Jan 28, 2019

The 5 Best Calvin and Hobbes Characters

Calvin and Hobbes is the best comic strip ever created, and one of the more impressive things about it is how small of a supporting cast it has. The primary focus is on Calvin and his pet tiger Hobbes, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some great secondary characters.



To that end, excluding Calvin and Hobbes, here are..

The 5 Best Calvin and Hobbes Characters
Ben Smith


Honorable mention: MOE

Look, the strip basically only has six significant characters, so I might as well include him. He’s your standard bully character.  He made his first appearance two and a half months into the series.



5. CALVIN’S MOM

Calvin’s mom is a stay-at-home parent, and is subject to the majority of his antics. As a result, she is the primary caretaker and authority figure in the strip, and is given the least “fun” things to do. However, she is the one that provides emotional comfort when he needs it. She’s the heart of the strip.

She first appears in the second week of the series.


Making Calvin take baths and ignoring his ridiculous requests are some of her more memorable recurring strips.



4. ROSALYN

Rosalyn is the only person that will agree to babysit Calvin, and she almost always immediately regrets it and demands more money than was agreed upon afterwards. An interesting thing about Calvin’s babysitting situation is that the first time his parents talk about going out for the night, they laugh at the prospect of leaving Calvin home alone.


But then they do it anyway!


Rosalyn first appears nearly six months after the series began.




Surprisingly, she has no trouble babysitting Calvin in that first sequence of strips.



3. SUSIE DERKINS

Susie is the neighborhood girl, and Calvin’s only human friend. It’s clear they like each other, even though Susie has to endure a lot of insults and ‘gross boy stuff’ from Calvin. She likes him, but she’s not going to take crap from him.


She first appeared during the first month of the strip, even getting a two day buildup before finally appearing.



Gross lunchroom antics, snowball fights, and treehouse exclusion were some of the most common Susie strips.



2. MISS WORMWOOD

I cannot even imagine the amount of frustration and exasperation Calvin’s teacher Miss Wormwood must feel in dealing with his antics, but she always seems to maintain a level of calm, as if her spirit was broken long ago.


She first appeared in the fourth strip of the series, before Calvin’s mom had even appeared yet.



Calvin’s imaginary adventures as Spaceman Spiff often occurred during school, with Miss Wormwood usually taking on the role of some hideous alien monster.

1. CALVIN’S DAD

I have to admit, Calvin’s dad probably ranks first for me because I happen to be a father myself. My wife has told me multiple times not to make up silly explanations for why things exist or work the way they do, much like Calvin’s dad does in multiple strips. His sardonic approach to parenting is right up my alley.


Calvin’s dad appears in the very first strip, and makes regular appearances in that first week before Calvin’s mom appears the following week.


Another recurring joke that features Calvin’s dad are when Calvin updates him on his poll numbers, as if his position as dad is an elected office. He also liked to force his family to go on vacations they didn’t want to go on, which always went terribly.


Every significant character was introduced in the first six months of Calvin and Hobbes, with the four (arguably) most important appearing within the first month. The strip arrived into the hands of readers almost fully formed, which is pretty impressive. You can contrast this with another newspaper classic, Peanuts. One of the most shocking things about reading early Peanuts strips is how the cast was almost entirely different, except for Charlie Brown.

The premise, the jokes, the characters, the wit, the heart; it was all there. Calvin and Hobbes was great from the very beginning, and continued until the very end. It’s timeless.


1 comment:

Mario Lebel said...

A great idea for a post. I really enjoyed this and it's only natural that the only thing I want to do today is sit in a comfy chair and read my Calvin and Hobbes volumes. I agree that the dad is the best supporting character.

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