Tonight I was putting books away and arranging a bookshelf, and Kaden asked about reading anything. So I introduced him to Calvin and Hobbes.
People who know me know that comic books and graphic novels have played a major role in my life. But this isn’t the only facet of ‘comic’ that has permeated my literary experience.
The daily comics are still out there, in printed papers and online. I would venture to say, though, that most kids these days may have no idea what daily comics are and if they do, their exposure has been minimal. Whether they are the humor-based ones from Watterson and Larson, or the long-running serials like Mark Trail, the daily paper just isn’t as prevalent as it was when we were kids and there are many other mediums these days a well. My grandparents got the daily paper, and if memory serves, the comics from the Variety section of the Star Tribune would be set aside for me specifically. For Better or For Worse, Mother Goose and Grimm, and Pogo were my version of reading the paper.
My dad had many of the Garfield collections, and he eventually got the first two Calvin and Hobbes books as well. Over the years, I ended up collecting quite a few of my own (and those first two of Dad’s are actually with my collection - funny how things sometimes migrate). In the 2000’s, long after Watterson had hung up his tools, I was collecting both Zits and Get Fuzzy collections as well.
I explained to Kaden how to ‘read’ a Calvin book - namely, that each line was a separate day. I then had to explain about the Sunday comic as well. Kaden is pretty sure this is the first time he’s read a daily comic. And he thinks it’s ‘good and funny.’ He also characterized its genre as humor. (I like that he knew that word.)
So a few questions to the parent community: did you follow any daily comics as a kid? Did you ever zip down the hill in a wagon with a stuffed tiger, or take a walk on the Far Side? Do your kids even know what these are? If you were to share an old daily comic favorite of yours with your kids, what would it be? If you already have, what did they think?