Interesting facts about Calvin and Hobbes

April 6, 2008 – 10:32 pm

calvin iconCalvin and Hobbes is arguably one of the best modern day comic strips to have graced our funny bone. Beyond the beautiful and insightful comics, there are many tidbits that you may not know about the strip and artist.

calvin authorA private man by nature and choice, the author, Bill Watterson, artistically presented a seemingly simple comic with depth and insight beyond the ink on the paper.

Here are some facts you may or may not have known about the comic and artist.


  • Hobbes was named after the 17th century philosopher, Thomas Hobbes.
  • Calvin was named after a sixteenth-century theologian.
  • In the early strips, Hobbes has spots on the palm of his hand but in the later strips he doesn’t
  • Calvin’s monster snowman is called The Torment Of Existence Weighed Against The Horror Of Nonbeing.
  • There are 8 different sofas in Calvins house
  • Calvin writes with both hands
  • The strip is vaguely set in the contemporary Midwestern United States, on the outskirts of suburbia. The location is apparently inspired by Chagrin Falls, Ohio, where Watterson lived.
  • Calvin’s parent’s names were never revealed
  • The last strip of Calvin and Hobbes was published on December 31, 1995.


  • calvin cal
  • Bill Watterson made an extraordinary effort to maintain the integrity of the comic and was adamantly opposed to any kind of licensing that he felt would have cheapened the characters.
  • He had grudgingly allows a calendar to run 88-89 and 89-90 (ultrarare)
  • There was a legal licensed Calvin and Hobbes shirt sold during a traveling exhibit
  • He refuses to sign autographs or license his characters, staying true to his stated principles.
  • He was known to sneak autographed copies of his books onto the shelves of the Fireside Bookshop, a family-owned bookstore in his home of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. However, after discovering that some people were selling the autographed books online for high prices, he ended this practice as well.
  • calvin shirtGraduated from Kenyon College in 1980 with a political science degree.
  • Favorite comic strips and biggest influences: Peanuts, Krazy Kat, Pogo
  • Lives in New Mexico with wife Melissa.
  • Has no children, only cats.
  • Father was a patent attourney. (Like Calvin’s dad.)
  • Worked for six months after college drawing political cartoons for the Cincinnati Post.
  • Won the Reuben (top award of the NCS) in 1986 and 1988. (rule was made after his awards to limit one per cartoonist)
  • Does not belong to the Nactional Cartoonists Society (NCS).
  • The only other official piece of licensing besides the calendars and shirt is “Teaching with Calvin and Hobbes,” containing reprints of strips. This comes from 1993 and Watterson just barely allowed it, after he got a letter from one of the authors describing how she used Calvin to teach to children with special needs. Universal put a legal vise on the print run, restricting sales to classrooms ONLY and producing only 2,500 copies. There is no new art in this book, but it was worth mentioning.

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