The Final Calvin And Hobbes Strip
The final strip ran on Sunday, December 31, 1995.
As the final strip was run on a Sunday, it was in color. It depicted Calvin and Hobbes outside in freshly fallen snow carrying a sled. Reveling in the wonder and excitement of the winter scene, Hobbes says, “Everything familiar has disappeared! The world looks brand new!” Calvin agrees saying, “A new year…a fresh, clean start!” Hobbes remarks about the fresh snow, “It is like having a big white sheet of paper to draw on!” Calvin adds, “A day of possibilities.” Getting ready to sled down the hill, Calvin exclaims, “It’s a magical world, Hobbes, ol’ buddy.” Calvin and Hobbes sled down the snowy hill, Calvin saying “Let’s go exploring!”
According to a critic, speaking in 2005, “They left a hole in the comics page that no strip has been able to fill.”
Snowmen And Other Snow Art
Calvin often creates horrendous/dark humor scenes with his snowmen and other snow sculptures. He uses the snowman for social commentary, revenge or pure enjoyment. Examples include Snowman Calvin being yelled at by Snowman Dad to shovel the snow one snowman eating snow cones scooped out of a second snowman, who is lying on the ground with an ice-cream scoop in his back a “snowman house of horror” and snowmen representing people he hates. “The ones I really hate are small, so they’ll melt faster,” he says. There was even an occasion on which Calvin accidentally brought a snowman to life and it made itself and a small army into “deranged mutant killer monster snow goons.”
Calvin’s snow art is often used as a commentary on art in general. For example, Calvin has complained more than once about the lack of originality in other people’s snow art and compared it with his own grotesque snow sculptures. In one of these instances, Calvin and Hobbes claim to be the sole guardians of high culture in another, Hobbes admires Calvin’s willingness to put artistic integrity above marketability, causing Calvin to reconsider and make an ordinary snowman.
End Of Calvin And Hobbes
Watterson announced the end of Calvin and Hobbes on November 9, 1995, with the following letter to newspaper editors:
Dear Reader:I will be stopping Calvin and Hobbes at the end of the year. This was not a recent or an easy decision, and I leave with some sadness. My interests have shifted, however, and I believe I’ve done what I can do within the constraints of daily deadlines and small panels. I am eager to work at a more thoughtful pace, with fewer artistic compromises. I have not yet decided on future projects, but my relationship with Universal Press Syndicate will continue.That so many newspapers would carry Calvin and Hobbes is an honor I’ll long be proud of, and I’ve greatly appreciated your support and indulgence over the last decade. Drawing this comic strip has been a privilege and a pleasure, and I thank you for giving me the opportunity.Sincerely,
The last strip of Calvin and Hobbes was published on December 31, 1995.
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Calvin And Hobbes Said Goodbye 25 Years Ago Heres Why Bill Wattersons Masterwork Enchants Us Still
A new year…a fresh, clean start! a joyous boy in red mittens said a quarter-century ago this week, shortly before soaring forth on the most famous sled in American arts this side of Citizen Kane. And just like that, the high-spirited 6-year-old and his best buddy were never seen again at least not in new images.
Yet the beloved duo have never really left us.
Calvin and Hobbes, one of the greatest strips ever to grace newspapers, blazed across the pages for a beautiful decade before heading off into the white space of our imaginations, trusting us to continue the next adventures in our heads. And to this day, the creation once syndicated to 2,000-plus papers is ever-present on bestseller lists, in libraries and nested on home shelves within easy reach of nostalgic adults and each next generation of young readers.
Decades later, the brilliance of Calvin and Hobbes refuses to dim. It remains a tiger thetiger burning bright.
The final Calvin and Hobbes strip was fittingly published on a Sunday Dec. 31, 1995 the day of the week on which Bill Watterson could create on a large color-burst canvas of dynamic art and narrative possibility, harking back to great early newspaper comics like Krazy Kat. The cartoonist bid farewell knowing his strip was at its aesthetic pinnacle.
Readers return that respect. Ask a fan for a favorite Calvin and Hobbes scenario and a stream of recurring comic premises pours forth.
Read more on Bill Watterson:
It Turned Out That Watterson Had An Idea For Guest Drawing The Strip Himself Pastis Writes:
He said he knew that in my strip, I frequently make fun of my own art skills. And that he thought it would be funny to have me get hit on the head or something and suddenly be able to draw. Then he’d step in and draw my comic strip for a few days.That’s right.The cartoonist who last drew Calvin and Hobbes riding their sled into history would return to the comics page.To draw Pearls Before Swine.What followed was a series of back-and-forth emails where we discussed what the strips would be about, and how we would do them. He was confident. I was frightened.Frightened because it’s one thing to write a strip read by millions of people. But it’s another thing to propose an idea to Bill Watterson.
One of the only known photos of Bill Watterson and Stephan Pastis.
