You might think that comic strips are for children, but you’ll occasionally run across political commentary or other mature topics in popular comics. Here are some of our favorite Calvin and Hobbes comic strips that have delved into American politics.
Note that we cannot host the comic strip images here due to copyright regulations. We will instead provide links to the appropriate online location of the comic strip.
Calvin and Hobbes was the most successful comic strip of its time before author Bill Watterson’s sudden retirement. While the duo’s antics make for great humor, Calvin and Hobbes, like their namesakes, also had discussions touching upon important issues, including politics.
Voting, in particular, is a recurring theme. In one running story line, Calvin treats his Dad as an elected official. In other more cynical discussions, Calvin gives brutally honest opinions about politics. Here are some of the best examples.
December 2, 1985
Description: Calvin informs Dad that his poll numbers are dropping, especially among tigers and six year olds. He suggest increased allowances and driving lessons in order to improve his ratings.
January 28, 1986
Description: Calvin tells Dad that he had a huge drop in poll numbers yesterday. Dad replies that Calvin didn’t get dessert yesterday because he flooded the house.
March 1, 1986
Description: Calvin asks when Dad’s term of office will expire. He is dismayed to learn that the office is for life. Calvin asks who wrote the constitution, to which Dad replies that he had help from Mom.
March 18, 1986
Description: Calvin informs Dad that his poll numbers are nearing record highs. To Calvin’s disappointment, Dad replies that Calvin still has to do the dishes.
April 16, 1986
Description: Calvin declares himself an all-powerful dictator. Mom tells Calvin to go to bed, and Calvin asks if they can vote on the issue instead.
August 30, 1986
Description: Calvin says that Dad’s polling results are declining, but Dad points out that he is not an elected official and can ignore polls. Calvin then wonders whether open revolt is the only solution to replacing Dad’s position, which makes Dad uneasy.
June 10, 1986
Description: Calvin complains that he is six years old and cannot vote. When Hobbes asks if he is concerned about the country’s direction, Calvin replies that he only wants more benefits for himself.
December 12, 1986
Description: Calvin warns Dad that his poll numbers are still slipping to further lows. Dad asks for advice, and Calvin responds that a VCR could help improve ratings.
June 22, 1987
Description: Calvin says that he doesn’t think Dad will keep his position with election year coming up. Dad replies that most people would not want his position, which makes Calvin warn Dad again.
July 24, 1987
Description: Calvin tells Dad that his polls are at an all-time low. Dad replies with the high cost of raising a child, and whether that cost is a gift or a loan.
October 27, 1987
Description: Calvin and Dad are both surprised to find out that Dad’s poll numbers have shot up dramatically. Calvin realizes that he was holding the poll upside down.
November 7, 1987
Description: Calvin tells Dad that six year olds this year care more about character than issues. He questions Dad about a dubious picture with a woman, who turns out to be a younger Mom.
April 11, 1988
Description: Calvin tells Dad that his poll numbers continue to drop due to the scandals “Bedtimegate” and “Homeworkgate”. Dad replies that history will vindicate him.
April 12, 1988
Description: Calvin bemoan’s Dad’s poor record in office and his character issues. He suggests an ad campaign image using “The New Dad”.
Description: Calvin creates some campaign slogans for Dad. He thinks Dad should send the message that he is humbly still learning how to do his difficult job. Dad is not amused.
April 14, 1988
Description: Calvin suggests that a few actions could propel Dad to victory in the elections, such as repealing mandatory school attendance.
September 2, 1988
Description: Calvin questions Dad on whether he will have a new running mate for the upcoming election. An implied threat from Mom quickly silences Dad’s thoughts of a new running mate.
October 8, 1988
Description: With Election Day coming up, Calvin wants to know where Dad stands on key issues such as later bedtimes and more TV privileges. Dad says that he is against all of Calvin’s issues and that he should go to bed.
February 15, 1992
Description: Calvin reports the latest poll results to Dad. His name-brand recognition is high, but his policies are doing poorly. There is talk of replacing Dad with Mom. Mom says that her first act will be to give cooking duties to Dad, which makes Calvin reconsider.
November 7, 1988
Description: Calvin tells Dad that the polls are showing he won’t be Dad any longer unless something remarkable happens. Dad tells Calvin to go to sleep to Calvin’s chagrin.
June 12, 1989
Description: Calvin reports that six year olds in the latest poll cannot find any examples of paternal leadership. Dad offers to lead Calvin to bed.
July 24, 1990
Description: Calvin provides an analysis of Dad’s below-average performance, and how extending bed times later can bring his performance back up. Dad asks Calvin how long he spends making these charts.
April 30, 1992
Description: Calvin reveals that Dad’s poor performance in the polls is due to his character issue. Dad exclaims that he has great character. Calvin replies that this is exactly the issue.
May 18, 1992
Description: Calvin says he plans to be an uniformed voter when he grows up. He will only complain about the problems and blame people, because that is easier than fixing problems.
August 31, 1992
Description: Calvin wants to know the position of the candidates on dinosaur research and other dinosaur-related topics. He threatens to abandon the candidates if they do not pander to his single-issue activism.
September 20, 1993
Description: Calvin says that the latest polls show Dad is not living up to expectations to be an ATM. Dad asks where the polls find respondents.
February 10, 1994
Description: Dad replies to the latest poll results, explaining that he focuses on what is good, not what is popular. Calvin says that Dad will never keep his office with that attitude.
March 1, 1994
Description: Calvin says that he loves the news because they provide entertainment for the masses rather than complex discussion.
November 29, 1995
Description: Calvin complains that everyone in the news and media just wants conflict, because conflict leads to drama and entertainment. Hobbes agrees, which makes Calvin complain that the day is boring.