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Bill Watterson (briefly) Returns To Comics

Soulskill posted about 3 months ago | from the bats-aren't-bugs dept.

Entertainment 119

New submitter amosh writes: 'Bill Watterson was the author of the immensely popular "Calvin and Hobbes" comic strip in the 80s and 90s, until he retired and removed himself entirely from the public eye. Since his retirement in 1995, he has become a recluse, and has not drawn a published daily comic strip — until now. This week, Watterson came out of exile to draw the 2nd panel of three of Stephan Pastis' "Pearls Before Swine" strips. Watterson has lost none of his style or talent, and a fourth strip — drawn by Pastis alone and published today, June 7 — is a lovely homage to Watterson's ending of Calvin and Hobbes. The Washington Post has the story of how it all happened.'

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Of course Pastis couldn't draw that! (1, Funny)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 3 months ago | (#47187961)

His art sucks. I mean "Libby" drawing in a style reminiscent of "Bill Watterson?" It couldn't actually be that loser Pastis. It had to be the real Bill Watterston.

And I must have known it was Watterson the whole time, because i just said so on the internet.

Re:Of course Pastis couldn't draw that! (1, Redundant)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 3 months ago | (#47188723)

Nah - Watterson's style was definitely there (that, or someone was awfully damned good about it...)

Re:Of course Pastis couldn't draw that! (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 3 months ago | (#47189653)

I honestly thought it was the latter. I thought it was Pastis himself. When he started he had virtually no art skills at all, so the characters are not much more advanced then stick figures. Since the strip's established he doesn't want to mess with the style. But after years of practice he'd gotten much better and wanted to show off, so he drew it in the style of Bill Watterson.

Doing three or four panels "In the style of" isn't nearly as hard as doing an entire strip. Pastis seems to have actually drawn one of the Watterson-style panels himself -- the first panel of the June 5th strip is the same style as Watterson's second panel. Given that people mimic the styles of great masters in fine art routinely -- even to the point of convincing experts that their fakes are genuine and making seven figures at auction -- it didn't seem that far-fetched that Pastis could do Watterson for four panels.

But apparently it was.

Re:Of course Pastis couldn't draw that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47189173)

When I'm looking at the funnies, it feels like they can draw but not be funny. I don't understand why they never get someone funny to make up bits for them and have them draw it. I mean, you probably know plenty of funny people who could come up with silly shenanigans for the two character shapes your average cartoonist knows how to draw.

It's almost like they were selected because they weren't funny. EVER.

I wonder where Watterson would go today (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47187987)

With online distribution, he could draw whatever he wanted without as many limits, and while limitations do breed creativity, they can also put you in a box.

But I suspect he's too bitter to try.

Or is he?

Re:I wonder where Watterson would go today (4, Interesting)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about 3 months ago | (#47188077)

With online distribution, he could draw whatever he wanted without as many limits, and while limitations do breed creativity, they can also put you in a box.

But I suspect he's too bitter to try.

Or is he?

Calvin and Hobbes is still syndicated all over the world and according to sales figure I saw a couple of years ago, he is conservatively pulling in a couple hundred thousand dollars a year from the sales of Calvin and Hobbes books (there are 18 of them).

Not bad for a guy who hasn't worked since 1995.

Re:I wonder where Watterson would go today (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47188363)

It's not the money, it's the drawing.

Re:I wonder where Watterson would go today (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47188627)

Indeed, much of why he stopped doing Calvin and Hobbes had to do with the lack of freedom, the shrinking space and the fact that he's run out of things to do with the strip. I'm a bit surprised that he hasn't taken his strip online as there's near complete freedom and a genre that's still wide open for experimentation.

If it were about the money, he could have licensed Calvin and Hobbes much more broadly than he did. As it stands there's barely anything that carries the likeness legally.

Re:I wonder where Watterson would go today (3, Interesting)

FlyingGuy (989135) | about 3 months ago | (#47189161)

As a matter of fact Watterson never licensed any part of C&H for anything. The guy could have made a medium to large sized fortune if he had, but to him the integrity of the strip was FAR more important. The only reason it is running is certain places is because King Features Syndicate has the right to redistribute the comic.

I was a huge fan of the strip. I mean I knew it had to happen at some point, but I was heartbroken when it stopped.

When my son was born I named him Calvin ( my maternal grandfather ), but the running joke is that he was named after the character. When he was two 3 weeks old, a woman who lived in the same building took a white One-Z and hand painted a beautiful Hobs on it. He is 13 now and it is framed on his bedroom wall.

