My favourite literary tiger: Hobbes

So, in this month’s book club selection we met Richard Parker, literary tiger. I’d like to introduce you to another literary tiger, in a lighter vein. Hobbes is one of the leads in the Calvin and Hobbes cartoon strips.   Just as Richard Parker is, arguably, Pi’s pragmatic self, disassociated, so Hobbes is the sensible self of Calvin, a precocious six year old boy with a tremendous imagination, but an amazing lack of foresight for consequences.

The rest of the world sees Hobbes as a stuffed toy, but Calvin sees him as an anthropomorphic tiger. This is deliberately never resolved in the strip. The interplay between Calvin, who is shallow and self-centred, but lovable, and Hobbes, who is sardonic and (very slightly more) sensible, but possibly Calvin, allows Watterson to comment on social issues in a fun and bizarre way.

It’s a light read, because its made up of newspaper strip comics, but a lot of fun and terribly charming, and I hope you enjoy it.