Back in the 80’s and early 90’s, I had a book collection of comic strips. It started with the original fat cat- Garfield. This was a good way to get me into reading at a young age.
All through elementary school I obsessed about Garfield. I had all the books that had come out at the time. I also had a dozen or so bookmarks and numerous t-shirts with the cat and some sort of catchphrase on them. Before Garfield had a regular tv show, there was a Halloween special that I had recorded off the tv and watched numerous times, memorizing every word.
Then came a new obsession- Calvin and Hobbes. Some of the greatest adventures and imaginative storytelling ever. Again I bought the books which were filled with a collection of comic strips and Saturday funnies. The relatability of the characters and their escapades were unrivaled to any other comics at the time. At one point in my life, I could relate to the father!
As I grew up, my humor changed and I started to see more of the real world portrayed in the daily newspaper comics. Bloom County had some great satire with slapstick tossed in. Bill the Cat was ridiculous and fun. My binders in high school were filled with doodles of Bill and his infamous THBBFT.
Eventually, my comic strip books were given away. But when I married my wife, her collection of the same Calvin and Hobbes books brought me a renewed joy. I knew I met the right woman for me. I re-read the books at a time when our kids were little and their imaginations were running wild. It helped in my parenting by remembering that fun is an important learning tool.
Thank you to the artists out there who made these comic strip cats a big part of my life.