Robot 6

Calvin and Susie get it on, displeasing stuffed tigers everywhere

Creepy Calvin and Susie (artist unknown)

Creepy Calvin and Susie (artist unknown)

I don’t really understand the appeal of the illustrations depicting Bill Watterson’s eternally 6-year-old Calvin, of Calvin and Hobbes fame, as an adult. To describe most of them as “treacly” would be kind (take this one, for example).

However, this one, which I excerpt above, strikes me as … I don’t know … downright creepy.

I can stomach, if barely, an adult Calvin waving as his daughter goes exploring with his one-time imaginary friend Hobbes.

But a teen-age or young-adult Calvin exploring Susie Derkins — a Susie Derkins who strips down to her bra and undies! — while a displeased Hobbes watches?

If any moment cries out for a good, old-fashioned tiger mauling, it’s that one.

Susie Derkins’ bra and underwear!

(via The Ephemerist)

News From Our Partners

Comments

46 Comments

David Gallaher

March 12, 2009 at 8:52 am

I had had this discussion with a friend of mine back when Watterson retired his strip. She thought the the strip should go on – and Hobbes should have been passed down to his future children. I disagreed, as I love how the strip came to its own conclusion.

When I see these pieces of folk-art, my opinion remains unchanged. It’s awesome to see the impact the strip has had on other people, but Watterson made the right choice – and I’m glad I’ve never had to see him resort to either one of those scenarios in his own strip.

QFT, David.

It was probably very stupid of me to go through to the first blog and comment, but I did, and I stand by what I said here: “Ultimately for me, if Watterson didn’t draw it, it should be considered sacrilege. If you’ve got something you want to say about growing up as an artist, create it yourself. Don’t co-opt the characters you used to love whose creator has pretty much made it clear that he doesn’t want other people co-opting. That’s pretty childish.”

Agreed with the above. I realize this puts me at odds with just about everyone who publishes stuff on the internet, but if you’re having to hang your work primarily on the work of someone else, then maybe you’re needing to work a little harder. And I say this in full realization that my own work has been sparked by things that I’ve seen or read, that goes with the territory. However, were the strip above about two teenagers doing what teenagers do with a stuffed animal watching in the distance, sadly, it would lose none of its (assumed) power. Instead of trusting their own work, the artists borrowed from someone else’s.

Trust your own work, people.

WTF? Why did I need to see this? Is Robot 6 the Warren Ellis blog (which I have learned to scroll down slowly and very cautiously) now?

Thanks for sharing your creep-ed-ness with the rest of us; hopefully it somehow made you feel better. ;)

In the creepier version, a *very pleased* Hobbes watches…

Isn’t Frazz Calvin all grown up? Sure looks that way to me.

http://comics.com/frazz/

“downright creepy?” “resort to either one of those scenarios?”

I really don’t understand what the big deal is. It would be creepy if EARLY Calvin were getting it on. But it’s NOT. It’s teenage Calvin. And I think that the “controversy” says more about the people bothered by it than it does about the unnamed artist. Sex isn’t bad, or dirty, or wrong. I’m very curious as to what EXACTLY creeps you all out about it, since it seems to be universally assumed thusfar that everyone will agree, so you don’t have to explain yourself.

Re: “Ultimately for me, if Watterson didn’t draw it, it should be considered sacrilege. If you’ve got something you want to say about growing up as an artist, create it yourself. Don’t co-opt the characters you used to love whose creator has pretty much made it clear that he doesn’t want other people co-opting. That’s pretty childish.”

While I understand not wanting people to do this if the creator didn’t want it out of respect for a beloved creator, I’m NOT opposed to the co-opting on principle. Artists collage, sample, and rework other people’s characters all the time. Success is determined by whether or not the new artist has achieved something in his/her own right.

Perhaps the POINT of doing this comic was to not only showcase Calvin’s wrestling with his own innocence and childhood making him ashamed of something that is perfectly normal, but to highlight our own discomfort with the same thing.

