223: Guest Writer Caleb Waldron: Portraits by an Artist as a Young Man

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hink of cartoonist Caleb Waldron as Calvin (of “Calvin and Hobbes”) all grown up now — and drawing his own spiritual visions of the world. That’s not all that far a stretch, once you learn that Caleb grew up on Calvin, fascinated by the insightful, spiky-haired boy who was just about his age.
    “I discovered ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ when I was 6 or 7 and I got more and more anthologies and kept reading,” Caleb told me yesterday as we were finalizing today’s “Guest Writer” presentation that offers a sampling of Caleb’s work. “We were the same age when I started reading about Calvin — and I liked it that I wasn’t alone as a little long-haired pyromaniac.”

    Here’s another reason I was drawn to Caleb’s work. Over the years, I’ve heard adults question whether a little boy like Calvin could come up with such savvy observations of the world. Well, Caleb is living proof that spiritual wisdom isn’t always a product of age. Many times, this kind of insight into life’s deeper meaning is more of a function of how carefully we observe things.
    Caleb is a terrific observer. He’s been lugging around a sketch pad for years, jotting down his observations — and, in coming years, I’m sure you’re going to see a lot of his work popping up in various places.
    I discovered his work through Thomas Gilchrist, a Kalamazoo College student who is doing some internship work with ReadTheSpirit this summer. In recent months, Thomas and Caleb worked together on the early stages of a literary-arts magazine they plan to publish under the name Kosmopolitan (yes, that’s a K for their college).
    The moment I looked at samples of Caleb’s work, I was amazed that someone who still is an undergraduate could capture not only the half-wild spiritual fuel in thrill-seeking college students — but also the nuances of a middle-aged guy playing mental games with his Tai Chi teacher. Then there are the minimalist cartoons like the elevator piece, which is Zen-like in its humor.

    So, today, please welcome our Guest Writer Caleb Waldron.
    (CLICK on his Thrill Seekers and Tai Chi cartoons and they’ll pop up a little larger.)
    ALSO, we asked Caleb to write a little “autobiography” — well, at least about his life thus far — and you can click over to enjoy that as well, today.
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