For over 16 years, Brian Kesinger has worked as an artist for Walt Disney Studios and delighted countless people from around the world with the films he has helped produce. On his downtime, Kesinger keeps drawing, and his adorable mashup illustrations have attracted their own set of fans. Combining Calvin and Hobbes comics with the characters in Star Wars, Kesinger imagines the likes of Kylo Ren, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Darth Vader in the same amusing situations that are found in Bill Waterson’s beloved sequential art.
Kesinger first came up with the mashup after seeing The Force Awakens. “When I saw Rey sled down the dunes of Jakku,” he said, “it made me think of that classic image of Calvin and Hobbes in their red wagon.” Since then, he’s adapted Waterson’s style and replaced Calvin with Kylo. Darth Vader takes on the role of Hobbes, the stuffed tiger and imaginary friend. Together, Kylo and Vader engage in harmless hijinks with water balloons and snowmen. Han Solo and Leia are the parents, while Rey is a stand-in for Susie Derkins, the girl with whom Kylo has a love/hate relationship. But no matter who is in the starring role, Kesinger captures the spirit of Calvin and Hobbes in every panel.
Kesinger’s Etsy shop is chock-full of Star Wars prints, including mashups with Harry Potter. With the Calvin and Hobbes comics, however, you won’t find much merchandise. “Out of respect for Bill Waterson’s original work,” Kesinger tells My Modern Met, “I am not selling prints, T-shirts, or books based on these mashups. I do occasionally sell originals or commissions, but primarily this artwork is just to express my love of both Calvin and Hobbes and Star Wars and to offer a bit of nostalgic smiles to people’s social media feeds.”