The Essential Calvin and Hobbes - Bill Watterson I still remember that moment when his eyes began to glaze over. In all fairness, he had been at work all day, dinner was ready and I had already gone on for ten minutes. Which was a shame because I had finally reached the critical turning point. The Knights of Castle Dresser were looking down in despair at the surprise arrival of Roman legions in my model Dragonship. From the Eastern Hall they had sailed with their Viking crew to besiege the bottom drawer.

I’m sure it’s partly my fault my dad had lost interest. It’s difficult for an 8 or 9 year old to explain the intricacies of the Gobot-Greek alliance or the splendor of Castle Grayskull as the center of Imperial Rome after the fall of He-Man. But this was the key moment. Thinking frantic hand gestures would add drama, I tried to explain the tactical genius of Boba Fett in an X-Wing Fighter leading the United States Air Force to save the beleaguered Knights of the Dresser. To no avail. I had lost him to the pot roast.

I assume every kid has a similar moment. When the realization hits that the imaginative worlds in your head may not be as interesting to everyone else. I don’t know to what degree that’s normal or not. I’ve given up a long time ago trying to figure out those lines. But it’s a lonely moment. To feel alone in that so vivid world.

A few years later, I discovered Calvin and Hobbes. Calvin who was so enviably oblivious and totally immersed in the worlds of his own making. Reading it then, and reading it now, sends me back. Letting my imagination once again soar over bedroom battlefields, strange cities and alien landscapes of my own planet Gloob. But I don’t have to do it alone anymore. Spaceman Spiff is my co-pilot.