Calvin (friend of Hobbes) was neither a shallow brand-whore nor a pious evangelical

The recent release of The Complete Calvin and Hobbes reminds me that I’ve always meant to post about how much I hate all those stickers you see of Calvin on the windows and bumpers of people’s cars.

You know the ones, the ones where he is taking a leak on the logo of some automobile or product, or the ones where he is knealing before the cross.

I’ve never read every single edition of the comic strip, but I’ve read enough to know that both depictions are so far out of character. Calvin could be a devilish brat and a punk, but it was about being a little boy, not about being a shallow, selfish materialistic adult aping childishness to get what they want (a la Paris Hilton and her wannabees). And Calvin was far too questioning to ever be the unquestioning supplicant depicted in Calvin & the cross stickers.

It’s ironic that these wildly uncharacteristic images of Calvin have become his legacy because Bill Waterston, his creator, was very deliberate about not licensing any Calvin and Hobbes products. Unfortunately, that seems to have meant that there was no self-interested party with a legal war chest to go after trademark infringers.

thanks to “Slate for the tipoff”:http://www.slate.com/id/2129373/?nav=tap3 on the new collection.

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