Saturday, June 7, 2014

Many happy returns

Saturday Random Ten coming up later tonight, but I just wanted to highlight this story.

& also show off - not that it's mine to show off, but you know what I mean - another example of Watterson's work on the strip.

This is pretty epic stuff.  Calvin and Hobbes wowed me back in the 80s, when I was a teen, and it always struck me as being a little outside of time.  That is, Watterson looked as if he were working according to some bygone standard of craftsmanship combined with a sense of play, one that his contemporaries didn't really pay attention to.  And yet it wasn't quite nostalgia.  The strip didn't look like any comic from the past and Watterson couldn't be said to be copying the style of any past master.  (If there was a point of comparison it was Charles Schultz, but as if Sparky had started with the same borderline primitive style he had in the beginning and evolved in a different direction from the one he actually did.)  In this way Watterson's brief-for-now return leaves him essentially where he came in.

It should be noted that while Pearls Before Swine creator Stephan Pastis has a more limited art style, he is a very savvy comic (in both senses) writer.  I can see why these two got together.


susan said...

Even after all this time Calvin and Hobbes still blows me away - makes me laugh too. I've always been sorry he retired, but never once blamed him. It's nice to see he has cool friends who still invite him out to play.

Ben said...

He most likely had some fears that he'd start to phone it in and just do standard gags that happened to have the appearances of his characters stamped on the surface. It's not an unfounded fear, given the records of a lot of other comics. That said I'd love to see more of his work in any context.