You love him or you hate him, you cannot ignore him!
Sorry if that sounds like one of those age-old Jitesh Pillai quotes about SRK, from Filmfare, but that’s Calvin for you!
He is absolutely inimitable in whatever he does… one minute he is this totally adorable 6 year old kid, with his stuffed tiger whom you wanna cuddle and the next, he transforms into this monstrous brute of a child, who by his antics, will invoke the deepest disgust and horror in you. Reading a CnH book is like being on this roller-coaster ride filled with a plethora of emotions; but what remains at the end of it is pure and complete enjoyment. Here’s preview of a few things you can expect to feel on reading a compilation of CnH cartoon strips:
Firstly, heartfelt gratitude – that you are not blessed with a kiddo like Calvin (God help you if you were, imagine having to read “Hamster Huey and the Gooey Kablooie” for a bed-time story, accompanied by the “Happy Hamster Hop” every single night!!) A hint of regret – that you don’t get to have cool parents like his mom and dad! 🙂
Deepest disgust – when he totally grosses you out with his revolting talks about food and makes lunch-time miserable for Susie Derkins (Teena once said that her mom couldn’t eat a morsel for one whole day, after reading this strip where he talks of getting a flask of phlegm for his lunch!! Yuck!!)
Incredible wonderment – at how he manages to make life hell for the baby sitter Rosalyn, every single time
Heart-felt warmth and sadness – on those rare occasions when he is down in the dumps and snuggles up to dear ol’ Hobbes for comfort
Amazement – at how a kid who can give enlightening and eye-opener kind of speeches at times, can be such a dud at school work that he needs to resort to Spaceman Spiff and Stupendous-man kinda antics to tackle his teacher Miss.Wormwood and can turn into an absolute wimp in front of the class bully, Moe!
Finally unbridled fun – to understand what I mean by this, you gotta read those lengthy encounters for one-up-man-ship between him and Hobbes, punctuated with Hobbes’s witty one-liners and his inane justifications; or the amazingly regular instances where he gets on his mom’s nerves, making the seemingly everyday chores (like getting him to have his bath without flooding the house!!) an ordeal for her!
But the one factor that strikes you when you read these strips is the brilliance of Bill Watterson’s imagination. Apart from the pure fun factor, the subtle messages that he manages to slip into these strips, like when Calvin has his musings with Hobbes(mostly on the sled rides) or the character-building gyan sessions with his dad, are applicable to each one of us. In fact, some of his strips don’t even need to have a single word… his illustrations and the expressions of the characters speak volumes.
Once, me and a friend had this conversation about who we would want to be, if given a chance… Calvin or Hobbes or his mom or dad… finally we decided that we would give anything to get to be Bill Watterson!! 😀
He has added that zing to our lives by giving us Calvin and Hobbes… can’t imagine a world without them!! 🙂