Fact Check

Is This a Real Calvin and Hobbes Cartoon?

Comic strips are not infrequently altered to replace their original dialogue with political messages.

Published Jan 7, 2020

Carola Strang, director of "Hors Collection", the French publisher of US cartoonist Bill Watterson, author of the worldwide cult series "Calvin and Hobbes" (poster at background), holds the trophy after the artist won the top prize on February 2, 2014 for his craft at France's Angouleme world comic strip festival (Festival International de la Bande Dessinee) in Angouleme, southwestern France.  Watterson was not present to receive his prize, the most prestigious of its kind in the French-speaking world.
    AFP PHOTO / PIERRE DUFFOUR        (Photo credit should read PIERRE DUFFOUR/AFP via Getty Images) (PIERRE DUFFOUR/AFP via Getty Images)
Image Via PIERRE DUFFOUR/AFP via Getty Images
Claim:
A "Calvin and Hobbes" strip questioning how "soldiers killing each other solve's the worlds problems" is real.

"Calvin and Hobbes" was a daily comic strip created by cartoonist Bill Watterson which was widely syndicated between November 1985 and December 1995, described in The Atlantic as follows:

Since its concluding panel in 1995, Calvin and Hobbes has remained one of the most influential and well-loved comic strips of our time. Calvin and Hobbes follows a six-year-old boy, Calvin, and his stuffed tiger, Hobbes, as they explore the world around them. Bill Watterson, the creator of the comic, drew 3,160 strips over ten years and notably refused to license his characters for commercial purposes.

Often, when world events prompt scenarios under which U.S. troops may be sent into harm's way, one particular "Calvin and Hobbes" strip related to the issue of military conflict is circulated online, typically followed by queries about its authenticity:

Even viewers familiar with "Calvin and Hobbes" have sometimes questioned the legitimacy of this particular cartoon, feeling it to be atypical of Watterson's work. And since it's not uncommon to see comic strips that have been altered to replace the original dialogue with political messages, such skepticism is not out of place.

However, in this case the panel seen above is neither altered nor out of character with the artist's body of work -- it is an accurate reproduction of a "Calvin and Hobbes" strip originally published on Feb. 18, 1991.

Sources

Price-Waldmanoct, Sam.   "How Calvin and Hobbes Inspired a Generation."     The Atlantic.   25 October 2013.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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