Comic Relief

In the midst of a cold, dreary winter and a continuing pandemic and quasi-lockdown, I really enjoy a good laugh now and then. So lately I’ve been trying to use Facebook to join groups where the posts are likely to give me a smile.

My two favorite comic strips, ever, are The Far Side and Calvin and Hobbes. That opinion apparently is shared by many people out there in social media land, because there are lots of Facebook groups just for fans of those classics from days gone by, where the participants can post favorite selections from those legendary strips. By joining the groups, I now get a regular feed of Gary Larson’s takes on cows and dogs and insects and scientists, and Bill Watterson’s treatment of Calvin’s Mom and Dad and disgusted friend Suzy again. And a recent post made me remember how much I enjoyed the Calvin snowmen strips like the one above — which seems apt, right now, with those of us in Columbus being in the middle of a frigid, snowy period.

Social media obviously has some pluses, and just as obviously has a lot of minuses, too. I figure it makes sense to reorient and exert some personal control and direction over the whole Facebook experience, mix some humor in with the politics and the ads, and try to put the social media world to better use.

Bill Watterson Speaks

Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin & Hobbes, recently gave his first interview in over twenty years. He didn’t say much, unfortunately, but he¬†did talk about his reasons for ending the strip:

“By the end of 10 years, I’d said pretty much everything I had come there to say,” Watterson says. “If I had rolled along… for another five, 10 or 20 years, the people now “grieving” for “Calvin and Hobbes” would be wishing me dead and cursing newspapers for running tedious, ancient strips like mine instead of acquiring fresher, livelier talent.”

When asked if he will buy Calvin & Hobbes stamps when they are released, Mr. Watterson answers, “Immediately. I’m going to get in my horse and buggy and snail-mail a check for my newspaper subscription.” I detect Calvin’s father’s sentiments in that answer. His hatred of television, cars, and other aspects of modern busy life was one of the themes of the strip.

It’s interesting that Watterson¬†gave this interview so soon after the death of another reclusive genius, J.D. Salinger. I wonder if Salinger’s death helped change his mind about his silence.