Re:I wonder where Watterson would go today (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47190103)

As a matter of fact Watterson never licensed any part of C&H for anything.

Almost true! There is a licensed "Teaching with Calvin and Hobbes" book that saw a low-number production run and is indeed properly licensed:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teaching_with_Calvin_and_Hobbes

Re:I wonder where Watterson would go today (1)

greenwow (3635575) | about 3 months ago | (#47188931)

Why? All he is mainly remembered for are the stupid Calvin pissing on things cartoons.

 

Re:I wonder where Watterson would go today (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47188981)

His cartoons had finally died-off. It's sad to see that they may again be popular with the white trash around here again. I'm tired of seeing the constant Calvin pissing on things crap he pimped.

Re:I wonder where Watterson would go today (3, Insightful)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about 3 months ago | (#47188993)

All *you* remember are the bootleg pissing decals. (he never licensed the characters for stuff like that, which his why, despite great demand, there is no 'official' Hobbes stuffed animal) The rest of us remember 18 books worth of childhood with a real tiger as a best pal, and awesome adventures.

Re:I wonder where Watterson would go today (1)

M1FCJ (586251) | about 3 months ago | (#47189411)

I'd kill for a large Hobbess plush, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Re: I wonder where Watterson would go today (1)

madprof (4723) | about 3 months ago | (#47189241)

Obviously he wouldn't enjoy it so he doesn't do it. The reason the strip was great was because the quality threshold was so high. Reading through the books gives constant laughs. If it carried on without much love then it would be a very differeny matter.
I am glad he stopped.

If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonists.. (4, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | about 3 months ago | (#47188021)

To stop cartooning. Beatle Baily, Hagar the Horrible, Garfield and yes... I'll even go far as Dilbert (I'm sure blasphemy to geeks around here) are worn out strips that are recycling the same dumb gags and phone-it-in art over and over. I actually respect Waterson for quitting in his prime.

Re:If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonist (3, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | about 3 months ago | (#47188071)

I don't. Not that I rate those other artists, but because - like the Simpsons post series 7 - he'd have done some great, great work. I don't think less of someone because they peaked and went downhill; it detracts nothing from the best stuff.

Re:If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47188497)

I'll let you think long and hard what the difference might be between a single cartoonist and the team behind the Simpsons

Re:If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonist (1)

M1FCJ (586251) | about 3 months ago | (#47189417)

IMHO, Matt Groening's real genius can be seen in Life in Hell sketches. The Simpsons is a pale mismash of typical American values compared to Life in Hell.

Re:If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonist (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about 3 months ago | (#47188085)

To stop cartooning. Beatle Baily, Hagar the Horrible, Garfield and yes... I'll even go far as Dilbert (I'm sure blasphemy to geeks around here) are worn out strips that are recycling the same dumb gags and phone-it-in art over and over. I actually respect Waterson for quitting in his prime.

Sadly I have to agree. All the strips that have been around for a while are on auto-pilot, coasting along on their fame. The creators are putting zero effort into them.

Re:If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonist (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 3 months ago | (#47188195)

Its hard to find a consistently funny comic strip. I'm stuck with a few on-line ones. "The Duplex" is the only classic style strip that makes me really chuckle. "Randolph Itch" has some gems between the misses. I've found nothing else that suits me.

So tired of the "cute kid" said something funny strips.

For something really different... check out Santa vs. Dracula.

Re:If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonist (2)

Old97 (1341297) | about 3 months ago | (#47188645)

Get Fuzzy! Enough said.

Re:If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonist (1)

zippthorne (748122) | about 3 months ago | (#47190307)

Because the new artists are ditching poorly-inked shredded forest syndication in favor of mediums where they have real control. For instance web and self-published books. (the latter really needs the former, I suspect, in order to get enough exposure to be viable, though.)

Interestingly, there is a lot more specialization. For example, I suspect that a lot of people won't find Dr McNinja [drmcninja.com] amusing, but those who do will not be able to avoid archive binging. There is something for everyone, and everyone's something isn't necessarily the same thing. The flavors are more intense.

If you want to read good daily comics again, just find some ten lists and pick out a few, then plug them into your favorite rss reader.

Re:If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonist (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 3 months ago | (#47188317)

Don't forget that Peanuts isn't even new strips of the same old same ol'. They are printing comics that were drawn 40 years ago.

