A F Harrold, author of The Imaginary and the new Greta Zargo series, wishes he could draw like Bill Watterson.
If I’d been able to draw, as well as write, then I’d like to have made Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes wonderful, moving, funny, beautiful, thoughtful, awe-inspiring, and once again funny comic strip.
Although that’s not really true… The pleasure I get from Calvin and Hobbes is as a reader. I don’t want to know the hours of dedication and wrist-ache that went into thinking and drawing it. I want to simply eat it up with my eyes and sit there feeling joyous.
Calvin’s a boy with a pet tiger, a tiger who is smart and wise and caring… all the things Calvin isn’t. They’re opposites, but best friends, and they live in a world of adventure constrained only by the limits of Calvin’s imagination, or that of the babysitter, or his dad’s camping trip spirit.
I love the room Watterson found in the comic strip format to explore comedy and philosophy and ideas and imagination in general, as well as his drawing (I brook no argument here) of the best tiger.
I like to think that spirit of philosophical playfulness in Calvin and Hobbes feeds into my work, both the imaginary friend adventure of The Imaginary, but also into the freewheeling no-nonsense girl on a mission-ness of Greta Zargo, and even more so out into the world she inhabits.
The Calvin and Hobbes books are published by Sphere.
A F Harrold’s book, Greta Zargo and the Death Robots from Outer Space (978-1- 4088-6947- 5) is published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books, £6.99 pbk.