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February 8, 2013 7:15 AM   Subscribe

Calvin and Hobbes in real life.
posted by Chrysostom (25 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Something I just found/figured out recently: the Tracer Bullet art style isn't just noirish, it's a direct pastiche of Frank Miller's Sin City art. Which is really sort of weird on the one hand considering how Calvin and Hobbes is basically a protected ecosystem, but then again Watterson changes up his style frequently and skilfully so it's not exactly a surprise.
posted by griphus at 7:22 AM on February 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's OK but I really never get into people messing with Calvin and Hobbes.
posted by sweetkid at 7:55 AM on February 8, 2013 [10 favorites]


Something I just found/figured out recently: the Tracer Bullet art style isn't just noirish, it's a direct pastiche of Frank Miller's Sin City art.

Tracer Bullet hit the scene in '87, Sin City in '91. Both men are wildly innovative illustrators - they arrived in the same place, and likely by traveling the same roads, but I don't think they had much influence on each other.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:03 AM on February 8, 2013 [7 favorites]


Griphus, I think that "frequently" link is also a nice dig at Frank Miller. Fuck yeah, Bill Waterson.
posted by Jon_Evil at 8:05 AM on February 8, 2013


Great stuff.
posted by MartinWisse at 8:16 AM on February 8, 2013


This is a great example of how horrible real life looks in comparison to great art.
posted by chronkite at 8:17 AM on February 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


...they arrived in the same place, and likely by traveling the same roads

Wow, I have no idea how I managed to a) miss that and b) confuse the dates.

Also, I always thought the ultraviolent comic thing was a dig at Liefeld & Co. and/or the Death of Superman arc -- which concludes with an issue of full-page spreads of Superman having the living shit beaten out of him -- but I can totally see that mocking Miller's superhero stuff as well.
posted by griphus at 8:18 AM on February 8, 2013


The change to high-detail backgrounds turns Calvin and Hobbes into Tintin.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 8:20 AM on February 8, 2013


The change to high-detail backgrounds turns Calvin and Hobbes into "why the hell did they do this."
posted by not_the_water at 8:21 AM on February 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


I don't know, the snowman me is awesome.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:36 AM on February 8, 2013


Wasn't Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles originally a Miller parody as well?
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:03 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yep, Miller and some other stuff from around the same time. Their origin story is nearly identical to Daredevil's and the Foot Clan is clearly a take on the Hand.
posted by griphus at 9:15 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I grew up on Calvin and Hobbes as much as anyone could. It was the first thing I started reading, ever, and I kept up the habit well through high school. Those times I dig back in are terrific: Watterson wrote with everyone in mind, and revisits by an older me have me laughing at the bits that I dutifully misunderstood when I was younger. I remember being five or six years old and discovering that my baby sister had thoroughly chewed up my copy of The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes. Back then I thought that it was just another example of her savagery, but retrospect allows me to see that it was her way of appreciating something truly great.

I think these are wonderful. They're well-executed, thoughtful, and gorgeous, and capture themes and moments that we all easily remember without diluting their atmosphere. They're certainly no disservice to Watterson.
posted by Chutzler at 9:30 AM on February 8, 2013 [6 favorites]


I utterly don't get the mindset that thinks, "These Calvin and Hobbes comics would look awesome with better(?!) backgrounds." Maybe the folks doing the HD remake of Zelda: Wind Waker would.
posted by straight at 9:59 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't think this is an attempt at improvement - I think it's just someone collaborating with something meaningful to them. The work is very respectful of both the comic and the photographs, and I found it charming.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:10 AM on February 8, 2013 [8 favorites]


In fact, I think the joke is that the chemical that blinded Daredevil is the very same chemical that created the TMNT, in the exact same accident.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 10:43 AM on February 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


The point of this: I am not seeing it.
posted by Decani at 11:36 AM on February 8, 2013


I wouldn't mind some high resolution water colors by Bill Waterson.
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:21 PM on February 8, 2013


I love Watterson's work so much, that, regardless of how good it is, anything that violates his copyright stance is still uncomfortable to look at. I understand what the artist is doing here, it just feels taboo...
posted by Chuffy at 2:01 PM on February 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


This one made me sniffly.
posted by bicyclefish at 3:33 PM on February 8, 2013


I like what he did, but I was just imagining Calvin and Hobbes staged with real people playing the roles of Calvin and Hobbes. Sort of a it's funny when it's cartoons/horrific when it's real sort of thing. See also the (possibly on Deviantart) drawing of Calvin and Christopher Robin facing off at recess, and Hobbes is a real tiger, Pooh is a real bear.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:37 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was expecting some cheap jaded "Calvin was schitzo!" laffs, but this is actually rather amazing. It's not trying to one-up the original art, it's just a different take, like a song cover. And it's a neat contrast/comparison of ink/paint vs photography.

I know Watterson's adamantly in retirement now, and got frustrated with the newspaper comic format, but I never understood why he didn't just do a series of Calvin and Hobbes books, where he'd have no limitations at all. Or any kind of books, like Larson sometimes did. Just kinda feels like a shame that his talent is no longer on public display.

It looks like thing he did of note was a couple years ago, when he submitted this "Cul de Sac"-related painting for a fundraiser.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 4:32 PM on February 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'd be surprised if Sin City's art style wasn't inspired by Steranko's Red Tide from 1976.
posted by martinrebas at 7:35 PM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's something about this valley, Hobbes ol' buddy... it's uncanny!
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 5:56 PM on February 9, 2013


Its a magical world! lets explore!
posted by Artw at 10:06 PM on February 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


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