Re:If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonist (1)

_Ludwig (86077) | about 3 months ago | (#47188359)

Look how many papers are giving space to eternal Peanuts reruns. They're not even selected from the whole opus; I don't know if that's because Schulz didn't want older strips rerun or the syndicate doesn't want to introduce discontinuity by printing strips from when the characters looked different (Snoopy walking on all fours and not suffering macrocephaly, for instance.)

Re:If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47188643)

Mort Walker is 90 and his strips are now handled by his kids. Dik Browne is in the same boat -- or should I say, coffin. Jim Davis no longer writes or illustrates Garfield. Dilbert might have ghost cartoonists, too (Scott Adams developed some hand problems a while back, IIRC)

Re:If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonist (4, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 3 months ago | (#47188841)

Sadly I have to agree. All the strips that have been around for a while are on auto-pilot, coasting along on their fame. The creators are putting zero effort into them.

I'm not sure if it's just recycling gags, or if it's just that the gags were mind-blowingly awesome in the time and culture of their prime, but have since faded right along with the times and culture in which they were spawned.

Take Dilbert for example. When it came out (in the 1990s, y'all), it was a badass tour-de-force that ripped right into the buzzword bullshit culture that corporate America was at the time. As long as that culture was prevalent**, the overall meme was fully relevant, and it resonated deeply with the cubicle-dwelling audience. Fast forward to today, where much of that has faded - and with it, the whole basis of humor behind Dilbert has sort of faded with it.

Beetle Bailey (mentioned way earlier) is similar - it's based on frickin' army humor from what - maybe WWII? When it rocked the funny pages, most of the audience was either in the military or a veteran thereof, so the gags and storylines instantly resonated. All the gags and storylines in Bloom County resonated with the Reagan era, and would be way non-relevant today.

** in many cases it still is relevant today, but really - not nearly as much as it was back then, when every fiscal quarter brought the employees a new mandatory box that we were forced by policy to think outside of.

My nine year old loves Beetle Bailey (1)

swb (14022) | about 3 months ago | (#47189681)

Which is funny, because "army" culture shouldn't mean anything to him but I guess everything old is new to somebody.

Re:If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47190149)

still relevant

-works at company that makes the boxes

Re:If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47190379)

The reason Dilbert isn't funny any more is because meaningless buzzwords, silver-plated bullets and unskilled engineers who got their job through associated bullshittery are now the norm. The pace of tech has slowed right down over the last decade - contrast 1994/2004 with 2004/2014.

Re:If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonist (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 3 months ago | (#47189289)

Sadly I have to agree. All the strips that have been around for a while are on auto-pilot, coasting along on their fame. The creators are putting zero effort into them.

Probably an effect of the decline of newspapers - comic strips were often syndicated and a chunk of payment. Because newspapers are in trouble (which I find sad - there's something to be said of glancing at the news you didn't bother caring about to at least broaden one's horizone), they're cutting their comics. And reduced circulations mean lower payments as well.

It won't surprise me that these artists aren't making as much as they once were, and are having to cut back, which mean that they're often working second jobs, which means less time to spend on the comic.

Sure, many of these comics are online, but they don't really pay all that much online. Plus the relative difficulty in getting a comic page's worth of comics (because they've all got different syndicators) and websites means well, visits are few. At least, without paying - many will email you the comics if you pay for the service.

Re:If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonist (1)

Another, completely (812244) | about 3 months ago | (#47189391)

Gary Trudeau kept Doonesbury [washingtonpost.com] going daily until last year. Now it's only weekly, but still great, and has been consistently great since the seventies. He only dropped the frequency to give time for his new main job writing for Alpha House.

Re: If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonis (2)

LeftClicker (1456823) | about 3 months ago | (#47191651)

I don't know if you were intentionally recalling Bill Watterson's comments on this, but as published in The Complete Calvin and Hobbes: The voluntary ending of successful comic strips is something new. More typically, a strip ceases production only when it's such an anachronistic, formulaic, and irrelevant shadow of itself that readers abandon it. Aiming for the widest possible audience, comics have traditionally relied on broad characters, stock situations, and fairly predictable gags and stories. Once established, these strips can run on autopilot for decades, often with nameless assistants doing much of the work. But the most interesting strips have always been those with a genuine sensibilityâ"a quirky, individual take on lifeâ"and this is something that cannot be duplicated or endlessly recycled.

Re:If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonist (3, Funny)

ShaunC (203807) | about 3 months ago | (#47188407)

Not to mention "Law & Order," they've done way too many spin-offs and the whole thing is just played out. Watterson should have quit that, too, and moved to selling robot insurance full time.

