Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pop History Moment: "Calvin and Hobbes" Debuts

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On this day in 1985 Universal Press Syndicate debuted the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, by Bill Watterson. In the same way Calvin baited his tiger trap with tuna and caught himself Hobbes, so did Watterson bait his strip with razor-sharp insight into the human psyche and catch himself a cult following; during its decade-long run each and every tantrum, flight of fancy, and philosophical discourse left the strip's regular readers enraptured. I know I for one hoped it would go on forever...

More than a decade after Watterson called it quits (on the last day of 1995) the entire strip was published in a hard cover collectors' edition, which has yet to find its way into the collection of the Pop Culture Institute*...

*This is a hint, for any of you potential benefactors out there... After all, 'Tis the Season and all that.
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6 comments:

TankMontreal said...

The debut of Calvin and Hobbes, what a great way to return to the Institute after my week away. Love that strip and it doesn't seem to get old - the way Peanuts did, for example. Thanks for the heads-up!
Now to check up on what else's been happening at the Institute...

michael sean morris said...

I think you've hit on the reason Watterson quit drawing Calvin and Hobbes; maybe if he went on for fifty years like Schulz the same thing would have happened to him.

I do go on about Peanuts a little more than I should - based on the numbers it gets me - but my identification with Charlie Brown goes deeper than even I care to admit.

Welcome back!

royalsyn said...

WHOOOO HOOO! Thanks for this!! :)

Paul A said...

Watterson quit drawing Calvin & Hobbes in protest over pressure to license. He refused to allow any merchandising or televising of C&H and quit when they threatened to sell off what rights he had granted them. Check out the 10th anniversary book; he comments on the storylines throughout.

michael sean morris said...

I should check that out... I've commented of Watterson's reluctance to merchandise elsewhere, and his snarky comments about Jim Davis and Garfield. I don't know if I entirely agree with his stance, but I respect him for doing it - if that makes any sense.

michael sean morris said...

Here's my other Watterson post:

http://popcultureinstitute.blogspot.com/2008/07/happy-birthday-bill-watterson.html