March 2, 2004 8:31 PM   Subscribe

The Calvin & Hobbes Extensive Strip Search (C.H.E.S.S.) is a wonderfully obsessive database of every Watterson strip indexed by keyword & description, with each strip scanned, as well as a book & page # listing of which collection the stip appears in (and original newspaper publication date). It's wildly in violation of copywrite, but it's also very cool. and the geek in me wonders how they do the cool right-mousebutton trick when you click on the strips
posted by jonson (36 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Extensive Strip search? Sounds like Calvin was misbehaving at the airport and some customs official decided it was time for a little payback :)
posted by kaemaril at 8:37 PM on March 2, 2004

I think the right-click trick is done with DHTML layers, and the items are just mouse overs. When you right click, it disables the regular window's function and shows their layer.

Or I could be completely wrong.

Either way, this website is awesome. My plans to be productive tonight has gone down the drain.
posted by phyrewerx at 8:46 PM on March 2, 2004

With IE, just do a File/Save As and you'll have the entire page at your disposal. Not sure about non-Gates browsers.

Very cool, jonson. I'll be at this for hours.
posted by F Mackenzie at 9:06 PM on March 2, 2004

Wow. This is fantastic.
posted by Jairus at 9:22 PM on March 2, 2004


Opera, which gives a big 'ol finger to dhtml, has the right-click working fine. For just a six meg download, you can have the best browser in the world, and pirate c&h strips 'til you puke.
posted by kaibutsu at 9:22 PM on March 2, 2004

Beautiful. Thank you, Jonson.
posted by example at 9:29 PM on March 2, 2004

Here's the all time favorite C&H strip of the "MeFite Who Dares Not Be Named": "careful... we don't want to learn anything from this.."
posted by wendell at 9:31 PM on March 2, 2004

props to opera -- mojira/phoenix/firebird/firefox/volcanomonkey is my primary browser from day to day -- but opera is what I use for all webcomics and the like, thanks to its reasonably decent zooming feature (not just text but images as well) ... so nice to view webcomics full-screen and have the images actually fill up the screen.

mmmm, 180%

(also, props to watterson for not selling out)
posted by dorian at 9:38 PM on March 2, 2004

Firefox lets you do the right-click thing too.

Amazing that the site has lasted for 8 years without being shut down by lawyers. With Waterston long retired and the publisher no longer selling anthologies, who is policing the IP? Given that one of the main reasons for Waterston's quitting was the pirating of his characters, and the pissing Calvin has basically been the poster boy for pirated art, you'd think that the decision not to go after websites like this is somewhat strange.
posted by PrinceValium at 9:39 PM on March 2, 2004

A long time ago, I read a comment here in the blue. I'm sure it was a valid point, but I disagreed with it and remembered a Calvin and Hobbes strip that was perfectly apt. It would have proved to be a withering rebuttal.

I searched through the hundreds of strips that I had manually downloaded from ucomics. I returned to the site and started reading the entire series from the beginning. I went up to the attic and dug out the handful of compilations that I had and scanned through them. I went completely off the deep end. I was clinically something-or-other. I spent hours on it that night and hours on it over the next couple days.

Needless to say, I was more than a little disappointed when none of the obvious keywords turned up my strip.

I should say that I did eventually find the strip in a low resolution, illegible picture. Fortunately, the filename was the date so even though the keyword search failed I can still find a legible copy of the strip courtesy of jonson's link. I can't remember the thread, the comment or the poster to which I'm replying so just to be safe I hope you'll all read the strip and consider yourselves justly chastened. Please enlighten me.
posted by stuart_s at 9:48 PM on March 2, 2004

Okay, for my part I can believe it wasn't me you were arguing with. I don't have many truth in photography related arguments in my posting history here. Let me know if you ever uncover the original comment.
posted by jonson at 9:54 PM on March 2, 2004

stuart_s: Maybe about the Dean scream thing?
posted by abcde at 9:59 PM on March 2, 2004

Hmm, Firefox doesn't "do the right-click thing" for me. You should try it in IE, because it's some impressive DHTML. It also does DHTML zooming (a feature I do envy Opera for).
posted by stopgap at 10:10 PM on March 2, 2004

Tyrannosaurs in F-14s!
posted by steef at 5:22 AM on March 3, 2004

Awesome! Great find, jonson.
posted by spazzm at 5:33 AM on March 3, 2004

sniff, this was taped to my dresser when I was just a wee lad... I hate it when I can't gird my loins with funny animals.
posted by krunk at 6:30 AM on March 3, 2004

So much for work this morning.
posted by Fupped Duck at 6:32 AM on March 3, 2004

Thanks, Jonson. I like to think Watterson knows about this site and is keeping quiet, because this is the kind of violation-of-copyright that shows the proper respect to the genius of C&H.
posted by soyjoy at 7:02 AM on March 3, 2004

Wow. There's a ten-strip-a-day limit. Sadness.
posted by grabbingsand at 8:06 AM on March 3, 2004

With IE, just do a File/Save As and you'll have the entire page at your disposal.

