Calvin and Hobbes is a daily comic strip created by the American cartoonist Bill Watterson, published between 1985 and 1995. The setting is a non-specified US city. The strip stars Calvin, a 6-year-old hyper-imaginative boy, and Hobbes, his stuffed tiger. Hobbes has a dual nature: in Calvin’s eyes, Hobbes behaves like a real toy tiger, whereas adult characters perceive it exclusively as an inanimate toy. In my presentation, I intend to analyse the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes by emphasising the unconventional means through which Watterson discusses contemporary issues and famous philosophical theories. In fact, through Calvin’s daydreams and his friendship with Hobbes, the comic strip broaches contemporary issues, but it also opens to cultural and philosophical discussions, offered to the readers with simplicity and gentle irony. The name of the characters highlights the philosophical subtext that underlies the comic strip, intended for a crossover readership. Calvin recalls John Calvin (1509-1564), the philosopher who believed in the predestination of the human souls; accordingly, in the comic strip Calvin takes advantage of the theories of his namesake to justify all his wrongdoings. Hobbes takes its name from the philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), mainly known for his pessimism about the social behaviour of humankind; likewise, Hobbes the tiger shows its contempt for humanity and is rather proud of its animal condition. Hobbes’s dual essence of toy and real animal also offers some interesting ideas about the epistemological horizon that surrounds us and the poor perception we have of the world behind the veil of Maya. Watterson plays with this contrast and in some strips inserts situations in which Hobbes’s dual nature manifests itself in a rationally incomprehensible fashion. “Calvin and Hobbes may have whisked its readers away to faraway planets, the Mesozoic era and a cubist world, but Watterson was always most concerned with having his richly detailed characters parse real issues” (Martell, 2010). Thus, although Watterson retired in 1995, Calvin and Hobbes is still thought-provoking and able to stimulate an audience made, at once, of young and adult readers.
Cheap Pills of Philosophy: Calvin and Hobbes and contemporary wisdom / B. Moja. ((Intervento presentato al 7. convegno New Directions in Comics Studies tenutosi a London nel 2016.
|Titolo:||Cheap Pills of Philosophy: Calvin and Hobbes and contemporary wisdom|
MOJA, BEATRICE (Primo)
|Data di pubblicazione:||19-nov-2016|
|Parole Chiave:||Calvin and Hobbes, comics, philosophy, Bill Watterson|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore L-LIN/10 - Letteratura Inglese|
|Enti collegati al convegno:||Comica – London International Comics Festival|
|Citazione:||Cheap Pills of Philosophy: Calvin and Hobbes and contemporary wisdom / B. Moja. ((Intervento presentato al 7. convegno New Directions in Comics Studies tenutosi a London nel 2016.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||14 - Intervento a convegno non pubblicato|