Calvin, a six-year-old boy, and Hobbes, his tiger, fly from a red wagon that has launched over water from the end of of a pier. Calvin joyfully holds an open umbrella and is tied to the wagon by a rope around his waist.

Calvin and HobbesBill Watterson

Artistic freedom

Do all God’s comic strips gotta have product merchandizing, which could have earned millions and millions of dollars? Or would a stuffed Hobbes have destroyed the illusion that Hobbes can be a real tiger, as if we could put a price on delight?

Version of reality

The “grown-up” version of reality sees Hobbes as a stuffed toy. Instead of admiring Calvin’s imagination, they think he needs to be controlled. They think Calvin’s being immature when reveling in hyper-consumerism. They think that being miserable is not punishment, but builds character. They think Calvin shouldn’t pout when his baby sitter gets the better of him. They see Calvin’s distaste for Susie as his defense against an unacknowledged sympathetic attraction.

Monster in outer space

Our hero, Spaceman Spiff, crashes his flying saucer onto the surface of a forbidding planet to face a ferocious monster. Meanwhile, Miss Wormwood, Calvin’s teacher, unable to get him to pay attention, hovers over his desk holding a ruler.

Not as scary

Even though Hobbes often fights with Calvin, having a friend like Hobbes when monsters are in the closet shows what love is.