When I read the newspaper, the comics page is something that I never miss. Even my choice of a newspaper depends to a large extent on the comics that the paper carries. This is one reason I love the weekend papers because they carry more comics and cartoons. The more comics, the better. Peanuts, Garfield, B.C., Beetle Bailey, Dennis the Menace, Blondie……. the list goes on and, on top, at least for me, stands Calvin and Hobbes – I just love this kid and his wild imagination. Bill Watterson, to me, is a true genius.
Knowing my love for Calvin, my son bought me a Calvin & Hobbes book from his school last week and it was the best gift I’ve received in a long time. It was so unexpected and totally out of the blue and such a pleasant surprise that I wanted to hug him there and then. But I managed to refrain myself because he’s a big boy now, taller than me, and at an age where getting hugged by his dad would be the last thing he wanted. Had he asked me for anything that I had the means or power to give at that moment, I would have happily given it to him. But then, he didn’t and simply said that he saw it at the book sale they are having in school and just bought it for me because he knew how much I love and enjoy ‘Calvin & Hobbes’. But then there’s an electric guitar he and his sister have been eying for some time and, who knows, this was one of their ways of softening me up for the kill! 🙂
The book has a forward written by Garry Trudeau which is so good that I just have to share extracts from it:
“….Watterson is the reporter who’s gotten it right; childhood as it actually is, with its constantly shifting frames of reference. Anyone who’s done time with a small child knows that reality can be highly situational. The utterance which an adult knows to be a ‘lie’ may well reflect a child’s deepest conviction, at least at the moment it pops out. Fantasy is so accessible, and it is joined with such force and frequency, that resentful parents like Calvin’s assume that they are being manipulated, when the truth is far more frightening: they don’t even exist. The child is both king and keeper of this realm, and he can be very choosey about the company he keeps.
Of course, this exclusivity only provokes many grown-ups into trying to regain the serendipity of youth for themselves, to, in effect, retrieve the irretrievable. A desperate few do things that later land them in the Betty Ford Center.
The rest of us, more sensibly, read Calvin and Hobbes….”
Trudeau is the author of ‘Doonesbury’ another of those long-running cartoons/comics that appear daily in many newspapers especially in the West. It is also one cartoon/comics that I never read, despite my love for the genre. For some reason, I just can’t ‘get’ the whole thing and simply skip it whenever and wherever I come across it in any newspaper.