Fun Facts

Here are some facts about anything related to Calvin and Hobbes. Some you may already know if you read the strip, but others go beyond the life of a boy and his tiger:

Here is a strip as described by “Mom asks whether Calvin is bringing Hobbes to school again. She asks whether the kids make fun of him for doing that. Calvin replies that Tommy Chesnutt did, but no one did anymore. Mom asks what happened to Tommy. Calvin replies that Hobbes ate him. Hobbes comments that Tommy needed a bath.”

Tommy Chestnutt was a real person, a close friend of Watterson at Kenyon College. Chestnutt was the only of Bill’s friends to make a strip. The Essential Calvin and Hobbes reads “To Tom” on page 5. It could be to Chestnutt, or another of his friends named Tom Tenney. Or both.

“David Spade sports a Calvin tattoo and actor Sean Penn was filmed applying the tattoo.

Although its contents are a mystery to everyone but [Stephen] King and Watterson, longtime Calvin and Hobbes editor Lee Salem recalls forwarding a fan letter received from King to Watterson.”

“Calvin wishes the Big Bang was called the ‘horrendous space kablooie’ and the tyrannosaur the ‘monstrous killer death lizard’.

The American Political Tradition and the Men Who Made It begins, ‘Long ago Horace White Observed that the Constitution of the United States “is based upon the philosophy of Hobbes and the religion of Calvin. It assumes that the natural state of mankind is a state of war, and that the carnal mind is at enmity with God.’

“Watterson loved the Beatles, and John Lennon once said, ‘Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.’

“Calvin is under the misimpression that BC stands for Before Calvin.

“In 2008, a group of Wahington University students organized a live Calvinball game. One of the organizers boasted, ‘we strive for a certain level of confusion.’

“After Jurassic Park came out, Watterson refrained from putting dinosaurs in his strips for six months.

“When I typed the phrase ‘Calvin and Hobbes are amazing’ into Google, it came back with over 149,000 results.”

-Martell, N., 230 (2009). Looking For Calvin and Hobbes: The Unconventional Story of Bill Watterson and His Revoutionary Comic Strip. New York, NY: The Continuum International Publishing Group Inc.

“Watterson admitted in interviews that he himself had a small black-and-white television in the ’80s not unlike the one with the bunny ears and manual dials seen in the strip.” – Martell, N., 107

“According to Watterson, GROSS was based on clubs he formed with his neighbor growing up. In The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book, he describes a plan they concocted to throw hickory nuts at a neighborhood girl (a scheme Calvin and Hobbes also attempt). So they stashed a suitcase full of nuts in a tree and promptly forgot about it for six months. When they finally remembered their intentions and went back to get the suitcase, it was destroyed and the nuts were a rotting mess. ‘Our great plans often had this boring kind of anticlimax,’ Watterson joked. ‘Which is why fiction comes in so handy.’ ” -Martell, N., 109

Calvin was called Marvin before July 1983 (before the first strip was published in newspapers), and the change was made “because Tom Armstrong’s strip Marvin had launched the previous year, and Watterson didn’t want there to be any confusion.” – Martell, N., 54

The last Calvin and Hobbes strip ever was on a Sunday, but it had barely any watercolor in it. They do show it along with the first ever on the Andrews McMeel website, which you can go to here.

“David Bowe remembered one strip in which Calvin was a grenade-throwing terrorist that didn’t make the cut, though they allowed strips to run that featured a snowman commiting suicide (he put a hot-water bottle on his head) [view this strip] and Calvin throwing up a Nazi salute [view this strip].” – Martell, N., 92

More facts are on the way!

“Most cartoon characters have a generic, white collar job, but I eventually decided that Calvin’s dad, like my dad, is a patent attorney. I think it’s funnier when things are specific, rather than generalized.”

-Watterson, B., 103 (1995). The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book. Kansas City, MO: Andrews McMeel.


3 responses to “Fun Facts

  1. Love this minutiae and can’t wait for more… 15 years after he quit drawing the strip and all I’ve got are some anthologies, a US postage stamp, and a yearning for more insight.

    When Seinfeld went out on top, I forgot about it six months later… I’m still waiting for the next C&H.

  2. Trivia City rules again!!! Really interesting facts about C&H….. fun to read..who knew??

  3. Pingback: The Wisdom of Calvin and Hobbes | Going Beyond Survival in a School Library

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