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The Complete Calvin and Hobbes Hardcover – Box set, Sep 6 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. [Signature]Reviewed by Art SpiegelmanBy the 1980s the once glorious newspaper comics section had become a wasteland, ravaged by shrinking space, editorial timidity and other ills. The real excitement in my medium had moved to the fertile margins of the alternative press. Bill Watterson, as uninterested in underground comix as I was in the mass media's bland concoctions, marched directly into the wasteland and made the comatose syndicated strip form kick up its heels and dance.From 1985 until Watterson abandoned it at the height of its popularity 10 years later, Calvin and Hobbes echoed the classic strips the artist most admired. Stirring the richly conceived characters and efficient drawing of Peanuts with the visual virtuosity and linguistic playfulness of Pogo and Krazy Kat, he applied his intelligence and supple cartoon skills to come up with a creation beloved by the millions who still mourn its passing.Now, a decade after his demise, six-year-old Calvin has a fitting monument—a lavishly produced three-volume boxed collection of all the strips, which weighs as much as a tombstone. Following in the wake of Gary Larson's The Complete Far Side, and with a 250,000-copy "limited edition" first printing, the publisher realistically predicts that this book will be "the heaviest and most expensive book ever to hit the New York Times best seller list." While not as exquisitely wrought as Walt and Skeezix, the recently launched reprinting of Frank King's epic run of Gasoline Alley, or as intimate and dignified as Fantagraphics' ongoing republication of all 50 years of Peanuts, this luxurious set is dressed for success and deserves an honored spot on the happily expanding shelves of strip reprints.The Complete Calvin and Hobbes offers two intertwined narratives. One details the friendship between Calvin—the egotistical, feverishly imaginative, wised-up young tyke with the vocabulary of a Yale lit major—and his animal familiar, Hobbes. Hobbes is seen by Calvin's parents as a nondescript plush toy and by Calvin and the reader as a pouncing and amiable "real" tiger—Calvin's slightly-more-sensible better half. The crosscutting between private and shared reality gives the strip its vitality.The autobiographical introduction by the notoriously reclusive Watterson kicks off another tale about the collision of private and shared realities: the story of an ornery artist's battle to explore his craft within the claustrophobic confines of a few inches of newsprint space. The beleaguered Watterson fights the strictures of brutal daily deadlines, skirmishes with editors to win more space for his often graceful Sunday pages, slugs it out with his syndicate to keep his creation from being reduced to a stuffed doll. The later strips begin to dwell obsessively on the horrors of our dumbed-down commodity culture, and there's something poignant about the artist's hopeless struggle to work within the confines of mass culture while simultaneously critiquing it. These books offer a testament to Watterson's dedication and to the medium's ability to keep reinventing itself against all odds. (Oct.)Art Spiegelman is the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Maus and In the Shadow of No Towers.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Watterson's imaginative approach to his material and his inventive graphics have madeSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This may not be an inexpensive collection, but considering the content it's a good value. There's hard-bound books inside a slip case, all nicely bound and presented. As a book collector, I appreciate good bindings and presentations, and this set ranks with some of the best mass-market releases I've seen. It's durable, and likely to last.
Every Calvin & Hobbes cartoon strip and all the weekend larger strips are here, along with a set of introductory notes about how the strip came into being, and illustrated to show the development of the characters. That's interesting reading, but of course the focus is on the strips. You get three strips to a page, or one weekend strip to a page, and they are in chronological order. Having all the Calvin & Hobbes together in one collection is great, and I've enjoyed working my way through this collection enormously. Highly recommended.
This beautifully produced three-volume set is the complete collection of Calvin and Hobbes cartoon strips from the newspapers over the decade that Bill Watterson produced them. I have several paperback editions of these strips, but it invariably happens that a strip I remember is not among the ones I have. For example, for the longest time I searched for the one in which Calvin expresses his difficulty with mathematics, and Hobbes explains that this is nothing - wait until he reaches imaginary numbers (like eleventeen, thirty-twelve, and other such, which tigers of course have a natural instinct for). It might take some thumbing through to find things, but then, who would mind going through this glorious collection?
All of the characters are here - Calvin and Hobbes, and all the long-suffering around them: the teacher Miss Wormwood, Susie, Rosalyn the babysitter, and Calvin's parents (who are not mentioned by name in the strip). There are also the bit players (imaginary or not imaginary) characters such as aliens, the doctor, the principal, Moe, dinosaurs, and more. We re-learn the rules to Calvinball, and re-enter the club G.R.O.S.S. (which is an acronym that stands for Get Rid Of Slimy girlS).Read more ›
There are many strips I really enjoy: For Better or for Worse; Betty; Monty; Bizarro; Speed Bump; Fisher; Mutts; Dilbert; Adam; Ben; Big Nate; 9 Chickweed Lane. All of those are comics that I read daily; some of them are only available to me online because my papers don't carry them.
But if there's one strip that I just adored, it was Calvin and Hobbes.
"Calvin and Hobbes" - named after the 16th century theologian who believed in predestination, and the 17th century philosopher who called human life "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short" - follows the adventures of a boy with an adult's maturity and penchant for finding mischief. - ABC News
A couple of days ago, I received my copy of The Complete Calvin & Hobbes.
If you're a fan of Calvin and Hobbes, it's worth every penny. The books are beautifully bound and printed on nice heavy coated paper; this is the kind of binding and paper you might well expect of those tomes of artworks museums publish - they weigh a ton! This edition is definitely meant for the dedicated fan as a permanent addition to their personal library.
If you're daunted by the price, relax. If you bought every single book, you'd spend more and still not have all the comics. If you have all the books, but this set anyways.
The first volume includes a preface with the history of the strip and commentary by Bill Watterson, the cartoonist.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Best cartoon period!! My father once told me that I had done several things close to Calvin's antics and he would find it funny to relive them through the books. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
When I was younger I could not wait for the Sunday comics to come,so I could see what they were up to, and compare it to my 2 boys.Published 5 days ago by muff
Grand & more-than-complete collection of the work of one of the two finest cartoonists of the last third of the 20th C.: essential for any collector &/or scholar of comic art.Published 8 days ago by Rev. F. Mark Mealing, Ph.D.
Excellent reading, all families should have this on their coffee table.Published 17 days ago by Junkyard Dawg
This was my sons passing gift (first year in high school!) ...He went from a 54% average in french to a 90% so this is WELL earned indeed!... Read morePublished 28 days ago by Amazon Customer
Bought for my husband and daughter . Both are big fans. Shipping was very quickPublished 1 month ago by Colleen Witman
It's awesome! Great prefaces by Mr. Watterson, and it was a great to remember all the good times with Calvin and Hobbes.Published 1 month ago by D Archer