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Why you want this: The final strip of Calvin and Hobbes ran almost 25 years ago, but the comic still looms large in the cultural imagination. When The Complete Calvin and Hobbes was released in 2005, Chris Suellentrop wrote, “it’s become apparent that, just as Charles Schulz was the first master of the modern newspaper comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes’ Bill Watterson was likely the last.” Thus, this three-volume, 17-pound collection is a precious object, the equivalent of being able to binge-watch 10 years of America’s last great newspaper comic strip.
What the experts say: Benjamin Frisch, producer of Slate’s Decoder Ring and the author of the graphic novel The Fun Family, says: “I read the Calvin and Hobbes paperbacks voraciously when I was young. But back in the day, reading them required collecting a number of independent, unordered volumes, so it was hard to figure out what books came first, and which books overlapped content. The complete Calvin and Hobbes fixes that problem, ordering them all together; at over 1400+ pages, it’s both a great way to introduce someone to the series, or a great way for an obsessive to complete their collection of the finest comic strip of all time.”
What the people say: A high-quality collection. (“The books are great quality, pages are heavy and thick paper stock, and the colors are vibrant for the color comic strips. I also very much liked that this set—unlike the other compilation books—gives the dates on the bottom of each page for when the comic was published. That may seem trivial, but the comics often spoke to issues of the day, seasons, holidays, etc., so it was really neat to understand the context of some comics, when you could see what time of the year they were published. I bought this for my 10-year-old daughter, and she absolutely loves them. She read all the volumes every night for weeks. When she finished, she started over.”)
The Complete Calvin and Hobbes in paperback is now $63, or 49 percent off the regular price.