The best way to teach Your kids “critical thinking” is to buy them “Calvin & Hobbes” comics by Bill Waterson.
I have the complete collection, and I’ll buy anything from Bill Waterson eyes closed.
I was exchanging copies with my previous boss, who was also a huge fan of Calvin and Hobbes.
I was reading them in metro, and when bored at job. I love Calvin and Hobbes. Without doubt the best comics books ever printed for smart people!
The author Bill Waterson would be a billionaire today, if he had not refused to license the characters of Calvin and Hobbes.
When asked why, here is what he replied:
“Basically I’ve decided that licensing is inconsistent with what I’m trying to do with Calvin and Hobbes. I take cartoons seriously as an art form, so I think with an issue like licensing, it’s important to analyze what my strip is about, and what makes it work.
It’s easy to transfer the essence of a gag-oriented strip; especially a one-panel gag strip, from the newspaper page to a t-shirt, a mug, a greeting card, and so on. The joke reads the same no matter what it’s printed on, and the joke is what the strip is about. Nothing is lost.
My strip works differently. Calvin and Hobbes isn’t a gag strip. It has a punchline, but the strip is about more than that. The humor is situational, and often episodic. It relies on conversation, and the development of personalities and relationships.
These aren’t concerns you can wrap up neatly in a clever little saying for people to send each other or to hang up on their walls. To explore character, you need lots of time and space. Note pads and coffee mugs just aren’t appropriate vehicles for what I’m trying to do here.
I’m not interested in removing all the subtlety from my work to condense it for a product. The strip is about more than jokes. I think the syndicate would admit this if they would start looking at my strip instead of just the royalty checks.
Unfortunately, they are in the cartoon business only because it makes money, so arguments about artistic intentions are never very persuasive to them. I have no aversion to obscene wealth, but that’s not my motivation either.
I think to license Calvin and Hobbes would ruin the most precious qualities of my strip and, once that happens, you can’t buy those qualities back.”