Monday, February 1, 2010

Bill Watterson Speaks

Well, this site isn't exactly a Bill Watterson tribute site, but his work did inspire the new title, so it's only appropriate that I mention his first interview in fifteen years. Not coincidentally, that's also the number of years it's been since Watterson ended Calvin & Hobbes. And that seems really weird. I can remember the runup to the final strip like it was yesterday, and buying (and saving) the Inquirer that day. The last strip, if you've never seen it (or haven't for awhile) is really quite beautiful. It says goodbye in a hopeful, if sad, kind of way.

Watterson never wanted to be Jim Davis. I don't think he ever expected his strip to be so successful. If he did, he really may not have gone ahead with it, given how much he hates the spotlight. But thank God that never happened. I don't mind saying that I think Calvin & Hobbes is the last great comic strip, and one of the five greatest of all time. It's certainly the best of my lifetime.

It's amazing that the strip still has such power today. Unlike, well, just about every other cartoonist ever, Watterson was adamantly opposed to exploiting his characters in other mediums, so the books collecting the strip are it. Every other piece of merch that you see bearing Calvin and Hobbes' likeness is a bootleg; especially those retarded "Calvin pissing on things" stickers you see. Man, I hate those. I will admit, though, to owning a pair of Calvin & Hobbes boxer shorts; I'm not sorry at all. They are awesome (even if not very comfortable).

The interview itself is not that great. Watterson doesn't really say anything that he didn't say fifteen years ago, so it's really a lost opportunity. Really, the only thing exciting is learning that the Post Office is issuing a Calvin and Hobbes stamp! I didn't know that. How awesome. Hey, when you're dealing with Calvin & Hobbes, you've got to take what you can get.

Oh, and thanks to Dave for pointing that out.

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