Recent discussions about the fate of Thag Simmons had me thinking about days long ago past, where reading the newspaper meant discovering items of world interest, seeing who was looking to hook up, and best of all, the comic section. Back in my day (yeah, yeah, quiet you), there were two must read strips that would never disappoint – The Far Side by Gary Larson, and Calvin and Hobbes, by Bill Watterson.



Its surrealistic humor is often based on uncomfortable social situations, improbable events, an anthropomorphic view of the world, logical fallacies, impending bizarre disasters, (often twisted) references to proverbs, or the search for meaning in life. Larson’s frequent use of animals and nature in the comic is popularly attributed to his background in biology.



Calvin and Hobbes follows the humorous antics of Calvin, a precocious, mischievous, and adventurous six-year-old boy, and Hobbes, his sardonic stuffed tiger. Set in the contemporary, suburban United States, the strip depicts Calvin’s frequent flights of fancy and his friendship with Hobbes. It also examines Calvin’s relationships with family and classmates, especially the love/hate relationship between him and his classmate, Susie Derkins. Hobbes’ dual nature is a defining motif for the strip: to Calvin, Hobbes is a live anthropomorphic tiger; all the other characters see Hobbes as an inanimate stuffed toy.


While Calvin and Hobbes ran in more newspapers than The Far Side, I have to ask, “Which was your favorite?”


[poll id=”428″]

Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comment section below!


About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. Tough one to vote for…this could have been the rare “I like both”. I remember reading both of these strips daily, but I did give Calvin and Hobbes the slight edge.

    Gary Larson’s Far Side appealed to quirky vision we may all have of day to day life. Where I looked forward to each day to see what Larson was going to show on one panel.

    While Calvin & Hobbes appealed to six-year old imagination we all once had. I looked forward each week to see where Bill Waterson was going to take us with Calvin & Hobbes. Time Travel in a card board box anyone?

  2. Both of these comics were awesome. Watterson captured the joy and innocence of childhood while Larson had a knack for tapping into the unusual sense of humor that runs through my family. Had to pick far side, because even with calvin’s active imagination, he never hunted the elusive Spamalope!

  3. I have always liked and collected Calvin and Hobbes. The humor is contagious and now that i have kids I see that some of the strips are my life now.

  4. Daniel Langsdale on

    I’m going to be “that guy” and disqualify Far Side because it’s a single panel thing, and not a strip. More to the point, Watterson managed to do some marvelous storytelling and panel arrangement within the hugely limited constraints of the newspaper strip. So while I find both entertaining and funny, C&H gets the bump for it’s mastery of the form.

  5. Loudmouth Takashi Miike on

    Wow, tough poll. Love both of these comic strips but voted for Calvin & Hobbes. Read both of these years ago in both the newspaper and the collected editions. I used to buy the Far Side desk calendars for years after the strip had ended.

  6. 春咲絵門 on

    Yeah, they’re both great, but accomplish very different things. Calvin and Hobbes was a daily strip, but Watterson did some great long-ish form storytelling. Because The Far Side was only one panel, it really had to work hard to distill it’s message into its purest form. I love both, but they are very different.

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