scrounge: /skrounj/ informal verb: to actively seek [books] from any available source
Let's Go Exploring: Calvin and Hobbes was an entertaining and informative book for me since, although I very much enjoy Calvin and Hobbes, I didn't discover it until well after its newspaper run had ended (I didn't learn to read until about halfway through it, and we were overseas for the rest). So while some fans may be well aware of the timeline of the strip, this was all new information to me, so very interesting.
Aside from tracing the evolution of the strip and creator Bill Watterson's career, the author spends some time analyzing what it was about this strip that made it so beloved by nearly everyone, covering major characters and familiar elements -- as he mentions early on, there are "haters" for just about anything, but very rarely for Calvin and Hobbes. This part (the first couple chapters) was enjoyable and can help fans feel a sense of commonality in their appreciation of the strip, without getting bogged down in details or overanalysis.
The final chapter covers the numerous tributes and homages that have continued to try and help fans fill the gap left by Calvin and Hobbes since its end. This was slightly less interesting to me, but at the same time it also ponders the question of why so many felt the need to find closure in the first place, and demonstrates the degreee to which Calvin and Hobbes has become a pop culture icon, even without lucrative licensing.
(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)
Author: Michael Hingston
Content Advisory: None