So what's Calvin's deal? He frequently waxes philosophical and seems much more intelligent than most kids his age. So why does he do so badly in school? Does he just not apply himself? Is he not "book smart"? Is it just rule of funny?
He can be lazy a lot and also might just be shit at math. There's one comic where his father points out that he gets bad grades even though he obviously enjoys reading/learning about dinosaurs and shit, and Calvin points out that they don't learn about dinosaurs in school.
But mainly he can get smarter or dumber as the specific joke demands.
Calvin is the embodiment of the inner child. He's mentally both seven and seventy at the same time, and that's the point of the comic. He is more aware than most adults because he has their logic but a child's eyes. He does poorly in school because his imagination and personal interest trump what those around him expect of him. He's basically an individualists' wet dream character; grown up without being forced to grow up or conform.
I like the comic but as I've aged some of that fondness has been replaced with bitterness that it's an unachievable goal for most people. Watterson was lucky in that he could live like an adult Calvin, and anyone who understands his comic will typically have a modicum of jealousy about that fact.
>Calvin is the embodiment of the inner child. He's mentally both seven and seventy at the same time, and that's the point of the comic
I agree. I can depending on my mood be 17 or 70. It's normal for many.
(I'm 26 if you want to know my actual age)
Anyway, there's days when I feel like like an angry, edgy "Fuck you, Mom." teen and other days when I feel like a sodden old man and can only think of old age and death.
Calvin represents our natural human tendency to be either, none, or all of those things at once.
As Watterson said, "Some of my readers are puzzled a bit by Calvin's florid dialog, but they should understand that he doesn't necessarily represent a literal 6 year old. In any case, the underlying joke is more that he uses elaborate, poetic wording to describe what are really just stupid or childish ideas."
He did what he wanted and took no shit from anyone, which is why he finished the comic when he felt like it needed to be finished instead of being forced into creating them eternally.
Now he lives a simple recluse life doing whatever the fuck he loves.