Pause your game of Calvinball for a minute, please.
Today is a special anniversary, not just in the world of comics, but for friendship, too.
On November 18, 1985, 30 years ago, the first Calvin and Hobbes comic strip was published.
That first strip (below) shows the moment Calvin first met his friend Hobbes, by catching him in a tiger trap after using a tuna fish sandwich as bait.
Because, as we now know, tigers will do anything for a tuna fish sandwich.
From their debut in 1985, through their final appearance on December 31, 1995, cartoonist Bill Watterson brought life to the curious 6-year-old Calvin and his anthropomorphic stuffed tiger pal, Hobbes. In 2013 Watterson told Mental Floss he has "zero interest in animating Calvin and Hobbes," or to license his creation in any form. "As a comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes works exactly the way I intended it to. There’s no upside for me in adapting it."
In the strips Calvin and Hobbes were inseparable, had their ups and downs, and taught their readers, of all ages, many life lessons, including what it means to be a good best friend.
This is why we consider Calvin and Hobbes to be two of the best besties of all time...
1. They were always exploring. Whether embarking outside on a snow day, or diving deep into their imaginations, the duo understood that a new adventure was a thing best shared with someone special.
2. A true pal is always willing to join your club or activity, even if you're the only two members. Like G.R.O.S.S., (Get Rid Of Slimy GirlS), which consisted of just Calvin and Hobbes, and met in Calvin's tree house. They had special officer positions, passwords, and everything.
3. Friends aren't afraid to tell you the truth. Or, as Hobbes discovers after giving Calvin a little constructive criticism, they're also not afraid to disagree with you. "Resolutions? Me?? Just what are you implying? That I need to change??" Calvin asks Hobbes in one strip. "Well, buddy, as far as I'm concerned, I'm perfect the way I am!"
4. They'll help you procrastinate when you need a distraction. Though Calvin was a super-smart kid, it didn't always translate into how he was as a student. It didn't take much urging for him to get Hobbes in on his games when he probably should have been focusing on schoolwork.
5. A friend will support your crazy business ideas. Like when Calvin enlists Hobbes to help him with his insane cardboard box science experiments, like the Duplicator, which he uses to duplicate himself. Sometimes you just need a person to press a button for you and stand back. That's what pals are for.
6. A BFF will stay up all night with you, for lots of reasons. That includes if one of you is stupid enough to ask "do you believe in ghosts?" before bed, and then you both stay awake, holding a baseball bat, until sunrise.
7. Hobbes could always tell when Calvin needed a hug. Like after losing a little baby raccoon that he hoped his family could save, Calvin talks to Hobbes about what he's learned about loss. His tiger reassures him he's not going anywhere, as he pulls Calvin into an embrace. Sometimes you just need someone to be there.
"Things are never quite as scary when you've got a best friend," Calvin once said about Hobbes.
The duo showed us you can do nearly anything with your closest pal at your side. Happy "friendiversary," Calvin and Hobbes.