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HomeNL-2012-04 Canoes in Comics

Canoes in Comics
John Rich

My curiosity this month was aroused by a chance encounter with a comic strip that featured a canoe, and that sent me exploring across the vast plains of the internet searching for more such items.  The following are a few of the hits that I encountered on that journey.

Calvin and Hobbes was a syndicated daily comic strip that was written and illustrated by Bill Watterson, and published from 1985 to 1995. It follows the humorous antics of Calvin, a precocious and adventurous six-year-old boy, and Hobbes, his sardonic stuffed tiger.  Calvin and Hobbes was featured in over 2,400 newspapers worldwide and also in several beautifully illustrated books, of which I own and cherish several.  In a few of his stories, Calvin goes canoeing:


Hägar the Horrible is the title and main character of a comic strip created by Dik Browne. It first appeared in 1973 and the strip continues to this day.  Hägar is distributed to 1,900 newspapers around the world. The cartoon is a caricature of Hun and medieval Scandinavian life.  This particular strip was a photocopy of the original that was recovered in the HCC warehouse archives.  It is not specifically about canoes, but certainly reflects an irresistible urge that many boat owners feel.

Peanuts is a daily comic strip written and illustrated by Charles Schulz, which ran from 1950 to 2000, and  continuing in reruns afterward. The strip is the most popular and influential in the history of the comic strip.  "It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown" is the sixth prime-time animated TV special based upon the Peanuts characters, and originally aired in 1969.  The story features the Peanuts kids at summer camp, which includes good times paddling canoes.

 The author, John Rich