Last Christmas, my oldest daughter, Kate, received the Complete Calvin and Hobbes Collection (a four-volume set). She was overjoyed and has been reading and rereading these books ever since. I will say, I am very proud to see it because Calvin and his stuffed tiger were a huge part of my own childhood as well. Recently, it got me wondering whether or not Calvin and Hobbes is the greatest comic strip of all time.
Now, there are plenty of amazing comic strips that've been produced. My girls have enjoyed Charlie Brown, Get Fuzzy, and many other as well. How do we even grade two pieces of art against one another? My brothers would probably both scream at me that Far Side is the end-all be-all of comic strips. So then, by which criteria are we to prove Calvin reigns supreme?
The truth is you can't. You just have to go with your gut and whatever speaks to you. For me, it's about the humor, the connection made, and the long-term enjoyment. Calvin and Hobbes succeeds in all three categories with perfection. It has a timeless quality because it doesn't exist strictly in pop culture. This is a comic that exists within a child's imagination and that's a place that is truly endless. My girls can find the same humor in Calvin's struggles as I did as a boy. His challenges in school, with girls, with his parents, or even with himself, are so human that they continue to be valid well beyond their creation.
Let's hear what my 12-year-old daughter Kate thinks:
"Calvin and Hobbes is a hilarious book! The first time I read it was when I was about 9 or 10. The cartoon art style is super fitting and very silly. Calvin is very imaginative, so you get to see lots of different little scenes where Calvin is flying or maybe zooming in space!!!! It is the BEST COMIC STRIP EVER! I have 4 collections of Calvin and Hobbes and I love them so much! I think that the reason I love them so much is because it is so childish. It really is imaginative and childish and I LOVE IT!"
Let's see what my 10-year-old Charlie has to say:
"I think Calvin and Hobbes is SECOND best because my favorite is Get Fuzzy. Get Fuzzy is funnier for me and I think a lot of kids will enjoy it too. Calvin and Hobbes is very funny and creative too but sometimes I think it does the same things over and over. Calvin's imaginary worlds are amazing. He has a great imagination and it really fits his character. My question for this comic strip is: 'is Hobbes real or not?' I feel like Get Fuzzy is a 10/10 for me and Calvin might be a 8/10."
So there you have it friends. It seems our household isn't in agreement on this topic, so you'll need to help us. Leave us a comment if there's a strip you enjoy more because we love hearing from you. Also here's an eBay affiliate link if you want to order some Calvin and Hobbes books for yourself AND support our blog at the same time!