I think it’s fairly safe to say that everybody knows Calvin & Hobbes.
You either know the comic strip, or at least the characters (most people will recognize the drawing of Calvin peeing, grinning over his shoulder at the spectator).
But how many people actually know the creator, Bill Watterson?
I started reading a book by Nevin Martell, an American author who set out to find Bill Watterson and tell his story. But, as it turns out, it is quite hard to find Bill Watterson, who retired Calvin & Hobbes in 1995 and was never one to give interviews.
Watterson was born in 1958 and started drawing political cartoons for a local newspaper once he graduated. Thankfully, he decided that this was not a job for him and turned towards comic strips.
What makes Calvin & Hobbes so special is the fact that it does not just amuse, but also educate. No other comic strip manages to incorporate William Blake’s The Tyger just as vividly and carelessly as Bill Watterson did. Calvin, with the innocence of a child, muses about the meaning of “flammable felines” and what a strange subject they make for poetry. I can only imagine how many scholars broke down laughing when they read this little 4 panel comic strip.
Calvin & Hobbes speaks to children of all ages. The friendship between a small boy and his stuffed animal, as well as the imaginative power with which Calvin goes about life, are inspiring and help to sit down and reflect for a minute. A truly amazing achievement.