Calvin (Calvin and Hobbes)
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|Calvin and Hobbes character|
|First appearance||November 18, 1985|
|Last appearance||December 31, 1995|
|Created by||Bill Watterson|
|Comic||Calvin and Hobbes|
Calvin is a fictional character in the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson. Named after 16th century theologian John Calvin, Calvin is a perpetually six-year-old child, and bears several traits that are characteristic of such. However, in many vignettes he also appears to possess wisdom, vocabulary and humor characteristic of adults. This dichotomy is the personification of the author's personal experience and belief that most people "get old without growing up." In this way, Calvin serves as a vessel for social commentary in uninhibited and broadly relatable terms. Further, as a child, his propensity for imaginary situations permits the inclusion of wholly fantastic settings. He is often depicted with an imaginary and moderately anthropomorphic incarnation of his sardonic stuffed toy tiger named Hobbes.
Calvin is portrayed as an energetic and imaginative young person who tends toward childlike behaviors stereotypical of the comic strip's era and demographic, but frequently demonstrates surreal cognitive development and philosophical inquiry more typical of an adult intellect. This duality of temperament makes his personality appeal to both adults and children, and serves as an apt platform for pragmatic consideration of both convoluted concepts and mainstream ideologies. In accordance with the origin of the character's name, he is often depicted as rebellious and discontent with social constraints.
In some respects, Calvin could be considered to display antisocial behavior, tending to appear in few strips involving other humans, but frequently with his imaginary companion Hobbes. Further, he is portrayed as demonstrating reluctance to participate in group activities, and as an interloper among other characters of similar age.