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The Complete Calvin and Hobbes
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The Complete Calvin and Hobbes

4.7 100
by Bill Watterson

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Calvin and Hobbes is unquestionably one of the most popular comic strips of all time. The imaginative world of a boy and his real-only-to-him tiger was first syndicated in 1985 and appeared in more than 2,400 newspapers when Bill Watterson retired on January 1, 1996. More than 30 million of the 17 Calvin and Hobbes books (all published by Andrews McMeel)


Calvin and Hobbes is unquestionably one of the most popular comic strips of all time. The imaginative world of a boy and his real-only-to-him tiger was first syndicated in 1985 and appeared in more than 2,400 newspapers when Bill Watterson retired on January 1, 1996. More than 30 million of the 17 Calvin and Hobbes books (all published by Andrews McMeel) have been sold. And now, we're pleased to announce that the entire body of Calvin and Hobbes cartoons will be published in a truly noteworthy tribute to this singular cartoon. Composed of three hardcover, four-color volumes in a sturdy slipcase, this edition will include all Calvin and Hobbes cartoons that ever appeared in syndication. This is the treasure that all Calvin and Hobbes fans will seek.

Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post
…an elegant and hefty box set…mostly in black and white but with plenty of color, too. Rereading the strips provides a nostalgic telescope to a wonderful time.
—Timothy R. Smith
From the Publisher
"At some level, all American childhoods are the same, which probably explains our lasting love affair with Calvin and Hobbes." (Timothy R. Smith, The Washington Post)

"Bill Watterson's 'Calvin and Hobbes,' easily one of the most beloved comic strips of all time..." (Bryan Hood, New York Post)

"A student of comics, Watterson drew from an eclectic set of influences...The result was a strip that was vibrant, accessible, and beautiful." (Jake Rossen, Mental Floss)

Publishers Weekly
By the 1980s the once glorious newspaper comics section had become a wasteland, ravaged by shrinking space, editorial timidity and other ills. The real excitement in my medium had moved to the fertile margins of the alternative press. Bill Watterson, as uninterested in underground comix as I was in the mass media's bland concoctions, marched directly into the wasteland and made the comatose syndicated strip form kick up its heels and dance.From 1985 until Watterson abandoned it at the height of its popularity 10 years later, Calvin and Hobbes echoed the classic strips the artist most admired. Stirring the richly conceived characters and efficient drawing of Peanuts with the visual virtuosity and linguistic playfulness of Pogo and Krazy Kat, he applied his intelligence and supple cartoon skills to come up with a creation beloved by the millions who still mourn its passing. Now, a decade after his demise, six-year-old Calvin has a fitting monument-a lavishly produced three-volume boxed collection of all the strips, which weighs as much as a tombstone. Following in the wake of Gary Larson's The Complete Far Side, and with a 250,000-copy "limited edition" first printing, the publisher realistically predicts that this book will be "the heaviest and most expensive book ever to hit the New York Times best seller list." While not as exquisitely wrought as Walt and Skeezix, the recently launched reprinting of Frank King's epic run of Gasoline Alley, or as intimate and dignified as Fantagraphics' ongoing republication of all 50 years of Peanuts, this luxurious set is dressed for success and deserves an honored spot on the happily expanding shelves of strip reprints.The Complete Calvin and Hobbes offers two intertwined narratives. One details the friendship between Calvin-the egotistical, feverishly imaginative, wised-up young tyke with the vocabulary of a Yale lit major-and his animal familiar, Hobbes. Hobbes is seen by Calvin's parents as a nondescript plush toy and by Calvin and the reader as a pouncing and amiable "real" tiger-Calvin's slightly-more-sensible better half. The crosscutting between private and shared reality gives the strip its vitality.The autobiographical introduction by the notoriously reclusive Watterson kicks off another tale about the collision of private and shared realities: the story of an ornery artist's battle to explore his craft within the claustrophobic confines of a few inches of newsprint space. The beleaguered Watterson fights the strictures of brutal daily deadlines, skirmishes with editors to win more space for his often graceful Sunday pages, slugs it out with his syndicate to keep his creation from being reduced to a stuffed doll. The later strips begin to dwell obsessively on the horrors of our dumbed-down commodity culture, and there's something poignant about the artist's hopeless struggle to work within the confines of mass culture while simultaneously critiquing it. These books offer a testament to Watterson's dedication and to the medium's ability to keep reinventing itself against all odds. (Oct.)Art Spiegelman is the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Maus and In the Shadow of No Towers. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
From 1985 to 1995, the lovingly remembered, riotously funny adventures of six-year-old hellion Calvin and his great friend Hobbes the tiger kept newspaper readers laughing uproariously (and sometimes thinking, or smiling warmly). This wonderfully lavish three-book hardcover set collects the strip's entire run. From the very beginning, Watterson showed incredible skills as a cartoonist and humorist. Calvin is completely believable as a genuine little boy: irrepressible, argumentative, curious, naive, messy, and sometimes sweet in spite of himself. His marvelously imaginative fantasies of monsters, dinosaurs, spaceships, and heroes, superimposed over the real world, provide endless story ideas that never become tired through repetition. The somewhat more mature but still playful Hobbes, who appears to everyone but Calvin as a stuffed animal, is immensely endearing. This set presents the strips in a large size, with Sunday episodes in full color, and includes all the bonus features from the strip's original paperback collections plus a new introduction by Watterson. Any library owning all of those earlier collections will have every strip here, but this more durable presentation is highly recommended. This is one of the all-time great comic strips, absolutely essential for every library. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Andrews McMeel Publishing
Publication date:
Edition description:
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Product dimensions:
9.80(w) x 11.20(h) x 3.90(d)

