'Calvin and Hobbes' to be half page

January 16, 1992|By Knight-Ridder News Service

As debut day approaches for the new and improved "Calvin and Hobbes," cartoonist Bill Watterson makes this solemn promise: "No other comic strip will have bigger, uglier aliens."

That's partly because no Sunday comic will be bigger, period.

The slender, reclusive Mr. Watterson, normally as bookish as Calvin's dad, is throwing his weight around like a rampaging Calvinosaurus. Come Feb. 2, when he returns from a nine-month sabbatical, "Calvin and Hobbes" will gobble up half a page each Sunday -- or else.

"Or else" means Mr. Watterson will take his characters and go home. No more Calvin for you, bub.

But giving more space to "Calvin and Hobbes" means making other comics smaller, eliminating one or two altogether, or adding some pages to the comics section. At least a dozen newspapers, out of 1,800 which carry "Calvin and Hobbes," have dropped the strip in protest.

The Sunday Sun will run the larger "Calvin and Hobbes," beginning Feb. 2.

John S. Carroll, editor of the paper, said, "I'd just as soon have the design of the page left up to the editors, but I'm not willing to deprive our readers of 'Calvin and Hobbes.' "

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