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Last on

Sat 20 Nov 2010 10:30 BBC Radio 4

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 22 September 2009

Phill Jupitus celebrates Calvin and Hobbes, the comic strip about the little boy and his stuffed tiger named after eminent philosphers.

Over the course of ten years, the strip became an international phenomenon, being syndicated in 2,500 newspapers worldwide. It tells the tale of a young boy whose stuffed tiger is as real to him as the people around him, and deals in the process with philosophical issues about free will and the meaning of life, via the perspective of a child with an extraordinary imagination. Its creator, the reclusive Bill Watterson, could have become a multi-millionaire through merchandising deals and film offers, but turned them all down without hesitation.

Phill sets out to discover more about the characters and the man behind them. In Watterson's absence, Jupitus heads to Oxford to speak with artists, merchandisers, booksellers and philosophers to find out what makes the strip so popular, over a decade after Watterson drew the final frame.


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