Gritty Reboot of Thursday Watercooler
For me, Calvin & Hobbes is the perfect comic strip. Though I love classics like Pogo, it’s still before my time and therefore increasingly out of reach. I grew up reading Calvin & Hobbes during its initial run, and appreciated its flights of fancy and its narrator, who was a bit like Bart Simpson but more intelligent and identifiable. Calvin would go on frequent Peanuts or Little Nemo-inspired journeys into imagined realities and at other times hold deep philosophical conversations with his stuffed(?) tiger, the other half of the titular duo.
Creator Bill Watterson retired from comics after a decade on the strip, and has refused almost any licensing agreements or public appearances — the only thing available are the collected volumes in color and black and white, and a few interviews. As an adult, I’ve revisited these collections many times. I still enjoy it every time Calvin dons his Spaceman Spiff costume and blasts across the universe, but on repeat reads I’ve come to appreciate the comic’s take on mature themes like death. I’ve also come to appreciate the adult characters more — as a kid they seemed distant and sometimes uncaring. Now I sympathize a lot with how the adults in Calvin’s life are loving but distracted; they care but Dad also wants to find more time for cycling and Mom envies her son’s ability to daydream all day and go on adventures. They make me grateful my adult life has plenty of time for all those pursuits (maybe in part because I’ve made the choice not to have kids).
I admire Watterson’s dedication to his artistic vision and personal ethics but something like this silly trailer is a funny vision of an alternate, even more capitalistic universe. The team who created it, Gritty Reboots, do this a lot, apparently. I enjoyed Meagan Naser’s turn as Susie Derkins, Calvin’s childhood crush turned (girl?)friend.
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Photo by Kit O’Connell, all rights reserved.