I wouldn't want to see Calvin and Hobbes merchandising. It seems like it would sort of cheapen it. On the other hand... if Watterson decided to license a Calvin and Hobbes t-shirt, say, I'd be first in line to buy it. Or at least put it on my Christmas list.
I *really* hate those little decals for car windows that are obviously Calvin ripoffs, though. Even if it isn't illegal, it's completely disrespectful.
i approve watterson's way of dealing with his charakter's. though i'd buy calvin & hobbes merchandise just like i own snoopy socks, pajamas and so on. i can't resist this shit.
and it's much better to tinker your own unique c&h or snoopy stuff. i plan to make a spike/kyuss-crossover comic/band-shirt. and i have lots of copied and cut comic strips in my house, pasted to spots where they seem to match. it's always fun to open a book cabinet and find snoopy typing one of his stories.
I'm going to go with Watterson (and, it seems, the rest of the people writing here): no. Would I buy it? Yes--the same way I buy Scooby Doo stuff and action figures from comic book characters.
But that's what I think Watterson most despised about the idea. Thanks to not having the constant media overload of the strip, Calvin and Hobbes has gone down as one of the most remembered, best-loved creations in comics history. If we were to compare that to any other strip of the last fifty years (Peanuts, of course, excluded), you can see how marketing has influenced how we percieve the work: Garfield isn't funny and, sadly, is so overtly marketed that we can't get away from him anywhere--from toy store to greeting cards, calendars to cartoons.
The same can be said about other marketing powerhouses: if I have to see another one-a-day Dilbert calendar, I'll scream--the humor and diversity (and utmost creativity) of the strip is rended from our control and given to the marketers: we know what Dilbert sounds like because he has a cartoon. We know what the punchlines will be because we've seen every strip on balloons and t-shirts.
So, yeah, I'm glad that Watterson made his stand: I love the strip. I love hunting through used book stores to find missing volumes (even now that we have the Complete). I love finding old newspapers because I can find a strip there--and no other strip do I look for.
I'm with you all the way, Colin. Great points. Dilbert is a good example of a massively over-exploited strip.
The only part I take issue with is your example of Peanuts. I mean, you can buy plush dolls and bumper stickers of of Peanuts characters, right? That didn't make ME, at least, see Peanuts in a different, negative, or commercialized light. Wouldn't it be the same if Watterson authorized some limited, tasteful merchandise?
i think we should admire Watterson for his non comercial attitude. Follow his example. If u want some Calvin and Hobbes stuff make it yourself, or get some creative friend to do it for u. It will feel good, u will show off your sympathy and be the proud posseser of an unique piece. Imitation is the greatest form of admirance, or how do they say it in English?
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I think is how I've heard it said. Very true, and a great point, Ersze!
Once I was at the fair and someone won me a plush tweety bird in a game of skee ball. Yuck. I am not a fan of merchandise from books, television shows, movies and the like . . . I suppose I applaud his stance as well.
Now, here is a similar issue: I was in the Christian bookstore the other day and ran across some type of devotional book based on the tv series 24. I kid you not. What is your take on this?
Yeesh... I think I'm inclined to like the idea purely on the basis of being delightfully irreligious. That, however, doesn't mean it's actually a good devotional book, just that I appreciate the idea. I might actually buy one based on Lord of the Rings...
Colin, you remember when they started doing those cheesy computer-animated cartoons for Dilbert a few years back? Horrifying. I would have started a letter writing campaign if someone did that with Calvin and Hobbes, or more recently, say, Get Fuzzy.
I don't know about 24, except my son just rented all the old episodes because he was hooked, but I would probably not buy a Lord of the Rings devotional. One, because I don't think Tolkien would approve :) Mostly though, because I get so much out of The Lord of the Rings itself, I don't think I want someone else to tell me what I should be getting out of it. For that reason, I haven't read Finding God in The Lord of the Rings. That reason and because my pastor lost the copy he was going to loan me:)
ok Ian . . . for your birthday you can expect a Calvin and Hobbes t-shirt made by yours truly and for Christmas, a Lord of the Rings devotional =) te he he . . .
Now THAT's what I'm TALKIN' about!!! :-D
I absolutely agree with your thoughts on Garfield. Its everywhere. Hell there are even shops dedicated to selling the stuff. And look where the comic is today.
I support Watterson for making the stand. I think above all, Watterson made a very shrewd decision. Whether or not it was part of his reason in refusing to allow C&H to be merchandised, in doing so he made us fans go out in droves to purchase each new release of the book, for example the latest Treasuries collection. Would you still have bought it if there were C&H merchanise everywhere? It also made us value each strip and each book much more seeing as they are the only things of C&H we can lay our hands on. It means something when one can say that they own a copy of the comic. It made for a more loyal fanbase where the fans actually care about what each strip is trying to say rather than laying their hands on every colour Calvin doll out there.