Sure, all sorts of artists borrow images and ideas and create original work all the time, but for me, using something from this particular artist is a really thorny subject considering both the quality of the original work and the circumstances under which the original artist left the strip.

I’ve seen some people use Calvin & Hobbes in a way that was done with respect and smarts. A few years back, ToyFare was running a whole bunch of satirical twists on comic strips that were at the same time very respectful and not crass or cheap. I don’t think either of the above qualify. They just trade on Watterson’s original to gain eyeballs. It’s bad comics.

Teresa, i gotcher back. I saw this strip about six hours ago and it has been running through my head, making me chuckle, ever since. It’s good to know those kids turned out normal and are heading into adolescence with an appropriate tolerance for risk and joy.

also, your excerpt is telling and foolish. show the whole strip; without hobbes the content isn’t even clearly a riff on Watterson, just a very, very, very tame vignette of teen sexuality.

The real crime here is the artists is totally copping Ariel Schrag’s style! For a second I thought it was panel for panel lift from Potential.

Also, blehhhg.

I dunno, to me this seemed like a clever, funny and harmless riff on pop culture.

Is that not OK? Are cartoons now sacrosanct, immune from parody or commentary? If that’s the case, we might want to pull the plug on this whole Internet thing.

Some nut dressed as the Joker did something terrible, and Calvin and Susie are fooling around in front of Hobbes; poor Val must be apoplectic by now.

The real “d’oh!” moment for me was seeing this on another site and not realizing that was Susie until you spelled it out for me. Even so, I figured they’re supposed to be college age, or not too far from it, so it didn’t really creep me out as much as it does others. It’s nowhere near as tasteless as those porno Peanuts drawings that show up every now and then.

Although yes I agree that the subject of sex is not wrong or dirty. It totally massacres the somewhat idealistic innocence of Calvin, that fans and readers love. It is an escape from the modern world which is fueled greatly by sexual images and sexual nature.

I wish I hadnt seen images like these, as it tries to completely alter your point of view of the comic strips, and its difficult to get back into that mindset. What is wrong with people when you cant just leave one harmless thing, instead of turning it into sexual connotation?

I am 15 and I would still like to believe that my childhood was a time where I was almost oblivious to that kind of world and this basically craps on all of Bill Watterson’s brilliant work. I do have a dry sense of humour but there is a limit, and this is just creepy

i know its downright creepy too but i think its good to know that calvin is starting to grow up and to listen to susan that it is this imagenation and just grow . Its probly hard for calvin to leave what he loved the most but he knows too pick between hobbies or susan so it must be hard for calvin cause he”ll miss hobbies .

I am really happy that Calvin and Susie like eachother but not to get “busy” in their teenage years! i mean i would understand is they were kissing or making out but Susie taking off her shirt and pants! eeew, but i really fell in love with the one picture of Calvin’s little girl walking away with Hobbes! I love that picture so much it makes me want to know what happens next or what happened, ya know what i mean? but yeah i thought this one comic was weird and poor Hobbes having to see Calvin “do it ” i mean yuck XP

I am really happy that Calvin and Susie like eachother but not to get “busy” in their teenage years! i mean i would understand if they were kissing or making out but Susie taking off her shirt and pants! eeew, but i really fell in love with the one picture of Calvin’s little girl walking away with Hobbes! I love that picture so much it makes me want to know what happens next or what happened, ya know what i mean? but yeah i thought this one comic was weird and poor Hobbes having to see Calvin “do it ” i mean yuck XP

Im happy to see that Calvin and Susie like eachother but not to get “busy” in their teenage years! I would understand it if they were kissing or making out but Susie taking off her shirt and pants eew!! But i really fell in love with that one picture of Calvin’s daughter walking away with Hobbes! I love that one so much it makes me want to know what happens next or what happened, ya know what i mean? But yeah this comic is kinda not like Calvin and poor Hobbes having to see Calvin and Susie “do it” i mean yuck! XP

LOL, sorry i dont know why it repeated so many times!! :}

I thought the Calvin-passing-Hobbes-to-daughter one was really cute actually, and not really meant to be any kind of deliberate breach in canon, but used as a tool for a lesson: save your kiddie stuff for your future kids, they’ll enjoy it (and you’ll save money on toys).

