So I woke up today as normal and got to work around 8:30am, when it quickly dawned on me that is was not 8:30 as I had thought. The time had changed over the weekend and I was the stupid one showing up at 7:30 to go to work. I got my coffee and bagel and went back to my desk to kill some time. Last week I was wondering around the department as so many of us do from time to time looking for some needed energy or just human interaction, when I walked into Sanjay's office one of my regular stops. As I sat down on his couch I noticed four Calvin and Hobbes books sitting next to me. Now it's been a while since I have looked at my collection of Calvin and Hobbes books but that day I kicked my self for not looking at them everyday. It might be said that the best books ever written about animation are the "Illusion of Life", or "The Animator's Survival Kit" and it's true they are the best but I think any of the Calvin and Hobbes books can rival any Illusion of life and survival kit book out there. Just looking at one strip you can learn just as much about animation than you can in any other book. Squash and Stretch, Anticipation, Timing, Staging, Appeal, Solid Posing, Exaggeration, and you could probably say Arcs, Slow in and Slow out, Overlap and Follow Through, Pose to Pose and Straight Ahead, and Secondary action are in each strip as well. Then most importantly each strip is entertaining, Heart felt, imaginative and focuses entirely on Story, which in animation are also the most important aspects of successful film or shot. You could probably ask any person working in feature animation today and they at one time or another if not still were inspired by the work of Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes. I know I was. I would stare for days at strips and drawings like these.
-Dr. Stephen G.