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92 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection and a great bargain
Calvin & Hobbes was so popular during its run that people never needed to explain what the strip was about to anyone; it's been a couple of years and with the exception of little kids, people seem to remember the strip for the most part. So, all I'll say about this collection is that it is the preferable purchase over the first two books, the self-titled...
Published on September 1, 2000

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great content, horrible Kindle software (on Android and Windows 8.1)
I owned the paper version of these books and love the content, but had to donate them when I moved.

Recently bought the Kindle version, and both on the Android version on a Nexus and Windows 8.1 tablets, some pages are oriented either perpendicular to the way I was holding the tablet (on Microsoft Surface 2, Surface Pro 2, Lenovo Thinkpad 8), or completely...
Published 1 month ago by D. leung


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92 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection and a great bargain, September 1, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Essential Calvin and Hobbes (Paperback)
Calvin & Hobbes was so popular during its run that people never needed to explain what the strip was about to anyone; it's been a couple of years and with the exception of little kids, people seem to remember the strip for the most part. So, all I'll say about this collection is that it is the preferable purchase over the first two books, the self-titled "Calvin & Hobbes" and "Something Under The Bed Is Drooling." Why? "The Essential Calvin and Hobbes" actually collects every single strip from those two books (it's NOT a best of, as some people would say), and most importantly, the Sunday strips are in color. Hands down, Watterson painted the most beautiful looking Sunday strips since Walt Kelly, and it would be a shame if you only knew them through the black and white reproductions of the smaller collections. It's also cheaper to buy this book instead of the first two, as well. As a special bonus, Watterson included a nice, water-colored poem at the beginning, which isn't available anywhere else.
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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book that introduced me to a legend, December 22, 1999
This review is from: The Essential Calvin and Hobbes (Paperback)
Watterson's talent is pretty hard to get over. What's the big idea, making a cartoon so consisently funny, explosively creative and accessibly brilliant that no other cartoonist could ever hope to match wits? When I saw the first Calvin strips in my paper several years ago, I knew it was something special. Here's a little kid more clever than most adults, whose stuffed friend comes to life and has philosophical debates with him while they careen down a gully in a wagon.
Calvin and Hobbes is more than a comic strip, and that's what makes it so special. Far Side and Dilbert are clever and hilarious as well, but Calvin's creator has an artistic talent that will not be confined. The everyday life of his six-year-old protagonist is frequently spliced with daydreams--Spaceman Spiff, Dinosaurs, etc.--which are consistently staggering in their rendering. It's art good enough for Marvel but stylistically superior. In the later years he was arguing with newspapers for half- or full-page spaces that would do his work justice.
What impresses me perhaps the most about Watterson, though, is his integrity. From the great beginning that is this book, up through the end, he refused to have his art form violated by commercialism. Calvin will be found ONLY on the printed page, not on TV, not on a baseball cap (save the amateur ones), not in a breakfast cereal, nor action figures, nor a fanclub, nor a box of fruit snacks. Watterson was true to the integrity of his character. What's more, he quit while he was ahead--before his strip could become repetitive, but after its potential had been fully explored.
So buy this book, if you haven't already. In fact, do yourself a favor and buy every Calvin collection, because each is completely flawless. Calvin and Hobbes is the best cartoon that ever was, and it's the best cartoon that will ever be. I'd bet my sense of humor on it.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic collection of early Calvin and Hobbes comics, June 15, 2004
This review is from: The Essential Calvin and Hobbes (Paperback)
The Essential Calvin and Hobbes, first published in 1988, is chock full of early Calvin and Hobbes comic strips. No cartoonist, not even Charles Schultz, has captured the magical essence of childhood the way Bill Watterson did in this strip, and it should come as no surprise (although it did to Watterson) that Calvin and Hobbes quickly developed an incredibly loyal following. This strip went way beyond mere popularity. While I was in college, the campus newspaper decided to stop running Calvin and Hobbes (I think this was during one of Watterson's sabbaticals) - this resulted in nothing less than a furor on campus, as countless students immediately demanded the return of C&H. In a matter of days, Calvin and Hobbes were right back where they belonged.
How does a comic strip featuring a mischievous six-year-old boy and his stuffed tiger attract a fiercely loyal following of adults? Most adults would love to be children again, to know the freedom and sense of wonder that somehow withers inside the human soul after the onset of puberty. Calvin and Hobbes vividly recreates the feelings and emotions of the very essence of childhood. It brings back memories of things we forgot far too long ago, and it thus reawakens the deepest parts of our ever-hardening souls. Reading this comic strip is the next best thing to being a child yourself. Calvin does everything you used to do: he takes time to stomp in mud puddles, he lets his imagination run wild to make thrilling adventures out of even the most mundane tasks, he ponders the same deep questions you are now, as an adult, afraid to ask, he goes for the gusto no matter what sort of risk is involved, he is in every way a perfect specimen of childhood. Who, as a child, didn't pretend to be a dinosaur, walk around with a hideous expression in hopes of your facing freezing that way, tease the girls (or boys) you claimed to hate, journey to distant worlds unseen by human eyes, etc.?