Re:If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonist (0)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 3 months ago | (#47188933)

for me I was done with L&A when what's his name left the show then passed away. You know, the guy? and then the DA guy left, and I was double done. then the captain woman left? forgettaboutit. L&A SVU is still enjoyable. ise T is awesome! but the other guy left so that takes a lot of fun away. the other guy is like an awesome bruce willis. its a shame eh never did action movies.

Re:If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonist (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 3 months ago | (#47188655)

I'd submit that those strips were never as thoughtful or funny as Calvin and Hobbes. When I was a kid, I loved Garfield, Dilbert, and Calvin and Hobbes. I bought their books and read them a lot. Why? Well, kids have poor tastes, which is why they think cut up hot dogs are awesome every day for dinner for years on end. I still find myself gorging on webcomic archives even if I don't find them that entertaining. I read through most of "Ctrl alt del"'s archive before getting sick of it, and I think of Ctrl alt del as the least funny, least insightful comic (web or not) that I've ever run across.

So I think I have authority on the subject of comic strip quality. I'm embarrassed to admit that even on slashdot. I mean, at least comic BOOKS would be semi respectable here.

Anyway, Garfield, dilbert, Ctrl alt del, calvin and hobbes, penny arcade, far side... it seems to me that they had a short period where they were still evolving, but after that, they were pretty stable. I get the sense that comics only go downhill after the artists stop caring.

I don't think Bill Watterson would have run out of fresh ideas to share with the world. I think he was being 100% honest when he said he lacked the passion to do it anymore. I think it's easier for young people to pour time, energy, and passion into things. And I don't think that Watterson could have simply phoned it in. I think Calvin and Hobbes would have been enjoyable up to now, assuming Watterson hadn't shot himself or died of exhaustion.

Re:If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonist (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 3 months ago | (#47188935)

how come nobody has mentioned xkcd yet? it seems very relevant to this conversation.

Re:If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonist (2)

vux984 (928602) | about 3 months ago | (#47189203)

xkcd has a lot of great moments but this week is not one of them:

xkcd.com/1378/

Even Garfield would be ashamed. (They'd still do it, but they'd know deep down it was bad.)

Re:If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonist (1)

oji-sama (1151023) | about 3 months ago | (#47189291)

Yet XKCD keeps producing great moments, which is why I keep reading it. And the wordplay and the naivety in the 1378 was at least smile worthy. (Personally I didn't enjoy the previous one.)

Re:If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonist (1)

fermion (181285) | about 3 months ago | (#47188691)

I am not going to complain when someone wants to make a reasonable honest living. Some people like to work, and some people have talent but don't like to do the day to day grind. It is a unique type of job to have to produce a few hundred different creative products a year. Berke Brethed is another one who had a lot of talent but did not like having to fit everything into a commercial format. So he tried to break the format by doing an awesome Sunday only strip, but that did not last long. But when you have the lure of money and people who do not have to work harder than they want, or where the work can be done in committee, the carton is not going to end. The Simpon's for instance could have been cancelled a few years ago, but the actors realized they could be replaced, and I guess having work at half the rate of sitcom actors was better than having no work at all. The cost of actors is what really killed Seinfeld and Friends. But Watterson could have subcontracted out the comic, and he did not, and for that he gets a lot of credit. Of course not every comic is controlled by the writer/artists.

Re:If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonist (2)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 3 months ago | (#47188851)

The Simpon's for instance could have been cancelled a few years ago, but the actors realized they could be replaced, and I guess having work at half the rate of sitcom actors was better than having no work at all.

could have? More like should have. That poor shark probably has Matt Groening's footprints all over its back in multiple paths by now...

Re:If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonist (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 months ago | (#47189049)

Just because you only find depreciated women and choking a child the height of humor doesn't mean the rest of us don't enjoy the subtle humor and story change that the Simpsons have grown up to become.

Re:If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonist (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47189011)

Prime? Because his urination cartoons were so masterful? No. He was childish and offensive. He is a favorite of white trash. Even today you still see his Calvin pissing on crap cartoons on vehicles. He should have stopped before making that trash.

Re: If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonis (1)

madprof (4723) | about 3 months ago | (#47189235)

Wow, I never knew there was an anti-Calvin and Hobbes troll possible but you have found it!

Genuinely, I am impressed. You should use this one in other places.

Re:If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonist (2)

M1FCJ (586251) | about 3 months ago | (#47189435)

Erm, "he should have stopped before doing those" because he never did those?
They are completely unauthorized drawings and not done by him.

