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‘Calvin Minus Hobbes’ Portrays a Child’s Possible Madness

There are some mysteries sequential art fans will take to their graves. Who was really under V’s mask? Was Batman originally intended to let KGBeast die? Perhaps the most unsolvable mystery, however, pertains to Bill Watterson’s “Calvin & Hobbes” and whether its protagonists were living in a world of magical mystery or simply pure imagination.

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Taking a clear cue from “Garfield Minus Garfield,” in which Jim Davis’ orange cat is Photoshopped out of his strips with consciousness-expanding effects, “Calvin Minus Hobbes” replaces the “living” Hobbes with his doll incarnation and removes his speech bubbles. The resulting strips effectively showcase Cavlin shouting to himself as an inanimate doll looks on with indifference.

Watterson’s original strips may have hinted at the possibility that Calvin’s overactive imagination was the genesis of he and his tiger’s adventures, but seeing every strip from a slightly less omniscient viewpoint paints the boy as downright troubled. Don’t worry Calvin, we can sympathize. Read more of Calvin’s Hobbesless misadventures after the jump.

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