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‘Bettman and Hobbes’ is the tale of a mischievous commissioner and his imaginary friend

I grew up with Calvin & Hobbes -- heck, in some sense, I grew up because of Calvin & Hobbes, so part of me bristles at what PD art contest veteran John Schultz has done here. Photoshopping Gary Bettman into this strip is a little like photoshopping Gary Bettman into my childhood, which I am wholly uncomfortable with, since Bettman would probably find some way to lock out all my memories. Come to think of it I only have a vague recollection of NHL hockey oh God it's already happening.

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But another part of me just loves it, because it works so well. Like Calvin, Bettman is short, devious, and given to a fantasy where he's a space explorer.

The major difference between the original Calvin & Hobbes strip and Schultz's parody is that ending. Bill Watterson's strip ended on New Year's Eve, 1995, and was about exploring a new world of possibility. Schultz's is about ruining that world. Clearly, the lockout has turned Schultz into something of a cynic.

Two observations before we go: First, if Calvin is Bettman, does that make Hobbes Bill Daly? And wouldn't it be amazing if Bill Daly was actually just a Bleacher Creature Gary Bettman carried around with him everywhere and made everyone treat like a real person?

Second, I would like Bettman a lot more if he rode a toboggan to negotiations.

Follow Harrison Mooney on Twitter at @HarrisonMooney

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