FORGET the Caped Crusader, the Web-Slinger and the Man of Steel. For me there is only one true comicbook hero and the only time he wears a mask is when his imagination lets loose as Stupendous Man.
His name is Calvin.
And like all comic creations he has a sidekick – his trusty stuffed toy tiger Hobbes.
I first came across Calvin and Hobbes while searching for a book to read on a family holiday. I found Yukon Ho! and my collection built from there.
On a basic level, I liked the idea of a boy getting up to mischief with his pal of which only he can see come to life. But creator Bill Watterson did more than that. He used the strips to provide social commentary on business, philosophy and culture – made all the more amusing coming from the mouth of a six-year-old schoolboy.
His illustrations ranged from the simple strips of the early years, the noir-esq Tracer Bullet (think Calvin does Dick Tracy), to the insanely abstract (Dinosaurs in jet planes, anyone?), all depending on Calvin’s musings. My favourite strip was Attack of the Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snow Goons. By far the best zombie movie never made.
This week I am sharpening up my illustrations for Three Friends and Crumbs. It’s fun coming up with visual ways to describe the stories. A particular favourite of mine is an end of the world-style sketch involving acorns. Can’t say more than that.
Back to the scribbling.