Sunday, February 7, 2010

Redefinition of Math!

The adventures of Calvin and Hobbes is a wide known comic strip- infused with subtle humor about family life, politics and person views/ opinions about things going on in the world. The cartoonist Bill Watson use the simplicity of black and white cartooning to first set the places of the characters. Calvin was a six year old with an active imagination who had a stuffed tiger who he called Hobbes, and together they took part in quick witted- sardonic adventures. The quick line work within the comic further simplifies the mood of the comic. Calvin hair is no more than a zig-zag which is continued in Hobbes' facial hair; not too much definition in facial features which i think conveys some sort of innocence, after all he is only six years old those traits will evolve.
The pair were named after John Calvin (a French Reformatist in the 16th century) and Thomas Hobbes (a Political Philosopher in the 17th century).

This comic is about Religion and the public education system. Religion in school is a constant reminder about how there should be a seperation between church and state- it simply should not be tolorated. However the cartoonist, Watson takes the subject of religion and transforms it into a subject rarely enjoyed by students, MATH! The conversation between Calvin and Hobbes is the story line- you want to hear the reasoning behind such a claim, especially coming from a six year old child and his personified doll!

Looking at my sheet I understand that this could fall under the categories of allegory, hyperbole, satire, irony, personification, comedy, caricature and character! To accomplish so many traits within such a short strip is amazing. It shows that the illustrator knows how to capture the readers attention while imposing his views subtly through the humorous mind of a six year old and his doll.


  1. It's an interesting observation with these summary because Calvin and Hobbes names coincide with John Calvin founder of the Calvinist faith and Thomas Hobbes the philosopher who coined the notion of the social contract.

  2. It is embarrassing to admit this but I never got that connection until now. It makes sense, but why touch that subject when the cartoon is read by kids. I understand that adults read it too but with the main character being a kid more kids will read rather than adults. Wouldn't the whole concept go over their heads? I like the fact that you were able to find a comic that relates to such a serious subject, but presented in a simple way.