I was reading one of my Calvin and Hobbes books recently. The last one, in fact. Copyright 1996. Which means that the last strip probably ran in 1995 -- I don't really remember anymore.
I have to say, I think Bill Watterson did the right thing, going out while he was still at the top of his form. On the one hand, it means that he could have produced more good strips, but on the other hand it means that he left on a triumphant note. He could be proud of the entire body of work, which didn't have that embarrassing last couple of years that so many strips seem to suffer, or worse yet the lingering embarrassment as the corpse continues to show up in the papers every day...
Good idea or not, it does mean that right now we're getting a crop of adults for whom Calvin and Hobbes is something they remember from when they were a little kid, and it won't be much longer before Calvin and Hobbes is simply history to the next crop, like Pogo is to me.
Why does that idea bug me so much? Maybe because Calvin and Hobbes is still one of the best strips out there? Maybe because it was such a big cultural referent for my generation, at least for the geeky contingent, and I can't help but feel that people growing up without it are deprived?
Maybe because thinking about Calvin and Hobbes makes me sound like a refugee from the nursing home and I'm only 35?