Meet the Author

Bill Watterson is the creator of Calvin and Hobbes, one of the most popular and well-regarded cartoon strips of the twentieth century. Calvin and Hobbes appeared in newspapers from November 1985 until Watterson's retirement in 1995.



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Complete Calvin And Hobbes 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 100 reviews.
StefanoEARTH More than 1 year ago
I grew up with these characters, and they hold a very special place for me. I have always felt that this simple daily comic strip, looked at as a whole run, becomes a beautiful, hilarious, poignant portrait of an authentically and archetypically American youth. And I thought maybe part of that was bias from just my nostalgia for my childhood and the 90s, but I was very happy to discover how untrue that is. My little brother turned 7 recently, and between the fact that 7 is a special birthday in my eyes and that fact that he had just gotten some great Christmas gifts two weeks earlier, I decided to get him this as a gift that would keep on giving for years to come. When he first saw that the big, heavy, exciting mystery package was just books, he looked utterly disappointed. I saw that and explained to him why I chose the book, and how much I had loved it as a kid, and that he should give it a try even if some of the writing was still a little hard for him to read. And nothing could have ever made me happier than when he opened the book, started reading from the beginning, and found himself cracking up so hard that for the rest of the night he couldn't put it down, dragging it all around New York City, trying to scrounge up enough light to read by in the car. And after just seeing him several weeks later for the first time since the gift, I am overjoyed and proud to say he's *still* dragging that absurdly huge book around everywhere, finding anyplace to put it down and read it as soon as he's not on the move. My mom says he's been reading it every night before bed, waking up early to read some in the morning, and when I saw him he was already over 200 pages into the first book. So there you have it. He doesn't understand all the big words without a little help, and some of the jokes do fly over his head, but he seems to think it's the funniest thing he's ever seen. The most honest judge of taste imaginable: a seven-year-old boy, who was really disappointed to get books for his birthday.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The paperback edition of 'The Complete Calvin and Hobbes' set is comprised of four volumes in a sturdy slipcase. Each is about 350 pages and contains about two years of the comic strip. The volumes are bound in standard 16 page signatures and glued to the paper spine. They have paper flaps and reproduce the comic faithfully, with dark black ink on bright white backgrounds, and color sections that improve upon my memory of the Sunday strips in the newspaper (also the watercolor incidental illustrations). Each strip is surrounded by a thin screened-back borderline and a faint off-white background. Small captions note the date on which each strip originally appeared and the strips are presented in chronological order. I gave the set only four stars because there are blemishes, resulting from the printer's error, on almost every page of all four books, particularly near the foot edge and some near the top left corner (only in the background area). They are faint and I presume present on all copies, hardcover or paperback, so only a minor complaint. There is also some barely noticeable scuffing on the covers resulting from another printer error in the bindery process, probably when the volumes were inserted in the slipcase. Another minor complaint. Why buy the 2005 Hardcover edition? Because it's an inch bigger: 12 x 11 x 5 versus the 2012 Paperback edition's 11 x 10 x 4. Also, the hardcover binding is presumably sewn, though some reviews indicate it is glued. If sewn it would last longer than the paperback binding. I chose the paperback because it's a little lighter and easier to handle, particularly being four volumes instead of the hardcover's three. I'm going to read these comics, not just store them on a shelf. The hardcover lip will cause the pages (book block) to sag over time unless stored horizontally. The paperback won't have this issue. The images that appear as tip-ins on the hardcovers are reproduced directly on the paper covers so there's no worries about damaging them. Also, the paperback is about 35% less expensive. While it could be a little better this is still easily the best reproduction of Calvin and Hobbes that is readily available. Recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For true fans, this collection is a treat. The reproduction of the comic strips are crisp and the Sunday pages come in their full color glory. Watterson chose to retire the strip and he was right to do so. The comic strips of 1995, after an eight-month sabbatical, display the same excellent drawing skills -- but the writing nose-dives and those strips almost seem as if they were scripted by a different person than the clever writer of the earlier years.
