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[Trudeau ranks as] one of the foremost sociopolitical satirists of recent decades." 

While some in the Doonesbury universe seek office, others serve. Alex and her Seattle co-hordes devote their young, restless, and body-pierced Deaniac energy to hooking up "flash art" with politics. Half a world away in Iraq, a major bad boy from stateside devotes himself to liberating the city of Al Amok, ruling with a steady hand, a full glass, a devoted Chinese handler, and an economy based on looting. As fate would have it, B.D. finds himself heading upriver on an apocalyptic mission to terminate Al Duke with extreme prejudice, a story line so made-for-TV that B.D. feels compelled to bang out the screenplay on his laptop in real time. Fortunately for the man known to Honey as "sir," the media red-lights the hit, though car bombers quickly pick up the option and put the project back in play.

In the homeland, a wartime president has the answer to almost all the questions ("9-11") but tries to shelve the still incomplete story of his own National Guard duty back in the daze. Mark and Zonk join the war against trash politics by offering a $10,000 reward for any witness who can collaborate the flightsuit-in-chief's account, but their efforts, alas, come to naught. Yes, it's a divided nation. On the west coast sexual assault charges accompany a rise to power, while back east they mandate a fall: Walden College's acting coach, Boopstein, lets accusations of way-personal fouls force her football team off the field. Sex parties for recruits? "Who knew we were that competitive?" marvels President King, ending Boopsie's gridiron apprenticeship with two little words: "You're fired."

Talk to the Hand

By G. B. Trudeau


Celebrating an exhibit of ten years of Sunday comics featuring the beloved boy and his tiger, Calvin and Hobbes: Sunday Pages 1985-1995 is sure to bring back memories.

New York Times best-seller!

Everyone misses Calvin and Hobbes.

It reinvented the newspaper comic strip at a time when many had all but buried the funnies as a vehicle for fresh, creative work. Then Bill Watterson came along and reminded a new generation of what older readers and comic strip aficionados knew: A well-written and beautifully drawn strip is an intricate, powerful form of communication. And with Calvin and Hobbes, we had fun—just like readers of Krazy Kat and Pogo did. Opening the newspaper each day was an adventure. The heights of Watterson's creative imagination took us places we had never been. We miss that.

This book was published in conjunction with the first exhibition of original Calvin and Hobbes Sunday pages at The Ohio State University Cartoon Research Library. Although the work was created for reproduction, not for gallery display, was a pleasure to see the cartoonist's carefully placed lines and exquisite brush strokes. In an attempt to share this experience with those who were unable to visit the exhibition, all of the original Sunday pages displayed are reproduced in color in this book so that every detail, such as sketch lines, corrections, and registration marks, are visible. On the opposite page the same comic strip is printed in full color. Because Watterson was unusually intentional and creative in his use of color, this juxtaposition provides Calvin and Hobbes readers the opportunity to consider the impact of color on its narrative and content.

When I first contacted Bill Watterson about the possibility of exhibiting his original work, I used the term "retrospective." He replied that we might be able to do an exhibit, but that calling it a retrospective made him uncomfortable. He felt that a longer time was needed to put Calvin and Hobbes in the historical perspective implied by that term. Nonetheless, this show is a "look back" at the comic strip as we revisit favorites that we remember. Calvin and Hobbes: Sunday Pages 1985-1995 is particularly interesting because each work that is included was selected by Bill Watterson. His comments about the thirty-six Sunday pages he chose are part of this volume. In addition, he reflects on Calvin and Hobbes from the perspective of six years, and his essay provides insights into his life as a syndicated cartoonist.

Reprint books of Calvin and Hobbes are nice to have, but the opportunity to see the original work and read Bill Watterson's thoughts about it is a privilege. He generously shared not only the art, but also his time and his thoughts. When I first reviewed the works included in the exhibit, I knew that everyone who visited it would begin with laughter and end with tears.

On behalf of all who enjoyed Calvin and Hobbes, thank you, Bill Watterson.

--Lucy Shelton Caswell, Professor and Curator The Ohio State University Cartoon Research Library, June 2001

Calvin and Hobbes: Sunday Pages 1985-1995

By Bill Watterson