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"Yay!" (The voice of an excited book-store customer, perhaps a relatively young child, on noticing a new anthology of Calvin And Hobbes cartoons)

"Huh?" (The confusion of that same young child's mind, on noticing the first 30 or so pages of the book taken up not with amusing cartoons but with solid text, wherein Bill Watterson expounds in a sometimes bitter tone on the thorny topics of syndication, licensing, merchandising and artistic freedom, and more besides)

"Aha!" (The thoughts of an intellectual, perhaps someone who even knows where Calvin and Hobbes originally got their names from, realising that many of the strips did indeed have the hidden double meanings and undercurrents they'd always attributed to them, a fact confirmed by the little explanatory running commentaries added by Watterson to most of the strips included here)

"But -" (The protestation of a cynic, complaining that this could all be seen as a shoddy cash-in of the type so bemoaned by Watterson in his introductory text, consisting as it does of almost entirely old strips reprinted from the entire ten-year history of the characters, with a very few new ones thrown in to tempt collectors and completists)

"Erm..." (The reconsideration of that same cynic, when requested to shut their stupid moaning face before some other, less grumpy, reader smashes it in for them for being such a whinger in the face of such fine entertainment pleasingly supported by a welcome glimpse into the mind of its creator)

"Yes." (The response of the reviewer, when asked whether this, despite initial disappointment at the lack of new strips, was perhaps the most interesting and rewarding Calvin And Hobbes book yet, and whether his readers ought to high-tail it down to their local Waterstones and purchase it at once).

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