Calvin and Hobbes was a daily comic strip written and illustrated by Bill Watterson, following the humorous antics of Calvin, an imaginative six-year-old boy, and Hobbes, his energetic and sardonic — albeit stuffed — tiger. Syndicated from November 18, 1985 until December 31, 1995, at its height Calvin and Hobbes was carried by over 2,400 newspapers worldwide and is one of the most popular comics. To date, more than 30 million copies of 18 Calvin and Hobbes books have been printed. However, Watterson has mentioned that Calvin and Hobbes never appeared in his own newspaper, making his job somewhat abstract. Unlike political strips such as Garry Trudeau's Doonesbury, the series doesn't mention specific political figures, but it does examine broad issues like environmentalism and the flaws of opinion polls as well as ironicy in human nature.
The strip is vaguely set in the contemporary Midwestern United States, in the outskirts of suburbia. In one strip, it was revealed that a map of Montana was in the house, but it is unknown if the strip takes place anywhere nearby or not. In another strip, Hobbes recalls that their house is near the letter "E" in the word "STATES" on a map of the U.S.
Calvin and Hobbes themselves appear in most of the strips, though several have focused instead upon Calvin's family. The broad themes of the strip deal with Calvin's flights of fantasy, his friendship with Hobbes, his misadventures, his views on a diverse range of political and cultural issues and his relationships and interactions with his parents, classmates, educators, and other members of society. The dual nature of Hobbes is also a recurring motif; Calvin sees Hobbes as alive, while other characters see him as a stuffed animal.