65 thoughts on “Unexpectedly Misty-Eyed

  1. Done and done. And encouraging her to do the same.

    (BTW, we all know Calvin would be appalled by this thing, right?)

  2. This is especially moving for me. I was a huge C&H fan when it originally ran, my junior high and high school years. I bought all of the books when they originally came out, and read them cover to cover endlessly. Now they’re just sitting on the bookshelf, pretty much untouched in the last several years. However, just a couple of weeks ago my 5-year-old daughter pulled one off the shelf and started looking at it. Now we read them together, and she loves it. So I get to re-live all of Calvin’s adventures anew, through her.

  3. I thought of Calvin’s armies of snow goons and snow monsters yesterday as I watched the neighborhood kids happily building snow people…I cannot see a snowman without thinking of the creations he’d build to greet his long-suffering father!

  4. That is just amazing. I wonder if Bill Watterson has seen it and if so what his reaction was?

  5. Repeating a common chorus: My eldest daughter found my C&H collection when she was 7 and we read them together. They remain amazingly timeless, like all best things of childhood.

    Dang allergies.

  6. For those who miss C&H, there is a newish strip “Frazz” by Jeff Mallett. When it started many suspected that Frazz (who is a janitor at an elementary school) is a grown up Calvin. There are 3 collections out so far. Excellent strip.

  7. My wife always laughed at the box of Star Wars toys I kept in the basement, but a few months ago my 4-yr old daughter found them and now they litter the floor…and I remember why I kept them around.

    What a great picture to reflect on.

  8. I don’t know who did the art either, but I bet they’ll be hearing from Bill Watterson’s lawyers. He zealously guards his property, even to the point of confronting people over those “peeing Calvin” decals.

  9. I think this is metaphorical, not just Calvin & Hobbes related, right, John?

    Childish things are -more- than just things – they are ideas, ideals, & inspirations. I did save my childish things for my child. I just didn’t have one. (a child, that is)

    So I had to share my childish things with *other* people’s children. My niece, her cousin (not my nephew, even tho he calls me Aunt Bev), my friends’ children. You get the idea.

    (Yes – I got misty here at work. Love the picture, saved it, too. Thanks to Chris for the pic, and to John, for the forward)

    OOH – John – you share a childish thing w/Athena this morning when she wore your Pink Floyd Shirt to school! Way to tie it together, guy!

  10. That’s awesome! Add me to the list of people whose kids have completely wrecked his Calvin and Hobbes books.

    (And, amusingly enough, they all love Dilbert, too. Even when he makes no sense to them. It’s like they have a funny detector, but the resolution is too low to make out what they’re looking at.)

  11. I handed over all the individual Calvin & Hobbes books to my son when he learned to read enough to follow them.

    They now form a significant part of the vocabulary of our household. I’ve caught him practicing Bambi eyes, for instance, though he admits that he has no use for a flamethrower.

  12. Arthur@27 – that’s pretty much how my daughter looks when she’s hugging her Bare Bear. (He’s naked, see? Bare Bear.)

  13. John @ 25, I think you’re right. That’s what happened to me, my wife just waited me out.

    I WAS Calvin in a lot of ways, including making Snow men that other people thought were weird, blowing up hot wheels cars with firecrackers… Skip 25 years…

    I made a whole row of Easter Island statue snow men for my daughters when they were 7 and 9. They loved them and then asked what other snow men we could make. I said “any kind you want” We ended up with a snow mouse, a sphinx, a dog and a wild boar. My wife had to call us 3 times for supper. What a great day

    OK, now I’ve just gone past misty to out and out can’t see at all.

  14. @ Scalzi #25: It’s fairly obvious looking back that Calvin and Susie had a serious mutual crush going… they just didn’t know how to express it at the time, so they bicker and fight and annoy and out-weird each other. (I remember Watterson mentioning this theory in one of the commentaries in the 10th anniversary book). I remember going through the whole “girls are icky, but why can’t we stop thinking about them” phase with all of my friends in elementary school. Calvin had G.R.O.S.S. We had “the Brownie Hunters.”

    Needless to say, the gap between the posted art and the comics probably ran through here. (I found it in a Fark thread… I love the put-upon expression on Calvin’s face.)

  15. What this image reminds me of is the last scene from “The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh.” This is the one where it’s just Pooh and Christopher Robin. Chris tells Pooh he has to go to school now and everything will change. He makes Pooh promise never to forget him. As a kid, this scene flew way above my head. As a father, I get misty almost every single time I watch the movie. That’s the way I see this image. Thanks for posting it.

  16. @32. I remember being six years old and SO pissed off at that Pooh ending, because I knew it was lies, lies I say! “A little boy and his bear will always be playing.” Bah!

    Poor abandoned Pooh. :-(

  17. @17:

    “Even” the pissing Calvin decals? Those are offensive, politicized, being sold for profit, and harmful to Watterson’s ability to sell any sort real Calvin stickers (if he actually wanted to). If there’s anything in the entire world you would want to go after with a copyright lawyer, they’re it.

    This, on the other hand, is an adorable little vignette released into the wild with no evident plan of making any money off it. Hardly the same thing.

  18. I’ll echo the sentiments here. My son found an old C&H collection that I had even forgotten that I had… and after reading through it he was hooked. Now he wants to collect all of the books and we read them together. Just awesome. Great post.