Also as Watterson says, having a Hobbes doll would relinquish Hobbes to nothing more than a stuffed toy who only comes alive in Calvin's imagination when Watterson is really trying to use Hobbes to represent the different ways each person views the reality of the world. Having a cartoon with someone providing a voice for Calvin, a voice for Hobbes would also ruin everything I have ever imagined about the two characters.
If Watterson had authorised the merchandising, yes I would have purchased the things, but I also would have valued the strip less, and valued each of the items I purchased less.
Yeah, I meant excluding Peanuts because it's a work that stands above everything else in terms of character--it's the one strip I think held the most integrity in an over saturated merchandise market.
Also, holy god, those Dilbert cartoons. Time I can never get back.
I was at the airport the other day and I saw a chap wearing a Calvin and Hobbes t-shirt . . . I almost approached him to ask if it was homemade, and/or where he got it. And then I got to thinking about those "Calvin" stickers that people put on their car windows . . . are those really Calvin, and if so, who makes them???
I think Watterson did the right thing. I would have bought something, but he did the right thing. Think the Simpsons...nooooo!
"Even if it isn't illegal, it's completely disrespectful. "
Technically, they are copyright infringement, and ARE illegal.
Thanks to not having the constant media overload of the strip, Calvin and Hobbes has gone down as one of the most remembered, best-loved creations in comics history"
I totally agree. The only comic I can think of thwat WAS merchandised and didn't jump the shark is The Far Side, and I think that's because it was situational and didn't have a constant character cast.
They're all illegal because they're infringing on Watterson's copyright.
However, this doesn't stop , say, college kids, from printing up tshirts or manufacturing stickers using the characters. All that stufs is made by people who are ripping off Watterson, since he doesn't grant, nor get paid for, liscencing his works.
The reason you see so much of it is because Watterson doesn't go after these people much. Disney and Charles Schultz's heirs do -- that's why you will rarely see unliscenced stff featuring their characters.
And yes, it's still a copyright infringement if you only make one t shirt or whatever for your own private use and don't sell it.
While I love and miss C&H, I do rather enjoy not being bombarded by it. I mean, do we really need a Calvin and Hobbes toilet paper holder? I think merchandising the crap out of things not only cheapens the original creation, its constant presence makes one (well, me anyway) less fond of the original in ways. It's like being a Vivaldi fan - very difficult to like Vivaldi in a culture where most people under 25 identify his music with luxury car commercials. Liking Vivaldi now seems "corny" and that's a shame.
The wide-angle licensing and tie-ins related to marketing of unrelated products frustrates the heck out of me at times. Unfortunately, this is becoming a more and more common revenue stream for all forms of media (books, music, films, etc.). But as you mentioned, sometimes associating your works with certain products can build a link that may detract from the overall value or impact of your works in the long rong. For this reason, it is becoming more and more important for artists and authors to be selective about how they allow their creative pieces to be used.
As much as I loved Calvin and Hobbes, and as disappointed as I was to hear that Watterson had ended the series, I completely respect his decision to withhold licensing rights.
No, I think Watterson made the right decision to keep his creation pure & simple. You could always go back to the books to relive the joy of reading his humor; I don't think C&H needs to be splattered on bumper stickers or t-shirts or tv specials - they won't do Watterson any justice & ruin my memories of first reading Calvin & Hobbes. I despise those Calvin Peeing stickers.
I'd like to see a sticker of someone peeing on a Calvin peeing sticker. :-)
LOL... I'd pay money to see that too!!
"I'd like to see a sticker of someone peeing on a Calvin peeing sticker. :-) "
*snort* Now THAT would be funny!
Watterson has his reasons and since he is the one who gave us Calvin and Hobbes I say its okay he has the last word on his art and gifts he gave to the world. I'm trying to simplify my life from consumerism and more stuff I'll end up throwing away anyhoo.
Cheers let's go explore!
In the very red town where I live, Calvin peeing stickers are outnumbered by Calvin or Susie kneeling in front of a cross. I don't get the connection. (Doesn't that just proudly scream "I am a Christian and I like to violate copyright?")
The oddest one I have seen is Calvin in a cowboy hat, with a horse, kneeling in front of a cross. What gives?
That reminds me of one of the most horrifying things I ever saw: It was Christmas in the quaint upstate NY town of Skaneateles. We go shopping and have lunch there every holiday when in Ithaca visiting my in-laws. In an otherwise picture-perfect town with adorable shops and Rockwellian vistas was one shop that had proudly displayed a giant light-up figuring for one's front yard - you know the kind I am talking about? This particular one was Santa kneeling in front of Baby Jesus in the manger. I could taste the bile rising. Calvin can go ahead and pee on that.
