“Calvin and Hobbes” Creator Grants First Interview In 20 Years

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I can’t stop muttering “holy crap” over and over again. Why didn’t anyone tell me that the USPS would be issuing Calvin and Hobbes stamps this coming July? My birthday is in July so I expect all of you to send me fan/hate mail with said stamps. I’m serious, people.

Like many of you, I couldn’t wait for the Sunday Oregonian (maybe just me) to be delivered growing up. It was the highlight of my week as a youth. I have to thank my brother for getting me hooked onto Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes way back when. Every so often I think about those old strips and wonder what Watterson is up to now and how he came about creating such an iconic strip.

The Cleveland aka The Plain Dealer managed to score an interview with the reclusive Watterson on the 15th anniversary of Calvin and Hobbes’s abrupt end in the funny pages. Here are a few choice blurbs from the interview. The rest of the Q&A can be found here.

What are your thoughts about the legacy of your strip?

Well, it’s not a subject that keeps me up at night. Readers will always decide if the work is meaningful and relevant to them, and I can live with whatever conclusion they come to. Again, my part in all this largely ended as the ink dried.

Readers became friends with your characters, so understandably, they grieved — and are still grieving — when the strip ended. What would you like to tell them?

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.

I think some of the reason “Calvin and Hobbes” still finds an audience today is because I chose not to run the wheels off it.

I’ve never regretted stopping when I did.

How do you want people to remember that 6-year-old and his tiger?

I vote for “Calvin and Hobbes, Eighth Wonder of the World.”

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