bento #33: Calvin and Hobbes

February 5, 2009

in american,bento

EDIT: I just realized that this bento was featured on reddit, and getting a lot of traffic to this page from different sites. I noticed that one editor in particular praising my bento on their site said that the potato salad “is probably spoiled.” I usually ignore any negative comments, especially if it’s someone else’s page, but this is a bit different. Not just assuming my bento is spoiled, but to actually write it out is uncalled for. It’s freedom of speech, I know. So I decided to defend myself on my blog.

For the people who are coming to this site from the website I’m talking about, I want you to know that my bento isn’t “only for the looks” and everything on my bento is definitely not spoiled. (Yes, not “probably” but “definitely”) If you read my “about” page, you’ll know I keep all my food in the fridge while I make different food for my bento.

For me taste is just as important as appearance, after all I’m giving it to my boyfriend to eat for lunch, and he’d be the FIRST to know if anything was wrong with the food. :P

Now to my actual post…

The last bento in 2008 was Where The Wild Things Are. I enjoyed making it, but it was more for me than for my boyfriend… so I wanted to make a bento of something he grew up with.

Bento #33: Calvin and Hobbes
Created and eaten on: 1/15/2009

I knew he loved Calvin and Hobbes, but I didn’t grow up with it, so it was not easy for me to decide what kind of bento I’d make. When I’m making bento of what I’m familiar with, I know what “element” to pick for bento, but I really didn’t know with this one. So, I google-searched images, and picked the iconic image where Calvin and Hobbes are on a wagon. I drew a sketch, and wrote down what food I was going to use.

In the morning, I put lettuce in the bento box, and rice mixed with black sesame seed and salt on it as background, and string beans on the rice.I put plastic sheet over my drawing, and mixed rice with ketchup to create Hobbes’ orange body, and shaped it. On the first try, I tried to make Hobbes’ white parts (his face, stomach, hand and feet) with rice, but didn’t turn out well… So I decided to make it again, and this time using cheese for the white parts on Hobbes. I had to be really careful not to tear the cheese out but I think it came out okay.

I used potato salad I’d made the night before and shaped it for Calvin’s head and body. I cut ham for his face and arms, fake crab meat for his shirt, and seaweed on cheese for his shoes. Actually, the most difficult part for Calvin was his hair. I thought I would just cut seaweed, put cheese over it and cut it around the seaweed, but for some reason it ended up looking  like a buzzcut…

I used red pepper for his wagon, cheese on rice for the wheels, and seaweed on kamaboko (fish cake) for the handle.

After everything was done, I put seaweed stripes on Hobbes’ body, and put face pieces that I had cut out of seaweed on. Like I mentioned before, moisture can ruin seaweed. So I try to put small seaweed pieces on at the very end. To finish up, I sliced carrot and cut it into star-shapes and sprinkled around Calvin and Hobbes.

Regardless of what people told me, I think I could’ve made this bento a lot better… Bill Watterson’s drawing was a lot harder to make into bento than I had anticipated. Someone sent me a link to a site that had various snowman comic strips from Calvin and Hobbes after my boyfriend posted this on his flickr… Darn it! I totally could’ve done it instead of Totoro snowman! Oh well, there’s always next time…

Anyway, to be honest, I was pleasantly surprised that may of my co-workers were very happy to see this bento as well as my boyfriend. They all told me that Calvin and Hobbes were their favorite childhood comic when they were young. Maybe I’ll come back to this someday…

- potato salad
- fake fish crab meat
- seaweed on cheese
- cheese on ham

- rice mixed with ketchup
- seaweed for the stripes and face
- cheese for the white par

Other food:
- rice mixed with black sesame seed and salt
- lettuce
- broccoli
- string bean
- carrot
- potato croquette

For more pictures of my bento, visit Bento! set and Bento details! set on my flickr page.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Eat. Travel. Eat!No Gravatar February 8, 2009 at 9:19 am

Looks great! I like the expressions the characters have. So 3D looking; great work!


ShreelaNo Gravatar February 9, 2009 at 1:52 am

Ooh, I missed this one — I love it! I don’t play many games, and maybe being from the US, I haven’t recognized many characters you’ve made before. But I sure do recognize this one. Fun!

Congrats on the interview! You’re internationally famous now LOL

And leaky ceilings can be dangerous! We had what we thought was a small leak that he fixed in a hurry. But it was bigger than we thought, and the ceiling fell on me while I was napping on the couch. I had a few bruises, but no real injuries, thank goodness.


JoannaNo Gravatar February 9, 2009 at 3:25 pm

aw, classic calvin and hobbes. this is wonderful! How did this lunch-box-filled-of-fun hobby start?


cindyNo Gravatar February 10, 2009 at 5:40 pm

you are so amazing! you need to be featured on food network!


CameoNo Gravatar February 11, 2009 at 1:41 pm

I love it! The careening down the hill in a wagon is classic!
My high school English teacher thought diagramming normal sentences was to boring, so she wanted to give us sentences from comic strips to diagram. Calvin & Hobbes was the only comic strip with sentences that were complex enough for them to be challenging to diagram.


AngelNo Gravatar February 12, 2009 at 2:40 pm

I love it. I’ve always been a calvin and hobbes fan. I love how they look so in motion.


nicoleNo Gravatar February 16, 2009 at 2:43 pm

anna you just get better and better, please tell me you have considered a book of these wonderful photos?!!


JoivyNo Gravatar February 16, 2009 at 6:28 pm

Yup i agree with them…your bento so pretty and cute to eat~ I think your boyfriend must be the world’s 幸福的男人!!^-^ jyjy


mikeNo Gravatar March 3, 2009 at 2:51 am

i love you…


Alan GardnerNo Gravatar March 3, 2009 at 1:03 pm

As the editor of above mentioned negative blog, I do want to publicly apologize for the “probably spoiled” comment. I have updated my blog post with an apology that reads…

My apologies for Anna The Red for my quip that the potato salad was probably spoiled. It wasn’t meant that the food wasn’t edible, but that the intricacies and detail of such a creation had to take a LONG time. As I posted above, I am quite impressed. Sorry for the offense.

I hope you’ll accept my apologies. Your creations are impressive!


Jessica H.No Gravatar November 11, 2009 at 10:21 pm

So beautiful, I love Calvin and Hobbes!


CezarNo Gravatar August 23, 2010 at 11:28 am

It looks nice and appetizing!


Tobin CrenshawNo Gravatar November 4, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Was checking out your site and I love Calvin and Hobbes. This is very cool, seriously!


KaneNo Gravatar July 25, 2011 at 2:07 am

I too have found my way here from reddit. I just want to say that this is amazing. As a C&H fan I wholeheartedly approve! :)


BearNo Gravatar August 23, 2012 at 8:08 pm

I found your site via an article just posted on Yahoo! Canada’s main page.

I also grew up with this awesome cartoon, and am beyond amazed at what you can do with food!

I have seen quite a few fun-looking bento boxes, but have never tried making one myself. After seeing this, I think I’m going to look into this more, and try a couple. I know it will be ages before they compare to this, but that will be my goal!! Also, I know my boyfriend will appreciate it since he’ll be the recipient of most of them :-)

You are incredibly talented, and I will be bookmarking your page so I can come back and see more (as I slowly read each post from the beginning on this site).


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