The Complete Calvin & Hobbes
Written & Illustrated by Bill Watterson
Published by Andrews McMeal
Not the timeliest review, I know, right? I’ve had my eye on this half-ton, three-book, slipcased Calvin & Hobbes set ever since it came out, but never quite convinced myself to splurge out the cash for it. My brother thankfully enabled me to sidestep ever paying for it when he gave it to me this past Christmas. And believe me, I had no idea what to think when I found a gaudily wrapped, immovable weight under my Christmas tree.
I probably don’t have to say much about Calvin & Hobbes. Although the last strip appeared nearly fifteen years ago, I’d guess that most of you have read it in some form. My local paper didn’t carry the strip during its entire run, and I was too distracted by being a teenager when it did show up those last four or five years to read it religiously, but even then, I knew Watterson was creating something special.
The years have done nothing to diminish that accomplishment. Calvin & Hobbes continues to stand out as one of the most important, funny and singular comic strips of all time. Celebrating imagination, mischief, ingenuity and basic human decency, Watterson spent twelve years giving voice to perhaps the best newspaper comic strip in American history. Yes, it’s that good.
To have this singular brilliance wrapped up (embalmed and boxed, as Watterson puts it in his introduction) in one package is priceless. The books feature sturdy, proper binding (comic book trade programs, pay attention!), and heavy pages that stand up to repeated turning. The linework is reproduced pristinely, and the colors dazzle. And even the box looks great, with a clean, simple look and good choices for the exterior artwork.
Calvin & Hobbes is, perhaps, the best comic strip ever, and it’s all here, a permanent keepsake, to revisit again and again and again. Everybody simply needs to have the Complete Calvin & Hobbes in their homes (even if, like me, you’re a little late in doing so!).