So many people loved the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes because they related to the small child who lived out his fantasies with his ever-loyal stuffed tiger Hobbes. Of course, Calvin was much more clever than we were at that age. According to Libby Hill, Calvin’s fantasy world was a retreat from the real world he didn’t fit into.
For as much as the brain of a child is growing and changing and maturing, for as many distractions as the world provides to developing minds, kids aren’t stupid, particularly children as highly sensitive and attuned to the world around them as Calvin. Disappearing into his own world is a coping mechanism for dealing with a world that seems to have little patience or place for him. His isolation breeds fantasy, which breeds isolation, which does him no favors at school or at home. To be a lonely child in the world means creating your own fun, your own friends, your own magic.
And we all did that at one time or another, didn’t we? Or were we lonely kids in the minority? Read an essay on the motivation behind Calvin’s childhood fantasies at the A.V. Club.