Zen and the Art of Cartoons

calvin hobbes

Do you know Calvin and Hobbes (C&H) – the little five-year-old obnoxious creative spiky haired self-professed genius and his imaginative philosophical counter-intuitive tiger? The first time I read this comic strip, long long time ago, I instantly fell in love with it. Unlike other comics this is very special – it has something Zen-like and hidden about it. All it takes to notice this is some hot chocolate, a comfy couch or chair and the book The Essential Calvin and Hobbes – then you will see behind the LOL humor and likability hides a clear message. A message about our society and its loosely constructed ideals, our perceptions of reputation and wealth, good parenting, utter dullness of our education system, precedence of bookish knowledge versus untainted imagination, the meaning of life and so on. I always believed Bill Watterson must have been enlightened in his own way – to see through the illusions of the self, beliefs, morals and ideals that we so easily take for granted, and beautifully storify it through a five-year-old and a tiger actually ridiculing the norms of our “real” lives. So you can imagine my excitement when I found this comic strip (see below) created by an artist named Gavin Aung Than based on a commencement speech Bill Watterson gave at Kenyon College in 1990 (wonderfully enlightening, read here). As usual behind the beautiful colors and expressive characters, thanks to Gavin, Watterson’s speech presents us with learning and a conscious looking at something, which we have long chosen to both ignore and forget. See if you can decode it 😛 !

Bill watterson


4 thoughts on “Zen and the Art of Cartoons

    1. Are you actually from my all time favorite music band The XX (OMG!) or you also a fan or is it just a code name?
      Thank you. I sure plan to write and share more….you make sure to read and share 🙂

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