“In the film Fight Club, the real name of the protagonist (Ed Norton’s character) is never revealed. Many believe the reason behind this anonymity is to give “Jack” more of an everyman quality. Do not be deceived. “Jack” is really Calvin from the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. It’s true. Norton portrays the grown-up version of Calvin, while Brad Pitt plays his imaginary pal, Hobbes, reincarnated as Tyler Durden.”
And so begins The Return of Hobbes, a metatextual deconstruction of Fight Club which posits it to be a sequel of sorts to Bill Watterson’s amazing surrealist-fantasy comic strip, Calvin & Hobbes. Comparing the commodification of of the life of our unnamed protagonist of Fight Club to the artificial process of “growing up and being realistic”, Galvin Chow presents a thought-provoking comparison between the themes of Calvin & Hobbes (a self-absorbed, precocious child with a runaway imagination) to those of Fight Club (a world-weary yuppie who’s psyche literally forces him to destroy his materialistic life while not taking direct responsibility). It’s really astounding; almost everything fits, it all makes sense in some weird, twisted manner. While one would be foolish to argue that this was the genuine intention of the film, Chow’s essay definitely gives us a different viewpoint on both of these modern-day cultural touchstones.
Fight Club [Metaphilm]