Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Bill Watterson- Calvin and Hobbes
In the spirit of halloween, I have chosen to write about my costume inspiration for this halloween, not to mention one of my favorite comics/comic illustrators ever, Bill Watterson of Calvin and Hobbes. This year I'm going as Calvin, the lead character in what remains one of the most popular syndicated comic strips ever.
This famous strip was first published on November 18, 1985. Prior to this, Watterson had worked as a designer creating grocery advertisements. Calvin and Hobbes was met with praise almost immediately, and within a short time was being printed in such publications as the Los Angeles Times. By the end of its run in 1995, Calvin and Hobbes had won Watterson numerous awards including the prestigious Reuben Award from the National Cartoonists Society in the Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year category in 1986 and 1988.
But what makes Calvin and Hobbes so special? For me, as a kid it was the accessibility of the comic. Watterson's sense of humor is such that it appeals to children as well as adults. The illustrations are exquisite, and you really see a wide range of emotions expressed through Calvin. This is why I chose the image I did, for its humor and emotion. It also didn't hurt that the main character was a little blond troublemaker from the Midwest, not unlike myself as a kid.
One final note, I didn't realize until reading up on Watterson that he turned down several offers to merchandise the characters of Calvin and Hobbes. But rather than make a fortune off Calvin mugs and Hobbes t-shirts, he chose not to merchandise them as he felt they would lose their integrity that way. Just another reason to admire Bill Watterson.