November 18 of this past week marked the 30th anniversary of the debut of the greatest comic strip of all time, Calvin and Hobbes.
I often use that final strip on the first day of class, particularly if my students are freshmen. College is like a fresh, clean start; like having a big, white sheet of paper to draw on. It can be a magical world, full of possibilities, and just like Calvin, I encourage the students to go exploring.
In honor of the 30th anniversary, I spent some time at Barnes & Noble today paging through a few of the Calvin and Hobbes books. (We have all of them at our house somewhere, but it was easier to go to B&N.)
It was great seeing all those familiar faces again, Calvin, Hobbes, his parents, Miss Wormwood the teacher, Susie Derkins, Moe the bully, Rosalyn the babysitter, and Mr. Spittle the principal.
There were also the familiar characters that Calvin imagined – Spaceman Spiff, Tracer Bullet, and Stupendous Man; the many props that Calvin used – cardboard boxes, his sled and wagon, snowballs and snowmen; the game he invented, Calvinball; and his favorite cereal, Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs.
The comic strips were just as funny and just as insightful today as they were 30 years ago.
If you’ve never read Calvin and Hobbes, I highly recommend you put all of the books on your reading list, or even better, this complete compilation.
Bill Watterson truly created a magical world.