Calvin and Hobbes: Comic or Graphic Narrative?

So I know it was a while ago that Calvin and Hobbes was brought up in our class, but I’m still curious to see what the over all consent is about what it would be classified as. I found out that it has been classified as a “graphic-novel-comic-strip” (http://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/graphic-novel-comic-strip) along side of Watchmen. This being said, I don’t know what to make of it because those of you who, like me, read it all throughout your childhoods, know that it has short threads of comics that depict individual stories, yet at the same time they could also be viewed as chapters, but it does not maintain the same novel essence as, say, Watchmen, or Maus. What do you guys think, is it a graphic narrative or just a compilation of comics?

Monday, September 13th, 2010 Carly Topazio

3 Comments to Calvin and Hobbes: Comic or Graphic Narrative?

Leah
September 13, 2010

I really think that it is a graphic novel. I feel like each individual strip gives the reader a better understanding of the characters for the next strip he reads, and each strip can be read as a chapter or snapshot out of the quirky childhood of the main character, Calvin. That understanding is “closure,” and that’s what draws the individual stories into a complete novel.

David Ball
September 15, 2010

Is that fact that time doesn’t advance at all important in these considerations? Calvin is static in the sense that he never grows up (and awfully lonely all of the time if his best friend is his stuffed animal) and in this sense is closer to conventional superhero comics… not that many wouldn’t characterize these as graphic narratives as well…

topazioc
September 16, 2010

But does the fact Calvin doesn’t appear to age prevent it from being considered a graphic novel in itself? Do all graphic novels have to be realistic?