I agree, the Susie comic IS downright creepy, but when it comes to general fan-art of Calvin & Hobbes, I think fans have the right to depict them however they want. After all, it’s out of imagination, and I personally think it’s kinda fun to see how others imagine Calvin grown up: sometimes he grew up to be with Susie, sometimes he’s ditched Hobbes, etc. So many things can be done, and I think it’s a testimony to the type of imagination Calvin & Hobbes inspires.

But yeah, ew, Susie underwear. XD

You seem to be forgetting that Hobbes liked Susie in the original comic. He even said once that he was “easily wiled by a woman in a swimsuit”, and was referring to Suzie, specifically. If you think about it, that’s way creepier than a comic of two college age people, or possibly teens, about to have sex. So saying that there was nothing sexual in the original comic makes it sound like you never actually read it. Furthermore, since Hobbes liked Suzie, and Hobbes was part of Calvin’s imagination, it isn’t that much of a stretch to say that Calvin secretly liked Suzie. It’s also the reason that Calvin perceives Hobbes as being angry at him in the linked comic.

So, what I’m saying is: the linked comic makes sense in accordance with the original, and has the same kind of humor. It’s just a little more adult.

As for the motivator, you’re right, Calvin and Hobbes has never been serious or bittersweet. The series of strips at the bottom of http://progressiveboink.com/archive/calvinhobbes.htm never really existed.

a lot of Harry Potter fan fiction can get pretty creepy too. Them in their undies and what not….

“I can stomach, if barely, an adult Calvin waving as his daughter goes exploring with his one-time imaginary friend Hobbes.”

Um, WHAT? So you don’t see any poignancy or beauty in a grown-up (yet STILL having that passion of his youth, or he wouldn’t have KEPT that stuffed toy) Calvin PASSING ON that love for adventure and fun to his child? Keeping that thrill and excitement of just being a kid alive?

Do you HAVE to resist change and growth? Absolutely rail against things being ANYTHING but what you remember them to be? Good luck with dealing with the dynamic, mutable, evolving world we live in, then.

Heck, there’s another bit of ‘fan art’ that I saw once and now want to find – Grown-Up Calvin is at the sink, and his daughter runs in with Hobbes over her shoulder, saying “Daddy! Guess where we went today!” and the expression on C’s face is bright and happy and wonderful.

Or do you merely see this as an Intellectual Property infringement of a known Business Asset?

Maybe *someone*else* grew up and lost the passion and verve of youth…

Nope. Not right… and I came here looking for Angry Calvin strips! O_o

thats not the complete strip……its just poking fun at growing up, heres the full strip:
http://www.doobybrain.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/grown-up-calvin-hobbes.jpg

i also am not a fan of these “fan” made adult comics. every time i come across one i die a little inside. (but your right the one where he is waving to his little girl who has the tiger is the only one i can stand as well)

however the way i have curbed my “what if he grew up” hunger is to simply read “Zits”
not only is the animations slightly similar (key word slightly) the characters act and look a bit alike.

Calvin and Jeremy – both blond high energy high emotional people who get into way to much trouble for their own good and have very confusing if not down right wrong look at the opposite sex (even if the role has switched to the other spectrum)

Hobbes and Hector- Both are thoughtful and tend to think first then act. both are best friends to their respective counterpart, the ying to the yang so to speak. and it only makes sense that Calvin try to find a real life freind that would be like hobbes.

The Parents – the moms look alike and save for the fact the dad has put on some weight over the course of Calvins pre-teen years the dads look like they could be the same guy.

