Hobbes is alive and well, but only in Calvin’s imagination.
That being said, I did have a problem with the fact that there were situations that couldn’t happen as depicted in the comic if my hypothesis was true. But then I said “What the heck, it’s only a comic strip and it’s damn funny!”
“The so-called ‘gimmick’ of the strip - the two versions of Hobbes - is sometimes misunderstood. I don’t think of Hobbes as a doll that miraculously comes to life when Calvin’s around. Neither do I think of Hobbes as the product of Calvin’s imagination. The nature of Hobbes’ reality really doesn’t interest me, and each story goes out of its way to avoid resolving the issue. Calvin sees Hobbes one way, and everyone else sees Hobbes another way. I show two versions of reality, and each makes complete sense to the participant who sees it. I think that’s how life works. None of us sees the world in exactly the same way, and I just draw that literally in the strip. Hobbes is more about the subjective nature of reality than about dolls coming to life.” (emphasis added)
-Bill Watterson, The Calvin and Hobbes 10th Anniversary Book
Straight from the horse’s mouth, folks. How’s that for a cite?
I thought it was like Fight Club. Calvin has a split personality and his stuffed tiger Hobbes represents the “Tyler” personality. Anything Hobbes does in the strip is actually done by Calvin, but we’re seeing what Calvin sees in his own twisted mind.
Hobbes represents Calvin’s suppressed sexual nature–notice how Susie Derkins lavishes attention on Hobbes, and how much Hobbes likes it, whereas Calvin is still fixated on G.R.O.S.S. (Get Rid of Slimy Girls). Calvin is the superego, and Hobbes is the dangerous, primal id.
Weird, I just woke up from a dream about Calvin and Hobbes! I haven’t thought about them in months. I guess now I have a duty to contribute to this thread. Anyway, I agree with Watterson on this matter: I’ve never actually cared if Hobbes is “real” and I’ve never understood why people bother to debate it (although I’d be hard-pressed to turn down any conversation about the greatest comic strip of all time). The strip is largely about the boundless qualities of a six-year-old’s imagination (think Calvin’s various adventures as Spaceman Spiff, Stupendous Man, Tracer Bullet, Etc.). If you want to look at things literally, Hobbes is a stuffed animal, Calvin never actually travelled to Mars in his wagon, and the Duplicator is merely a cardboard box. What fun is that? Simple answer: Hobbes is as real as anything else in the strip.
Now I gotta break out my Calvin and Hobbes collection and start refreshing my memory.
Ah, but we forget the transmogrifier gun. Not only was Hobbes real until transmogrified into a cartoon, we were cartoons until made real. Is the comic not a microcosom of our own…
(Here is where Cecil asks, “Did you have a question, or do you want to make a speech?”)