Calvin and Hobbes Photoshopped Into Photographs of Real Locations


If you’re a fan of photography and of Bill Watterson’s popular comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, you’ll probably love what Oregon-based freelance photographer Michael S. Den Beste has been working on recently. He’s using his Photoshoppin’ skills to blend Calvin and Hobbes characters into photographs of real world locations that match the settings seen in the comics. The results are magical, beautiful, and oh-so-very-fun.













You can follow along with Beste’s creations through his Tumblr site titled “Real Calvin and Hobbes.”

Real Calvin and Hobbes (via Laughing Squid)

Thanks for sending in the tip, Avrohom!

  • SpaceMan

    This is the best thing I’ve seen on Petapixel ever!

  • Antoine


  • Dave Reynolds


  • Dave Reynolds

    Is this considered fair use or will Bill Watterson take issue with this?

  • Marko Stavric

    Does he get permission from the photographer?

  • Heath

    Very cool! These would make for some amazing prints.

  • Rob Dray

    Agreed !

  • Jonathon Watkins

    Beautiful work.Love it.

  • Mansgame

    So photographers cry like the world has ended when someone accidentally or on purpose uses their picture on a website, but freely use other people’s life work and pass it off as their own creativity and we should applaud it?

  • junyo

    Bill Watterson is pretty famously protective of his copyright, so one has to wonder.

  • elektrojan

    nice combination, but he is getting in trouble with that…

  • G

    I used to do this all the time.. when I was 5. Given the potential in the work he stole I’m amazed to say this didn’t even make me smile..

  • Jared Monkman

    Glad to know that you think this is beneath you. Also, I’m sure yours were as good as the ones here

  • Jared Monkman

    I don’t know, I see it as more of contributing than stealing, insofar as he’s using the Calvin and Hobbes characters in what would be natural settings for them. It’s not like he’s taking these characters and applying them to situations that are out of context or defamatory to the original idea of Calvin and Hobbes.

  • David Smith

    I love the Spaceman Spiff on Mars piece.

  • Mansgame

    I think the only person who can make that decision is the original artist.

  • eugeh

    Totally awesome!

  • Guest

    Haha, “Den Beste” isn’t a part of his name! It just means “the greatest” in Norwegian and Danish.


    people steal other artists’ intellectual property and you applaud him for it? amazing!


    its really stealing but nobody has the guts to say it…


    so if its good then its ok to steal? call it for what it is…


    dont bs around it, it is stealing…

  • Ralph Hightower

    I loved that cartoon!

  • Manuel Peters

    Infringement, perhaps. Stealing? Nope.

  • Gov

    Common, it’s a pretty childish execution so the comment seems apt.

  • Burnin Biomass


  • Marko

    oh my god, this is awesome!
    thanks for sharing, made me smile so much. my girlfriend will love that!

  • James Schooling

    Wow, did I love that comic strip. Probably my all-time favorite.

  • Zos Xavius

    agreed. i feel those pictures would be much better without the cartoons. i wonder what the people that took those pictures feel about this. some of these are gorgeous pictures that if I took one, I would be rather upset to see a picture of mine used in this way. judging from the comments we are the few detractors and sometimes I wonder if real photographers actually read this site.

  • Zos Xavius

    So I can just steal any nature photograph because it is just a natural setting? I can take a comic and digitally cut out the parts I want and drop them on this stolen photograph? What did he contribute? Thanks to petapixel, many of these stolen photographs will have been seen by more people than any of these photographers would have normally reached and sadly, none of us will ever know who took them, nor will they get the credit they deserve. There are laws and standards for copyright and this is a clear violation regardless of how “cool” all you kids seem to think it is. If any of you are real photographers and value your work, you should be appalled by such use. That is unless the photographer that put these together used his own pictures, then there is at least some aspect of his own creative element, though using the drawings from the comic is a pretty clear violation of equal caliber.

  • Bill

    I think this might fall into one of the several fair use categories since it is a derivative work. He isn’t claiming it to be his own either, but a mashup of sorts.

  • Filip Tuhy

    it is sad that people are saying that they like calvin and hobbes and then they are stealing from theirs creator

  • fast eddie

    You are insane if you cannot recognize the beauty in this project. They guy isn’t selling the pieces as his own original artwork, it’s pretty obvious that he is a fan of Calvin & Hobbes and was paying tribute to Bill Watterson’s wonderful contribution to society.

    Get off your high horse, fool, lest you break your frail neck when you fall on your face.

  • Carrie

    This is great! I’m a Calvin and Hobbes fan but this makes the stories so much more real. I hope you’re trying to contact Bill Watterson with these. See what he thinks.

  • john

    I wish they were bigger so i could post it on my desktop

  • Adriaan du Toit

    Is he selling these? Or profiting in any way from creating them?

  • Chris Blizzard

    If Watterson would make nice big prints like this available I would buy one for my front room to replace my own photography… Calvin was my role model growing up (for better or worse). Yes, he was naughty, but he was amazingly intelligent, brilliantly creative and imaginative. Having something to hang in my front room that combines my love of photography and my beloved childhood hero, would be incredible.

    But I would only buy it if the money would go to the creator.

  • G

    Lets call it for what it is: infringement, the fact that is done with no craft (the good old “my five year old could do it better” does come to mind, and in this case wouldn’t be too far off..) doesn’t help either, it’s all pretty naive and I don’t mean that in a good way.

    We could argue back and forth to eternity for all it’s worth, but when it comes to personal taste there is no right or wrong.. still, for what it’s worth: if not seeing the the beauty in the poor execution of such a banal idea as this is to be insane, then I’m happy to say I am (and I must stop trusting my dictionary apparently as it’s definition of insane is a load of tripe).

  • ietion

    I like it, very creative! I would consider it ‘stealing’ only if he was making money out of those.

  • Dem

    “It’s not like he’s taking these characters and applying them to situations that are out of context or defamatory to the original idea of Calvin and Hobbes”

    Ironically, if he did this might fall under fair use as it would in some way be transformative.

  • Ingrid Spangler

    this is a cute idea, but really? This is what is getting attention now?

  • thingwarbler

    Ha ha… except, no. It is a real last name in places like Holland. Oh, and in Danish it would be spelled “Den Bedste”

  • junyo

    And our meta moment of the day is Den Beste complaining about someone ripping off his images, on Facebook :

  • Vlad Dusil

    What a bunch of self-righteous nitwits around here. How about you leave it up to the original artist to decide how to react and focus on the beauty and creativity of this project instead?

    These are absolutely sublime and neatly executed.

  • 11

    now, I only wish for an actual show with such imagery. very heart filling..

  • Matt

    I agree, we don’t know if the artist has been contacted or involved.

    Love them.

  • FattieAcid

    actually if you go to google images and drag these pics into googles new image thing, you can find larger versions.

  • Peter

    There is one picture here, that I cannot find on the original webpage (calvinhobes.jpg). Where did you get if from?

  • Michael Zhang
  • Bob

    OK sunshine, you really are the keyboard warrior with a bee in your bonnet aren’t you?

    Stealing – not a nice word to throw around with no proof. Can you show me where your proof is?

    p.s. Love your avatar, where did you get it?