Calvin and Hobbes is surprisingly only a few years out from its 25th anniversary. While the main run might have concluded in 1995, the Bill Watterson comic strip has become an icon of the medium, with the six-year-old and his best friend, a tiger, going on countless, hilarious adventures alongside one another.
It’s easy to sum up the cheek and charm of Calvin, who has a mischievous edge. The creatives behind the cartoons have placed Calvin in all kinds of situations that help to explore his personality more, with these additions summing up who he is as an individual; the collection works as an interesting character study.
A New Girl At School
Calvin seems like quite an open kid and is always up for discussing personal changes in his life. However, he can get a little shy, as is the case when a new girl joins his school. He clashes with Hobbes over his line of questioning, reverting back to his age, despite the wisdom he often shares.
It’s a comic that reminds readers that Calvin is still just a kid, experiencing a crush for the first time. Despite all the bravado and charisma he usually showcases, he still feels a little out of his depth when it comes to slightly more emotional topics like this.
Controlling A Plant
Calvin often likes to be in control and might occasionally get above his station. This comic sees the character bartering with a plant, taking a lot of joy in the notion that he literally holds life and death in his hands, based on whether he waters the foliage or not.
Of course, it doesn’t truly matter, with Calvin reminded of his place in the world as it begins to rain. It’s an iconic comic and one of the funnier scenes without Hobbes, demonstrating that despite trying to remain in control, Calvin doesn’t always think his plans through.
Looking For His Best Friend
There are a few running gags throughout Calvin and Hobbes history, some of them involving an ongoing narrative. When Hobbes went missing, a few strips were dedicated to Calvin looking for his friend. In this comic, the emotional distress of losing his bestie is very apparent.
It demonstrates how much he might rely on Hobbes, a relationship that isn’t actually unique to Calvin. He’s just like any other kid, as the strip demonstrates, with his neighbor also holding a very similar set of adventures with her own tiger and a rabbit. Sometimes Calvin shuns away his age group in favor of spending more time with Hobbes though.
Bartering With Santa
Everyone knows that Calvin sometimes gets up to no good. Where he’d fall on the naughty or nice list is anyone’s guess, although his heart always means well. This comic first sums up his personality trait of occasionally getting into a bit of trouble.
However, the festive cartoon also sums up his need to once again try to get ahead of a situation. He looks for a lawyer to defend himself against Santa, acting above his age in the understanding of the law and constitution but not quite understanding that there is a simpler solution: to be better.
Catching A Butterfly
Calvin is often very headstrong and doesn’t always take advice from those around him. But he looks up to Hobbes and listens when he feels it matters. He’s just playing outside and catches a butterfly. It’s the sort of activity that anyone his age would indulge in.
But he has an understanding and appreciation for the beauty of the natural world. With Hobbes reminding him of what else would be captured if it could be, Calvin showcases his ability for critical thought, releasing the butterfly so it can bring joy to more people.
Annoying His Dad
Some Calvin and Hobbes comics are more emotionally traumatic than others and the relationship between father and son is occasionally demonstrated to be a little fraught. It’s clear that Calvin feels like his father isn’t around enough, because of how much time he puts into his work.
He likes to annoy his dad as well, and perhaps play up reality to get his own way. Even he acknowledges that what he is doing is slightly irritating but he embarks on his crusade nonetheless, dropping somewhat useful advice but in a way that will play on his father’s mind. He understands the joys of being young though.
Holding Close To Family
Hobbes means a great deal to Calvin and that is usually evident in the way that they stick by one another through thick and thin. There was a very poignant arc exploring death within the cartoon run and Calvin came to realize what that could mean for his own reality.
This comic shows that he is far beyond his years with some lines of thought, profoundly talking about what death truly means for humankind. However, this also sums up how he actually feels about Hobbes, treating him like a member of the family and wishing that they are never to be parted.
Last Minute Panic
Everyone has their own way of going about their work. Those working in the creative industries will know how difficult it is to come up with some kind of inspiration. This comic sums up Hobbes in many ways as he relies on Calvin to produce the day’s adventures.
But Calvin doesn’t actually have it all figured out. In fact, his leading motivator as he states is a last minute panic, a trait that most people can probably relate to. Despite the fact that he appears to be the boy with a plan, a lot of what Calvin really does involves completely winging it.
A Literal Understanding
Sometimes Calvin has a very literal understanding of things. He doesn’t do well with rhetoric and sometimes thinks of himself as someone whose cognitive processes are far above those around him. This results in a sarcastic sense of humor as demonstrated here.
The comic, which sees him banging nails into the table, speaks somewhat to the selfishness of Calvin who doesn’t always think on the consequences of his actions. That mischievous streak shows itself again, but occasionally his thought process is too logical to truly get through to him. Hobbes always manages it though compared to his parents.
Letting Hobbes Choose His Adventure
Calvin has a massive imagination when he does manage to come up with an adventure for the duo to complete. The character allows Hobbes to choose his own path though. This invention for instance supposedly allows the pair to transform into something else.
He simply states that Hobbes can write up his own transformation plan though, trying to keep the magic alive for both of them. Despite living in this fictional world, he still sees the reality of everything around him too. It’s a funny skit but one that shows a less selfish side to the character, especially when it comes to his BFF.