Let me start by saying this: I have always been huge Calvin & Hobbes fan. I began reading the strips about 5 years after they started in 1985, and relished every single one of them. Calvin was my hero, Hobbes was teh awesomes, and I always had a crush on Susie Derkins (still do, in fact.) Calvin's parents were so cool, but I didn't realize it at the time (looking back, I see how awesome his dad was, constantly messing with him, ie. those photos aren't black and white, the WORLD used to be that color.) It mixed the mundane with the absurd, to create a lasting memory.
Calvin was a like me (and vice versa). We were both somewhat introspective, highly imaginative, and all-in-all a bit different. I never really played much sports (like Calvin), didn't have legions of friends (like Calvin, although the friends I DID have were very good), never quite fit into school (like Calvin), and (like Calvin) had zero problem being completely alone, with just my own self to talk to (wow, that sounds weird). And somehow, this underachiever became the star of the best comic ever written. Calvin's not your typical star of anything. There's nothing extraordinary about him. He's just Calvin. And he made it OK to be different.
Strangely, I never had all the books, but I'm trying to rectify that (a side note: if anybody needs a gift for the GreatMoose, I suggest this.
Anyway, 12 years ago, a little piece of my soul died when Bill Watterson stopped producing Calvin & Hobbes. At Christmas 1995, Calvin & Hobbes came to an end. But it came to an end with the most hopeful, life-affirming strip I've ever read. I'll let it speak for itself:
I STILL can't read that without getting a tear in my eye. I'm such a girl.
Anyway, a fellow Calvin & Hobbes fan has compiled what he considers to be the best 25 strips from the 10 years that C&H ran. And he's DANG close. I'll make a few changes, but he's pretty much spot on. Give it a read here. And here's a mirror if that first link it borked.
And I DEFY any of you to read the raccoon series without getting a bit misty. If you don't, you have no soul.
I'll post my favorites a bit later when I have the time to compile them all. Stay tuned!
Oh, and lastly, if you want your soul to be ripped screaming from your body, read the alternate "last strip" that some seriously disturbed "person" made. I gotta give it props, it's certainly "good", but it WILL MESS YOU UP.
Don't click if you don't want your whole day ruined.
I'm not kidding. Last chance.
Here it is.