No more Calvinball. No further adventures of Spaceman Spiff. No more school-day battles with Miss Wormwood or late-night duels with Rosalyn the baby sitter.
It all comes to an end Dec. 31, when creator Bill Watterson pulls the plug on his 10-year-old daily comic strip, “Calvin and Hobbes.”
“This was not a recent or an easy decision,” said Watterson in a two-paragraph letter sent by fax to newspaper editors, “and I leave with some sadness. My interests have shifted, however, and I believe I’ve done what I can do within the constraints of daily deadlines and small panels.”
“Calvin and Hobbes,” which presents the skewed world views of Calvin, a feverishly imaginative 6-year-old, and his stuffed tiger, Hobbes, has been a runaway success since it was syndicated in 1985. The Universal Press Syndicate strip appears in nearly 2,400 newspapers worldwide, including The Spokesman-Review. At turns devilishly anarchistic and profoundly philosophical, Calvin and Hobbes pondered the meaning of life even as they plotted water-balloon assaults against Susie, Calvin’s reality-grounded friend.
There have been 13 published collections of Calvin and Hobbes strips. All of them are million-sellers. “The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book,” which hit bookstore shelves in September, is currently No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list.
Calvin and Hobbes is particularly popular in Spokane. In a Spokesman-Review survey of best-liked comics taken in September, Calvin and Hobbes came in third behind For Better Or For Worse and Peanuts. Spokesman-Review editor Chris Peck said, “Calvin and Hobbes will be impossible to replace since it is an original, but we’ll do our best to find a strip that lives up to its high standards for humor and reader appeal.”