Saturday, June 27, 2009

Summer Reading: Calvin and Hobbes

The final day of Summer Reading is here, what a shame. Well I battled my bookshelf in search of the one perfect book to end Summer Reading on and you know what? I couldn’t settle on one! No I’m not going to stuff this review with tons of different books, but rather all the books of one incredible series. Each one of these books I guarantee complete satisfaction for anyone and anywhere no matter how old or young.

With the title and that image on the left you know it’s about Calvin and Hobbes. But I’m not using just one Calvin and Hobbes book. I’m recommending every Calvin and Hobbes book there is currently in print.

Calvin and Hobbes is created by Bill Watterson

First a list, to let you know all of the books you can get.

Calvin and Hobbes

Something Under the Bed is drooling (my first book)

The Essential Calvin and Hobbes

Yukon Ho!

The Calvin and Hobbes Lazy Sunday Book

Weirdos from Another Planet

The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes

The Revenge of the Baby-sat

Scientific Progress goes “Boink”

Attack of the Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snow goons

The Indispensable Calvin and Hobbes

The Days are Just Packed

Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat

Calvin and Hobbes: The Tenth Anniversary Book

There’s Treasure Everywhere

It’s a Magical World

Calvin and Hobbes Sunday Pages 1985-1995

The Complete Calvin and Hobbes

Now I can assume that at least a majority of comic readers in America have at least heart of Calvin and Hobbes or read one of the newspaper comic strips in the past. But if not, I’ll give you a quick rundown of this series before I go into the full on review.

Calvin is an imaginative little boy who lives on the edge of a city near a big forest with his mother and father. One day he gets a tuna sandwich and leaves it as bait for a tiger trap. A tiger falls for it and is caught, his name is Hobbes and Calvin takes him home. Shortly after this we find out that Hobbes is really a doll, though we never know just how Calvin found him.

After this Calvin and Hobbes become best friends and they have their own wild adventures. Sometimes it’s just Calvin in his head as a super hero or space hero other times it’s him and Hobbes fighting evil Snow Goons. The rest of the world sees Hobbes as a doll but Calvin sees him as a real live tiger. People have analyzed this to death as to what it means, but I say just live with the fact that there are 2 different perspectives in this series.

So that’s the gist of it, though really that just scratches the surface as far as plot, moments and characters. But I figure I could spend all day just doing a full on epic 10 page synopsis but that would take all the fun out of you all getting to read it yourself.

I’m going to simply point out what’s so great about this series and then let you discover the magic on your own. As this truly is a magical series that can never be matched by anything else. Yes, to me, this is the greatest comic of all time

Some may say this isn’t a great series to just read on the summer. I admit it, you could read any book at any time of the year and it would fit well. It’s just that good. Even the Christmas stories don’t feel out of place as just a few pages later there will no doubt be some hilarious joke taking place during spring.

The characters are all great, Calvin being the best and Hobbes nearly tying.

Some strips will be simple and fun easy jokes. Whereas others will be lengthy observations on the world. The latter is typically in the Sunday strips which take up a whole page of their own. Watterson never dumbs down the series for the sake of stupid entertainment. Sure we have lots of goofy moments but it never feels like he’s trying to be stupid as a lot of the best jokes are the most intelligent jokes.

It’s this balance between silly and intelligent that helps make this series so great. It never feels that it has to appeal to one audience, it’s demographic is so wide that anyone from a 5 year old to a 100 year old could enjoy the fun and entertaining stories in each book.

While there may never bee a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon, memorabilia or action figures all we really need are these incredible stories in books.

There’s a little bit of something for everything. For Sci-Fi guys there’s Spiff the Spaceman. For the super hero people there’s Calvin’s caped crusader like character. For social commentators there’s Calvin’s jokes on society and even some political jabs at the idea of father’s being elected and having polls. It’s all crazy fun and great.

Really the only reason I can say you may not like Calvin and Hobbes is if you just don’t like to have fun. If you’re an overly serious can’t have no fun kind of person then Calvin and Hobbes is not for you.

For everyone else who wants a constant great read with every turn of the page the pick up Calvin and Hobbes. Any book really is great, I have most of them (just a few that have yet to make it to my collection) but I can tell you that every book is well worth any cover price and should not be missed out on.

Summer Reading Must have

Well now this has been a lot of fun. I hope you all enjoyed my 4 recommended great books for reading this Summer and I hope that you all have a great Summer this year. Have great vacations, long warm days lounging around and maybe even a wild crazy night thrown in.


Anonymous said...

Calvin and Hobbes are the i have ever read i us to onaly have one that my older brother owened. i finaly disided to Read it one day and withen 3 months i bought the rest. I also got my little brother into them

Anonymous said...

...the best comics i...