Calvin is cool, but come on now!

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Snoopy sez ...

Pick your top cartoon idol and email that choice to Steve Cameron:

Perhaps we didn’t explain the guidelines properly.

Or else nobody watches TV.

I have trouble believing that second option, so maybe my explanation of our poll — seeking out your favorite cartoon characters — lacked a bit of clarity.

In last Saturday’s column, right there on the front page of The Press, we announced that we wanted your input to find North Idaho’s No. 1 cartoon idol.

The poll is going to run for three weeks, so there’s plenty of time to get any confusion corrected, but let me explain why we’re puzzled.

From Saturday through Monday morning of this week, despite everyone out and about during the Memorial Day break, we received 67 votes in the poll.

Frankly, I was surprised that so many people would respond in the first two days — especially since it was the holiday weekend.

But bizarrely, of those first 67 responses, only one mentioned a cartoon character whose fame arose from television — Wile E. Coyote got a single vote.

The other 66 were all from drawn cartoon strips that have appeared in newspapers over the years, and 62 of them represented just three comic strips.

If this first batch of votes is a true indication of your cartoon preferences, most of you have spent all your time chuckling along with Calvin and Hobbes, Peanuts and Garfield.

In fact, nine of the first 10 emails I received (plus a verbal commitment from Press Editor Mike Patrick) were all in for Calvin — I suppose meaning that poor Hobbes is just the same figment of imagination for you as he is for Calvin.

Peanuts is a different story, because Charles Schulz’s iconic strip features several characters who could be individual superstars. I’ve already seen votes for Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Linus.

No doubt Lucy will be coming soon.

When you add Garfield, the lasagna-guzzling feline, we’ve pretty much used up all of this initial mailbag.

NOW, I’M certainly not questioning any of these choices.

Those three comic strips have been far, far ahead of the competition during the last three or four generations — and Garfield, drawn by Jim Davis, is still hassling Jon and Odie as they approach a 40th birthday.

Schulz produced Peanuts (a title selected by the distributor which he hated) for almost exactly 50 years. In fact, the final Sunday strip appeared just after his death in 2000.

The worldwide Peanuts franchise earned Schulz more than $1 billion, and continues rolling along today.

The outlier of the big three is Calvin and Hobbes, because Bill Watterson drew the bratty kid and his imaginary pal for just 10 years, signing off at the end of 1995.

But having given well-deserved applause to three strips that have defined many of our lives, I still have to ask ...

What about television’s famous cartoon stars?

Doesn’t anyone have a Walt Disney character in mind?

When you consider that the Disney gang — starting with Mickey Mouse — has more or less swallowed the whole world, I’m startled that they didn’t get one vote.

Maybe you thought TV characters were off limits.

That would explain the Disney oversights, along with Bugs Bunny and the entire Looney Tunes family.

So ...

No offense to Calvin, Charlie or Garfield — they’ll live forever and deserve all that love.

But feel free to expand your horizons if you have another hero.

Television and movie characters are just fine.

Surely someone out there has Goofy posters plastered from room to room.

Let us hear from you!


Steve Cameron is a columnist for The Press. A Brand New Day appears Wednesday through Saturday each week.


Twitter: @BrandNewDayCDA

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