Calvin and Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson Speaks!


Our friends at ArtsBeat just tipped us off to The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s interview with Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson — it’s allegedly the first one the famed cartoonist has done since 1989. (The comic strip itself has been dormant for 15 years now.) We’ve pulled out the juiciest bits for your consumption below. Fans of the six-year-old philosopher and his anthropomorphic stuffed tiger should mark your calendars for July; that’s when the US Postal Service plans to honor the fictional pair with a postage stamp.

On the comic strip’s lasting popularity

“I just tried to write honestly, and I tried to make this little world fun to look at, so people would take the time to read it. That was the full extent of my concern. You mix a bunch of ingredients, and once in a great while, chemistry happens. I can’t explain why the strip caught on the way it did, and I don’t think I could ever duplicate it. A lot of things have to go right all at once.”

On his decision to end things

“This isn’t as hard to understand as people try to make it. By the end of 10 years, I’d said pretty much everything I had come there to say. “It’s always better to leave the party early. If I had rolled along with the strip’s popularity and repeated myself for another five, 10 or 20 years, the people now ‘grieving’ for ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ would be wishing me dead and cursing newspapers for running tedious, ancient strips like mine instead of acquiring fresher, livelier talent. And I’d be agreeing with them.”

On dealing with groupies

“… since my ‘rock star’ days, the public attention has faded a lot. In Pop Culture Time, the 1990s were eons ago. There are occasional flare-ups of weirdness, but mostly I just go about my quiet life and do my best to ignore the rest. I’m proud of the strip, enormously grateful for its success, and truly flattered that people still read it, but I wrote ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ in my 30s, and I’m many miles from there.”

The 3,160th and final comic strip, which ran on December 31, 1995.