Susie and Sara- both brunet and share a weird love hate relationship to Calvin and Jeremy

not saying it all adds up 100% but every once in a while when i read Zits i think….i bet this is Calvin 10 years later.

Wah-wah-wah stop being a prude. and you seem to have forgotten to post the rest of that strip….why is that?

You can see the complete strip via the link I included in the post … more than a year ago.

This is not a commercial venture, so I do not know what that has to do with it. Secondly, this is using Watterson’s established and meaningful characters as a symbol. This would not be the same if the person who made the image used a different character. This is acknowledging the original work and using it as a symbol to spread their own message, which actually goes well with the theme of the original authors works (which to me is “Imagination is an essential part of childhood”). The creator does not claim ownership to the character, nor have they attempted to profit off of it. They used characters from our childhood to send a message. To me this falls under fair use.

Also, people talking about the “Vile” Ritalin strip being against the ideals of Watterson’s characters: It all depends on how you look at it. What did you like better, the drugged Calvin, or normal Calvin? the normal, right? That work is intentionally sad. Just like imagination is important in Watterson’s original works, that strip shown how Calvin’s character is defined by his wild imagination, and how much more boring things would be if he were “normalized”. In my opinion it flows well with the ideas from the strips. “Imagination is an essential part of childhood”

It’s a cartoon for pete’s sake.

can see since Watson retired the strip and Calvin would remain forever frozen as six years old how that strip could be creepy espicaly the version that has hobbes watching but this strip could also be taken as a glimpse into what may happen were bill to have let Calvin and the characters age in real time. for its though to some purist fans of Calvin and Hobbes wrong it should be considered a fan showing their love for the strip by showing as art what could happen with the characters in the future.

It’s fan art, get over yourselves. I bet watterson would chuckle at the above PARODY. You people clearly haven’t learned a single thing from Calvin & Hobbes all this time.

To me this is not creepy but explainable. people who grew up reading Calvin and Hobbes as kids must have seen many similiarties with Calvin and Susie’s relationship as they saw with their own relationships on the play ground. As a young boy I always bugged the girl I liked the most because I was incapable of expressing my like for her in a mature way. Although I annoyed the girl I liked best I secretly entertained fantasies where she and I were good friends.
As young kids get older -as it was with me- they begin to become romantically curious. If these kids were big fans of Calvin and Hobbes it is not so much of a stretch in my mind that they would have a little fantasy here or there about “what if Calvin and Susie…”.
This picture was the fantasy in the preceding paragraph taken to the next level by a very imaginative and somewhat artistic individual. I am sure the person who drew it intended no ill will to anyone and is a big fan of Calvin and Hobbes.
To sum up I have no problems with this picture as long as it is viewed by an adult. What I do have a problem with is some of the comics that depict Calvin as having died in a sledding accident or Calvin on Ritalin. Those depress the hell out of me. I have a problem with violence against a favorite childhood character but not sex. Calvin and Susie are drawn as happy and and intiment in this cartoon so I feel happy that they are both able to consumate their relationship – even if it was not drawn by Watterson.

I dont see why hobbes would be displeased in the first place, he has alwasy like susie!

Do you know the name of the artist of this strip with Calvin and Susie teenagers?
Thanks

per Ralion’s
“The series of strips at the bottom of http://progressiveboink.com/archive/calvinhobbes.htm never really existed.”

I call bullshit.

It ran from March 9th to 18th of 1987
It’s reprinted starting on the following pages:

“Something Under the Bed is Drooling”: page 94
“The Essential Calvin and Hobbes”: page 223
“The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book”: page 37

wow thats fucked up

Thanatos, Ralion was being sarcastic, and was using the raccoon strips as an example of Calvin and Hobbes being serious.

