The adorable comic strip characters who have won hearts across age groups by being real and true to themselves, Calvin and Hobbes, just turned 30 on 18 November, 2015. Started way back in 1985 by Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes have paved their way in more than 2,000 newspapers – until 1995, when Watterson pulled the plug without much explanation. Though no new content has been produced since two decades, we can still enjoy the evergreen strips in leading dailies within the country.
Calvin is an unbelievably intelligent six-year-old and Hobbes is his (imaginary) tiger friend, who can be seen as a casual observer and savage beast. Both the characters are named after protestant reformer John Calvin and philosopher Thomas Hobbes, and both their beliefs are reflected in their respective characters, with Calvin constantly questioning the state of the universe, and Hobbes commenting on Calvin’s peculiar and eccentric behaviour.
On this occasion, we got in touch with a few industry folks, to know how they feel about these two characters; if they would like to see them in any other form (film, animated shorts) and if they can see any similarities in their characteristics among local Indian comic characters.
I have been introduced to them back when I was a kid and since then I have been off and on following up. And few years back, I bought the whole collection of it. Out of the two characters, I like Calvin more as he’s not trying to portray himself as a good person. The character caters more to the adult audience as he doesn’t care about being liked. He just does his own things and he’s happy with the way he is even though he’s grumpy most of the times. Calvin has a great sense of humor and imagination. He’s always lost in his own world.
As for seeing him in a film, I can’t really imagine him in it as the writing was so fantastic that it becomes difficult to think. I feel justice can be delivered only if Bill Watterson himself is involved in creating it. Also, because of their uniqueness, I can’t think of any Indian character who reminds me of them.
Calvin and Hobbes came into my life when I was in 8th or 9th grade and since then I have been reading them. I recently bought their collection, and next in my bucket list is their leather bound collection. Out of the whole collection, Calvin’s dad is my personal favorite but among the two I am drawn towards Hobbes as I think his sense of humor and mine are on the same lines.
I don’t really want to see it turn into a movie, as I somewhere believe with what Bill Watterson has propagated that he will never want to use animation or any other medium to recreate the magic of the duo. I am fine with other things adapting into movies and animation form but Calvin and Hobbes are best in their comic form as you can always re-read it and it becomes difficult to translate them in any other form. None of the Indian characters strike a chord to me that reminds me of them.
My dad introduced me to these two amazing characters at quite a young age. I was around 11 years old back then and later on he gifted me the whole collection of it. I was too young to appreciate the depth that went into making it but I have grown up reading it. Since Calvin is insane and he says things upfront, I am drawn more towards him.
I believe that the comic is good the way it is and has served it’s purpose by staying short and sweet. It’s just perfect the way it is! I doubt I can resonate them with any Indian characters as of now.
Back when I was in school, I used to read their comic strips in library and used to cut them out from newspapers and compile them in a notebook. Basically, I have grown up reading them as I own quite a few of their collections and for me, Hobbes is my favorite character. I believe Calvin is because of Hobbes. I feel Calvin got the mischievous and creative ideas, only because Hobbes was with him.
I would definitely want to see it in a movie form but only in 2D animation and not in 3D as I feel 3D might just take away the look and feel of it. 2D might be an appropriate platform for that. Talking about if I can think of any Indian characters reminding me of Calvin and Hobbes then all I can say is that there might be few who have similar look and feel like them. But none actually share similar thoughts and personalities.
Bill Watterson and his works are my biggest inspiration. Calvin and Hobbes came into my life in my early college days back in 2000’s. I have read most of their comic strips and till date I read them up in all mediums, be it online or newspaper.
I connect with Calvin the most as I have been a loner myself. Just like Calvin, I grew up feeling like an outsider and used to imagine and create my world and situations. Just like the strips, even in my life there’s always been a distance between me and real people. I always wished to have a friend like him as his thoughts are similar to mine. Whatever he said, be it on parenting, wanting to be free, live life without any rules and the way he questions everything in life even though he is one little boy made sense to me. Both Calvin and Hobbes share deep thoughts at night about universe and life that leaves you wondering about what’s more important in life and trivial pursuits. He’s always having fun by doing little things in life like splashing in water, sailing boats rather than pursuing materialistic things in life.
I wish I could create something like that. Infact, one of my first serious scripts ‘Thrisangu Swargan’ (Caught in between two world) has been inspired by him. The story revolved around a young girl who’s fed up of life and imagines a dreamworld where the person exists only in that world. It’s somewhat like Alice in Wonderland as well.
Calvin always cooks up stories to escape from situations. Even parents are shown not very affectionate or emotional types. That’s one of the main reason Calvin isn’t finding the kind of love he wants. Here’s where his attraction towards Susie comes into picture which I find very cute as he hates as well as loves her.
I would love to watch it in animated form only if someone could make it without spoiling the essence, the heart, the soul and the love behind it.
It’s amazing how a comic strip can leave such an impact on the minds of people and the fact that till date, it’s relatable to one and all no matter how old they are. Hats off to Bill Watterson who has bestowed the world with these irreplaceable characters.