Thursday, October 23, 2014

A bit of nostalgia for your Thursday afternoon

For as long as I can remember whenever I was feeling under the weather and overall crummy, like I am today, my hands would instinctually grab for my stack of comic books. My collection has only grown over the years but there has only ever been one series guaranteed to put a smile on my face no matter how I'm feeling - Bill Waterson's Calvin & Hobbes.  I know I am not alone in spending late nights and summer days lounging around reading of the mischievously imaginative Calvin and his tiger buddy Hobbes create trouble and adventure for themselves. The lightheartedness always made for a good read, but the values and lessons that Waterson instilled in his short strips almost had a healing property on me. The last thing in the world I wanted to be was sick, stuck in my room, when I was seeing and reading about all the mystery and wonder that lay out there in the world.

Now to relate this to class. As I mentioned I'm feeling kinda sick today so I was looking around my room for my Calvin & Hobbes collections and was coming up empty. I was running out of time before I had to get to class and my ride was leaving so I grabbed another favorite of mine and figured it would have to do. I would be proven wrong while idling browsing the internet in my lab when I came across an individuals tribute to the work of Bill Waterson - a short animated clip of Calvin and Hobbes dancing to music. Here it is:

The animator provided this image file showing what dance moves from the comic he based his animating on, though he did state that the characters themselves were redrawn himself, not ripped from directly from the comic.

What struck home to me beyond seeing a very well done animated version of a beloved childhood figure, but the last frame of the credits is an apology to Bill Waterson for using his copyrighted characters but also contains the animators excuse for working in someone else's universe - "They had to move!" As a lifelong lover of the comic art form I am accustomed to letting my imagination fill in the blanks and create motion when it is only suggested, but I can't deny the merit of the argument. The two of them have spent decades now as static entities; perhaps its okay to let them stretch their legs a little.

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