As for my opinions on the few fanarts of Calvin and Hobbes, I like them. I am aware of Mr. Watterson’s take on merchandising and why he has his viewpoint. However, these aren’t his work, and they don’t claim to be. So taking them with any knowledge of Calvin and Hobbes (I can’t say C&H, since that reminds me of a certain webcomic), they have their own humor (in the case of the teenaged Calvin and Susie) and their own sentimental (the future motivational) power.

Hunter S. Thompson used to type out “The Great Gatsby” word by word, in its entirety, because he wanted to feel what it was like to write something beautiful and enduring. Edgar Allen Poe – who, to be fair, was chronically hard-up for money – borrowed ideas quite liberally throughout his career, and in fact lifted the majority of his introduction to “The Conchologist’s First Book” from a Scottish treatise on the same subject. Every play Shakespeare ever wrote was an adaptation of something he’d read or heard before. Romeo and Juliet, for example, was based heavily on Arthur Brooke’s “The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet” and William Paynter’s “Palace of Pleasure”, both of whom pretty much stole their work from Matteo Bandello. Bandello, incidentally, made a career of co-opting the work of Giovanni Boccaccio, while Boccaccio made a career of taking centuries-old fables and stories and plopping them into the 14th century.

Copyright’s ignominious origins were in early attempts by the church and governments to control the output of printers and censor books they deemed inappropriate, and in fact, copyrights were actually (and appropriately) called “monopolies” until the 1600′s.

I can appreciate that it takes time to create things that are beautiful, compelling, and thoughtful. I can appreciate that the way societies compensate people for creating beautiful/compelling/thoughtful things is by giving them money, and that in a world where reproduction is cheap and easy, this is an honor worth protecting.

But I can in no way support the idea that anyone, anywhere, has ever created something out of whole cloth, fundamentally original, and owing inspiration to no one else, living or dead. Nothing is new and nothing is sacrosanct, and to suggest otherwise is either naivete or willful ignorance, and in either case it’s not a very useful position to be working from (if only because you’ll find yourself endlessly griping about how someone “ruined” such-and-such a book/play/movie/painting for you).

Art is wholly democratic and endlessly up for grabs, and anyone who tells you otherwise is either trying to sell you something or steal something from you. Seriously, guys, remember Andy Warhol? Yeah. That happened. There needn’t be anymore of this mock outrage and snobbery over creative output anymore. It’s over.

I’m sorry that it sucks so hard to make a living as an artist and not get ripped off, but that’s one of the oldest plotlines out there. And anyway, what would be the point of the money anyway? Food, some will say, or shelter. Fair enough. And what would be the point of these? Health, you might say. Stability even, or a long life. Right, and the point of these? Well, in the case of an artist, the point of a long life would be to create a bunch of art.

Get it? The point of an artist’s life is to make art, not make money off of old art. Like a shark, always moving forward…

i thought susie and calvin hated each other.

They had that playful hate that many friends have. Although it seemed like they hated each other, they were always with each other and had a lot of time to bond.

That’s not creepy at all. The demotivational picture was heartwarming, Hobbes is looking back at Calvin and Calvin is waving and Calvin’s daughter is moving forward. It”s like Calvin is saying it’s okay go have fun be the friend to her that you were to me and have some great adventures. It’s like passing on you’re old books and things to you’re kids, you want them to experience the wonder and majesty that you had growing up, but you also need to let them go a bit so they can do it on their own.

The other one is funny but pretty sad. In the comic the only time Hobbes is a toy is when other people are around and even then Calvin talks to him. But in this strip Calvin feels like someone is watching him when Hobbes is angry and looks real. But Susie reminds him that there’s no one home and Calvin doesn’t think about Hobbes even tho Hobbes is right there, so in the last panel Hobbes is just a stuffed animal. That’s pretty sad, because he’s lost that spark that brought Hobbes to life when he was younger.

I got here by trying to learn how to draw hobbes……

best comment eva

Leave a Comment

 



Browse the Robot 6 Archives