Of course, Hobbes is just as important to the comic strip as Calvin. Hobbes is a tiger, Calvin's best and constant friend, a fellow partaker in the joys of childish innocence. To Calvin, Hobbes really is all that, and that is how we see him as well - until, that is, someone else comes into the frame, when he suddenly becomes nothing more than a stuffed animal. Watterson is a fantastic comic artist, and there is just something captivating about the way he draws Hobbes in his stuffed animal form. Everything about Watterson's art is fantastic, though, particularly the way it captures the emotions of its two principal characters.
Sadly, we have only ten years of comic memories in the form of Calvin and Hobbes, as the inscrutable Bill Watterson retired (around the age of 37) in 1995 and quite obviously has no plans of returning to the public arena. Watterson is actually frighteningly private and seems to be living a life of unmatched solitude. I find this extraordinarily sad: here is a man who captured the essence of childhood so vividly in the form of Calvin and Hobbes, a world bursting with life and possibilities, yet now he seems to have withdrawn from life itself. We must be thankful we do have as much Calvin and Hobbes material as we do, and The Essential Calvin and Hobbes, with 255 pages of black and white daily strips and color Sunday strips, features much more than just a chunk of it in and of itself.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential! What else can I say?, October 30, 2003
By 
Giant Panda (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Essential Calvin and Hobbes (Paperback)
Fans of Calvin & Hobbes who used to read the newspaper strip in the 80s and 90s will find great pleasure in reading this treasury of C&H comics. These witty comics about the 6-year old Calvin and his stuffed tiger Hobbes, named after the famous philosophers, will amuse people of all ages. The perceptiveness and humor of Watterson deserve the highest of cartoon awards, while his artistic creations exude hilarity. This cartoon is perhaps one of the most piercing yet funny critiques of modern society.
This book covers the first two years of the Calvin & Hobbes strip. One can notice how Calvin used to look different in the beginning. His character though quickly adopted his unmistakable attitude. Here we see his first daydreams about Spaceman Spiff, his relationship with his parents and with Susie, his (mis-?) performance at school, and his first invention: the Transmogrifier. His attitude to life and his quick temper never ceases to entertain. This is the book you can read over and over and never stop from laughing.
Note that there are two series of C&H collections: individual wide-format albums, each covering an entire year of strips (will call it "regular"), and the vertical aspect ratio "treasury series" which covers selected comics from two regular C&H books. Note that C&H ran for a year in newspapers, so there's 10 regular books and 5 treasury books. Though the cartoons are slightly smaller in the treasury collection, each treasury book is far thicker and contains more strips than a regular book, and is furthermore less expensive, so treasury books are a real bargain. "The Essential Calvin & Hobbes" is the FIRST book from the Treasury collection, first released in 1988.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, Well-Drawn, and Funny, January 4, 1999
By A Customer
Watterson's "Calvin and Hobbes" comic strip is a true rarity. It is technically well-drawn, unlike so many other comics. It is intelligent, insightful, and has characters one can really relate to - but does not take itself too seriously and is above all funny and fun to read. It is the story of the world as seen through the eyes of a six-year-old, Calvin, and his best friend, a Tiger named Hobbes - which only Calvin sees as real, and the rest of the world sees as a stuffed doll...
Most of all, the creator of the strip, Watterson, is a true rarity: he refused to commericalize the characters - the only product he sells are book collections of the original strip, like this one - and retired in 1995 when he felt he was beginning to become repetitive. Watterson literally walked away from millions of dollars to save the integrity of his creations, Calvin and Hobbes.
For once, both the characters in the strip and their creator in real life teach us something about what is really important in life - and that it is not REALLY all about money and climbing the corporate ladder after all.
Just compare the well-drawn, love-of-life, intelligent and uncommercialized Calvin&Hobbes to the poorly-drawn, cynical, shallow and commercialized-to-the-wazoo contraption named "Dilbert", for example. Compare the talent and integrity of Watterson to the talentless "sell out to whoever pays more" character of "Dilbert"'s creator.
This will give you a REAL insight on what is wrong with the world.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Calvin looks a little different in this one, June 2, 2007
By 
This collection contains earlier C&H cartoons. Being accustomed to seeing a slightly different looking Calvin in the more modern works it takes a little getting used to. His head is HUGE! His mouth...HUGE...and also very much like those Peanuts characters. The way his body and feet are drawn is also like them. Maybe they were Watterson's inspiration? Aside from the bigger head and mouth, Calvin in drawn shorter and wider than we are accustomed to and Hobbes is also bigger than him (when he is a stuffed tiger) which makes Calvin look even smaller. I thought at first that he was four or five but then he refers to himself as a six year old so that hasn't changed. I'm guessing that Watterson refined his craft in the years following...after all, this was originally published in 1988!!!

