I walk to work every day, and last week was a rough one. That weird "polar vortex" burned bright but fast, as winter bought into its own hype, solidifying the otherwise unremarkable amount of snow on the ground into a spiteful landing pad, ignorant and stubborn to conventional methods of vulcanized rubber-based friction and manmade dispersal.
Man struck back, lathering a Dead Sea's-worth of salt along surface streets. Constant dampness and angry, jagged rock salt linked arms and taught me just how quickly a pair of leather boots can be ruined. In retaliation, I left my car idling overnight in my apartment parking lot. Checkmate, nature.
Besides inspiring a nearly unbroken string of curses as I trudged office-ward, winter's sharp knuckle noogie-ing the crown of my head also brought about memories of miraculously wonderful snowman-centric Calvin & Hobbes strips, and a time in my childhood when new snowfall meant new adventures, instead of regrets over forgetting to pop my windshield wipers up the night before.
I miss those days, just as I miss my fingers, which blackened and shattered into frozen dust in the instant I exposed them to air in order to wipe away a wistful tear. Vaya con dios, fingers. We sure had some good times together, a-pokin' and a-proddin'.
Everyone, everywhere, always agrees completely: Calvin & Hobbes is the best. One of the perks of working here is enjoying unfettered access to the Calvin archives, where 1200 dpi scans of all the original strips reside, improving the quality of comics that start with "B" and "D" through alphabetical proximity alone.
In my cursory sift through our archives, I was amazed to see just how much hilarity and darkness Bill Watterson was able to wring from a premise as simple as "Calvin builds a snowman". Rather than devalue our Complete Calvin & Hobbes collections (available now in eBook form for your mobile device, just so you know) by posting all of them, here's a selection of just the single-panel gags. Now this post has two themes!
(Pssst-- I had to reduce 'em a little bit, but if you want to revel in the 600 dpi glory of Bill Watterson's art, you can do so by clicking on any of these)
As nature continues to suggest what the early stages of the last chapter in humanity's history will be like by jostling thermometers from frigid to tropical, I'm not sure if the weather next week will be cold enough to justify another big batch of snowmen strips, but I have at least a dozen more treks from home to work and back again between now and then, so I'll try to think of an excuse to post more anyway. Snooooow Joe!