hobbes were no longer there. Bill Watterson, the man behind what I think is the most hilarious cartoon in existence, retired on Sunday, causing millions to mourn across the globe. Now all we have left are Sally Forth, Real-Life Adventures, Foxtrot, and Bizarro. *sigh*

Calvin and Hobbes is about a six-year-old boy and his stuffed tiger. Calvin's tiger is a real being to Calvin, and they have many adventures which are shared with us every day in the newspaper. Watterson adds wit, juvenile humor, and hilarious facial expressions which make the cartoon strip that more triumphant.

Right now I am reading the last book of Calvin and Hobbes, "The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book". This book is different from the other treasuries Watterson has published because he describes what he's thinking when he draws his cartoons. I am only twenty pages or so into the book, but I still strongly recommend it.

One of the most interesting things I've read so far in the book is Watterson's opinion on Hobbes's existence. He says, "The so-called 'gimmick' of my strip -- the two versions of hobbes -- is sometimes misunderstood. I don't think of Hobbes as a doll that miraculously comes to life when Calvin's around. Neither do I think of Hobbes as the product of Calvin's imagination. The nature of Hobbes's reality doesn't interest me, and each story goes out of its way to avoid resolving the issue. Calvin sees Hobbes one way, and everyone else sees Hobbes another way. I show two versions of reality, and each makes complete sense to the participant who sees it. I think that's how life works. None of us sees the world in exactly the same way, and I just draw that literally in the strip. Hobbes is more about the subjective nature of reality than about dolls coming to life."

This excerpt from Watterson's book depicts Watterson's brilliance and intelligence. He is able to bring his childhood experiences to life in a way which makes me laugh for a long time. Not many cartoons have this effect on me.

I don't think I'll be as excited to read the funnies every morning before I go off to school now that Calvin and Hobbes are no longer there. I think many, many other people feel the same way -- why does Peanuts still exist while The Far Side and Calvin and Hobbes are retired?!

I suppose I'll have to quench my first for a laugh from Calvin and Hobbes by rereading the numerous Calvin and Hobbes books I own. Hehe, I'll forget the incident when Hobbes cuts Calvin's hair for him...

The last cartoon of Calvin and Hobbes, printed in the Sunday funnies, had Calvin and Hobbes talking about going off to experience new things and enjoying the world. No doubt Watterson is the real person talking here. Now he'll be able to enjoy his life without the worries of deadlines. Poor guy, he'll actually be too busy reading the tons of fan mail which will start appearing on his doorstep.

So, like Calvin and Hobbes, every reader will now go explore...explore the wasteland of cartoons and find another strip to fall in love with. *sigh* Thanks for the laughs, Mr. Watterson. We appreciate it.

There are many Calvin and Hobbes pages on the Web. I'll just post the main jumpsite for you so you can choose which page you want to see. Enjoy...

[ The Calvin and Hobbes Jumpstation ]

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