Today, July 5, is the birthday of William “Bill” Boyd Watterson II, American Artist and author of the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. Mr. Watterson will be 59 years old today. The comic strip Calvin and Hobbes ran from 1985 to 1995 and was in more than 2,400 newspapers worldwide.
Calvin, the 6 year old main focus of his comic strip was and is loved my many. There has also been intense discussions in the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder community as to whether or not Calvin has ADHD. Mr. Watterson never came right out and reported that Calvin was ADHD but I guess Mr. Watterson didn’t go into creating the comic strip with the intention on having Calvin ADHD.
No parent plans or wants their child to have ADHD. Parents discover their child has ADHD as the child grows and develops. I think there is agreement in this ADHD community that Calvin fits the criteria for ADHD: he has a difficult time staying focused, hyperactive, impulsive, creative, and enthusiastic! The thing is--- it doesn’t matter if Mr. Watterson intended this to be ADHD or not. Just because a diagnosis can be made does not take away from the great traits we love about Calvin and his imaginary tiger friend, Hobbes. In fact, we actually love Calvin BECAUSE of his ADHD traits. Calvin’s imagination, creativity, energy, lack of attention, and view of the world are the gifts that Mr. Watterson gave to this character. Our kids with ADHD don't need to be shamed for their ADHD traits - adults need to appreciate these ADHD traits just like we appreciate and enjoy Calvin.
So Happy Birthday, Mr. Watterson, thank you for giving us the gift of Calvin and Hobbes (as well as your other wonderful cartoons).
Mr. Watterson is on my list of people I’d love to have lunch with. Since he lives a couple hours north of me I could venture to hunt him down but I will refrain out of respect. After Mr. Watterson ended his Calvin and Hobbes comic strip he became a “recluse.” He has worked hard to stay out of the public eye, he declines interviews, appearances, and refuses to license his characters. There is speculation that he has anxiety and social phobia. It doesn’t matter if that’s true or not I believe he is a true Dragonfly and just like all Dragonflies they are best when viewed in their natural state instead of held captive.