This beautifully produced three-volume set is the complete collection of Calvin and Hobbes cartoon strips from the newspapers over the decade that Bill Watterson produced them. I have several paperback editions of these strips, but it invariably happens that a strip I remember is not among the ones I have. For example, for the longest time I searched for the one in which Calvin expresses his difficulty with mathematics, and Hobbes explains that this is nothing - wait until he reaches imaginary numbers (like eleventeen, thirty-twelve, and other such, which tigers of course have a natural instinct for). It might take some thumbing through to find things, but then, who would mind going through this glorious collection?
All of the characters are here - Calvin and Hobbes, and all the long-suffering around them: the teacher Miss Wormwood, Susie, Rosalyn the babysitter, and Calvin's parents (who are not mentioned by name in the strip). There are also the bit players (imaginary or not imaginary) characters such as aliens, the doctor, the principal, Moe, dinosaurs, and more. We re-learn the rules to Calvinball, and re-enter the club G.R.O.S.S. (which is an acronym that stands for Get Rid Of Slimy girlS).Read more ›
It's a joy to behold before you even open the covers of any of the three volumes - the set is well presented in good quality materials with nice images of our protagonists front and back. Each of the three volumes is epic and, again, well presented. The quality of paper is nice and heavy with a good gloss (but not too shiny) finish.
I find it difficult to describe Calvin & Hobbes to someone who's never heard of it so I won't try but my spin on C&H is that it combines everything that was good about growing up with some wonderful philosophical and wimsical moments that sometimes bring a tear to the eye. It's a comic strip of great humour, joy and touching moments that take you back to times when you didn't care about deadlines and stress just didn't exist.
The skills of the cartoonist (Bill Watterson) are brilliant enough within the 'daily' black and white strips but the Sunday colour strips often break free of the shackles of conventional cartoon drawing into a variety of styles and genres which you really don't expect.
As I said in the intro, if you have ever derived any joy from C&H in the past, then please buy this - it's just wonderful. If you're not familiar then buy it anyway, it's guaranteed to make you make you smile.
One small word of warning - this is one HEAVY item so don't get it delivered anywhere where you're going to have to carry it a long way!!! And if you're getting it delivered to home, stand by with a little tip for your postie!! :)