New one I saw today: Calvin kneeling in front of a cross, which is casting a shadow on him -- all surrounding by the outline of the good ol' US of A (at least the lower 48). Underneath, it said "God Bless America." -- SO, if you're a patriotic Christian who likes to violate copyright... (Their license plate was from NV though, so they may not really be from my town...)
So much for that old "Thou shalt not steal" thing, huh?
So much for the "I shalt not puke thing" too. And I am a Christian!
I am not in any way defending those stickers, I hate them. However, have you ever taped a movie off the TV, duplicated an album or CD, made copies of a page in a book? There are many laws we can subvert without being evil and trying to. Selling curriculum which you are finished with, lots of things are not right. But what are these laws anyway? They're more like guidelines, right? Oops, that's a different movie!
They're not guidelines, they are actual laws. See www.copyright.gov, teh US Copyright Office website.
From the site:
"What Is Copyright
Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U. S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works. Section 106 of the 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to do the following:
To reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords;
To prepare derivative works based upon the work;
To distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
To perform the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works;
To display the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work; and
In the case of sound recordings*, to perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.
In addition, certain authors of works of visual art have the rights of attribution and integrity as described in section 106A of the 1976 Copyright Act. For further information, request Circular 40, Copyright Registration for Works of the Visual Arts.
It is illegal for anyone to violate any of the rights provided by the copyright law to the owner of copyright. These rights, however, are not unlimited in scope"
In fact, I have technically broken copyright laws RIGHT HERE IN THIS POST!!!! I have copied and reproduced a section of the copyright offices without their express permission. :)
They probably won't come after me(although they could) because they don't have the reputation of vigorouslly persuing copyright violators, I'd guess because they don't lose any profit from it, I don't derive any profit fromit and it doesn't cheapen or lessen the impact of their work.
Matt Groening, on the other hand, could go after me for my avatar. :)
I have to admire Watterson stance on this. He rejected every opportunity to turn Calvin and Hobbes into a marketing empire. I can only imagine the deluge of items looking down on me at the grocery check-out line (Garfield et al).
It is a beloved strip and I enjoy reading it over and over again.
See, that's why this siteis in DIRE need of smilies!
has anyone bought the latest hardbound collection?
Oh, no! Rowan Atkinson and the makers of Blackadder could hunt me down if they wanted to... All because Google made it easy to find images on the Internet... My hypocrisy has been exposed!
If anyone is unaware of alternatives to standard copyright, I would recommend checking out the Creative Commons website: http://creativecommons.org.
I just saw this at Borders the other night and was quite excited. Helluva pricey Christmas present though!
I must admit being relieved that Watterson hasn't given into the insanity surrounding the commercialization of (nearly) all other comic strip characters. I hope that any hype surrounding Calvin & Hobbes remains in their hilarious antics found in Watterson's comic strip--not a foul T-shirt , lame bumper sticker or creepy plush toy : )*
I never knew the patch I bought and the t shirt I own with Calvin and Hobbes on them weren't licensed. Now I feel guilty for my schwag. =(
I love these books, though. I have my own official set, but my son and his friends aren't allowed to read them since a chocolate milk incident ruined one, so it was nice to be able to buy some inexpensive ones they can read.
I completely support Bill Watterson in his stand against merchandising. It's HIS creation and he can dictate how it is marketed. Limiting Calvin and Hobbes to books, and for a strip that only ran a relatatively short time, there are an amazing number of them to choose from, is a sane and wise choice.
If these products were available, I might have bought some of them, maybe t-shirts and perhaps a plush toy or two, if they were as well designed as Watterson's creations, but I don't think I'd go much beyond that anymore.
I think the section on "what is copyright" simplifies the matter grossly, I'm not sure whether making a t-shirt with copyrighted materials for your own use falls under fair use, but I know that as far as "To perform the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works" goes you can perform a play without having to pay royalties as long as there is no admission charged, similarly people perform monologues for auditions all the time without having to pay fees.
I think Watterson - by refusing to sell out - has turned Calvin & Hobbes into cult (and I mean this in a good way). We love C&H more dearly because we are not up to our eyeballs in merchandise, AND because the series stopped while they were still ahead. C&H will thus allways be remembered as a thouroughly good and positive experience.
Luckily I have a Calvin at home myself (though she's tecnically a girl, and I call her Nanna), so life never gets boring, even without the daily strip.
