I love Calvin and Hobbes. I love it so much that I own all the volumes of collected comics PLUS the re-issued Complete Calvin and Hobbes AND I got a daily Calvin and Hobbes comic delivered to my inbox each morning for nearly a decade.
Even if you don’t know much about Calvin and Hobbes, you may know that its creator, John Watterson, is a notorious recluse. He rarely gives interviews, he doesn’t seek extra income and therefore hasn’t licensed any official Calvin and Hobbes merch, and — most importantly — ended Calvin and Hobbes years before fans were ready to see it go. He’s elusive and peculiar in ways that only the best artists can be.
That’s why it was so exciting to hear about Exploring Calvin and Hobbes: An Exhibition Catalog. The book didn’t include new comics, but it did include something nearly as good: an in-depth interview with Watterson about his work. The book also includes some of Watterson’s early work, as well as strips of other comics that inspired him or are his favorites, and even a rundown/greatest hits of who’s who in the C&H universe.
For a diehard Calvin and Hobbes fan, it’s almost a dream-come-true. It’s, in a sense, new Calvin and Hobbes material two decades after the strip ended. Any dip back into Calvin’s universe is one worth taking, as long as Hobbes is by his side.
For everyone else, the book may not resonate as much, but it still serves as a fascinating look inside the mind of an artistic genius. While the book may serve as a fair introduction to anyone not familiar with the world of Calvin and Hobbes, it functions far better as an after-dinner mint to the ten years of Watterson’s beautifully-drawn strips.
Exploring Calvin and Hobbes is worth your time for anyone who’s ever read more than a handful of of Calvin and Hobbes strips. As for everyone else… what are you waiting for?! Go read Calvin and Hobbes, then circle back around and read this!