Ken's Reviews > The Complete Calvin and Hobbes

The Complete Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
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's review
Oct 27, 2007

really liked it
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"How do I love Calvin and Hobbes? Let me count the ways. Firstly, Calvin reminds me so much of my 4-year-old, as they both are highly intelligent yet have their own highly developed sense of naughtiness. I love the way Watterson integrates Calvin's imagination into the strip; the glimpses of an adult Calvin and Susie, or the creatures who live in Calvin's stomach, are priceless. I love the way Watterson uses Calvin to simultaneously critique the media-obsessed culture AND to celebrate the simple joys of the outdoors, or goofing off. It's like there are two Calvins, the TV junkie and the outdoorsman ... like some adults I know.

The advantages of this huge box set are many. We get to enjoy full-size daily strips and huge Sunday strips in full color. By laying out every strip from beginning to end we can see the continuity of themes but also the progression in style; the characters are drawn differently in the beginning, enough that my daughter was taken aback by it. We also see how Watterson experimented with the space available to him; by Volume 3 he was conciously trying to utilize the space in more dynamic ways.

There isn't much downside to this collection. The volumes are kind of enormous, and it can be difficult to curl up in bed with one. (although it's a great meta-moment when you are curled up in bed with Volume 3, reading the strip in which Calvin and Hobbes are curled up in bed reading comics). And there are no tabs in the slipcase to help you remove the books. In these regards, I think the Complete Peanuts set is somewhat superior, in that the books are smaller and are easier to handle."
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