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New App Makes ‘Calvin And Hobbes,’ ‘Peanuts,’ And More Classic Strips Available For Free

While the advent of ComiXology has made several classic comics available to read digitally, the migration of comic strips to the digital world has been comparatively slow. That’s now changed, as Universal Uclick’s GoComics has launched a free app that enables you to read many classic comic strips on your tablet and phone for free, including Peanuts, Doonesbury, Garfield, The Boondocks and more. But the most notable inclusion may be Calvin and Hobbes, as this marks the first time the entire archive of the legendary strip have been legally available to read on your phone.

Also notable is the absence of The Far Side, as creator Gary Larson remains opposed to the dissemination of his cartoons onto the digital landscape.

Fans of Calvin and Hobbes are no doubt familiar with creator Bill Watterson’s well-publicized objections to the commercialization of his work, with very few exceptions. At the moment it’s unclear whether or not this decision was made with the cartoonist’s blessing. (I’ve reached out to Andrews McMeel, who own Universal Uclick, for comment, and will update this post if they respond.) By contrast is The Far Side, and as noted by Slate, Larson remains steadfast in his opposition to his strips online availability, saying the following in an online post:

These cartoons are my “children,” of sorts, and like a parent, I’m concerned about where they go at night without telling me. And, seeing them at someone’s web site is like getting the call at 2:00 a.m. that goes, “Uh, Dad, you’re not going to like this much, but guess where I am.”

As for the app itself, it not only offers users “20 years of back issues of comic strips,” but allows them to bookmark their favorites and share them with friends via email, text, and social media, including Twitter and Facebook. To download the app, you can head to GoComics site.

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