  19. The pic that John posted was great, and made me smile. Then that rat b@st@rd Scott up in #32 had to remind me of the ending of “The Many Adventures…” and now I’m a wreck and will be unlikely to get anything done the rest of the day.

  20. Regarding the “oh, Bill’d probably sue if he saw that” rhetoric — I’d certainly like to think he’d be better than that. And even if he decided to pursue it, I’m not sure he’d have a case, since it “uses some elements of a prior author’s composition to create a new one that, at least in part, comments on that author’s works” (the legal definition of parody, which is protected). I’m no lawyer, of course.

    Definitely a good piece, regardless. :)

  21. Re Nabil @40, I’m inclined to agree. But Watterson’s not been noticably litigious as far as I can tell about his IP – if he was, he’d be forever suing sticker and t-shirt makers.

    I can imagine him lawyering up if something’s particularly offensive and against the little-boy-heart-of-chaotic-gold ethos, but not for yer basic off-rip.

  22. Oh, and Arthur D @27? Thank you, very much. I *hate* that ADD strip, and your riposte made it all better (and made me all emotional again too).

  23. I really like it … but somehow Hobbes’ expression and body language isn’t quite “right”, he’s too, ah, hesitant? It’s too late for him to look back, the adventure’s already begun.

    The ADD thing … having ADD, no, that’s not what the drugs do. Hobbes is still there, it’s just that I don’t have to play with him. Sure is fun, though!

  24. Don’t *throw* them away. You do get to *put* them away. Please????

    I say this as the mom who made her son cut down to about seventy stuffed animals, and organize the huge bins of Lego and Bionicle so that we could again walk through his room last week.

    We’re looking for a charity for the two huge garbage bags of stuffed animals. I mean, not even Paul Allen gets to keep *everything.* And we’re not Paul Allen.

  25. My son also has read and destroyed all of my Calvin and Hobbes, Dilbert, Frazz, User Friendly, Evil Inc, Greystone Inn, and Far Side books. He knows he has to read my Girl Genius books with clean hands and only in the living room. I have loved sharing these books with him.

    I still haven’t let him read Wapsi Square or Sandman.

    He reads Discworld and Myth books, too.

    Dang, my screen’s all blurry.

  26. Calvin never aged so the above couldn’t happen. He wouldn’t pee on anything. His parents wouldn’t put him on meds because there is nothing wrong with him. He’s just a little boy. Which is what Watterson nailed. He was a master. Which is why these knockoffs piss me off so much.
    I got a little misty too. I kinda liked the picture and the story it told. Then I read through the posts and clicked through Jacobs link. No Arthurs link didn’t counter act the contents of Jacobs link. That was an evil thing to create. Just wrong.

  27. I liked Calvin and Hobbs (although not the ones I studied in Seminary) but I don’t feel misty about this sentiment. I saved my childhood things for my son and now they’re here waiting until he sends me a grandchild to share them. I, however, have grown old but not up. I suspect neither has Calvin.

  28. JeffS@30: Awesome snowmen. Wish I could have seen the Easter Island heads. :)

    I made a snow dragon. We’d had an awesome storm a day or so before, and we broke off the six foot long icicles to embed in his back so he could have spikes. :)

  29. Pixelfish@51

    Thanks,

    Snow dragon with Big Icicle spikes?
    Major cool, I would have liked to see that one.

    To all of you talking about the ADD stuff. I had ADD but that was in the 60’s before the drugs(or the name) had been developed. My folks, and my best teachers, dealt with it by keeping me busy with extra projects and games and so on. Keeping me interested and busy seemed to be the tonic that I needed. I learned how to cook and bake with my mom during that period of my life along with finding out that reading could be more involved than “Dick and Jane”. The Chemistry set turned out not to be the best idea though…

    That seemed to be the theme in C&H also. If he was interested and kept busy, no problems. Luckily he had Hobbes to help.

  30. Concerning how Calvin and Hobbes ultimately ended up, I always liked the Fight Club theory of maturation, i.e., that the movie is a document of Calvin as an adult and Hobbes’ reentry (as Tyler Durden) into his life. Room for Susie (Marla) and Mo (Bob), even. Even the teacher gets face time as narrator’s boss.

    Pretty rad.

  31. @35 Ouch, John! Ouch! That was masterfully sadistic. Christopher growing up to become a soulless, childhood-forgetting corporate raider alongside Robin Williams is now the CHEERFUL option.

    @37 — Thanks, MasterThief! I’ll check out the story–it looks nicely ominous. (I am indeed a fan. My reaction piece to that angrymaking finale is the only short story I’ve ever submitted anywhere, actually… Possibly not the best idea I ever had. ;-D)

  32. The nice thing about passing your childhood icons on to your children is that you get to enjoy them again. One of the best things about having kids has been telling them the stories my grandparents told me about ghosts and things that go bump in the dark. (OK, my grandparents were a bit odd on both sides of the family.) But the look in the little eyes when they realize that (1) there may be something in the darkness and (2) they come from a long line of people who face down the darkness is wonderful.

  33. Yeargh. I wish the picture had used “childlike” instead of “childish” in the text.

    Childish has negative connotations of adults behaving badly, throwing temper tantrums and pouting. Childlike has positive connotations of adults experiencing the wonder of new things, enjoying the world, and being innocent.

    One of those less/fewer grammar fits, eh?

    Stupid allergies.

  34. @kitt 60: I believe “childish” is used because of this quote:
    “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
    1 Corinthians 13:11 – King James Version

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