Take the time to visit my new site: reemst.com - about web

The Complete Calvin and Hobbes: A New Calvin and Hobbes Collection!

The Complete Calvin and Hobbes Great news! The Complete Calvin and Hobbes is published October 4, 2005, containing 3 large hard-cover albums featuring all Calvin and Hobbes cartoons that ever appeared in syndication.

The list price is $150, but it's now available for only $99.00!
The Complete Calvin and Hobbes
New print fully available again!

Welcome, you've come to the place where Calvin and Hobbes® once were honored with a great tribute and fan-site, "Calvin and Hobbes at Martijn's". Unfortunately the copyright owners didn't agree with that and made me shutdown the entire site. The biggest success of the site was the Calvin and Hobbes Strip Search, which received thousands of visitors every single day.

I want to thank for all your visits and nice comments. I've received hundreds of emails because of this shutdown; thanks for all the nice comments! It would take way too much time to reply to all of them, so don't think I don't read them. I've read every single one of them and appreciate your comments.

If you want, you can send me an email as well.


For completeness, here's a list of all available Calvin and Hobbes® books, with direct links to buy them.

Calvin and Hobbes

Something Under the Bed is Drooling

The Essential Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury

Yukon Ho!

The Calvin and Hobbes Lazy Sunday Book: A Collection of Sunday Calvin and Hobbes Cartoons

Weirdos From Another Planet!

The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury

The Revenge of the Baby-Sat

Scientific Progress Goes "Boink"

Attack of the Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snow Goons

The Indispensable Calvin and Hobbes

The Days are Just Packed

Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat

The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book

There's Treasure Everywhere

It's A Magical World

Calvin and Hobbes: Sunday Pages 1985-1995

The Complete Calvin and Hobbes
If you want to have all strips, but not all books (i.e. the least amount of books, but have every single strip) then you need to buy this list of books: Of course you could also buy "The Complete Calvin and Hobbes" listed above!

Martijn is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Calvin and Hobbes is copyright © Bill Watterson and Universal Press Syndicate. Calvin and Hobbes are registered trademarks of Bill Watterson and Universal Press Syndicate.
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I think I learned to be a writer so I could draw for a living. Actually, I enjoy writing as much as drawing, but working on a deadline, the drawing is easier and faster.

People always ask how cartoonists come up with ideas, and the answer is so boring that we're usually tempted to make up something sarcastic. The truth is, we hold a blank sheet of paper, stare into space, and let our minds wander. (To the layman, this looks remarkably like goofing off.) When something interests us, we play around with it. Sometimes this yields a funny observation; sometimes it doesn't, but that's about all there is to it. Once in a while the cartoonist will find himself in a beam of light and angels will appear with a great idea, but not often.

Occasionally I'll have a subject or issue in mind that I want to talk about, but if I don't have a ready topic, I try to think of what I'd like to draw. My goal is to feel enthusiastic about some aspect of the work. I think one can always tell when an artist is engaged and having a good time: the energy and life comes through in the work. I like to sit outside when I write, partly because there are bugs and birds and rocks around that may suggest an idea. I never know what will trigger a workable idea, so my writing schedule varies a great deal. Sometimes I can write several strips in an afternoon; sometimes I can't write anything at all. I never know if another hour sitting there will be wasted time or the most productive hour of the day.

When I come up with a topic, I look at it through Calvin's eyes. Calvin's personality dictates a range of possible reactions to any subject, so I just tag along and see what he does. The truth of the matter is that my characters write their own material. I put them in situations and listen to them. A line for Hobbes never works for Calvin or Susie, because Hobbes reacts differently and he expresses himself in a different voice. Virtually all the strip's humor comes from the characters' personalities: I would never think of Calvin's retort if Calvin weren't the one saying it.

I write my ideas in an ordinary school notebook. I spend a lot of time fussing with the wording, juggling the various concerns of timing, clarity, brevity, and so on. I write in pencil, and go through erasers at an alarming rate. Once I bang an idea into form, I make a small doodle of the characters to give the strip a rough outline. My purpose at this point is mostly to show who's speaking each line, but I try to suggest gestures and rough compositions, so I will think about the idea in visual terms when it comes time to ink up. I reevaluate the roughs over several days, when I'm fresher and more objective. Often the writing needs more work, and sometimes I just cross the whole thing out. On occasion, I've ripped up entire stories - weeks of material - that I didn't think were good. Obviously, if I'm right on deadline, that kind of editing becomes a luxury, so I try to write well ahead of due dates. It's very embarrassing to send out a strip I think is bad, so I like a long lead time and, given the need to fill newspaper space every day, I weed out as much mediocre work as possible.

After I have about thirty daily strips, I show them to my wife. She can usually intuit what I'm trying to say, even when I don't get it right, so she's a good editor, and a pretty accurate Laugh-o-meter. After reworking or scrapping weak strips, I ink up the ones I like.

I typically ink six daily strips, or one Sunday strip, in a long day. I'd enjoy the inking more if I could make more time, but I need to draw efficiently in order to gain back the time lost writing bad ideas. I lightly pencil in the dialogue first, as that determines the space left for drawing. Next, I sketch in the characters very loosely, establishing the composition of each panel. I frequently make revisions, so I use a light pencil and I erase if needed. If the picture is unusually complex, I'll render the difficult parts completely, but generally, I try to do as little pencil work as possible. That way, the inking stays spontaneous and fun, because I'm not simply tracing pencil lines. Inking mistakes and accidents are whited out.

I draw the strip with a small sable brush and waterproof India ink on Strathmore bristol board. I letter the dialogue with a Rapidograph fountain pen, and I use a crowquill pen for odds and ends. It's about as low-tech as you can get.

The Sunday strips also need to be colored. This is a timeconsuming and rather tedious task, but the color is an integral part of my Sunday strips, so I think it's important to choose all the colors myself. (Foreign collections of my work are sometimes recolored, and the results rarely please me.) When I first started 'Calvin and Hobbes' there were 64 colors available for Sunday strips; now we have 125 colors, as well as the ability to fade colors into each other. The colors are incremental percentage combinations of red, yellow, and blue, and we have a pretty good range, although I wish there were more pale colors. Each color has a number, so I color my strip on an overlay, and mark the corresponding numbers. The syndicate sends this to American Color, a company that processes all the Sunday comics into color negatives for newspaper printing.

After a batch of strips is inked and colored, I send them to the syndicate, where my editor corrects my spelling and grammar, and looks printed up and sent to subscribing newspapers. Then I start writing again.