Waking from a Trance


Nothing, except perhaps the beauty of imagination, is sacred here. Watterson dissolves the boundaries of highbrow and lowbrow art.

The comic’s freedom is confined—it’s not totally random—yet the depths it can go to feel fathomless all the same.

Few other strips allow themselves such vastness.

via Lithub

They aren’t wrong.

I would read Calvin and Hobbes not only as a young child but easily into my teens and adult life. I will still find a moment (or two) when I see one of the bigger compilations sitting around our home to flip through a few panels.

This brings me back:

… and on the days when the wind had stopped blowing and everything felt still and stricken with the melancholy of a too-short Sunday I enjoyed retreating into a room and disappearing into the world of a book collection of Calvin and Hobbes. (I had them all.)

Then someone would call me through the halls of our house, or I would simply look up, and it was like waking from a trance. 

It was truly like waking from a trance, a dream, another world. And during the busy, busy week I remember thinking about how I longed for another lazy weekend.

Oh yeah.

This is probably why the strip resonated so well, so broadly, so deeply for so many folks. We all know what a “lazy Sunday” feels like.

We also know what it’s like to feel as if there’s much more to life than just what we can see with our eyes and hear with our ears, the sense of incompleteness, of being partial, divided:

Calvin, I realized, could never fully be himself; the worlds he dreamt up were always lovelier and more marvelous than the dull world he was supposed to live in. 

Our struggle isn’t of just flesh and blood but of forces that are unseen, many of which reside in the deepest parts of who we are.

One of the solutions that Calvin and Hobbes proposes is one that I took hold of very early on in life: A loyal friend can make all the difference. Thankfully, I have always had my twin brother.

Perhaps this is what I will do when I retire – I’ll treat every day as a lazy Sunday and I’ll read comic books all day.