A timeless memory I’m sure any adult has of their past was waiting for their parents to be done reading the Sunday paper, or making an order in their school Scholastic Book sale, in order to satisfy their need of social hilarity that was the comic strip. I am quite certain that every person reading this blog had some type of comic strip hero that was used to entertain them throughout childhood and adolescence. For some however, the idea of a comic providing the same amount of stimulation as it did when they were children seems to become more and more of a farfetched idea as a person begins to enter adulthood. In fact, many of this writers friends claim that they no longer read comic strips because they only provide simplistic ideas of a repetitive fashion, such as Garfield being always hungry, Charlie Brown always receiving bad luck, and Calvin always getting into trouble with Hobbes, which seems to therefore only entertain the simplistic mind of a child. Is this truly the case however? This writer says no. The idea of comic strips only having a simplistic ideas seems to truly be interpreted by a person who did not experience the new messages and interpretations of these same comic strips when read by an adult. These once believed simplistic repetitive comic strips of the past seem to give new life of human understanding in all aspects of life that can only be experienced by an adult who has observed the world around them and has used their knowledge and understanding to develop questions of this world. An old favourite comic strip of this writer that can be best used as an example for this idea of adult understanding would be none other than Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes. Here, Watterson took his past knowledge to intertwine broad issues into his comic strips like environmentalism, public education, philosophical perspectives, and the flaws of opinion polls. For many children, such topics would seem to be above the concepts of child comprehension, this writer as a child had at least never considered the ideas of dual existence of the spirit being separate of the body, or ideas of life around us symbolizing expressions and emotions within the concept of being human. Watterson however, intertwined adult and children ideas so well that he was able to entertain both young and old, a young child laughing at Calvin and Hobbes crashing into a tree on his sled, while the adult ponders on the ideas of human nature of being good or evil that Calvin mentions on their ride down. So perhaps it would be a good idea to reread those comic strips of our past and be entertained once again not only by the “simplistic repetition”, but also with the new ideas provided to increase our understanding of the “Magical World” around us in which only adults can discover.
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