He’s One Of The Old Gods He Demands Sacrifice
One of the top classic Calvin strips. It serves as an example of what set C& H apart from other comics: It’s not a simple set-up to a punchline in the last panel, but a whole and complete work that uses every inch of space. Not only that, but tonally it’s a huge departure from other strips of the time . I can only imagine the initial reaction across the country to a dark, gothic tale of supernatural creation and destruction, wedged between Gasoline Alley and Mark Trail.– Bill
For A Mom Sometimes She’s Pretty Cool
Probably the best approach a parent could take when their child asks of cigarettes. It’s also the only strip where Calvin gets what he wants. Figures that she shits all over him at the same time.– Nick
The Transmogrifier Story.Ahhhhhh, The Transmogrifier. The Transmogrifier was composed of several strips, and was even made more efficient when held within the parameters of a squirt gun. This is my favorite Transmogrifier strip, because Calvin is adorable. This was also the strip where I realized that all Calvin and Hobbes strips were written in all-caps.– Nick
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Calvin And Hobbes Comic Strips
One difficult question to answer might be: What is the best comic strip that you ever read?
As far as I’m concerned the answer is obvious! Calvin and Hobbes comic strips is a clear winner in my mind.
For those who are not familiar with this strip, it’s the story of a six-year old kid, Calvin, who has a stuffed tiger called Hobbes as a friend.
But this friend is not an ordinary one. Hobbes is literally living through the eyes of Calvin.
What makes this comic strip perfect? A simple mix of about everything like a talking animal and a kid, which are probably the two most popular subjects in the comic strip history!
But that’s not it! Calvin and Hobbes is also filled with imagination and well written jokes.
The fact that Bill Watterson, the author, is able to write about so many themes like politics and relationships with such a touch of fantasy is remarkable.
Rarely will Watterson mention any real events or actual people, but still, he is able to comment on our society in a very accurate way.
Since the author is able to maintain a great balance between criticism and entertainment, the strip becomes accessible to almost everyone.
And this comic strip didn’t have many characters! Besides Calvin and Hobbes, the reader would meet Calvin’s parents, Susie Derkins , Miss Wormwood , Rosalyn and Moe .
Still, Watterson manage to draw over 3000 strips using only his imagination and his talent!
This is a must for those who are not familiar with this masterpiece!
I Notice Your Oeuvre Is Monochromatic
Also setting Calvin and Hobbes apart was how surprisingly literate it was, especially for a comic that was not a specific commentary piece like Doonesbury or Bloom County. Watterson admitted in the Calvin and Hobbes 10th Anniversary collection that he had held quite an interest in art for many years, and always had sort of a bemused fascination with the amount of bullshit people build around it. I’m, uh, paraphrasing, of course. Sad to say, there are many people who would find the “artwork” in these two strips to be utterly brilliant and pay a ton of cash for them. Then they’d melt. The art, that is. Or maybe the people who bought it too, hell, I dunno.– Bill
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Ok First We’re Going To Learn The ‘deadman’s Float’
When I was six years old , my mom dragged me to swimming lessons all summer. It was without doubt the worst experience of my entire life . I hated water. I hated the cold. I hated getting up early every morning. I hated the peer pressure. I was scared shitless of drowning. The drive from my house to the pool was about half an hour. I memorized all the landmarks on the way, and as each one passed my wish that I was dead would grow more fervent. I honestly anticipated swimming lessons like one would anticipate a lethal injection.After coming home on the second or third day, I came across the first Calvin and Hobbes collection. The first page I opened to was the beginning of the story of Calvin’s experience with swimming lessons. I identified with it immediately. It was incredibly spot-on. No matter how horrible my day was, I could at least take solace in the fact that my struggles were shared by someone else, even if he were a drawing. This story reminds me that I’ve been able to relate to “Calvin and Hobbes” more than just about anything else in the world.– Jon
Get An Art Lesson From Calvin And Hobbes
Calvin and Hobbes comic strips have been discontinued for years, but the impact of Bill Watterson’s legendary characters still remains. Video essayist kaptainkristian discusses Calvin and Hobbes‘ impact on how we think about art and captialism in a new short called Calvin & Hobbes – Art Before Commerce. In it, he cites Watterson’s refusal to merchandise his characters, numerous efforts to defy traditional comic panel formats, even abandoning “panels” altogether, and his direct meditations on art in the comics.
“People always make the mistake of thinking art is created for them,” reads a simple, single-panel comic, but it speaks multitudes about Watterson’s approach to the art world. Another comic tears apart the common perception of “High Art” and “Low Art” by suggesting scenarios in which a painting is in a comic strip, a comic strip is in a painting, and a comic strip is in a painting in a comic strip. “He firmly believed that an artist’s work shouldn’t be judged by the medium in which it’s created. There was no such thing as low and high art, just creations that either speak to people or don’t,” kaptainkristian narrates.
See more of kaptainkristian’s work on and to donate to his Patreon.
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Fight Against Merchandising His Characters
For years, Watterson battled against pressure from publishers to merchandise his work, something that he felt would cheapen his comic. He refused to merchandise his creations on the grounds that displaying Calvin and Hobbes images on commercially sold mugs, stickers, and T-shirts would devalue the characters and their personalities. Watterson said that Universal kept putting pressure on him and said that he had signed his contract without fully perusing it because, as a new artist, he was happy to find a syndicate willing to give him a chance . He added that the contract was so one-sided that, if Universal really wanted to, they could license his characters against his will, and could even fire him and continue Calvin and Hobbes with a new artist. Watterson’s position eventually won out and he was able to renegotiate his contract so that he would receive all rights to his work, but later added that the licensing fight exhausted him and contributed to the need for a nine-month sabbatical in 1991.
