“You’re not American if you didn’t cry at the end of ‘Field of Dreams’ or after reading the last panel of the last Calvin and Hobbes strip.”
~Official AFFotD Employee Manual
It’s a common misconception that comic strips are only meant for children. Sure, most comics are created with children in mind, but really, the only difference between a sober child and a drunk American is height and reflex time. And it’s a common consensus that if you ask most Americans what the greatest comic strip of all time is, they’ll either say “Peanuts,” “Calvin and Hobbes” or “No, that’s it, those are the only two acceptable responses.”
Calvin and Hobbes raised a generation of Americans, and helped usher the age of the “Children’s entertainment that was literate and accessible for adults” trend that unfortunately was replaced with “Uhhh what the hell is this trippy shit?” It ran for only 10 years, which meant it only was around for 1/5 of the time as “Peanuts” but which also meant that it was featured in infinity times less MetLife commercials. The first Calvin and Hobbes appeared in 1985 when its creator, Bill Watterson, was only 27 years old.
Bill Watterson was able to create two of the most endearing characters in American literary history, and despite the fact that he is a little crazy, he managed to craft an American masterpiece, which many of AFFotD staff members use as influence in their everyday lives.
Here is a list of ways that Calvin and Hobbes has left its indelible mark on American culture.
Spaceman Spiff is so American, he gets referenced in an AFFotD article before Neil Armstrong ever was for Christs’ Sake. Why? Because look at him! Apart from the powerful nature of childhood imagination that Calvin and Hobbes is renowned for, Spaceman Spiff is simply an unmitigated badass, doing what American spacemen are expected to do. Recklessly crash on alien planets, and ahere to a strick “Shoot first, ask questions later” policy. If it is slimy or has tentacles, Spaceman Spiff will shoot that bastard into the next star system. If Spaceman Spiff was a OBGYN, he would have performed exactly zero successful childbirths. And AFFotD endorses that wholeheartedly, because childbirth is sort of gross.
Inspirational Snowmen Creations
Haaaaaaaaa. That’s all we have to say about that really. We’d post more snowmen pictures, but that would quickly get out of hand, so here’s a website that just has nothing but Calvin and Hobbes snowmen comic strips.
The mid 80s through the mid 90’s were such a simpler time. Today, everyone likes to overreact to most jokes (which is the reason why “the man” won’t let us share our true feelings about those damn shiftless Swedes). If something was deemed “Too offensive” it becomes the subject of so many goddamn blog articles that soon there’ll be thousands of articles telling everyone to calm the hell down. Hell, that fucking “Friday” music video is the subject of more articles than the Libyan uprising, and that’s messed up. Anyway, the reason why we bring this is up that when Bill Watterson first created the Tracer Bullet noir-detective character, he had him say that he has eight slugs in him- “One’s lead, and the rest are bourbon.”
Calvin is supposed to be SIX years old. And look! That six year old is drinking bourbon! That is the most American thing we’ve ever heard of, and it’s the main reason why every single staff member that has a child has purchased a fedora for them.
Calvin’s superhero persona of Stupendous Man is an inspiration for all AFFotD writers, who are contractually obligated to keep a cape in their desks. Plus, he has a hard time spelling, which is incredibly American. But, of course, nothing is more American than the most American notion ever created in Calvin and Hobbes…
The true American way of life is exemplified by Calvinball. You just do whatever you want, damn the rules. Some might attest that’s a “risky” and “a socially immoral ideology that would sooner lead to anarchy than to civil rest” but to them we say…
We make up our rules on the fly, we choose what laws we feel fall in line with the Calvinball philosophy (pretty much none of the laws do), and we fully endorse that. We think everyone should live life like Calvinball.
Yet again, some naysayers might say, “We have rules and order for a reason, the world would crumble without them.” To that we retort….
And so, whenever you find yourself in a situation where you wonder, “What is the American way to respond to this” just look deep into your soul, and remember one thing.