Calvin and Hobbes launched in my senior year in high school. Never acused of being too cool for school, I adored the little man’s antics and philosophical queeries to his tiger. Bill celebrated the Child’s immagination before society has beaten it out of him, Character Building dad’s, brave mothers, teachers and babysitters who will have their revenge, slimy girls and deep friendships with tigers. He tooks us back to our day dreams and reminded us to invent our own rules because with out it how can you play Calvin Ball? Bill gave the commencement speech at Kenyon College back in 1995. Poignant. Inspired. A few months latter he retired Calvin and his world: “I will be stopping Calvin and Hobbes at the end of the year. This was not a recent or an easy decision, 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. I am eager to work at a more thoughtful pace, with fewer artistic compromises.”
Now, Cartoonist Gavin Aung Than, of Zen Pencils, hasn taken the key elements of that speech and set them to a Bill Waterson stylized comic strip complete with Dinosaurs, red wagons and otherwroldly landscapes (although lacking any tiger). This panel is a celebration that living life authentically, being true to your own values, is the path to happiness. From Gavin’s profile of Bill, we learn that Watterson is not just creative, but persistent and full of intergirty. His comic strips reveal his humor, curiosity and wisdom.