Hundreds of comic strips have been published in newspapers. The majority are terrible, and almost all the rest are mediocre. There have been maybe four or five good comic strips in the history of the world. So saying that Calvin & Hobbes is the best comic strip ever doesn’t really hold a lot of weight.
And it’s really a shame that it’s so difficult to quantify this strip’s greatness. I can confidently state that Calvin & Hobbes outclasses the rest of the comic strip world more than anything else has ever outclassed the rest of its medium. Sans this strip, the industry is characterized by guys sitting on rocks making stupid puns, a Family Circus kid misunderstanding the meaning of a word, or an overweight father playing golf while telling jokes such as I LIKE GOLF and GOLF IS HARD. It’s a medium that doesn’t really deserve something as good as Calvin & Hobbes, but it got it anyway, and the newspaper-reading world was made a better place by it.
Calvin & Hobbes ran from 1985 to 1995. Bill Watterson drew thousands of strips, and while I wish like hell that he would come back and draw more, it’s probably best to reflect and be thankful for what he’s done.