There are many artists and creators who have experimented mashing up the beloved Bill Watterson comic strip Calvin & Hobbes with pop culture. Fans of the strip have used its loose style and witty spirit to combine with properties like Adventure Time, Game of Thrones, and even Fight Club.
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But one collaboration has recently struck a chord throughout internet channels. That would be Brian Kesinger’s mashup of Calvin & Hobbes with Star Wars. If you’re following any serious fans of either franchise, you’ve likely run across Kesinger’s reimagining of a young Kylo Ren as the rebellious Calvin.
According to The Verge, Kesinger is a story artist at Walt Disney Studios and has also created some artwork for Marvel, specifically on six issues of Groot last year. Kesinger first thought of the idea watching The Force Awakens, when he saw Rey slide down the sands of Jakku. “[I]t made me think of that classic image of Calvin & Hobbes in their red wagon,” he told The Verge.
Kesinger has been taken aback by the popularity of his art, but did note that his goes deeper into the spirit of the original comic strip. Examining his image, he’s right. Kesinger has also been able to recapture Watterson’s imaginative voice in the dialogue, though it aptly matches the Star Wars characters and not a Calvin & Hobbes rip-off.
“Once I really made the comparison that Kylo Ren was probably a difficult child much like Calvin, it really resonated with people,” he told The Verge. “The metaphor was solidified when I made Darth Vader Kylo’s imaginary friend.”