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Calvin and Hobbes
August 28, 2006 12:03 PM   Subscribe

Calvin and Hobbes rarities, including some comic panels Watterson drew of himself with Calvin. From Platypus Comix which also has a nice Bloom County lost strips page. Perhaps the most thorough Calvin museum comes from our own ktoad. Find speeches and articles and a root source for most of Watterson's rare art.
posted by caddis (50 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
Very cool find.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 12:08 PM on August 28, 2006


Wow, this is fantastic. Thank you!
posted by Skorgu at 12:12 PM on August 28, 2006


Awesome!
posted by danb at 12:13 PM on August 28, 2006


This is a fascinating section from the Bloom County link. Who knew that Berke Breathed was such a revisionist?
posted by Dr-Baa at 12:21 PM on August 28, 2006


I swear I saw the washing machine one before, and it had to have been in a book. But they're claiming it was never in a book. Am I just thinking of a similar strip?
posted by piratebowling at 12:21 PM on August 28, 2006


I thought so at first, too, piratebowling. But it turns out I was thinking of a different one -- there were several washing machine strips.
posted by tumult at 12:28 PM on August 28, 2006


I also swear I've seen the washing machine one before, and all I have are the books.
posted by linux at 12:28 PM on August 28, 2006


Aw dude Berke Breathed is going Lucas on us. At least I still have my old Bloom County books.

Aiiiiigh!
posted by furiousthought at 12:30 PM on August 28, 2006


fourthing the thought I've seen the washing machine one. I suppose all the site says is that it wasn't in the books -- it could've been on the interwebs for a while now...
posted by inigo2 at 12:31 PM on August 28, 2006


Dr-Baa: I knew I should have kept those newspaper paste-ups to prove I wasn't dreaming he had changed dialogue.
posted by ?! at 12:32 PM on August 28, 2006


You guys thinking about the washing machine strip: Perhaps you're remembering this one?
posted by Greg Nog at 12:36 PM on August 28, 2006


I should add that I feel a Mountain Dew is a hell of a lot funnier than a bowling ball.
posted by Dr-Baa at 12:37 PM on August 28, 2006


I have the washing machine strip In a Book. I -know- it is there. I have it. It's just at my moms house, with the rest of the stuff I havn't moved out. Proof to follow.

The book is one I havn't seen in stores today. I think my dad origonally bought it. I noticed it had all the same comics as one of the 'Collections', however it also contained little one pannel, often visual only gags on the bottom of some pages. It also contains the washing machine strip. Most of the comics in the book are drawn like that... the style looks a little different. A bit grainy. I'll have some proof (if I can find a scanner) soon.
posted by billy_the_punk at 12:39 PM on August 28, 2006


Greg Nog, no. I think the one I remembered had Calvin saying "rats" to not being able to take a bath in the washing machine.
posted by piratebowling at 12:39 PM on August 28, 2006


>>You guys thinking about the washing machine strip: Perhaps you're remembering this one?<<

Nuh-uh... it was the cold rinse dialogue, for sure. And I never read the strip in the paper, so it's in my books somewhere, and I have those books at home on a bookshelf. Whether or not I remember to check....
posted by linux at 12:44 PM on August 28, 2006


He doesn't say "rats", but kinda expresses that general sentiment in this one.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:45 PM on August 28, 2006


Hmm, the second one is closer, Greg Nog, but I thought I remembered the "never been reprinted" one as well. Huh, memory is a strange thing.
posted by piratebowling at 12:48 PM on August 28, 2006


Cool find. Thanks for that!
posted by Effigy2000 at 12:49 PM on August 28, 2006


BEHOLD the ONLY UNREPRINTED CALVIN AND HOBBES STRIP! It has never been explained why, but this early strip only ran in half the newspapers that subscribed to it at the time. The other half got an alternate strip that day:

I'm quite sure I saw a strip like that in one of the books. Could be mistaken though.
posted by delmoi at 12:51 PM on August 28, 2006


THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU for this post.
posted by like_neon at 12:52 PM on August 28, 2006


Another in the line of "I didn't read the paper, only the books, and I remember that comic."
posted by Bugbread at 1:13 PM on August 28, 2006


This is great!

