I Want to Live in a World With Calvin & Hobbes

My two favorite comic strips of all time are Bloom County and Calvin & Hobbes. I read them religiously when I was a kid, racing to the newspaper every single day to see what wackiness awaited.

I have a slew of Bloom County books and a few years ago got the Complete Calvin & Hobbes triple-hardcover slipcase. You need a forklift to read the thing. I completely respect creator Bill Watterson for stopping Calvin & Hobbes when he did. It was still a damn funny strip, and they went out on top. Rather than spiraling into mediocrity like… uh… Opus and company did with Bloom County.

But for the life of me, I can’t figure out why Watterson never did any merchandising other than book collections. I can understand not wanting to sell out. No, we don’t need a Calvin & Hobbes Monopoly or any Spaceman Spiff Transformers. But how about some basic T-shirts and mugs? How about art prints? Just your average collectibles would be nice.

Thankfully, there are talented people in this world. While I actually am getting a bit better with Photoshop these days, I still can barely draw a stick figure. An artist I’ll never be. But super-awes0me-thank-you-for-these photographer/photo-editing master Nite4awk has done something that totally put a smile on my face.

He created some gorgeous wallpapers mixing Calvin and hist trusty tiger Hobbes with real settings. Take a look at some of my favorites:







You can view all 15 scenes, as well as getting much larger images on Nite4Hawk’s imgur page.

Seeing these scenes just makes me miss these guys even more.

5 thoughts on “I Want to Live in a World With Calvin & Hobbes”

  1. I guess im out of the loop ,ive never heard of either of these comics before,I live in the deep south an im quite a bit older than you are but still,its weird that ive not heard of them before even with my kids being your age,,it looks like a cute comic though

  2. First of all, these are fantastic. Now I have wallpapers to last my computer for years.

    Second, to answer your question about why there is no merchandise, Watterson (I believe he talks about this in the tenth anniversary edition, to show my true obsession of the strip) states that turning down merchandising Calvin and Hobbes wasn’t simply a “no.” It took years of wrestling with not only businesses that wanted to sell the characters as commercial product, but with his own publishing company for turning down a multi-million dollar deal. He did this because to turn Calvin and Hobbes into commercial merchandise would be to contradict what the strip and the characters themselves stand for. The strip has huge roots within philosophy and frequently question the entertainment business and other social phenomena, and to put them on the side of a coffee mug or a T-shirt meant taking them out of their diverse and complex context and displaying them totally objectively. Also being a huge Calvin and Hobbes fan, I was set on getting a C&H tattoo on my shoulder before realizing that it would be doing what Watterson fought so hard to prevent. While it would be sweet to have a mug or shirt, you have to respect the guy for staying true to the personality and principles of the strip. That’s why I keep coming back.

    • Thanks for the comment, Tom. (Or is it TomHenry?)

      I remember reading Watterson’s explanations a number of times, and I know he didn’t simply say “no” in a Grinch-like way. So yes I can understand and respect him for sticking to his principles. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it!


Leave a Comment