The Canons Of Dork #3 For September 17, 2022


At the risk of spoiling things, a bit of explanation. Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) was an English classicist, scientist, and political philosopher. He was a contemporary of many of the early Reformed orthodox writers and he capitalized on and corrupted the Reformed doctrine of the covenant of works. He read the fallen world back into the creational state or “the state of nature.” He was a materialist who rejected the Christian explanation of things but who capitalized on some Christian themes to his own end. Perhaps most famously he theorized that the natural state of humanity is a “war of all against all” and that, in the state of nature, life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” Thus, he theorized that there must be a powerful central government, a leviathan, as it were, to suppress the state of nature. More about Hobbes» The strip also alludes to my favorite comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes. —R. Scott Clark


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  1. Can you please explain the imagery to me? I think the drawing on the left does look a litte like Thomas Hobbes’s protrait on Wikipedia, but I can’t for the life of me place the guy on the right.

    • John,

      As was explained in the note, the strip is an allusion and homage to a great American comic strip by Bill Patterson, Calvin and Hobbes. If you’ve been following The Canons of Dork, then you will know that the principal character, was introduced in the Canons of Dork #1 as Gomer. He is dressed in the garb of a certain 16th-century French Reformed preacher.

    • Dressing up as JC — probably to go to the Renaissance Faire — is Peak Dork. We should expect nothing less from Gomer.

      • John,

        Every Protestant preacher in the 16th century wore, at least when preaching a preaching cap and they all wore a robe. Calvin is frequently pictured with a fur collar on his because that was common during the cooler months.

        That this was the practice is a fact known for centuries.

        We have only one authentic, contemporaneous drawing of Calvin. It was made by a bored student. It is a crude sketch.

        Nevertheless, it shows him with a fur stole on his robe and the preaching cap.

        Calvinus Authenticus

        I took this photo, in Geneva, in 2009.

        The depiction of Calvin used to market the beer named after him (which is funny because he was a wine drinker) is imaginary but strikes me as more likely than some:

        Calvinus Beer

        This drawing is supposed to date to 1562 but it’s not clear that he had seen Calvin.

        Calvin 1562

        This depiction is standard.


        Beza, in his Reformation picture book (Icones) pictured him in a preaching cap, robe, and fur stole.


        I don’t think there is a depiction of Calvin without his preaching cap and robe.

  2. I remember the C&H cartoon strip and the famous “transmogrifier.” Mr. Watterson was a genius.
    On a side note; I’m curious as to the shoes of the dude on the right. They have a strange resemblance to mortar trowels.

  3. It’s a given that when you have to explain a joke, it just sucks all the humor out of it. Keep this going, it’s always time to have a bit of fun. Maybe have Gomer being chased by a great big imaginary tiger?

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