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The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book Paperback – September 1, 1995

4.9 out of 5 stars 407 customer reviews
Book 1 of 11 in the Calvin and Hobbes Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Now that Bill Watterson has retired from drawing syndicated cartoons, the only way to get our Calvin and Hobbes fixes is through his book collections. The 10th Anniversary Book is particularly notable, because in addition to getting some of his most wonderful cartoons, we also gain a sense of Watterson as a person.

Approximately one-tenth of the book contains essays about matters great and small--from cartooning to life--and stories about the inspiration behind some of his greatest strips. Not surprisingly, Watterson shines through as a being of considerable integrity, and the cartoons gain in depth thanks to his commentary. And, of course, the cartoons in the other 90% of the book are alternately side-splitting hilarious or touching. Happy Anniversary, Bill, and good luck with whatever it is you are doing now!


No one has captured children's world view and sense of imagination in cartoon strip form as well as Watterson. Nor applied it so strikingly to comment on adult life and attitudes or the general absurdity of the world in which we live... Much will strike a chord and raise a knowing smile at their perception, but above all, they are very, very funny. MIDWEEK --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Calvin and Hobbes
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing; 10 Anv edition (September 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0836204387
  • ISBN-13: 978-0836204384
  • Product Dimensions: 11.9 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (407 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bill Watterson is the creator of Calvin and Hobbes, one of the most popular and well-regarded cartoon strips of the twentieth century. Calvin and Hobbes appeared in newspapers from November 1985 until Watterson's retirement in 1996.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Watterson hand-picked each Sunday strip in this book and provided a 3-5 line commentary on most of the strips. The chosen strips are split about halfway between the old format and the later, "non-bordered" format, and the selected Sunday strips are certainly representative of C&H's style and character.
Some of the commentary is very similar to what's found in the 10th anniv. book, but most of it is newly informative and interesting. As an aspiring comic-stripper, I found Watterson's comments very useful in bettering my approach to the design, coloring and plot of a comic strip, more so than what he says in the 10th anniv. book.
The collection begins with an essay from Mr. Watterson about his perspective on C&H 6 years removed, and it's probably my favorite part of the book. Also included are the non-colored sketches of each strip on its neighboring page. Since these sketches are reprinted in color, you can see the erasures, griddings and white-outs; a nice touch, for sure.
Comic strip enthusiasts are going to grab this book no matter what I say (and well they should), but more casual readers may be happier reading this book at the bookstore for free instead. It's short and contains comics already printed in the many C&H collections, but it's certainly suited for the C&H fan who wants more. I think it's very kind of Mr. Watterson, a man who never wanted the fame C&H garnered him, to offer his time and comments for this collection. As a lover of the comic arts, I genuinely thank him for helping make this book happen.
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Format: Paperback
When I bought this "Calvin and Hobbes" book I had a hard time getting into it at first. The first eighteen or nineteen pages contain more prose and philosophy than it does art, and I've always bought "Calvin and Hobbes" books for the humor. I really felt as though the philosophy and description that Bill Watterson was describing was a distraction, at first. But the more I read, the more I started to get into "Calvin and Hobbes" from Watterson's perspective. Looking at the evolution of "Calvin and Hobbes" as described by Watterson, and his travails with syndicators, I have a new perspective on what it takes to create a strip like "Calvin and Hobbes."

The art and the strips are outstanding, as with the other "Calvin and Hobbes" collections, but this time we also get to see Watterson's perspectives on various characters. Some of Watterson's observations about various characters are as funny as the strips themselves. Watterson makes a rather succinct comment regarding Moe the bully. I'll leave you to read the comment, but it's hilarious.

Watterson offers comments on all the major characters along with key details about each. Moe, of course, being a simple moron bully, requires minimal description, but the other key characters have a history associated with them. Watterson provided a bit of a compliment to his wife in his description of Susie Derkins. I also agree with Watterson that I suspect that Calvin does have a mild crush on Susie. Watterson offers nearly a half a page of comments on both Calvin and Hobbes that are interesting reading.

I also enjoyed the selection of various strips over ten years of the strip, showing the evolution of the strip and the characters.
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Format: Paperback
The announcement last November that Bill Watterson would be retiring his comic strip Calvin and Hobbes at the end of the year should not have surprised anyone--at least, anyone who has read the recently released The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book. Like Gary Larsen's Pre-History of The Far Side, this volume provides a retrospective collection selected by the author, with notes on the origin and evolution of his creation. Both cartoonists annotated the books themselves, explaining the writing process and the business of cartooning. Larsen, though, as happy with his medium--his retirement was a factor of creative burnout rather than frustration with the limitations of the comics page of today's newspaper. That frustration with the four panel strip was the reason for Berke Breathed's early retirement, and is quite likely the reason for Watterson's as well. Watterson believes in the comic as a real art form--and in his hands it often was--but the dynamics of the business, both the physical limitations on the drawing and the way the economics is split between artist and newspaper with a syndicate go-between, restricted the full expression of his art.
The Tenth Anniversary Book is not a depressing collection, although it is quite serious in its examination of the ten years of the strip. Watterson reveled in his creation, and the work that he produced was always of the utmost quality. This collection has some of the most joyful moments of the past--Spaceman Spiff is there, as well as Stupendous Man, the Replicator, and the dreaded Babysitter. The amazing thing isn't that Watterson is retiring, but that he could spend ten years producing such work as fresh and imaginative as his debut.
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