from
Calvin and Hobbes
books by
Bill Watterson

Bill Watterson

This page:
The Days Are Just Packed
Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat
It’s a Magical World
There’s Treasure Everywhere

Category:

comic artists

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The Days Are Just Packed

Copyright © 1993 by Bill Watterson

Calvin:
When a kid grows up, he has to be something. He can’t just stay the way he is. But a tiger grows up and stays a tiger. Why is that?

Hobbes:
No room for improvement.

Calvin:
Of all the luck, my parents had to be humans.

Hobbes:
Don’t take it so hard. Humans provide some very important protein.

Topic:

Humanity

Calvin:
I’ve concluded that nothing bad I do is my fault.

Dad:
Oh?

Calvin:
Right! Being young and impressionable, I’m the helpless victim of countless bad influences! An unwholesome culture panders to my undeveloped values and pushes me to maleficence. I take no responsibility for my behavior! I’m an innocent pawn! It’s society’s fault!

Dad:
Then you need to build more character. Go shovel the walk.

Calvin:
These discussions never go where they’re supposed to.

Topics:

Values

Character

Calvin:
Do you believe in the Devil? You know, a supreme evil being dedicated to the temptation, corruption, and destruction of man?

Hobbes:
I’m not sure man needs the help.

Topic:

The Devil

Calvin:
If I’ve learned one thing in life, it’s that everyone has his price. Raise the ante high enough, and there’s no such thing as scruples! People will do anything if the price is right!

Hobbes:
What’s your price?

Calvin:
Two bucks cold cash up front.

Hobbes:
I don't know which is worse, ... that everyone has his price, or that the price is always so low.

Calvin:
I’d make mine higher, but it’s hard to find buyers as it is.

Susie:
The way Calvin’s brain is wired, you can almost hear the fuses blowing.

Topic:

Insults

Calvin:
When I grow up, I’m not going to read the newspaper and I’m not going to follow complex issues and I’m not going to vote. That way I can complain that the government doesn’t represent me. Then, when everything goes down the tubes, I can say the system doesn’t work and justify my further lack of participation.

Hobbes:
An ingeniously self-fulfilling plan.

Calvin:
It’s a lot more fun to blame things than to fix them.

Calvin:
See, the problem with fine art is that it’s supposed to express original truths. But who likes originality and truth?! Nobody! Life’s hard enough without it! Only an idiot would pay for it!

But popular art knows the customer is always right! People want more of what they already know they like, so popular art gives it to ’em!

Hobbes:
And how are the movie sequels this summer?

Calvin:
Great! Man, there’s nothing I hate more than paying five bucks and having to deal with some new plot.

Topic:

Art

Calvin:
Hey, Dad, know what I figured out? The meaning of words isn’t a fixed thing! Any word can mean anything! By giving words new meanings, ordinary English can become an exclusionary code! Two generations can be divided by the same language!

To that end, I’ll be inventing new definitions for common words, so we’ll be unable to communicate. Don’t you think that’s totally spam? It’s lubricated! Well, I’m phasing.

Dad:
Marvy. Fab. Far out.

Topic:

Translation

Calvin:
I hate going to school. I wish I was a tiger. Tigers don’t need to know anything.

Hobbes:
Hey! Attacking running animals involves a lot of physics. There’s velocity, gravity and laws of motion, not to mention all the biology we have to know. Then there’s the artistic expression of it all, and a lot more!

Calvin:
Gosh, I never realized killing was so grounded in the liberal arts.

Hobbes:
My dissertation on ethics was very well received.

Topic:

Scholarship

text checked (see note) Mar 2005; Jul 2020

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Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat

Copyright © 1994 by Bill Watterson

Calvin:
Today for Show and Tell, I’ve brought a tiny marvel of nature: a single snowflake. I think we might all learn a lesson from how this utterly unique and exquisite crystal... turns into an ordinary, boring molecule of water, just like every other one, when you bring it in the classroom. And now, while the analogy sinks in, I’ll be leaving you drips and going outside.

Topic:

Education

Calvin:
I used to hate writing assignments, but now I enjoy them. I realized that the purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure poor reasoning, and inhibit clarity. With a little practice, writing can be an intimidating and impenetrable fog! Want to see my book report?

Hobbes reads:
“The Dynamics of Interbeing and Monological Imperatives in Dick and Jane: A Study in Psychic Transrelational Gender Modes.”

Calvin:
Academia, here I come!

Topics:

Writing

Sesquipedality

Calvin:
I should be doing my homework now. But the way I look at it, playing in the snow is a lot more important. Out here I’m learning real skills that I can apply throughout the rest of my life.

Hobbes:
Such as?

Calvin:
Procrastinating and rationalizing.

Topic:

Rationalizing

Calvin:
Do you think babies are born sinful? That they come into the world as sinners?

Hobbes:
No, I think they’re just quick studies.

Calvin:
Whenever you discuss certain things with animals, you get insulted.

Topic:

Sin

Calvin:
The TV listings say this movie has “adult situations.” What are adult situations?

Hobbes:
Probably things like going to work, paying bills and taxes, taking responsibilities...

