So, now enjoy reading about Scott's favourite book. You will be surprised. I was, and I agree with him, since it is also one of my favourite books. Read his words and, please, show your love in comment form.
My friend and gracious host for this blog, Cinta Garcia, has asked a far better (actually, the ideal) question: What book can you read a million times? My answer: The Calvin & Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book by Bill Watterson.
Now … I can just feel all you writers out there saying "That doesn't count." To which I counter with "Yuh-huh!"
My love of Calvin & Hobbes as a comic strip is boundless and enthusiastic, much like Calvin's backyard wonderland, but that's not why I can read this book over and over. The Tenth Anniversary Book is no mere collection of strips, it is a magnificent collection of essays through which Mr. Watterson explains his vision, his philosophy, and his rabid adherence to his ideals.
And they are strong, deeply felt ideals about the creative process and creative property. Mr. Watterson refers to his strips as his children. He famously turned down lucrative (exceedingly so) merchandising offers revolving around his work, and even fought his syndicate to keep it from making dolls, toys, and tee shirts, despite that he'd have made a bucketload of money. He writes: "I envisioned Calvin & Hobbes as a comic strip, and that's all I wanted it to be."
You let me know if your own lofty ideals hold up like that in the face of legal pressures, five years of bitter resentment, and several millions of dollars, and I'll let you know how well mine hold up.
There is no better book on the purity, the singularity, and the universality of creativity than this gem. Each time I read this book I am reconnected with something that takes a daily pummeling ‒‒ my idealism. I am an unapologetic idealist, and I take a continued shellacking from Planet Earth and its population of anuses (not you) because of it.
So when I read this amalgam of creative insight, idealism, egotistical bullshit, failures, realities, and the unapologetic adherence to the purity of artistic vision at all costs, from a man who made himself an unwitting legend by way of a tiny comic strip, I am reborn. If I live long enough, I might actually just read it a million times.