People we love: Bill Watterson

Cartoonist Bill Watterson, Born on July 5, 1958 (photo from 1986)

Born on this day in 1958.

Calvin and Hobbes left our newspaper pages some 17 years ago, and our lives have been a little less funny and a little less poignant ever since.

Cartoonist Bill Watterson was the author of the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes which was syndicated from 1985 to 1995. Watterson ended the strip with this statement:

Dear Reader:

I will be stopping Calvin and Hobbes at the end of the year. This was not a recent or an easy decision, and I leave with some sadness. My interests have shifted, however, and I believe I’ve done what I can do within the constraints of daily deadlines and small panels. I am eager to work at a more thoughtful pace, with fewer artistic compromises. I have not yet decided on future projects, but my relationship with Universal Press Syndicate will continue.

That so many newspapers would carry Calvin and Hobbes is an honor I’ll long be proud of, and I’ve greatly appreciated your support and indulgence over the last decade. Drawing this comic strip has been a privilege and a pleasure, and I thank you for giving me the opportunity.

Bill Watterson

Watterson drew his first cartoon at the age of eight and spent much of his childhood drawing and cartooning. He was inspired to become a professional cartoonist by such comic strips as Pogo, Krazy Kat and Peanuts.

With the outstanding success and following of Calvin and Hobbles, Watterson stood strong against pressures to merchandise his work, believing that this would devalue the characters and their personalities. Today, he continues to refuse to sign autographs or license his characters.

Since Calvin and Hobbes, Watterson has remained out of the public eye, spending his time painting or on other projects. He has published several anthologies of Calvin and Hobbes strips.

Calvin and Hobbes website. How we miss those boys.

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