The note about getting them from grandma hit home for me too. My local paper didn't carry the strips, so my grandma would clip and mail them to me. Every month a huge envelope would arrive, and I'd hide in my room and devour them. When my parents moved recently, I found one of the old envelopes and lost a long afternoon I should have spent packing things up.

Also, I think I just won a long-standing bet with proof of the calendars. Now all I have to do is re-find the old friend.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 1:14 PM on August 28, 2006


I wish my bathtub had an agitator, too.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:14 PM on August 28, 2006


Sweet! My mom will be getting an e-mail, as Calvin is among her favorites.
posted by owhydididoit at 1:23 PM on August 28, 2006


Was the strip printed in the book of strips with Waterson annotations? It's a great book and I seem to recall him saying something about not liking to blur the line of Hobbes' reality. Althought that could apply to either strip.
posted by Brainy at 1:26 PM on August 28, 2006


Sweet Jesus, why would Berke Breathed do such a horrible thing? Every single change he made is for the worse.
posted by keswick at 1:32 PM on August 28, 2006


Where did everyone who thinks they remember the washing-machine strip reside around the time they think they saw it? Maybe we're looking for a regional printing that contained the strip. I remember seeing it before, and I would have lived in southern Ontario (Canada) at the time.
posted by chudmonkey at 1:58 PM on August 28, 2006


BEHOLD the ONLY UNREPRINTED CALVIN AND HOBBES STRIP! It has never been explained why, but this early strip only ran in half the newspapers that subscribed to it at the time. The other half got an alternate strip that day:

OK, I'm not chiming in to say that I've seen the "unseen" washing machine strip--but I've known of its existence and have been looking for it for a long time. (Thanks for finally finding it for me!)

However, it's not true that "it has never been explained why." It has (although I can't recall where I read this.) These were the two strips that ran on November 28, 1985. Note that this is a) (U.S.) Thanksgiving Day, and b) just the second week of Calvin and Hobbes's existence (the first strip appeared November 18, 1985).

In trying to get papers to pick up Calvin and Hobbes, Watterson had to prepare several weeks' worth of strips in advance. Thus, the original "cold rinse" strip was already drawn as part of that set, before a single strip had ever been printed in any newspaper.

However, for Thanksgiving Day 1985, over 175 cartoonists drew strips with a hunger-related theme to draw attention to world hunger. Watterson drew the "bat barf" strip to participate in that, replacing (in some papers) the "cold rinse" strip.

As sure as some people apparently are that this strip has appeared in a book, I'm just as sure that it hasn't appeared in a book, at least in any of the US-published collections. There have been similar ones, as others here have noted, but I've read the collections dozens of times over and don't recall that one.

I have the two 16-month calendars. Wonder how much they're worth now?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:11 PM on August 28, 2006


My high school history teacher knew Watterson somehow, and had his own custom stationery that Watterson had made for him. A drawing across the bottom of the page of Ronald Reagan absent-mindedly tapping his fingers on a table - with The Button dangerously close to his hand. Very cute. I saw this around 1987 or so.
posted by zoinks at 2:15 PM on August 28, 2006


I went to that travelling exhibit as a kid, and I remember wanting to get that shirt, but my friend's mom had taken us, and I didn't have the money for it.

Ahhh... regrets...
posted by Navelgazer at 2:28 PM on August 28, 2006


Wonderful—thanks for the post!
posted by languagehat at 2:44 PM on August 28, 2006


God, you guys, I have Calvin at home!

Much as my husband and I were in love with the C&H strips, having a Calvin of your own is.......... challenging!

