Ahoy Captain Cats here and today I’m going to be talking about what many people have called over the years “The last great newspaper comic” and that comic strip is Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson.
Calvin and Hobbes were introduced to the world on November 18, 1985, by Universal Press Syndicate. When the comic strip was first published it was in 35 newspapers, but within a year of its release, it was being published on 250 newspapers and was getting a lot of positive buzz from the international markers and was soon translated and published all over the world. From 1985 to 1990 Watterson won the following awards
2 Reuben Awards for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year (1986 and 1988)
2 Harvey Awards for Special Award for Humor and Best Syndicated Comic Strip (1989 and 1990)
1 National Cartoonists Society Award for Newspaper Comic Strip Humor (1988)
1 Sporing Award for Calvin and Hobbes (1988)
Who would have thought a comic strip about a 6-year-old boy and his best friend, a stuffed tiger would be the best thing to hit comic strips in ages and that everyone could pick up and read.
The latter half of the series run from 1991 till 1995 was as interesting as it was revolutionary and heartbreaking. Bill took two sabbatical, the first one was from May 5, 1991, till February 1, 1992, during this time he started to stop going to cartooning awards, stop giving interviews and went off the grid. During this time Watterson was also trying to and obtain the legal control over Calvin and Hobbes for both creative control and all licensing arrangements. When he came back from the first sabbatical, Watterson wanted a half-page for the Sunday edition of Calvin and Hobbes, only Watterson and Garry Trudeau of Doonesbury fame ever did this. The Sunday editions of Calvin and Hobbes were such a treat to the readers and the eyes, the best way to explain them was like they were mini side stories or adventures.
After he took his second sabbatical from April 3 till December 31 of 1994 he made the decision to end Calvin and Hobbes and on December 31, 1995, after 10 years of excellent storytelling, beautiful artwork and memorable adventures, the last strip of Calvin and Hobbes was published and to many with that last strip was the end of an era and to this day no comic strip since could have filled in the massive void that Calvin and Hobbes has left.
This year marks the 35th anniversary of when Calvin and Hobbes were born and ironically this year also marks the 25th anniversary of when the series ended. Here’s to you Calvin and Hobbes, a boy and his stuff tiger and the 10 years of joy that ended up being a lifetime of joy.
Also, a fun fact to you all, did you know that Calvin was named after 16th-century theologian John Calvin and Hobbes was named after 17th-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury.