Review by Woodrow Phoenix
Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes is one of the great newspaper strips of the last few decades. Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat is the ninth collection of daily and Sunday pages, beginning with the title strip for this volume that shows what happens when Hobbes expresses his animal nature. “If Mom and Dad cared about me at all, they’d buy me some infra-red nighttime vision goggles,” says Calvin. This collection from 1994 includes anonymous insults arriving for Calvin in the mail: “Most people have secret admirers, you have a secret detractor”, says Hobbes. Stupendous Man goes to school to take a history test in Calvin’s place, and there’s another school-related sequence where the class has to design a poster for traffic safety. The winner gets five dollars. “Sounds good,” says Hobbes, “What’s our winning poster going to say?” “That’s where YOU come in,” is the answer. A funny sequence of typically skewed Calvin logic ensues as the two debate the kind of slogan they should use, question everyone else to see what ideas they have and finally design something excitingly gruesome, drawn in ‘patent pending gore-o-rama’ but is it going to bring them the fame and riches they’re hoping for?
Among other amusing sequences the latest G.R.O.S.S. (Get Rid Of Slimy girlS) club’s plan involves dropping a top secret, coded letter near Suzie to tempt her into decoding it. This time Hobbes stays behind so he can’t get captured, and there are bottle caps of valor for everyone. The spirit of G.R.O.S.S.ness cannot be extinguished!
Bill Watterson’s command of his medium is absolute and this is another great collection of funny and characterful strips.