Thursday, November 12, 2015

Book Review: Calvin and Hobbes: Yukon Ho! by Bill Watterson

Sometimes you need a break. Even from something you love love love like reading. But I've been working too much and my work is reading (I am an editor) and so I've had trouble this week with reading. After working on an academic index for 10 hours in one day, my husband recommended that I read a comic book and I was like "Yes! Calvin and Hobbes!"

I have most of the books to choose from but I didn't want a treasury because those sometimes don't have the storylines all the way through but I also didn't want one very heavy on Spaceman Spiff or the other fantasies, so I went with Yukon Ho! It's funny to think that I was 15 years old when this book came out (and around 13 when the strips ran in the paper.) While I wasn't six, and mostly I thought Calvin reminded me of my little brother (yes, in a terrifying way), I do find that nowadays, I really, really sympathize with the parents (and it totally makes sense why Calvin is an only child.) When there's a joke about Calvin's father being drunk at a frat party in college, it really humanized him for me. I think it's interesting to read these strips with more perspective. I find myself really looking for the panels in which Hobbes looks like a stuffed animal--showing us that someone else is interacting with Calvin in a way that makes Hobbes not "real," and I am wondering about those choices from Mr. Watterson. That must have been somewhat tricky. And I love Calvin's explanations for Hobbes's behavior--like when Susie "steals" his water balloon because of course a solitary stuffed animal can't put up a fight against a human, and Hobbes explains to Calvin it's because Susie is cute and flirted with him (after all Hobbes looked so cute in his Jams. Wow, I remember Jams. Very 1980s.) The thought involved in even the most simple strips are so intricately planned and plotted, it's impressive. And yet, they seem so effortless.

A reread of a favorite comic strip collection that completely holds up. I might read another, because they're just so excellent.

I bought this book at Barnes & Noble.

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