Sunday, June 8, 2014

Project CALVIN and HOBBES: "Exploring Calvin and Hobbes" at The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum!

Yesterday Princess Melawesome, Sprite the Stuffed Tiger, and I took a road trip to Columbus Ohio! Sprite wore his Peanuts "Great Pumpkin" tie with Linus on it for the occasion.
We piled into the car.
And we drove to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum!
To see the "Exploring Calvin and Hobbes" exhibit!!!
The library/museum had some pretty cool stuff.

Here we see Princess Melawesome and Sprite the Stuffed Tiger posing in front of Billy Ireland's drawing table!

They also had Chester Gould's drawing table! He used to light matches on the side of the table and hold them under his newly-drawn comics to help the ink dry faster!
 They have a gallery of lots of original comic drawings from comic strip legends and greats like Chic Young, Jeff Smith, Charles Schulz, George Herriman, Walt Kelly, and many others!
There was also an exhibit of Richard Thompson's work ("Cul de Sac" and "Richard's Poor Almanac"). He is good friends with Bill Watterson and his work is excellent. You should check it our if you are not already familiar with it!

The exhibit was set up perfectly. It wasn't too crowded with labels and it didn't feel too sterile. There was plenty to look at and enough room for everyone to comfortably stare at Watterson's masterpieces!

The first 3 comics are posted as well as the last one.

In between the comics were some wall decals of full color Calvin and Hobbes images that I would love to have for my study/office.


The comics on the walls were divided into sections of things like how the different seasons were presented in the comic and devices used in the comic such as Spaceman Spiff, dinosaurs, and "Attack of the Tiger". 

One of my favorite sections was the Influences wall. There were many original comics and drawings by artists who influenced Watterson. There was a label for each picture in which Watterson explained how he feels each artist influenced him.

Such as Ralph Steadman:

Berkeley Breathed:

And, of course, Charles Schulz:

One of the display cases held a couple of the comics Watterson submitted before Calvin and Hobbes.

Some of his political cartoons, including this great self-portrait.

And the tools he used to make each Calvin and Hobbes strip. These were my favorite labels because they were in Watterson's own words and pretty funny.

My favorite part of the whole experience was having the chance to examine each comic. It was fascinating to see the size of each comic compared to how it appeared in newspapers and in the book collections. You can tell Watterson was very precise with his lines. Some comics had a lot of Wite-out.

And some had none at all that I could see. Watterson was very precise and some of the corrections were so slight that I don't think anyone would've noticed if he hadn't made the word balloon line slightly higher, left a few trees in the right corner of a panel, or let Hobbes have a hair out place on the top of his head.

The fact that Bill Watterson made mistakes and sometimes had to try many lines before he found the right one is very encouraging to me. It was also interesting to see the pencil lines that aren't fully erased and that the dark areas weren't always as uniformly dark as they appeared in print.

It is a great gallery that has inspired me to keep at all of my creative endeavors, and if you get the chance I highly, highly recommend that you check it out! Click here for more information!


  1. This was a veryb interesting and entertaining read as always sir! I now want to visit the cartoon library and museum more than before I read this. Keep up the good work Sethifus.

  2. Thank you much, sir! It is very much worth your time!