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Friday, June 6, 2014

Almost 20 Years After Calvin and Hobbes, Is Bill Watterson Secretly Drawing Another Comic Strip?

Posted by on Fri, Jun 6, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Stephan Pastis, the creator of the comic strip Pearls Before Swine, tweeted that this week's series of strips "will contain a mind-blowing surprise." According to Alan Gardner at the Daily Cartoonist, "The story-line this week has a second grader taking over Stephan’s strip. Some have speculated that Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson is drawing the strips."

Here's yesterday's strip:

Gardner is unsure. There are definitely some Wattersonian touches in the central panel above, and the complaint about the lack of space in modern comic strips that serves as the punchline sure does sound like Watterson, too. Pastis isn't talking, though he says the surprise will be unveiled tomorrow. If it is Watterson, this is a big deal; the reclusive cartoonist hasn't touched a comic strip since Calvin and Hobbes ended in 1995. What do you think?


Comments (25) RSS

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nicholaus 1
Last week I watched a pretty good documentary on Netflix about Bill Watterson called "Dear Mr. Watterson". Warning, it could make you nostalgic for your childhood!
Posted by nicholaus on June 6, 2014 at 3:17 PM · Report this
Those guest panels have been so phenomenally well drawn this week that it has to be something like this. Please please please let it be Watterson.
Posted by NotYourStrawMan on June 6, 2014 at 3:29 PM · Report this
wisepunk 3
The 6 people (so far) that voted "who the hell cares" should be forced to move to Factoria.
Posted by wisepunk on June 6, 2014 at 3:38 PM · Report this
Dougsf 4
@3 - hahahaha, thank you.
Posted by Dougsf on June 6, 2014 at 3:42 PM · Report this
tabletop_joe 5
He's actually been sort of active lately. For example, he did this:…
Posted by tabletop_joe on June 6, 2014 at 3:44 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 6
I suspect it's more likely that Stephan Pastis, who has a long history of admiring and imitating other cartoonists, is merely paying homage.
Posted by MacCrocodile on June 6, 2014 at 3:50 PM · Report this
rob! 7
Pastis was a friend of the sensitive and somewhat reclusive Charles Schulz, so I wouldn't be surprised.
Posted by rob! on June 6, 2014 at 3:50 PM · Report this
If that's not Watterson, somebody's doing a pretty good job imitating his style.

That said, I don't think it's a huge deal. Watterson got out of the game because he didn't like the daily grind. Doing a few panels for a friend is nice but it ain't a come back.
Posted by GermanSausage on June 6, 2014 at 4:16 PM · Report this
Oh please bring Hobbes back.
Posted by sarah70 on June 6, 2014 at 4:25 PM · Report this
venomlash 10
As a "Calvin and Hobbes" fan, I'd just like to recommend the comic strip "Frazz" to people. Its visual style is very much in homage to Watterson's work, and it is in many ways a spiritual successor to it as well.
Posted by venomlash on June 6, 2014 at 4:27 PM · Report this
Good stuff, but Candorville was the best strip today when Clive told Lamont that to explain death to a child he'd need a "muppet and a shovel". Ha!
Posted by Westside forever on June 6, 2014 at 4:39 PM · Report this
Pastis routinely draws in other comic strip artists' styles. What's different this time?

And thanks for reminding me how much I miss Calvin and Hobbes.
Posted by Hobbes Fan on June 6, 2014 at 5:04 PM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 13
If that Martian robot attack isn't Watterson, he should sue for trademark infringement.

I know, I know, he never does that, even to assholes ripping off Calvin for truck-logo-pissing stickers.
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on June 6, 2014 at 5:28 PM · Report this
bobjoebob 14
I'm with @10. People who've been reading Frazz have commented that it's like Calvin as a grown up. If Watterson is lurking anywhere in the comics page these days, that's where I'd put my money.
Posted by bobjoebob on June 6, 2014 at 5:54 PM · Report this
Knat 15
Something about the pose of the rat in the second panel seems similar to something Watterson would draw, but I can't spot any other similarities. Maybe it's because it looks like it was inked digitally, and I'm used to seeing his beautiful watercolor instead, but I just can't buy that this is one of his. However, I would not be disappointed at all to be proven wrong.
Posted by Knat on June 6, 2014 at 7:19 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 16
Did someone say Calvin and Hobbes was coming back? That would be fucking awesome!!!
Posted by Reverse Polarity on June 6, 2014 at 7:32 PM · Report this
rob! 17
@RP—wondered when you'd show up. Play naked! (I've got the tee-shirt.)
Posted by rob! on June 6, 2014 at 9:21 PM · Report this
Aaron 18
@13: Wait a second, you're telling us that Watterson didn't do those truck-logo-pissing stickers? Next you're going to tell us that he didn't have anything to do with the Grateful Dead dancing t-shirts either!
Posted by Aaron on June 6, 2014 at 9:42 PM · Report this
Posted by pg13 on June 6, 2014 at 10:41 PM · Report this
Frazz is good but it doesn't have the Hobbesian bittersweet darkness.
Posted by sarah70 on June 6, 2014 at 11:31 PM · Report this
@3 You failed to link to the Factoria Song

I have an RSS feed that gives me a daily Calvin & Hobbes strip. They don't get old.
Posted by restlessnative on June 7, 2014 at 12:26 AM · Report this
psbirch 22
Confirmed via Stephen Pastis's blog :…
Posted by psbirch on June 7, 2014 at 1:02 AM · Report this
long-time reader 23
I thought it was obvious from the handwriting alone.
Posted by long-time reader on June 7, 2014 at 8:35 AM · Report this
I miss Calvin and Hobbes. A couple of years ago, a particularly favorite student had never heard of Calvin and Hobbes so I gave him a collection when he graduated.
Posted by Clayton on June 7, 2014 at 3:40 PM · Report this

Watched that documentary last night and it brought back a lot of nostalgia that I'd forgotten about.

It was even better when I read the news this morning and saw that Bill W. did resurface for a guest cameo.

I'm rereading the old Calvin and Hobbes strips now, start to finish... and they're even better than I remember.
Posted by CPN on June 8, 2014 at 5:18 PM · Report this

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