Sunday, March 27, 2011

Netherlands, Calvin and Hobbes

Sent from s-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch)

Postcrossing NL-591502
Dutch heart stamp

The words on the card mean "Greetings from Eindhoven", a city in the south of the Netherlands near the Belgian border. I've driven past on the highway but never been there. I know they have a famous soccer team and it's known as the Brainport of the Netherlands. Over 3 per cent of the province's gross income is spent on research and  development.

The card is from Hema, a Dutch chain store that sells food, cheap household goods and stationery. The Wikipedia write-up says some of the most famous Hema products in Holland are warm smoked sausages and pies. I never did see any food, though, when I shopped in Hema in  Brussels.

This stuffed toy picture reminds me of Calvin and Hobbes, my all-time favorite comic strip! It featured a boy Calvin and his stuffed toy tiger Hobbes, who was never as sweet as this photo of course.

The comic by the reclusive Bill Watterson was syndicated for just 10 years until the cartoonist stopped drawing it. The final strip appeared on December 31, 1995. Watterson, although he did not appear much in public and was seldom interviewed, was well-known for his views on licensing and commercialization. He thought cartoonists who merchandised their works were sell-outs and he said so, certainly not winning him any friends although he was well-respected in his genre. He won his battle against publishers regarding merchandising Calvin and Hobbes, so the extremely popular comic was unusually never turned into stuffed toys, mugs, T-shirts, hats, bags, you name it - at least not legally.

Watterson kept strict control over his comic so when he stopped drawing it, it died with him, unlike some other comics that live on through the pen of cartoonists other than their creators. In 2009, the book "Looking for Calvin and Hobbes" was published. Author Nevin Martell documents the life and times of the comic and its creator, interviews Watterson's friends, fellow cartoonists and even his mother. The book could have been named "Looking for Bill Watterson" instead because Martell really journals the great lengths he went to to hunt down the elusive Watterson. He finds him but  never gets to talk to the man himself.

On July 16, 2010 the United States Postal Service released a Calvin and Hobbes stamp, one of a set of 5 stamps honoring comic strips. Lookee... I want one!

USPS July 2010 Sunday funnies comic strip stamps, via

Thanks for visiting!

related links
a rare interview with Bill Watterson by The Plain Dealer in 2010, 15 years after end of Calvin and Hobbes
licensed prints of Calvin and Hobbes strips by GoComics
Calvin and Hobbes (Wikipedia)

by liberal sprinkles


Lynn said...

What a cute card! If the post office still has them, I could send you some of those comic stamps.

liberal sprinkles said...

omg Lynn, I would love that!

Lynn said...

I'm going to email you...

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