Is there anything in the world that was better than Calvin & Hobbes? I’m not sure there was. Sure, sure, there is eating and sex, but Bill Watterson’s masterpiece of a comic strip is right up there. Far more than three panels of humor each day, the full scope of the work will long stand as one of the great achievements of sequential art.
And no, I don’t think I’m overstating the case.
In 10 years, Watterson evolved his strip from a quirky and funny comic strip that was a slightly edgy, modern version of Peanuts into something wholly unique. Something with a pretty amazing range. Something that could be risque one day and charmingly quaint the next; dealing with childhood antics on Monday and making serious political and social commentary on Tuesday. Calvin & Hobbes has made me laugh, cry, think, snicker, and more. I don’t think any strip has had the range of delights that C&H had. It was smart and funny and juvenile and a thousand other things.
Calvin & Hobbes is one of the great treasures of the 20th century. For real.
As my proof, I present to you the snowman series of strips. If that’s not brilliant, nothing is. (EDIT: Discovered when reviewing links in 2016 that this link was dead, so I’ve removed it. Sorry!)