General Inspiration

An homage to Calvin & Hobbes

With the end of Sir Reynard and the Green Rooster comes the end of a project that I started nearly 3 years ago (2019). I had one goal in mind at the time: to try to capture some of the delight I got from reading Calvin & Hobbes. I’m not sure if I succeeded or not but, like Calvin’s attempts to foil the babysitter, I am happy that I tried.

Calvin and Hobbes final panel.
For those that don’t recognize it, the last panel in my series is a direct callback to the last panel Bill Watterson drew in 1995, seen above. Via GoComics. Copyright Bill Watterson.

I read Calvin & Hobbes excessively as a kid, from volumes collected through the Scholastic Book Club. I managed to snag all of them over the course of my adolescence, and the effect they’ve had on my reading habits and my art is profound. From Watterson’s clean lines, to beautiful watercolour pages, to just the feeling you get from Calvin’s child-like daydreaming has snuck into all of the art I produce.

An example of the Scholastic Book Club Catalogue. Look, Calvin and Hobbes!

When people talk about getting into comics, the main drive is often superheroes. They grew up reading Wonder Woman or Spiderman and that’s what resonates with them and their work. I never really read comic books as a kid, except for grabbing the occasional volume or two of Spiderman. Calvin was my hero, and he was all I needed to understand the world.

Not that Calvin was a great role model for a young child. I got into trouble more than once for calling my mom “Evil Mom Lady”. I claimed that bad grades in school were just me lowering expectations for the really good ones. I attempted to make snowmen prophets of doom in the yard. But, honestly, Calvin gave me something that has stuck with me through my entire life: a sense of wonder.

Calvin and Hobbes (DA) - Foiled again, evil Mom-Lady! | Calvin and hobbes  quotes, Calvin and hobbes, Calvin and hobbes comics

As I wrap up one Beast Fables arc and start another, I’m moving beyond the works that inspired me to something new. The new Beast Fables isn’t at all attempting to be like Calvin & Hobbes, and that’s a good thing. I’m writing and drawing in a way that is uniquely me. I know I’ll never truly give up Calvin–he’ll always be a big part of how I came to be–but it’s with Calvin’s wonder that I strike out to try something new and exciting. I hope you’re ready for what’s coming next, because I can’t wait to show you.

Until next time, Beasties!