Comic Review – “Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat” (Calvin and Hobbes)

Bill Watterson said that Hobbes comes to life in
Calvin’s version of reality. That’s enough to
convince me it’s alternate reality stuff, and
therefore, Bureau 42 material.

General Information

Title: Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat

Author and Illustrator: Bill Watterson

Original Publication Date: 1994 copyright. I don’t
know if that’s
just the collection, or the strips, too.

ISBN: 0-8362-1769-1

Cover Price: $12.95 US, $17.95 Can

Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca

Past comic reviews can be found here.

Premise

When a young boy is alive with his stuffed tiger,
that tiger comes to
life. This may well have been the greatest daily
comic strip in the
history of the medium.

High Point

“It’s that moment of dawning comprehension I live
for.”

Low Point

The poetry strips.

The Scores

This strip was fantastic and fresh when it first
launched. Although
this is the first collection we’ve reviewed, it did
come from late in
the run, and recycles things like G.R.O.S.S.,
Spaceman Spiff, and the
like far more often than it does something completely
new. As such, I
feel I can only give it 5 out of 6.

The artwork is wonderful for a daily strip.
(It’s reproduced
here considerably larger than any of the newspapers
I’ve seen, too.)
We get a feel of childish simplicity without losing
any detail, and
the characters are remarkably expressive. The panel
arrangement in
the Sunday strips is incredible. I give it 6 out of
6.

The stories told are great. There’s
simplicity in the
situations, but it’s generally much more than the
“set-up, punchline”
formula so many other strips resort to. We’ve also
got philosophy,
social commentary that doesn’t feel preachy, and some
very distinct
characters. The “daily recap” of the extended
stories needed for the
daily strips doesn’t read as well in this format,
though. I give it 5
out of 6.



The characterization is far more distinct,
and more
important, in this strip than in most of the
competition. The
interplay between the title characters, Calvin’s
eternally nameless
parents, Miss Wormwood, and Susie Derkins is central
to most of the
humour. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response this produced is more
than laughter.
When I read comic strips, I want to laugh, and that’s
all I really
look for. This does that, but it also puts some
social commentary
into the mix as well. I get the laugh, and then I
keep stewing on
what I just read. For a comic strip, that’s amazing.
I give it 6 out
of 6.

The flow here has issues. On one hand,
they’ve rearranged
the strips so that storylines continuing past Sunday
aren’t
interrupted by an unrelated strip. On the other
hand, those same
continued stories continually remind readers about
what happened in
the strip they just read. In this type of format, it
doesn’t work as
well. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, it’s one of the Calvin &
Hobbes

collections. It’s fantastic. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat
receives 37 out of 42.

4 replies on “Comic Review – “Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat” (Calvin and Hobbes)”

  1. y42 says:

    Bill Waterson is a genius
    Calvin rules.

    Now I have to buy me another Calvin & Hobbes book…

  2. obiwan says:

    Bill Waterson
    What’s he up to nowadays?

    • Cerberus7 says:

      Re: Bill Waterson
      I read an article not too long ago about how he’s retired to obscurity in some small town where he paints landscapes with his father. The whole town respects his wishes to be left alone and help him keep his privacy. If I can find that article again, I’ll post a link.

  3. LC says:

    The parents
    One of the details I really love about Calvin and Hobbes is that the parents are real people with distinct personalities. With the dad, especially, you can even see where a lot of Calvin’s traits come from!

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