The Magic of Calvin

If you’ve spent any time at all reading my comics or talking to me much, you’d know I have a few things I love utterly and completely. One of these is Calvin and Hobbes. That strip debuted midway through my college career. I thought it was magical, and it inspired me to make the comics I make today.

Slight wakeup call today, an article in the Washington Post – yes, I still get the old-fashioned dead-tree newspaper delivered to my house – that it has been 25 years since Bill Watterson stopped making Calvin and Hobbes. What a luxury, to have time off today, to have a nice, fancy cup of coffee and a biscotti and settle into the newspaper for a nice read.

It brings back memories of why I started all this in the first place. Watterson expounds a bit on the bygone lofty perch newspaper comics once occupied. I have a bittersweet twinge in my heart as I realize those days are gone. Certainly I don’t eagerly devour the comics page as I once did. Most of what’s there are zombie comics far outliving their creators, reruns, and just plain not-funny Boomer Humor comics that don’t appeal to me.

As a guy who makes comics that bear at least some passing resemblance to newspaper comics (although I hope they at least have a measure of humor and pathos to make them worth the reader’s time) it is a shame that even I don’t enjoy the funnies anymore.

It makes me wonder, as I often do, whether this is worth it any more. The comics biz I once so admired is no longer there. I don’t know if I have the stuff to get to the top of that profession, but even if I do, it would appear the machinery to turn a good comic into a cultural phenomenon is no longer there.

Anyway. I have now done 31 Doc and the Deathbot comics, as I promised myself back when I was only at #24. I said at 30 strips, I would evaluate whether I felt it was worth continuing. I think so. Let’s go for 50 comics and see what kind of an audience the boys have attracted by then.

Until then… thanks for reading, and see you in the funny papers. 🙂

2 Replies to “The Magic of Calvin”

  1. While newspaper comics appear to be dead, there’s a thriving online presence for this type of art. From Reddit, to Facebook, to even meme channels in Discord servers, comics created by artists like you are still very present. And while it may not be as profitable or prestigious as it used to be, there’s a level of creator-reader interaction that’s never been seen before. It’s the reason I’m able to write this comment in the first place.
    (Just wanted to finish by saying I had 3 Calvin and Hobbes books growing up and they influenced me in ways I probably still don’t realize. They’re amazing, and I still keep them safe)

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