Calvin and his dad

Calvin and Hobbes was the first newspaper comic strip that I remember reading religiously. The art is lively and vibrant, even those in black and white format, which appropriately reflects the youthful subject matter. The concept of a kid and his imaginary best friend is quite endearing, and that definitely adds to the child-like charm of the comic. However, the moments where Calvin is forced to face reality with its confusing relationship dynamics and undesired discipline offer a different stream of humour.

There are a lot of ways to explore Calvin’s interesting profile type but I want to elaborate on his relationship with his father. His father is written to be a studious, mild-mannered disciplinarian but he demonstrates stark similarities to his son. Although they have opposite personalities, their relativity forges a unique, similar yet not-so-similar, bond. I have posted a link to a page that displays strips where Calvin’s dad tries to explain science to him. He has no idea what he’s talking about which is what makes these strips hilarious. Calvin’s dad utilizes outlandish logic to explain natural phenomenon. He delivers it in a ‘father knows best’ fashion but his ‘knowledge’ is absurd and almost child-like. Thus, we can definitely see where Calvin might have inherited his imagination. It also showcases the sarcastic self-confidence which Calvin channels through his interactions with his teacher and Suzie.

They also seem to butt heads, just like any other kid-parent team. Calvin has his problems with his dad and he reveals that in a sarcastic manner as well. He does an impression of his dad and claims that “being miserable builds character”. He’s poking fun at how his dad is uptight but in a loving way. Calvin is almost requesting his dad to lighten up, and embrace his fun side. He always asks his dad to stop working so much and to enjoy life more. It is very likely that his dad was just like Calvin when he was young before adulthood dulled his exuberance. Calvin provides the voice for his dad’s inner child; much like Hobbes provides the voice for Calvin’s. Their relationship is featured very often in the strip because it is another important aspect of Calvin’s life, just as how parents are to every kid whether they like it or not.

calvin and dad work calvin hobbes dad impression


Sanjita Mitra

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One Response to Calvin and his dad

  1. caitg says:

    I adore Calvin’s relationship with his dad. Despite how Calvin frequently gets on his father’s nerves, we can clearly see that they have a great relationship with each other. I particularly love seeing the way his dad explains everyday things, like colour photography or sunsets. Their relationship is great because we can see the similarities between them, despite Calvin’s father occasionally insisting that HE didn’t want a kid, or saying that he KNEW they’d made a mistake, and so on. Seeing Calvin playing with his father in one strip and causing mayhem for him in another is an accurate portrayal of what every six-year-old’s relationship with their parents seems to be: chaos and love.

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