The Morning Line: The Eternal Search for "Calvin's" Kin
Ever since Bill Watterson packed up his toys and went home, the deep longing for his creations to return doesn't seem to subside. Devoted fans hold out hope, commiserate and share the faith. It's like one surreally large staging of "Waiting for Calvin."
Which is why, perhaps, so many keep looking for the next-generation Calvin in other strips -- like believers staring at a grilled cheese, swearing there's a Calvinist countenance in there some-a-where's ("Look, there -- that bubble of gouda looks just like Hobbes's fuzzy muzzle").
Years into the vigil, the most oft-mentioned Calvin descendants can be culled to a conspicuous quartet:
1. Frazz (aka "Calvin all-grown-up").
2. Jeremy Duncan of "Zits" (aka "Calvin as a big-sneakered teen").
3. Red of "Red and Rover" (aka "the carrot-topped Calvin," avec real pet).
4. Nate of "Big Nate" (aka "Calvin incognito," as a brunette).
We hear Frazz's would-be visual lineage bandied about most often, and Borgman&Scott have actually penciled in the instruction "Calvin mouth" prior to inking, as a common cue. "Red and Rover" is most evocative of the "lazy Sunday," lounging-about-outdoors strips. But some days, it's Nate that most closely captures that "C&H" spirit.
Today, the slacking Uncle Ted is sitting 'round the family table -- in a scene somewhat reminiscent of when Calvin's uncle used to visit. Calvin would never say something as once-trendy as "sssnap!" of course, but here, from Nate, we rather like it. And the dynamics are significantly different, with Uncle Ted being less knowing and sharp than Calvin's ol' mustachioed uncle. But still, there's something about the setup and characters that plays out with comfort -- as familiar as a Hobbes sneak-attack on the coming-home Calvin.
Yep, somedays, there's nothing like that feeling of coming home again, even if it's simply to a similar model construction.
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