I can honestly say the only reason he's still alive is the amount of times something he says or does is so close to one of the incidents we remember in teh C&H that we are finding it impossible to be strict, it really is difficult when you're both braking your arses laughing!
posted by Wilder at 2:48 PM on August 28, 2006


Thanks DA.
posted by caddis at 2:52 PM on August 28, 2006


Many thanks. Calvin & Hobbes were the best: I still miss them.
posted by cenoxo at 2:54 PM on August 28, 2006


Okay, I'll bitch about it once then I promise to shut up. This Platypus site got most or all of their rare Watterson art from my site:

http://ignatz.brinkster.net/cbillart.html

No biggie, just woud've appreciated a link or acknowledgement or something. It's been a long road and a lot of research time.
posted by ktoad at 3:49 PM on August 28, 2006 [4 favorites]


Holy shit, ktoad. Credit where credit's due.

Your site is about twelve thousand times better than the knockoff. Bookmarked.
posted by scrump at 4:17 PM on August 28, 2006


...and MeTa'd.
posted by scrump at 4:19 PM on August 28, 2006


Wow, thanks scrump! Much obliged.
posted by ktoad at 4:36 PM on August 28, 2006


great find.. i want that Moma Tshirt now
posted by hpsell at 5:01 PM on August 28, 2006


Wow, ktoad, your site it awesome. I have seen a lot of that stuff around, but not in such a nice full collection. You definitely deserve a callout in the post. Matt, Jess can you please add this to the post:

Perhaps the most thorough Calvin museum comes from our own ktoad. Find speeches and articles and a root source for most of Watterson's rare art.

Metafilter is cool for rooting this stuff out. Your site is deep ktoad. Are there any really special tidbits you would like to point us towards?
posted by caddis at 5:19 PM on August 28, 2006


Thanks caddis. Some of my favorite stuff is in the text section you pointed out. One is Watterson's pull-no-punches look at Little Nemo, where he outline its flaws as well as its triumphs. Another is this article where you can see how other syndicated artists and industry folks felt about Watterson's 1992 strip size requirement.

Oh, and I get a good laugh every time I look at some of the bootleg clothes! That one looks like a comics nerd stepped onto the set of Miami Vice.
posted by ktoad at 5:32 PM on August 28, 2006


Big thanks for this post. I thought I knew everything about Calvin and Hobbes but I was obviously wrong.
posted by johndog at 6:25 PM on August 28, 2006


Great post! Thanks!
posted by .kobayashi. at 7:29 PM on August 28, 2006


Wow, some of that stuff is very Lowbrow-looking. Awesome!
posted by the_bone at 9:03 PM on August 28, 2006


The fact that the guy keeps going on about how he wasn't even born, was a kid when dug up these antiques, etc., etc., really makes me feel old.

I was a Bloom County fanatic in high school (1985-87) and copied Steve Dallas onto a poster when I was running for a school club office. My parents sent the last strip to me in Taiwan in 1989.
posted by Poagao at 12:09 AM on August 29, 2006


[added caddis's edit]
posted by jessamyn at 2:58 AM on August 29, 2006


Those are cool!
posted by OmieWise at 6:10 AM on August 29, 2006


Cool, I actually have that 1989-90 calendar, although it is a little yellowed. And to think, my wife just asked a month or two ago if I wanted to keep it.
posted by howling fantods at 8:20 AM on August 29, 2006


From ktoad's links:

As a matter of fact, Keane noted that he preferred the pre-sabbatical Sunday Calvin to the current one. He said the post-sabbatical comic is "ironically" smaller than before in some broadsheets using the tabloid version, and added that he found some of Watterson's February strips to have too many panels, too many words, and content that might sort of tease youngsters.

Keane, for instance, said one Sunday Calvin last month featured a huge dinosaur that undoubtedly attracted children but also a long poem with several difficult words that probably caused many of these readers to tune out.


Just to confirm... Bil Keane is an asshole, who condescends to children he obviously doesn't understand, but considers his audience. This is why Family Circus sucks as badly as it does.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:27 AM on August 29, 2006 [2 favorites]


Fuck Bil Keane.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:58 AM on August 29, 2006


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