Calvin:
Wow, they don’t kid around when they say “for mature audiences.”

Hobbes:
I’ve never understood how those movies make any money.

Topic:

Maturity

Calvin:
Do you believe in evolution?

Hobbes:
No.

Calvin:
You don’t think humans evolved from monkeys?

Hobbes:
I sure don’t see any difference.

Topic:

Evolution

Calvin:
OK, give me the nickel and I’ll eat the worms.

Susie:
No, you eat the worms and then I’ll give you the nickel.

Calvin:
How about two cents up front and the rest upon completing the job?

Susie:
Sorry! You don’t get paid until you do the work.

Calvin:
Man. You’d think the guy eating the worms would be calling the shots!

Susie:
Usually, if you’re calling any shots at all, you’re not eating worms.

Calvin:
I’ve been disempowered! My centering, self-actualizing anima has been impacted by toxic, co-dependent dysfunctionality!

Mom:
You’ve been temporarily inconvenienced. Take out the trash.

Calvin:
Are you saying there’s a difference?!

Topic:

Propaganda

Calvin:
You saw Miss Wormwood?? She shops at the supermarket??

Mom:
Well, certainly. What did you think?

Calvin:
I dunno... I kinda figured teachers slept in coffins all summer.

Topic:

Teachers

Calvin:
We don’t understand what really causes events to happen. History is the fiction we invent to persuade ourselves that events are knowable and that life has order and direction. That’s why events are always reinterpreted when values change. We need new versions of history to allow for our current prejudices.

Hobbes:
So what are you writing?

Calvin:
A revisionist autobiography.

Topic:

History

Calvin:
A painting. Moving. Spiritually enriching. Sublime. ....“High” art!

The comic strip. Vapid. Juvenile. Commercial hack work. ....“Low” art.

A painting of a comic strip panel. Sophisticated irony. Philosophically challenging. ....“High” art.

Hobbes:
Suppose I draw a cartoon of a painting of a comic strip?

Calvin:
Sophomoric. Intellectually sterile. ...“Low” art.

Topic:

Critics

text checked (see note) Mar 2005

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It’s a Magical World

Copyright © 1996 by Bill Watterson

Calvin:
Why are you crying?

Mom:
I’m cutting up an onion.

Calvin:
It must be hard to cook if you anthropomorphize your vegetables.

Topics:

Food

Anthropomorphism

Calvin:
What does it mean when someone says to “give it the ol’ college try”?

Dad:
It means you join your friends, get some cheap beer, order a pizza, and forget about tomorrow.

Mom:
That’s not what it means!

Dad:
Where did you go to college?

Calvin:
Never mind.

Topic:

Universities

Calvin:
Art isn’t about ideas. It’s about style. The most crucial career decision is picking a good “ism” so everyone knows how to categorize you without understanding the work.

Hobbes:
You do goofy drawings on the sidewalk.

Calvin:
Right. I’m a suburban post-modernist.

Hobbes:
Aren’t we all.

Calvin:
I was going to be a neo-deconstructivist but Mom wouldn’t let me.

Topics:

Artists

Style

Calvin:
How can something seem so plausible at the time and so idiotic in retrospect?

Calvin:
When a person pauses in mid-sentence to choose a word, that’s the best time to jump in and change the subject! It’s like an interception in football! You grab the other guy’s idea and run the opposite way with it! The more sentences you complete, the higher your score! The idea is to block the other guy’s thoughts and express your own! That’s how you win!

Hobbes:
Conversations aren’t contests!

Calvin:
OK, a point for you, but I’m still ahead.

Topic:

Rhetoric

Calvin:
We rely on sight to confirm the existence of things. We don’t believe in things we can’t see. So how do we know that no-see-ums exist? Verification is ruled out by definition!

It’s an ontological quandary.

Hobbes:
Hold still a moment.

Calvin:
Ooh, I itch!

Hobbes:
Glad I could help.

Calvin:
Some people are pragmatists, taking things as they come and making the best of the choices available. Some people are idealists, standing for principle and refusing to compromise. And some people just act on any whim that enters their heads.

Hobbes:
I wonder which you are.

Calvin:
I pragmatically turn my whims into principles!

Topic:

Principles

Susie:
“When life gives you a lemon, make lemonade.”

Calvin:
I say, when life gives you a lemon, wing it right back and add some lemons of your own!

text checked (see note) Mar 2005

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There’s Treasure Everywhere

Copyright © 1996 by Bill Watterson

Calvin:
OK. These are my footprints. Here I stop, hear something, and start to turn around.

A few feet farther on, here’s the impression of my body as I hit the ground. These are the powdered remains of the snowball that hit me.

From the angle of particle dispersement, we can tell the snowball was thrown from over here, where we find... tiger tracks.

Hobbes:
Those could be anybody’s tiger tracks.

Topic:

Evidence

Hobbes:
Virtue needs some cheaper thrills.

Topic:

Virtue

Calvin:
Why does man create? Is it man’s purpose on earth to express himself, to bring form to thought, and to discover meaning in experience?

Or is it just something to do when he’s bored?

Topic:

Creativity

text checked (see note) Mar 2005

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