Bill Watterson’s great comic strip Calvin and Hobbes ended in 1995 (wow, that long ago?), but it’s still the subject of comment and satire. For instance, I recently received this (uncredited) strip in my mailbox:
I remember back when the strip was ending, there was a lot of conjecture that the last strip would somehow “cut the cord” of Calvin’s childhood by having him realize that Hobbes wasn’t a real tiger. (My own conjecture involved Calvin coming home from college and finding Hobbes in the back of his closet.) Of course, the real final strip was upbeat and optimistic, which was much more appropriate for the strip.
Apparently people still wonder whether Watterson had planned some other end for the strip, but such conjectures appear to be unfounded:
It was conceived in an article in the Washington Post on November 19, 1995 written by Frank Ahrens called “So Long, Kid: An Obituary For a Boy, His Tiger and Our Innocence”, after Bill Watterson had announced that the final Calvin and Hobbes cartoon would be printed on December 31st. In it, he speculated about the final strip.
I’ve always admired Watterson’s integrity with respect to his strip. Really, the only thing I regret is that he hasn’t come back to give us more of his wonderful work since. On the other hand, considering what a disaster Berke Breathed’s strips have been since Bloom County ended, maybe I should be glad he’s kept to himself.
(Note: Some of the comments to this post seem to think I’m presenting the strip above as a real Watterson C&H strip. That wasn’t my intention; I know the strip above was created by someone else, almost certainly as satire, and is not a real Calvin & Hobbes Strip. I think it’s amusing anyway.)
(Update March 2011: If you’re looking for something more in the spirit of the real Calvin & Hobbes, take a look at this later entry.)