updated 01:00 am EST, Thu November 14, 2013
Influential treasuries of daily strip not Google Play books yet
According to the iBooks Twitter feed, the first e-book collections of the deeply beloved comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes" are now available on the iBookstore (as well as Amazon's Kindle and Barnes & Noble's bookstores). This marks the first time the influential comic strip, which originally ran from 1985 to 1995, has been available to purchase in e-book form. Three of the original book collections of the strips are now available, priced at $13.
The full series, including every cartoon that appeared in the strip's daily-newspaper run, is still only available as a three-volume coffeetable tome (or four-volume paperback version), but the three volumes of strips originally issued as trade softbacks during the original run contain some original art and poetry from creator Bill Watterson not found elsewhere.
The first collection is called The Essential Calvin and Hobbes, with the other two called The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes and The Indispensable Calvin and Hobbes because, as Watterson explained in a later interview, "they are obviously none of those things." The books do cover a large swatch of the ten-year run of daily and Sunday comics, which went beyond traditional gag writing and explored philosophy and morality from the ever-shifting perspective of a hyperactive six-year-old and his semi-imaginary tiger doll and friend, Hobbes (both characters being named after influential religious and philosophical figures).
While the daily strip has been "reprinted" in digital form through newspaper comics site GoComics, this is the first time the cartoons have been available in e-book form. The iTunes Store also offers a recent documentary about Bill Watterson and the enormous influence the strip, which ended suddenly at the end of the year in 1995. Titled Dear Mr. Watterson, the 2013 film (which was funded through a pair of Kickstarter campaigns) explores Watterson's more intellectual and artistic efforts at avoiding the commercialization of a comic strip, which raised the art form in the public eye generally and the impact it had on fans and fellow cartoonists.