Calvin & Hobbes & Dune

By David Wharton | Updated

BeautyLifeThere are plenty of examples of things that go together really well, even though at first blush the combination sounds odd at best, awful at worst. My wife used to get hit by a craving for rocky road ice cream and Cool Ranch Doritos. My mother has been known to salt her apples (and also not to warn her son before he bites into a salted apple). It’s not just foods, of course. Joss Whedon’s Firefly combined a science fiction setting, Western tropes, heavily stylized language, and Chinese profanity into a tasty goulash. Well, here’s another one for the ages: the combination of Bill Watterson’s classic Calvin & Hobbes comic strip with Frank Herbert’s Dune.

Calvin & Muad’Dib takes Watterson’s wonderful Calvin & Hobbes art and marries it with assorted quotes from Dune. The results are sometimes funny, sometimes jarring, and sometimes…just odd.


It’s surprising how well the combination of disparate source materials works, and I don’t think it would work nearly as well if the art was from, say, The Family Circus. While Calvin & Hobbes was ostensibly about a kid and his (possibly) imaginary friend, Watterson’s strip aspired to far more than that simple description, and often bypassed the silly and explored profound concepts and questions in an accessible way. As such, Herbert’s frequently philosophical prose merges easily with Watterson’s panels. Hell, for some of them it’s not difficult at all to imagine Calvin quoting Herbert’s lines in the original strip.





Now then, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to my epic mashup of Marmaduke and Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series…