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Calvin and Hobbes is a daily American comic strip that ran from November 18, 1985, to December 31, 1995, and was created by artist Bill Watterson. Calvin and Hobbes, dubbed “the last great newspaper comic,” has a wide and continuing following, impact, and academic and philosophical curiosity.
Calvin and Hobbes chronicles the activities of the titular characters, Calvin, a clever, mischievous, and adventurous six-year-old boy, and Hobbes, his cynical stuffed tiger. Calvin’s many flights of imagination and friendship with Hobbes are shown in this comic, which is set in modern suburban America.
Calvin’s interactions with his family and classmates are also explored, particularly his love/hate connection with his classmate Susie Derkins. Hobbes’ dual nature is a recurring theme in the strip: to Calvin, Hobbes is a live anthropomorphic tiger, while to the rest of the characters, Hobbes is a stuffed toy.
Despite the fact that the series rarely mentions specific political leaders or current events, it does cover broad topics such as ecology, public education, philosophical quandaries, and the faults of opinion surveys.
Calvin and Hobbes was featured in over 2,400 newspapers throughout the world during the height of its popularity. Reruns of the comic strip aired in more than 50 countries in 2010, and approximately 45 million copies of the Calvin and Hobbes books were sold throughout the world.
While working in an advertising job he despised, Bill Watterson began devoted his leisure time to create a newspaper comic for possible syndication. He tried out a few different strip concepts, but they were all turned down by the syndicates. United Feature Syndicate eventually responded positively to a strip called The Doghouse, which included a side character with a stuffed tiger (the main character’s younger brother).
These characters were selected as the most powerful by United, who pushed Watterson to develop them as the focus of their own strip. Despite United Feature’s rejection of the new strip because to its lack of marketing potential, Universal Press Syndicate picked it up.
On November 18, 1985, the first strip was published in 35 newspapers. It wasn’t long before the show was a smash hit. The comic was published in around 250 newspapers within a year of syndication, and it was proving to have worldwide appeal with translation and considerable readership outside of the United States.
Despite the fact that Calvin and Hobbes underwent constant aesthetic progress and creative innovation during their run on television, the first strips are remarkably consistent with the most recent. Watterson introduced all of the primary characters within the first three weeks, and the central cast remained unchanged throughout the strip’s ten-year run.
Watterson was mentioned in a Los Angeles Times story on April 5, 1987. Watterson received the Reuben Award from the National Cartoonists Society in the Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year category twice, the first in 1986 and the second in 1988, for Calvin and Hobbes. In 1992, he was nominated for a second time. In 1988, the Society presented him with the Humor Comic Strip Award. Calvin & Hobbes has also received a slew of other accolades.
Watterson had a lengthy and emotionally taxing dispute with his syndicate editors over his unwillingness to license his characters for commerce as his brainchild increased in popularity. Watterson’s aim of establishing a new contract that gave him legal authority over his work and any future licensing deals had been met by 1991.