Books, childhood

Bibliophilia: The Essential Calvin and Hobbes


Nope, it’s not even close to an antique book. As a matter of fact, this may be the third copy I’ve owned of this particular book and it’s original copyright is… (checks in extant copy) 1988. However, in the criteria of a book adding more to the world than could possibly have been measured in terms of physical size! this one is certainly weightier than most of it’s contemporaries.

A lapful of laughter

I’ve owned so many copies because my children adored them. I can look up at the shelf right now and see that I still have four or five six! Calvin and Hobbes collections. I used to have all of the Far Side comic collections as well and those were unfortunately stored with my art books and destroyed by people who knew that to hurt me, they could hurt my books. We none of us need people like that in our lives. Fortune smiles… and books live on. My children loved a few books to death, but the paper books could be replaced, and were, and time and again I repeated that process because when I see a book fall apart from having been read and handled so often, I know it is a book that is loved. Hence the inclusion in a series on the love of books. 

I might not have thought to include this particular book in the series, but I woke up to a message from my mother, telling me that The Essential Calvin and Hobbes is available in Kindle Unlimited. Which I found absolutely delightful. I own it in paper, yes. And reading comics on the screen of my phone (where I have been reading Thomas Sowell and HL Mencken for days) is less than ideal. Still! You can have this book and fall in love all over again with the hyperdramatic child and his pragmatic semi-imaginary friend and oh, it is delightful. We need more things like this to make our hearts light again while we walk in penumbral times. 

Bill Watterson is a comedic genius and a student of the human nature.
Who knows what lurks in the hearts of monsters? A fear of other monsters…

Excuse me while I put down my modern philosophers and their concerns about the state of the world we live in. I’m going to pick up another philosopher whose media is lighter, but nonetheless speaks to the state of mankind, and what’s under the bed. A man who knew that the right response to the fears that lurk in the shadows is the assurance that you have a force on your side which can dispell the night terror. Even if he has got tunafish burps. 



9 thoughts on “Bibliophilia: The Essential Calvin and Hobbes

  1. I’m glad you saw my message — when I checked later, it looked like it had disappeared! That little ‘comic story’ was so well-done, I knew you would enjoy it — even if you have read it many times!

    1. Oh, yes. And it has been a while since the book came off my shelf. I moved all the art books into my office area where the kids aren’t going… Although they had moved on to manga and light novels some time back. Still worth revisiting! thank you!

  2. In the late 1980’s I worked in an adolescent treatment center (they had those back then) for kids who had gotten in trouble for drug use (and a few other things). The unit had a number of Calvin & Hobbes strips papered on the walls; it’s ASTOUNDING how pertinent the actions and occasional insights were, to what we were hoping would happen with the kids.
    I particularly remember a strip with Calvin riding a wagon off the side of a cliff, shouting that he wanted a life without consequences.
    I could teach a COURSE on that strip alone…

  3. I love that book!

    After the kids destroyed my one from high school…and the two replacements we got… I broke down and bought the big orange “everything Calvin and Hobbs” collection. Which got halfway worn out before we banned the Baron from reading it (which means nobody gets to, right now) until he can figure out HE IS NOT CALVIN. (Only half joking.)

  4. Chuckle Chuckle

    A man I knew had a t-shirt with two pictures on it with the label “Calvin and Hobbes”.

    The pictures were of John Calvin and Thomas Hobbes. 😀

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