oregon_sundevil More than 1 year ago
I loved Calvin and Hobbes growing up and there just hasn't been anything out since. I was excited to finally get this great collection of the series. It looks nice and I love being able to read them in order. Love, Love, Love it!
EKK_of_Wisconsin More than 1 year ago
I bought this as my Christmas present to myself. I thought I might regret the expensive purchase, but I have been pleasantly surprised. The cartoons are on high-quality paper, which adds to the pleasure, since Watterson's artwork is top notch. Unlike other "complete" cartoon collections I've seen, Calvin & Hobbes is so consistently funny, well-drawn, and thought-provoking that there are very few duds between the gems.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got this for my husband last Christmas and he love it, it really is a wonderful gift for those fans out there. The presentation is very elegant; I would say impecable. Now we plan to give this to my stepson on his birthday.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I felt as if I were empty without my Calvin and Hobbes when publication ceased.I related so much to Calvin as a child.I am 46 now ,but I still love the strips!!
Webkrazee More than 1 year ago
If you are a fan of Calvin and Hobbes, then this collection is a MUST for you! The size and weight of these books are just the start of the quality. Opening them displays absolutely beautiful illustrations and the layout is really nice and thought out. On every page the footnote denotes the dates on which the particular strips you are looking at appeared on the newspaper. Plus the Sunday comic strips, in beautiful color, just add to the overall beauty of these volumes.
wanabrown More than 1 year ago
I have wanted this complete edition since it was published. I finally received it for Christmas and I am very pleased. The artwork is beautiful and most important I just laugh and laugh!
Alex_Payne More than 1 year ago
This three book set is lovingly crafted. The black and white is crisp, the color sharp, the paper luxurious. The full achievement of Calvin and Hobbes can only be appreciated by encountering its totality, and this collection is a wonderful way to savor the experience of it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very nicely bound and very good quality. Calvin and Hobbes is very funny and so true. Bill Watteson has an amazing insitght to the thoughts of children. It is a great collection and I am glad we purchased it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
to me, this comic strip is beyond a comic. it has some of the most profound writing i have ever read, and it doesn't try to be too grownup. even though it was written by an adult, obviously, it shows the true power of child to show you things in a simple way.this collection is pure genius and reading it, i am reminded of the sadness of watching it end,.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you have never read a Calvin and Hobbes strip, I envy the sheer joy you have ahead. There are many still holding vigil that one day Bill Watterson will restart this comic, and once you get a few pages into this collection, you will know why. The art, especially the Sunday pieces, is phenomenal considering the medium intended for was newspaper. And the writing is arguably on a level of any great American novelist. The characters have incredibly deep personalities, coupled with wonderful subplots, intelligence and wit. This collection does justice to the work, collecting every published strip within 3 volumes with some essays sprinkled in. For those that saw how the Far Side Collection was treated and immediately asked when Calvin and Hobbes would get their due, this is it. Heavy stock paper, crisp color reproduction and cloth binding make for a solid boxset and a great display piece- except one of those display pieces you cannot help but flip through every now and then. Highly Recommended.
Primetime1 11 months ago
I luv dis
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got this collection for my boyfriend, who is a huge calvin and hobbes fan! He absolutely loved it! The pages are so nice and thick and the pictures are so vibrant and clear! Would recommend this book collection to any big Calvin and Hobbes fan! :)
MacBabe More than 1 year ago
