Monday, March 6All That Matters

The truth about Peeing Calvin

The truth about Peeing Calvin

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  • TaserWieldingBear

    As a lifelong Calvin and Hobbes fan, I used to really dislike seeing the peeing Calvin decals all over.

    Nowadays, I’ve come to the same conclusion the video does, that Watterson himself needed to not compromise his principles because that enabled him to sleep at night. And I can respect that.

    Also, seeing a peeing Calvin on a car or truck instantly lets you know the worth of the driver.

  • Moonshadow306

    There have only been a handful of truly great comic strips throughout history, and Calvin and Hobbes is one of them. It is to Watterson’s eternal credit that he never knuckled under and allowed his strip to be licensed. He turned down millions, and it was the right thing to do.

  • AlsionGrace

    Letting his art speak for itself gave it so much life. No need to ask if Hobbes is alive- he obviously is! Just letting them exist in our hearts and minds, just as they are: Thank you, [Dear Mr Watterson]( It’s something beautiful that stands on its own.

  • 0xF00DBABE

    I’m really not sure about this argument that if Watterson took a licensing deal it would have saved Calvin from unauthorized merchandise partially ruining his legacy.

    Jim Davis _did_ take the licensing route and if you go on Amazon right now and search “Garfield” the first result is… a fucked up looking unlicensed stuffed animal that is actually pretty hilarious.

    So, much like Calvin’s quote, “I don’t need to compromise my principles, because they don’t have the slightest bearing on what happens to me anyway”. Whether he took a licensing deal or not, the counterfeits would almost certainly exist.

  • SomeBodybuilder7910

    Something is missing here. An explanation of how allowing licensing would stop assholes selling merch with stolen Calvin images? I don’t get it.

    So if he had been like “Oh, license away!” then the pirate merch guys would … stop? Because “Oh no they are licensing Calvin, we better stop selling this fake peeing Calvin merch right away! Because… we don’t like money!” ??

  • mhanold

    I’m not sure if I agree with the presenters idea that Peeing Calvin truly “ruined” Calvin

    I think to watterson, Calvin and Hobbes would only have been ruined by endless stuffed dolls and likely an animated show that would have defined what Calvin and Hobbes sound like (which he preferred to be left to the imagination) and would have been created by other writers and artists that had different ideas on the characters

    Anyone interested in this topic should read the Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book where watterson writes in depth about his licensing fight. He doesn’t mention Peeing Calvin at all – he just didn’t want his art to be turned into a product like Garfield was and lose all the soul and creativity that he put into it

    “The world of a comic strip ought to be a special place with its own logic and life. I don’t want some animation studio giving Hobbes an actors voice, and I don’t want some greeting card company using Calvin to wish people a happy anniversary, and I don’t want the issue of Hobbes’s reality settled by a doll manufacturer. When everything fun and magical is turned into something for sale, the strips world is diminished. Calvin and Hobbes was designed to be a comic strip and that’s all I want it to be. It’s the one place where everything works the way I intend it to.”

    Watterson didn’t care about bootleg peeing Calvin, he was worried only about his creation being warped by money

  • SayWoot

    If you like Calvin & Hobbs, I will recommend to you kaptainkristian’s video on Calvin & Hobbs:

    Calvin & Hobbes – Art Before Commerce

  • LiveJournal

    Still like 28 years since the last comic it’s shocking that Watterson never licensed C&H for an animated series. He just retired and essentially disappeared from public. Though that is also half the reason why his work is beloved

  • NockerJoe

    I think the biggest thing to me is that there used to be a point where daily comic strips were this important and their creators were essentially celebrities. You can say the internet killed newspapers but even into the 2000’s you could argue a lot of webcomic creators were following the same model before facebook and social media came about and changed the way these things were monetized and distributed.

    It says a lot that even literal decades after a comic that was one of a dozen or so in basically every publication that carried it, in a newspaper that gave it three black and white panels a day as an extra to sell news for like a dollar, Calvin and Hobbes retains such a ridiculous degree of cultural relevancy that it’s still the blueprint for so many things that have come since.

  • letfireraindown

    This is a good enlightening video. It is certainly interesting to hear Watterson’s view points from the time and even to see that this author had a change of heart on how he viewed it.

    I would put the Peeing Calvin as I would most memes these days. Some instance taken on by droves of people for disparate meanings and generally having a life of it’s own. Sure it came about in a time before wide spread internet and thus internet culture, but that’s just kinda how memes go about. We’re humans and share ideas, or brand ourselves in ideas.

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