dieUX hosts Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes

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The Calvin and Hobbes page

Revised on .


These pages demonstrate the accessible and comparable experience of complex image content for people using screen readers. This page is dedicated to Jeff of Philadelphia who asked, "Any chance you could add Calvin And Hobbes strips?"

Who's Calvin?

Calvin features in cartoons drawn by Bill Watterson. He is an eternally six-year old kid drawn with short and spiky blonde hair, a generously proportioned head, and short legs. His life-long and best-loved friend is his stuffed tiger toy named Hobbes, who towers over Calvin and his life. Enter the imaginative, lost World of childhood and the cause of parental neuroses everywhere.

The Calvin & Hobbes Selection

Flying a Kite

Calvin and Hobbes, Something Under the Bed is Drooling, p120

The boy, Calvin, is carrying a simple kite and looking joyous alongside his best friend, the stuffed tiger, Hobbes. "Gosh", says Calvin, "It's perfect kite flying weather!" Calvin stops, and lies the kite on the ground and fiddles with its string. "But why let the kite have all the fun?"

Hobbes is given one end of the string. The other is attached around Calvin's waist. Enthusiastically, Hobbes asks, "You've got your tail on?" Calvin looks down, "Yep", he replies. "Just let out some string and start running."

Moments later, Hobbes is belting it across the wide yard with Calvin—airborne— towed just behind him. "I'm flying, I'm flying!" Shrieks Calvin as gravity sucks and he face-plants deep into the dirt. "Ow! Ack! Ooh!"

Hobbes begins to rewind the string. "Are you OK?" He asks Calvin. Boy! You were almost up there", he encourages. "I know", says Calvin with another, "ow". "We just need a little more wind."

Soon, the muddied Calvin is ready and barks his orders to Calvin, "OK. Here's another breeze! Let 'er rip!" Hobbes starts off powerfully and checks behind dismayed at the noise of Calvin being dragged across the grass. Hobbes stops and looks thoughtful, scratching his head. "Maybe you are too heavy?" He offers. "Gee", replies Calvin. "I hadn't thought of that. Um…How can I get lighter?"

Moments later, we are in Calvin's parents' house. His Mother is covering her phone's microphone as she addresses Calvin's Dad trying to bury his face into a book to avoid another situation. "Mrs Carroll is on the phone", says Calvin's Mum. "She says a naked kid tied to a stuffed animal is running through her yard". Calvin's Dad hunkers down, "You handle it. I got the little nudist out of her bird bath, remember?"

Hey Dad, Remember Our Car?

Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin and Hobbes, page 72

Calvin's Dad is relaxing on the couch with a journal when Calvin saunters past and asks, "Hey Dad, Remember our car?" "Sure", replies his Dad.

Calvin's Dad takes a second and then spins on his axis and scowling after Calvin asks, "Wait a minute. What do you mean, 'remember'?"

In the garden, Calvin finds his best friend, Hobbes the stuffed tiger sitting against the trunk of a tree and enjoying its shade. Calvin asks, "Hobbes, I have a question. Maybe you can help." "Sure", replies Hobbes happily. "Calvin turns away and ponders, "Suppose I did something bad. Should I tell Dad?"

Hobbes shrugs and asks, "How bad are we supposing?" "Well," exclaims Calvin, "Hypothetically, let's say pretty bad, like to his car, hypothetically." Hobbes, more concerned asks, "How bad, hypothetically, to his car?". Calvin looks ready to confess, "Well," he starts again, "let's pretend it was real bad."

Calvin looks worried. "If we imagined he could find the car, we could pretend it might be fixed." Hobbes looks wide eyed into Calvin's possible and immediate future and let's out, "I see."

Indoors and moments later, Hobbes is hurriedly handing a suitcase out toward Calvin. "You can keep the book. I'll call the bus station", he spits out. Calvin, holding the book, reads out the first Spanish phrase, "Que pasa, senorita? I am el fugitvo!".

Faster, Faster!

Calvin and Hobbes, Scientific Progress Goes Boink, p102

We find Calvin's stuffed tiger, Hobbes pushing a go-cart fast downhill with Calvin at its helm. "Faster! Faster!" Orders Calvin. Hobbes skips into the cart behind Calvin, "The turbo is pooped", he breathes. "That's OK", shares Calvin. "Gravity just kicked in!"

The cart is now journeying down a 45-degree slope. Calvin looks back at Hobbes and asks, "Ever notice how decisions make chain reactions?" "How so?" Asks the tiger. "Well," continues Calvin, "Each decision we make determines the range of choices we'll face next".

The cart hurtles through the hillside trees. "Take this fork in the road for instance", explains Calvin. "Which way should we go? Arbitrarily I choose left." The cart picks up more pace. Above the rush of air passing through Hobbes's fur Calvin carries on, "Now, as a direct result of that decision, we're faced with another choice: should we jump this ledge or ride along the side of it?"

We chase the cart. Hobbes looks wistfully back at the safety of the start of their decent. Calvin explains more, "If we hadn't turned left at this fork, this new choice would never have come up". The side of the ledge cuts the grass into sky.

They are airborne - the cart traversing an escalating altitude and inevitable trajectory. "Hobbes looks rueful, "I note, with some dismay, you've chosen to jump the ledge." "Right", Calvin affirms. "And that decision will give us new choices."

Hobbes peers from behind the cart at the ground far below. "Like, should we bail out or die in the landing?" He asks. "Exactly" Calvin returns. "Our first decision created a chain reaction of decisions." The cart, Hobbes, and Calvin start to separate in mid-air. "Let's jump!" Calvin determines.

Calvin and Hobbes are deposited into a brook looking mostly unharmed if exhausted by their adventure. Calvin concludes, "See? If you don't make each decision carefully you never know where you'll end up. That's an important lesson we should learn sometime." Hobbes lifts his head and laments, "I wish we could talk about these things without the visual aids".