I just purchased the hardbound collection.
it is certainly a handsome set that is worth every penny. even though i have all the books, i still think this collection is worth the price because of the quality of the materials used.
but by golly its HEAVY!!! n I ain't exaggerating on that part! when the reception handed me the parcel my reaction was "holy cow!"
if you're planning to purchase it i'd suggest getting it delivered like I did, or bringing along a strong guy to carry it from the bookshop for you =P
I applaud Waterston’s conviction on not mass marketing Calvin and Hobbs. Dr. Seuss also disliked the idea of mass marketing, but now that he has passed, look what has become of his characters.
While it would be great to have a Calvin or Hobbs sitting on my desk, I completely respect his decision to limit license to only these treasure filled compilations of the strip.
I'd still like to see Watterson do a comic the way he would do it. You would think someone would publish that. The few snippets we see only in the big books - Nauseous Nocturne, Spaceman Spiff, etc., I feel are only a glimpse of what Bill could do if someone put him in front of a drawing board and told him to 'cut loose!". But as for the merchandising, maybe there's a best of both worlds. I'd like to see a =small= amount of =legal= C&H merchandise, but I most positively do NOT want to turn C&H into the next marketing maelstrom. I'd like to see what Bill is doing today.
Watterson has long been known for his very atypical, zealous rejection of any merchandising of his beloved Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. Books, like this one, are the only officially licensed material you can find on the market.
That said, do you think Watterson was wrong to refuse his fans any sort of merchandise? Should he license Calvin and Hobbes plush toys, bumper stickers, posters, and baby bibs imprinted with Calvin's grimacing face at the dinner table?
Personally, I applaud his stance, but still wish I could buy some Calvin swag... I'm conflicted.
is Calvin a schizophrenic?, some ppl think he is one, wiki says he is one.wat do you guys think??.
I don't think he is. I think he's a kid with a unique and funny perspective take on the world.
I don't think Calvin's perception of reality is impaired. He doesn't suffer ahllucinations; the kid daydreams. There's a big difference between impairment and imagination. Wow, I'm stunned that someone would read Calvin and draw that conclusion. No wonder so many children these days are parented through medication.
Gifted it to my wife on our anniversary, and then spent most of the next few days reading it myself!!
Truly collectors stuff.
Amazing stuff. Its a wonder how, between themselves, Calvin and Hobbes manages to start a philosophical movement that hits the nail bang on the head!
calvin is the smartest kid in the comics.
I don't know about 'the smartest,' but he is certainly the most imaginative. Watterson is certainly one of the smartest comic strip creators. It's funny to look back over the years and see how Calvin, Hobbes, and Calvin's mom and dad evolved.
the concept of this comic series must be 'evil genius.' child and adult, simplicity and complexity, heart-stopping insight and ruthless analysis, wonder and wisdom... calvin and hobbes exposes us, forgives us, then runs off to play... if we could all be so carefree.
feeling mo nmn diwata k jan s itsura mo!!! kpag nkita u me s personal, m22ny k s hiya kc ms mganda me sau!!! mgkakitaan p ng mga pics!!! just log-on to www.boybastos.com. HEHEHE. diwata k lang!! diyosa ako!!! anne curtis!!! HAHAHA!!!
calvin and hobbes is one of the best and funny book
bata, pd bang magtanong? pno mo nbasa i2ng calvin at hobbes? sn k ngpunta? nong mga pinindot mo para mabasa mo xa? kc d ko mbasa eh. sayang nmn at ang dami-dami kong mga libro sa shelf ko. sna magreply ka. slamat ng marami!!! :)
I like picture books. It means that I dont't have to read, which is always a bonus.
kua, pd bng magtanong? sn kau ngpunta pra mbasa i2ng calvin at hobbes. d ko kc mbasa. syang nmn at and dami kong mga libro sa shelf ko. nong mgha pinindot mo pra mbasa mo xa. pls reply. salamat po ng mrami!!! :)
comic books can be loved by anyone,but calvin and hobbes is a separate league in itself. everything about it is funny,from the wacky pictures,to the funny fantasies and dialogues. watterson is a genius for having thought of such wonderful cartoons and inventing cool stories to match.
Billy billy.. write one more plzzzzz...
omg i love this book
one of the funniest things is calvin is always right in the wrong way.
Just gotta love calvin and hobbes. Just gotta luv it.
Calvin: MOM! MOM!
Mom: What is it? Whats the matter?
Calvin: Do people grow from spores?
Mom: YOU WAKE ME UP AT THREE IN THE MORNING TO ASK ME IF PEOPLE GROW FROM SPORES!? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?! WHY ARE YOU AWAKE ANYWAY!? GO TO SLEEP!
Hobes: I'm telling you, its true.