‘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.

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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