This is the first site I've seen with right click disabled which will not even let you look at Source. Now that is sick. But, assisted by F MacKenzie's cogency, I did get to save one of my faves--890221--just the same. Thx F!

To the great uncybersaavy masses, this is the visual equivalent to a streaming RealAudio broadcast, which is why the Watterson blind eye is turned, methinks....
posted by y2karl at 8:38 AM on March 3, 2004

Wow. There's a ten-strip-a-day limit. Sadness.

Just throw away your cookie and go right back. I won't tell. (And I hope Mr. Watterson, who has handled both his strip and his fame in a remarkably cool manner, doesn't mind if anyone tells him about this fantastic site.) Thanks, jonson.
posted by LeLiLo at 8:41 AM on March 3, 2004

Just throw away your cookie and go right back. I won't tell.

Hey, I followed my own advice and it didn't work. Even with a different browser. How does the site know you've been there before, if not with cookies?
posted by LeLiLo at 8:47 AM on March 3, 2004

Because as it turns out, it's not ten-strips-a-day for YOU, it's ten-strips-a-day, PERIOD.

No, actually I have no idea.
posted by soyjoy at 9:55 AM on March 3, 2004

It's probably 10 strips per day per IP address. If you're on dialup, try reconnecting; Usually gets you a different IP.
posted by fvw at 10:25 AM on March 3, 2004

You can download many/all of Calvin and Hobbes books in pdf format via bittorrent on Somehow I dont think Bill Watterson would object, but maybe I'm wrong.
posted by carfilhiot at 12:01 PM on March 3, 2004

wow what a nicely done site, i love it...! i love the right click menu, it's so purty. doesn't bother me because i already own all the c&h compilation books. every couple of years i re-read them all. zoran and i will have breakfast in bed each sunday and pour over the strips in chrono order. i have to admit i was shattered when the strip ended. i took that last colour strip from my weekend paper and had it matted and framed, and it's hung in our den ever since.
posted by t r a c y at 12:17 PM on March 3, 2004

btw it doesn't matter what a webmaster disables on their site, you can save text and photos by taking a screenshot.

control-alt-print screen, then dump the capture into your fave graphics app, crop it, and save it as a jpeg or whatever format you like best.
posted by t r a c y at 12:28 PM on March 3, 2004

And I hope Mr. Watterson, who has handled both his strip and his fame in a remarkably cool manner, doesn't mind if anyone tells him about this fantastic site

It seems very unlikely that he doesn't already know about it.

I'm sorry if this comes across as judgemental, but I find it saddening that most of the discussion here is about how to defeat the trivial protections and save copies of the images. The books are still in print, I'd hope that at least some people would be inspired to buy them. It's possible that Mr Watterson is still making a decent living from these, but his refusal to licence the characters means that they almost certainly have not made him rich.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:49 PM on March 3, 2004

i have to agree with you george, i was wondering hey mefites why not just buy the compilations, they're not expensive and you can find them second hand even cheaper. but i'm an old fogey who prefers handling books over staring at a puter screen. that said, it's impossible for me to not mention a bypass. people should know how things work.
posted by t r a c y at 12:56 PM on March 3, 2004

You guys make it so complicated. Using IE, just drag the image to the desktop and it'll save as a png.
posted by O9scar at 1:31 PM on March 3, 2004

Firefox doesn't appear to be stopping rightclick save images...
posted by KnitWit at 2:17 PM on March 3, 2004

I think there's got to be something wrong. I've searched for "Calvin" and "Peeing", "pees" or "pee" and came up with nothing.

Now, I know that most of the popularity of that particular image has been magnified by being on the back of any number of crappy rides, but, like...I remember seeing it in the strip a time or two, don't I?
posted by Ogre Lawless at 1:21 PM on March 4, 2004

Nope, you're talking about a strip that appeared in family newspapers. Your suffering from false memory syndrome.
posted by jonson at 1:35 PM on March 4, 2004

Shit, a couple weeks later and it looks like Metafilter might have killed this site.
posted by dgaicun at 9:55 PM on March 20, 2004

Oh, no. I was afraid that was going to happen.
posted by litlnemo at 10:11 PM on March 20, 2004

God Damnit!
posted by Stynxno at 4:26 PM on March 21, 2004

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