Last week, TIME Magazine reported that Calvin and Hobbes was first published thirty years ago this month. For a lot of people my age, the story of a precocious and imaginative young boy and his stuffed tiger/best friend was a daily treat. For me, it was how I spent my last couple of minutes before the school bus pulled up.
Calvin and Hobbes have influenced my writing both here at Streetsblog and elsewhere. My first “April Fool’s” post was based on the traffic safety poster that Calvin eventually created for the above-mentioned contest. “Be Safe or Be Roadkill” may not have won Calvin the prize, but it was good enough for a fictional LADOT Public Service Announcement campaign.
But while the stories of his clashes with teachers, the intrepid Spaceman Spiff, or just spending a day playing Calvin Ball are what pop up most, we should also remember that transportation choices and Livable Streets were a part of Calvin’s suburban life. Calvin takes the bus to school, is scared of learning to ride a bike, and, of course, has a dad that is part me, part MAMIL.
So, on behalf of middle-aged Generation X’ers everywhere, Happy Birthday, Calvin and Hobbes. The strip has reached middle-age itself, but thanks to creator Bill Watterson’s early retirement Calvin will always be the fresh-faced little boy on a sled, who just wants to explore the world around him.
A simple Google search brings up dozens of Calvin’s adventures on his bicycle. Enjoy.