My grandparent's house is filled with bookcases, which in-turn are filled with dusty sci-fi volumes and other curiosities. As a child, I loved to peruse the random titles, pulling out any that looked promising, and thus I was introduced to many great cartoons: The Far Side, Garfield, Hagar the Horrible, and of course, Calvin and Hobbes. Grandpa picked up on my love of Calvin's silly adventures, and began to cut the Sunday strips out of the newspaper for me, stapling them into large wads.
Calvin's way of thinking must have influenced me in any number of ways (I still daydream of Tyrannosaurs in f14s). Certainly, his multidimensional world opened my imagination. As a child, I had no knowledge of film noir or space exploration, but I knew a lot about Calvin's alter egos: private eye 'Tracer Bullet' the intrepid explorer 'Spaceman Spiff.' I empathised with his view of the natural world, with his Sunday expeditions, and with his love of snow. Snow. Like a blank canvas to Calvin's world, snow offered him a plethora of artistic opportunities to express himself. Many times, I found myself wishing for a good bout of snow, so I could copy one of Calvin's designs, my motivation being a desire to scare the neighbourhood kids. You see, I was the hell-child of the block who would rip the heads off my dolls and hang them in a tree for halloween. The other kids had been warned about my family: they were not to play with us.
Turn the clock forward a few years, and here I am in Colorado, with a fresh slate of snow and too many twisted ideas for a snowman. In the end, I went with three classics:
1. A snow shark.
2. A snow frankenstein, prepped for his life-giving ceremony.
3. And, of course, a message to the aliens that might want to land in our area, to let them know they are welcome.
OTHER CALVIN-ESQUE IDEAS
(FOR NEXT TIME)
A generic snowman, in the midst of a brain surgery.
A giant snow statue of myself, each toe being as tall as I am.
A snowman holding a snowball, contemplating his own evolution.
The scene of a snowman hit-and-run.
A good ol' snowman protest.
A hundred tiny snow people, and a Godzilla-like creature (myself).
A snow ramp leading to a loop-the-loop, big enough to fit a sled.
A snowman, sad in the knowledge of his inevitable demise, allowing us all to reflect on our own mortality and the evanescence of life.
Abstract snow art.
A giant snow-crocodile, complete with a human in its jaws.
A message to Santa, to help him find my house.
The best idea yet: an army of snowgoons, peering into the neighbour's windows.