Synopses & Reviews
New York Times
Watterson's imaginative approach to his material and his inventive graphics have made Calvin and Hobbes one of the few universally admired by other cartoonists." --Charles Solomon, Los Angeles Times Book Review
Calvin and Hobbes is unquestionably one of the most popular comic strips of all time. The imaginative world of a boy and his real-only-to-him tiger was first syndicated in 1985 and appeared in more than 2,400 newspapers when Bill Watterson retired on January 1, 1996. The entire body of Calvin and Hobbes cartoons published in a truly noteworthy tribute to this singular cartoon in The Complete Calvin and Hobbes. Composed of three hardcover, four-color volumes in a sturdy slipcase, this edition includes all Calvin and Hobbes cartoons that ever appeared in syndication. This is the treasure that all Calvin and Hobbes fans seek.
Signature Review by Art Spiegelman
"By the 1980s the once glorious newspaper comics section had become a wasteland, ravaged by shrinking space, editorial timidity and other ills. The real excitement in my medium had moved to the fertile margins of the alternative press. Bill Watterson, as uninterested in underground comix as I was in the mass media's bland concoctions, marched directly into the wasteland and made the comatose syndicated strip form kick up its heels and dance. From 1985 until Watterson abandoned it at the height of its popularity 10 years later, Calvin and Hobbes echoed the classic strips the artist most admired. Stirring the richly conceived characters and efficient drawing of Peanuts with the visual virtuosity and linguistic playfulness of Pogo and Krazy Kat, he applied his intelligence and supple cartoon skills to come up with a creation beloved by the millions who still mourn its passing. Now, a decade after his demise, six-year-old Calvin has a fitting monument a lavishly produced, three-volume boxed collection of all the strips, which weighs as much as a tombstone. Following in the wake of Gary Larson's The Complete Far Side, and with a 250,000-copy 'limited edition' first printing, the publisher realistically predicts that this book will be 'the heaviest and most expensive book ever to hit the New York Times best seller list.' While not as exquisitely wrought as Walt and Skeezix, the recently launched reprinting of Frank King's epic run of Gasoline Alley, or as intimate and dignified as Fantagraphics' ongoing republication of all 50 years of Peanuts, this luxurious set is dressed for success and deserves an honored spot on the happily expanding shelves of strip reprints. The Complete Calvin and Hobbes offers two intertwined narratives. One details the friendship between Calvin the egotistical, feverishly imaginative, wised-up young tyke with the vocabulary of a Yale lit major and his animal familiar, Hobbes. Hobbes is seen by Calvin's parents as a nondescript plush toy and by Calvin and the reader as a pouncing and amiable 'real' tiger Calvin's slightly-more-sensible better half. The crosscutting between private and shared reality gives the strip its vitality. The autobiographical introduction by the notoriously reclusive Watterson kicks off another tale about the collision of private and shared realities: the story of an ornery artist's battle to explore his craft within the claustrophobic confines of a few inches of newsprint space. The beleaguered Watterson fights the strictures of brutal daily deadlines, skirmishes with editors to win more space for his often graceful Sunday pages, slugs it out with his syndicate to keep his creation from being reduced to a stuffed doll. The later strips begin to dwell obsessively on the horrors of our dumbed-down commodity culture, and there's something poignant about the artist's hopeless struggle to work within the confines of mass culture while simultaneously critiquing it. These books offer a testament to Watterson's dedication and to the medium's ability to keep reinventing itself against all odds." Art Spiegelman is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Maus and In the Shadow of No Towers. Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[A] treasury of 10 transcendent years in three beautiful, bricklike volumes. Heavy, yes. Dense? Never....For all of his mischief, Watterson came as close as any artist, in any medium, to achieving a kind of American Zen. (Grade: A)" Entertainment Weekly
"Watterson's imaginative approach to his material and his inventive graphics have made Calvin and Hobbes one of the few universally admired by other cartoonists." Charles Solomon, Los Angeles Times Book Review
Composed of three hardcover, four-color volumes in a sturdy slipcase, this edition includes all Calvin and Hobbes cartoons that ever appeared in syndication and an original introduction by the author.
Calvin and Hobbes is unquestionably one of the most popular comic strips of all time. The imaginative world of a boy and his real-only-to-him tiger was first syndicated in 1985 and appeared in more than 2,400 newspapers when Bill Watterson retired on January 1, 1996. More than 30 million of the 17 Calvin and Hobbes books (all published by Andrews McMeel) have been sold. And now, we're pleased to announce that the entire body of Calvin and Hobbes cartoons will be published in a truly noteworthy tribute to this singular cartoon. Composed of three hardcover, four-color volumes in a sturdy slipcase, this edition will include all Calvin and Hobbes cartoons that ever appeared in syndication. This is the treasure that all Calvin and Hobbes fans will seek.
About the Author
Bill Watterson is the creator of Calvin and Hobbes, one of the most popular and well-regarded cartoon strips of the 20th century. Watterson drew the strip from its debut run on November 18, 1985, to December 31, 1995. In 1986, Watterson became the youngest person to win the prestigious Reuben Award for "Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year" from the National Cartoonists Society. He won the award again in 1988, and was also nominated for the honor in 1992.