In this collection we see:

Calvin meets Hobbes

Calvin meets Susie...and does some serious flirting???

Calvin goes to the doctor and lives to tell the tale

His mom lets him try smoking

Shrunken heads for dinner anyone?

Calvin vs Rosalyn...who wins?

Many, many more memorable episodes in this collection that will keep you coming back for more!

CAUTION!!: When the information said "Includes cartoons from Calvin & Hobbes and Something Under the Bed is Drooling" I was under the impression that it contained just a few of those. Not so! It actually COMBINES those 2 books so that ALL of those cartoons are contained herein. I learned this because I ordered this together with Calvin & Hobbes...I am assuming it will be like this for other collections as well.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comics make readers, September 9, 2002
Newspapers these days seem largely devoid of comic strips. Thick-bound comic books like this one have replaced them. And fortunately, comics make kids into readers.

I was delighted the other day when a neighbor gave me five Calvin and Hobbes volumes, including this one. The books have already encouraged hours of reading for each child.

This collection opens with a 10-page poem narrated by a child --- Calvin, it turns out --- afraid to sleep at night lest monsters snatch him in his sleep. Only in the morning, he feared, would his parents

"surmise/

The gruesomeness of my demise/

And see that my remains are in a heap!"

(One parent, in this musing, appears with a bone in one hand, and a shrug of the shoulders, though the kid wakes up fine the next day.)

Another 79 comic strips follow, ranging in length from one or two pages to five, and filling a total of 255 pages. Rare is the 250 page-book that a young boy or girl will gladly consume in one sitting. Trust me, this is one of them. In two recent evenings, our two kids have sat on our sofa, devouring this book one after the other, hooting and guffawing their way through. Ready, set, read.

--- Alyssa A. Lappen
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!, November 13, 2000
By 
Eric J. Hughes (Lancaster, PA (USA)) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Essential Calvin and Hobbes (Paperback)
Bill Waterson is argudably one of the best comic writers out there. Even through his retirement, he has made great books of past comics featuring his Calvin and Hobbes characters. I laugh and laugh at these comics he creates and I sometimes wonder how he comes up with such brilliant ideas sometimes with the storylines of some of the strips.
Calvin, one of his best known characters, is the trouble-making kid in the school. He is funny and imaginative and likes to make funa and games with his "real" pet friend Hobbes. Through the comics, you can see the relationship between a stuffed animal and a human.
In this comic though, Hobbes "comes to life" in Calvins eyes. The things that Calvin can sometimes get involved in is so hilarious and sometimes out of this world.
I guarantee that anyone that loves comics will fall in love with this one and should definitely buy this book to start their collection of classic comics.
All of Bill Waterson's comic books are very well done and very professional. His work is his life and it shows the time and consideration it took to make these characters come to life. Thank you Mr. Waterson for creating such a great comic and thatnk you people for reading my review!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book is perfect, app could be better, December 13, 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My only wish is that someday the Kindle app gains zoom functionality; 5 stars for the book, minus one for amazon's app.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is an angry Muscovite called a Moscowler?, August 24, 2002
By 
Samuel Krikorian (Charlotte, NC United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Essential Calvin and Hobbes (Paperback)
I own every Calvin and Hobbes ever published, including all of the treasuries containing excerpts from the yearly compilations. Of course, that is a bit redundant, but for some reason I enjoy reading through the treasuries almost as much as I enjoy reading the sequential comics in the compilations. I would reccomend getting all the books and saving the treasuries for after you have them all. One treasury I especially like is the tenth anniversary book, and I would reccomend that be your first collection after buying all the compilations.
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The Essential Calvin and Hobbes
The Essential Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson (Paperback - January 1, 1988)
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