Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Jolabokaflod: The Calvin and Hobbes Lazy Sunday Book

Title: The Calvin and Hobbes Lazy Sunday Book
Writer and Artist: Bill Waterson
The Calvin and Hobbes Lazy Sunday Book (Volume 4): Watterson, Bill ...
via Amazon
I have written previously about my love for Calvin and Hobbes here and about Jolabokaflod here.  This particular book was a gift from my niece a couple years back when we all gathered in Montreal for Christmas.  She was, I believe, eleven years old at the time.

Lazy Sunday Book collects the Sunday strips from May 24, 1987 to July 30, 1989 in full color.  The Sunday strips lack the punch of the dailies.  However, the longer format provided a broader canvas for Watterson to exhibit Calvin's dreamscapes: outer space, dinosaurs, giant insects and, never to be underappreciated, his own backyard.  Plus, there's nothing wrong with a joke taking a little longer to develop.  I particularly enjoy Calvin and Hobbes's interpretations of baseball, including at least 23 bases and one "secret" base.  Calvinball, an expression of genius all its own, wasn't introduced until 1990.  It's fun to observe the thought process leading up to it.

As an added bonus, Watterson opened the book with a new 10-page, 25-panel story.  Four of the panels are full-page, in fact, though two include inlays.  In the afterword, the author waxes nostalgic over the greater amount of space afforded to a single Sunday strip in a bygone era.  It's fun to see what he would have done with more space himself.

What more can I say?  As I have written before, C&H, Bloom County and The Far Side are the best strips in the history of the medium and I feel extremely fortunate to have grown up with all three.  Forced to choose, I'd probably pick Calvin as the best of them all.  I'm delighted to see it enjoyed by a new generation and I am charmed to know that it made my sweet niece think of me.

It does make me wonder about what my sister has told her about what I was like as a child...


  1. I love Calvin and Hobbes. The crazy stuff they get up to and the Snowman ! oh the Snowmen !
    Most of all this crazy pair helped me after my home burned in Laguna Beach wildfire. A wonderful Bookstore had all the the elementary school children over to pick out some books.
    One of the books Daughter picked out was a Calvin and Hobbes Collection. Everynight before I went to sleep I would read maybe 2 pages. The smiles made everything a bit sanier. Small wonders.

    1. Reading them now, I have to say I have a lot more sympathy for his parents than I did when I was younger.

  2. I love Calvin and Hobbes too, especially the Sunday strips. My new tattoo is from the last pane of their last comic from 31 December 1995. :)

    I agree with Angry Parsnip, I love the Snowmen Calvin always builds. Then Calvinball... in our corporate Zoom mindfulness classes, the leader compares Calvinball to COVID-19, no rules and everything changes.

    Humour and comics help everyone. I know C&H helped me through some tough times, as did the Far Side and Bizarro. I'm not too familiar with Bloom County. Have you ever heard of Tundra? My friend who moved to Alaska sent me the calendar and I just love it. He's an Alaskan comic, Chad Carpenter, but he's funny.

    1. I don't know Tundra. I might have to check that out.

      Do you know about the Watterson exhibit at Ohio State in Columbus? I have never been but I'm curious.

  3. Love Calvin.
    My oldest son had so many of the Calvin books.
    Hmm... I wonder where they are.