For the entire stretch of the ‘80s, for many a penguin-loving comics-phile, the Sunday funny papers were the place to be, thanks to the illuminating work of Berkeley Breathed on his strip Bloom County. With a lovable host of wacky (and sometimes whacked out) characters, spewing subversive gold, Bloom County not only took digs at the capitalist regime, but it also sold a boatload of lovable penguins while doing so.
But just as Bloom County was starting to really stretch its funny bones, another comic came around in 1985, demanding shared space in the layout: Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes. Though not as overtly political as many of the characters in Bloom County, 6-year-old Calvin and his stuffed tiger Hobbes poked plenty of fun at plenty of establishments, and had a hilariously endearing time doing so.
Both strips ran for roughly 10 years of A-plus production, before both their creators took much needed breaks. Watterson never really returned from his, and has stayed mostly out of the public eye ever since. But Breathed brought the BC gang back together again and has been publishing his beloved strip over on Facebook (the decision may have been politically motivated), and ever since, on April 1st, he’s posted a comic featuring Calvin, and signed by Watterson. This year, that glorious tradition continued...
This grand April Fool’s Day tradition began with Breathed's declaration on April 1, 2016 that it was: "A big day for C&H fans: Bill Watterson and myself in Tuscany signing the franchise over to my 'administration.' Watterson's in great shape — he's out of the Arizona facility, continent and looking forward to some well-earned financial security. You rock, Bill."
And now, two years later, it’s the joke that keeps on giving. Granted, neither Watterson or Breathed have said boo about this mashup since, and perhaps Watterson didn’t so much as collaborate with Breathed as he did inspire him. But either way, if you’re a fan of both strips, this is good stuff — the classic Calvin setup, and then Opus the penguin knocking it down. The only thing missing is Hobbes the tiger and Bill the Cat, who we can only hope are busy preparing a 2020 presidential run.