SURE TO MAKE YOU SMILE & REMINISCE I had my husband buy me this collection the year it came out...it was my only request and he got the last one in the store. As mentioned, the quality is superb, and it's fun to read the strips in order...kind of a different experience if you moved over the years and didn't always have Calvin & Hobbesavailable in your newspaper. Also, at the beginning of the book are several pages by Watterson that detail his experiences starting out as an illustrator and developing the strip--very interesting and help you appreciate even more the actual craft and Watterson particularly. And as always, the sheer pleasure of reading the strips is enormous...the famous snowmen that make the emails rounds every year even now, Spaceman Spiff, and the world seen through the eyes of a 6-year-old. Who can forget the wonder of a slice of bread stuck into a metal machine only to miraculously pop out a few minutes later as that warm and crispy thing we call "toast?" (:
cokebabies More than 1 year ago
I was torn with the number of stars to give this. The content deserves 5 stars, without question. I can't imagine anyone is looking into buying this without already being familiar with Calvin and Hobbes. If, however, you are brand new to the strip - BUY THIS. It is one of the greatest comic strips ever, easily within my top three, and possibly number one overall. The presentation is great, the collection looks wonderful on the shelf, and the paper is of a nice quality. The reason I thought of dropping the rating was of the quality of the product received. My collection came with numerous dings, crumples, scuffs, and other damage that makes it look like this was thrown against the wall before being shipped. So I give the collection five stars due to the content, as well as the overall presentation. If you get an undamaged one, then this is a six out of five star product. But since it seems that there have been more than a few of these shipped with similar damage, keep your fingers crossed.
alienreader More than 1 year ago
If you are one of the many readers of this clasic strip this collection if very much for you. This is the best format to enjoy each and every strip in these book as it should be. This was worth evey penny spent to have this collection on three books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
calvin and hobbes is, and always will be, the best comic strip ever!!!! i now only have 10 of the books, and i cant wait to get more!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Man i love this comic i mean im only 13 and i have 7 books. I am most likely gonna get the entire 3 book collection. After that i am gonna give my other books to my family and friends so they can enjoy these books just as much as i enjoy them. The only problem i have is there are not enough comics. Man i wish Bill Waterson didn't retire. He is my Hero for writing these books. I recomend this book to an kid between the ages of, well actually this comic is great for everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Calvin and Hobbes inspired me. Calvin reminds me of me when I was younger. He has such a great imagination. Just like my little brother and sister! I rate this 100%
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bill Watterson, you are THE man for comic books .This tells you exactly a life of an ordinary 6-year-old, and the frustration, of parents to take care of children, including baby-sitters.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you only knew how long I have hoped for this set to come out. Calvin and Hobbes was(and still is) one of the greatest comics strips to come along in the last 20 years. Calvin is us. Or atleast he says and does what we want(and wish) to to. With reckless abandonedment I might add. This set is one of the most beautifully done sets I have ever seen. This surpasses the Farside Collection(and I have and love that one too).I pick this up and read it the entire collection in a weekend. This set is not to be missed by fans. Even if you have the paperback books you need this set. Just typing this is making me want to go and reread it now.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have to say this is going to top my Christmas list - FOR MYSELF! Calvin and Hobbes is one of the few comics that deserve a place in eternity. I can see myself, my husband and each of my children in the antics of Calvin - making him even more dear, and helping me laugh while raising 3 small kiddos.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been reading Calvin and Hobbes for the past fifteen years and never tire of the philosophical wit and humor. Thankfully, my children get the same enjoyment, from reading the strips, that I do. Thank you Bill Watterson for giving us the best comic strips ever. If you ever feel down or just in that BLAH mood, read Calvin and Hobbes. I guarantee it will bring a smile to your face!