Despite Watterson’s efforts, many unofficial knockoffs have been found, including items that depict Calvin and Hobbes consuming alcohol or Calvin urinating on a logo. Watterson has said, “Only thieves and vandals have made money on Calvin and Hobbes merchandise.”
Calvin And Hobbes And Rise To Success
Watterson has said that he works for personal fulfilment. As he told the graduating class of 1990 at Kenyon College, “It’s surprising how hard we’ll work when the work is done just for ourselves.” Calvin and Hobbes was first published on November 18, 1985. In Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book, he wrote that his influences included Charles Schulz’sPeanuts, Walt Kelly’s Pogo, and George Herriman‘s Krazy Kat. Watterson wrote the introduction to the first volume of The Komplete Kolor Krazy Kat. Watterson’s style also reflects the influence of Winsor McCay‘s Little Nemo in Slumberland.
Like many artists, Watterson incorporated elements of his life, interests, beliefs, and values into his workfor example, his hobby as a cyclist, memories of his own father’s speeches about “building character”, and his views on merchandising and corporations. Watterson’s cat Sprite very much inspired the personality and physical features of Hobbes.
Watterson spent much of his career trying to change the climate of newspaper comics. He believed that the artistic value of comics was being undermined, and that the space which they occupied in newspapers continually decreased, subject to arbitrary whims of shortsighted publishers. Furthermore, he opined that art should not be judged by the medium for which it is created .
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Launch And Early Success
The first strip was published on November 18, 1985 in 35 newspapers. It was not long before the series had become a hit. Within a year of syndication, the strip was published in roughly 250 newspapers and was proving to have international appeal with translation and wide circulation outside the United States.
AlthoughCalvin and Hobbes underwent continual artistic development and creative innovation over the period of syndication, the earliest strips demonstrate a remarkable consistency with the latest. Watterson introduced all the major characters within the first three weeks and made no changes to the central cast over the strip’s 10-year history.
By April 5, 1987, Watterson was featured in an article in the Los Angeles Times.Calvin and Hobbes earned Watterson the Reuben Award from the National Cartoonists Society in the Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year category, first in 1986 and again in 1988. He was nominated another time in 1992. The Society awarded him the Humor Comic Strip Award for 1988.Calvin and Hobbes has also won several more awards.
As his creation grew in popularity, Watterson underwent a long and emotionally draining battle with his syndicate editors over his refusal to license his characters for merchandising. By 1991, Watterson had achieved his goal of securing a new contract that granted him legal control over his creation and all future licensing arrangements.
But Don’t You Go Anywhere
The Raccoon Story.What makes Calvin & Hobbes the greatest ever is its ability to make you laugh your ass off, and identify with it.What makes it one of the great treasures of our culture is its ability to invoke emotions that you never thought you’d spend on a comic strip.This one’s positively touching.
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Appearance And Artistic Evolution
Like most children in Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin is extremely short compared to the adult characters, to the point that child-size short pants touch his feet , and has an over-sized head. Aside from spiky blond hair, he has few distinct facial features, whereas other children in the strip often have glasses or freckles. Like all characters in the strip , Calvin usually only has four fingers, including his thumb. Calvin’s eyes have been blue, green, red, brown, or multicolored throughout the Sunday strips.
The last appearance.
Over time, as Watterson’s drawing style evolved, so too did Calvin’s appearance. Though originally somewhat stubby, Calvin became thinner and taller with time, making his head smaller in relation to his body. His relatively blocky skull got more rounded, and his neck more distinct. His shorter growths of hair rarefied, giving way to large spikes. His old “dot”-style eyes became more oval in shape.
Calvin’s regular outfit is identical to that of Peanuts character Linus van Pelt: black shorts and a striped red shirt. Uniquely, though, Calvin wears white-bordered red “Dinner Roll” sneakers. Calvin’s winter outfit is made up of a blue coat, black snow pants, a blue puff-balled hat, black boots and red or green mittens. Calvin is also seen wearing a yellow raincoat in rainy weather and a swimsuit. He is shown naked in most bathtub strips.
Here Are Bill Watterson’s First Comics In Nearly 20 Years:
The Washington Postreports that Watterson’s only art in recent years was a poster for a documentary film and a painting of Richard Thompson for charity.
There were a few awkward moments between the artists when he had to give Watterson a suggestion, Pastis said he told him it made him “‘feel like a street urchin telling Michelangelo that David’s hands are too big.'” “But,” he added, “he liked the change. And that alone was probably the greatest compliment I’ve ever received.”
In a rare quote, Watterson told the Washington Post the challenge was worth the effort.
“Stephan kept setting up these situations that required more challenging drawings … so I had to work a lot harder than I had planned to! It was a lot of fun,” he said.
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