Discovering the Brilliance of Waterson

The other day, I was cleaning out the garage, and I found a box of old books. It was full of old The Far Side anthologies and several compilation books of Calvin and Hobbes. Jeffrey was all over them, but quickly shelved The Far Side in favor of his new heroes, Calvin and Hobbes. I think the science nerdery of TFS mostly went over his head, but the antics of the small boy and his tiger were right up his alley. He’s been devouring them. And frankly, I had forgotten the sheer brilliance of the dialogue, expressions and pure imagination of Bill Waterson’s creative genius.

After about three days solid of reading, Jeffrey came bounding excitedly into my room holding the book, and exclaimed “MOM! Hobbes is a STUFFED TIGER! Did you know that!? That’s hilarious! It’s all Calvin’s IMAGINATION!!” Seeing him figure this out on his own was a singular delight in my mothering this week. Since then, he’s been voraciously reading them, even sneaking a flashlight into bed for some covert under-the-covers reading.

Tonight I found a note, written in red crayon, warning the zombie snowmen to “Stay Away, Suckers!” I guffawed, and let him tape the sign to the wall over his bed, ignoring the fact that only last week, ‘sucker’ was a naughty word. Some things are bigger than my arbitrary rules. Love of a boy’s imagination is one of them…

16 thoughts on “Discovering the Brilliance of Waterson

  1. putting that on my to-do list, check out some calvin & hobbes for my son to read. Love that they are something you can share with your kids.

    • Yup- I wouldn’t let them tell each other they “sucked”. Call me crazy. They’re not allowed to call each other “stupid” or other names, either. 😉

  2. It’s a great day when a child finds Calvin and Hobbes. My kids went from them to Garfield. I’m not a huge fan of the fat cat but my girls loved him. From there it was Adventures of Wimpy Kid for one daughter and Harry Potter for another. After that they were all over the place, but we all go back to Calvin now and then.

  3. My firstborn (now 16) loved my collection of C&H. We used to joke we should have named him Calvin since he was the spittin’ image in looks, attitude, and imagination.

    I guess it is over due to introduce C&H to my other two boys.

  4. “Scientific Progress Goes ‘BOINK'” is a staple in our church bag. 7-yo son loves it and it keeps him quiet post-sacrament to closing prayer. Except for the occasional muffled snort. Oh, how I love me some Calvin.

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