The Calvin and Hobbes Wiki

One curious incident in the early publication of Calvin and Hobbes was that of the alternate strip. On November 28, 1985, only half of the syndicated newspapers published the original comic; the rest got an alternate strip. The original was never reprinted, whether in reruns, the first printed collection, the first treasury or even The Complete Calvin and Hobbes; all of these feature the alternate strip instead. The original strip is actually the first to feature Hobbes in the washing machine.

The strip directly below is the original, and below that one is the alternative.

Alternate strip2

The original strip for November 28, 1985, as it appeared in half of the newspapers.

Alternate strip1

The strip as it appeared in publications.

The incident was not explained in commentary by Watterson, interviews or any other public disclosure by Andrews McMeel. The absence of the strip could be considered censorship, as with the altered comics of The Complete Calvin and Hobbes, designed to avoid controversy. In the original strip, Calvin joyfully anticipated going in the washing machine; the syndicate may have been afraid that young readers would imitate him and injure themselves.