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Calvin's father
First appearance: November 18, 1985
Last appearance: December 3, 1995
Other characters

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Calvin's father, like many other characters in the strip, is a relatively down-to-earth and sensible character whose attitudes serve primarily as a foil for Calvin's outlandish behavior. Both parents go through the entire strip unnamed, except as "Mom" and "Dad", or such pet names as "hon" and "dear." Bill Watterson has never given Calvin's parents names "because as far as the strip is concerned, they are important only as Calvin's mom and dad." He first appeared in the first strip, though he was the only parent shown until a few days later, when Calvin's mother was introduced. Template:-



Calvin's dad's first appearance.

Calvin's father explains where babies come from.

Calvin's father is a middle-aged patent attorney who is portrayed as an upstanding middle-class father, as his son might see him. An outdoorsman, he enjoys bike rides and camping trips, and insists that these activities, like Calvin's chores, "build character." When Calvin asks him questions, he often makes up outlandish answers, such as:

Calvin: "Why does [the sun] move from east to west?"
Dad: "Solar wind."

These repeated vague and outright false answers may be social commentary on the distortion of reality that pervades much of Calvin and Hobbes. It is intriguing to note that to be a patent attorney traditionally requires an engineering degree, therefore Calvin's father must have the actual scientific knowledge of the questions Calvin asks. His refusal and nonsensical responses indicate the adult world's unwillingness to share the knowledge or deliberate distortion of reality. Of course, these bits of nonsensical fatherly "wisdom" may also signify that Calvin's father, like his son, has an imaginative streak that occasionally bursts free of his straitlaced paternal facade (thus implying that Calvin's mother's occasional accusations that Calvin must have inherited his outlandish behaviour from Dad's side of the family may, in fact, be correct). Other possible motivations for his outlandish answers include testing Calvin's skepticism and also to simply amuse himself. Another answer could be that he doesn't know, as during one strip when Calvin asks why the sun doesn't shine at night, he and his dad start asking and answering funny questions until Calvin asks why the sun comes up in the east if it sets in the west. His dad, having not known or told Calvin that the earth is round, said, "Time for bed, Calvin." Template:-

Relationship with Calvin

Calvin's behavior often causes Dad annoyance, sometimes provoking him to yell at Calvin. Nevertheless, he sometimes gets out of the house, but when he and Mom hire Rosalyn to babysit Calvin, it's another story.



Calvin's father at work.

The character is closely based on Watterson's own father, who is also a patent attorney, and often told his family that unpleasant things "built character." The actual image of Calvin's father is a self-portrait of Watterson himself, minus his (now) facial hair. Watterson has said that he identifies more with this character than with Calvin. Template:- But Hobbes represents who he is more as a person overall. Him and Calvin in his philosophical side.

Calvin's dad's name

In the Tenth Anniversary Book, Bill Waterson said that he never named Calvin's parents, so Calvin's Dad most likely has no name at all, but here are some possibilities.

  • Calvin's mother once called his dad Socrates. Calvin's dad then said "I knew we'd made a mistake the moment I saw that little bologna loaf in the hospital bassinet" (talking about Calvin). Socrates was the name of a famous Greek philosopher, so this probably isn't Dad's name.
  • When Calvin was pretending to be a bug, we saw a close-up of a letter Calvin's Mom was writing that said "Glenn" on it. This could also be Calvin's dad's name, although that is low in probability. Glenn is much more likely to be one of Calvin's mom's relatives.
  • Also, another time when Calvin was pretending to be a fly, he flew over a piece of paper that said "Tom".
  • In addition, Calvin's mom called him "Buster;" however, she was probably using the word rather than a name.
  • During a camping trip, Calvin asks his mom why she doesn't want to go fishing with him and his dad. She responds "Go ask Conan the Barbarian."
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