November 18: The First Calvin & Hobbes

CalvinHobbesOn this day in 1985, the comic strip pictured above appeared in just 35 newspapers. However, by the time the 3150th and final Calvin And Hobbes strip was published just a little over ten years later, it appeared in over 2000 newspapers.

For ten wonderful years, Bill Waterson’s Calvin And Hobbes brought a unique blend of comedy, philosophy, and magical realism to the funny pages. Although the comic focused on the adventures of six year old Calvin and his tiger, Hobbes (who might have been a stuffed doll), Calvin & Hobbes strips could be about just about anything.

Really, the strip’s ambitions were as limitless as Calvin’s imagination. Sometimes we’d see the the titular duo trying to pull pranks on Calvin’s classmate Susie Derkins, play the “made up as it goes along” game of Calvinball or engage in humorous philosophical debates. Other times we might get a glimpse into Calvin’s imagination, where he could be anyone from daring space explorer Spaceman Spiff or superhero Stupendous Man. On top of all that, we’d sometimes see Calvin and Hobbes deal with such fantastical threats as monstrous “snow goons” that have come to life and the dangerous side effects of using cardboard box duplication and transmogrification technology. Of course, all of Calvin’s more fantastical adventures skirt the line between fantasy and reality, and somehow go unnoticed to the adults in his life.

After ten solid years, Waterson decided to call it quits and brought an end to the strip. While many other comic strips will keep running long past their retirement age (i. e. Blondie and Mary Worth, both of which predate World War II.), Waterson decided that ten years was a long enough run for the adventures of Calvin and Hobbes and that he had really said everything that needed to be said about the characters. The beautiful final strip ran on Sunday, December 31, 1995 and depicted Calvin and Hobbes discovering freshly fallen snow. As the two friends survey the landscape, Calvin comments “It’s a magical world, Hobbes, ol’ buddy… Let’s go exploring!” after which the two of them go sledding off into future unknown adventures.

So, what better way to celebrate Calvin and Hobbes than with a tigerous cocktail. After all, as the comic strip taught us, “Tigers are perfect/the E-pit-o-me/of good looks and grace/and” So, let’s enjoy a Tiger Tiger. It’s a cocktail inspired by the old ice cream flavor of the same name. The ice cream was orange flavored and had licorice stripes, so this cocktail uses orange and licorice liqueurs.

Tiger Tiger

  • 1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
  • 1/2 ounce Ouzo
  • 5 ounces milk
  • 1 splash grenadine (for color and sweetness)

Pour all ingredients over ice inside a rocks glass and stir.

Tomorrow: Watch me pull another legendary cartoon duo out of my hat. Nothing up my sleeve…


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