Re:If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonist (1)

M1FCJ (586251) | about 3 months ago | (#47189407)

Occassionaly I look at 90s Dilbert cartoons - those are really funny, these days, a constant stream of "meh"...

Re:If only Bill Waterson inspired other cartoonist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47191505)

You're correct that a lot of these strips haven't evolved or progressed, but to a certain extent that's by design, for the same reason different types of stories run in the local paper my mother loves and I just can't stand. The key is, the paper knows I am not buying the paper anymore, but my mother is.

The other thing to keep in mind is that in many cases, these strips aren't even done by the original creators anymore but rather artists hired on to "take on" the strip and produce equatable product. So it isn't as though it's the original creator sitting going through the only jokes he knows... think of them as the Brett Ratner of comic strips.

Wow. Glimpses of greatness... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47188081)

First Steve Perry ( http://www.people.com/article/steve-perry-sings-journey-eels-st-paul ) comes out of the shadows, and now Bill Watterson. I'm glad these folks remain out of the spotlight, since that's where they want to be. But it's always exciting when they pop out and treat us all to something new now and then.

Re:Wow. Glimpses of greatness... (5, Insightful)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about 3 months ago | (#47188093)

At the same time, it makes me sad because it reminds me there is nothing quite like Calvin and Hobbes, and I miss it.

Re:Wow. Glimpses of greatness... (2, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | about 3 months ago | (#47188355)

You want sad? Read this [reddit.com] , made me cry like a little girl (in the best possible way).

Re:Wow. Glimpses of greatness... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47188711)

Wow, this generation is composed of a ton of emo fags.

Re:Wow. Glimpses of greatness... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47188763)

What do you think of this one? http://www.whatisdeepfried.com... [whatisdeepfried.com]

Re:Wow. Glimpses of greatness... (1)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about 3 months ago | (#47188975)

Did you see this one? http://www.freerepublic.com/fo... [freerepublic.com]

Re:Wow. Glimpses of greatness... (1)

zeugma-amp (139862) | about 3 months ago | (#47189089)

Thanks for the link to the Bacon and Hobbes. That rocked.

Re:Wow. Glimpses of greatness... (4, Interesting)

RoverDaddy (869116) | about 3 months ago | (#47188455)

Obviously not the same, but heartwarming nonetheless, Hobbes and Bacon: http://imgur.com/gallery/tUzAL [imgur.com]

Re:Wow. Glimpses of greatness... (1)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about 3 months ago | (#47188977)

I saw that one a few weeks back. Made my day. Guy has the skills.

Re:Wow. Glimpses of greatness... (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 3 months ago | (#47188681)

Perhaps it is best to enjoy the sweetness that was Calvin and Hobbes, and the bittersweet way it went out. Berkeley Breathed [berkeleybreathed.com] ended Bloom County [berkeleybreathed.com] after a similar run (time wise), but took many of the characters into a new strip - Outland. I don't think that was necessarily always for the best.

Berkeley Breathed - Cartooning career [wikipedia.org]
 

Bloom County earned Breathed the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning during 1987.[5] The strip eventually appeared in over 1,200 newspapers around the world until Breathed retired the daily strip in 1989, stating that he wanted to terminate the strip while it was still popular. At that time, he said, "A good comic strip is no more eternal than a ripe melon. The ugly truth is that in most cases, comics age less gracefully than their creators".[6]

Re:Wow. Glimpses of greatness... (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 3 months ago | (#47188727)

I will add that I thought Bloom County was a great comic strip.

Re:Wow. Glimpses of greatness... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47188913)

At the same time, it makes me sad because it reminds me there is nothing quite like Calvin and Hobbes, and I miss it.

Really? Because drawing hundreds of cartoons of people pissing on things is original? No. He is a vulgar hack.

Re:Wow. Glimpses of greatness... (1)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about 3 months ago | (#47188971)

God I hope you are trolling. The 'Calvin pissing on "insert logo here" was not drawn by Watterson. He refused to license the likenesses of his characters for a variety of reasons, so all the decals you hate are bootleg drawings by someone looking to cash in on another persons work.

Re:Wow. Glimpses of greatness... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47189267)

Did you notice that all of those pissing on stuff -comments are by an AC? I'm not normally out there to bash AC's (being one myself), but in this case chances are that they are from the same person.

Re:Wow. Glimpses of greatness... (1)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about 3 months ago | (#47189499)

Based on the fact that even as a kid, I knew that the stickers where bootleg, I suspect your probably right.

Re:Wow. Glimpses of greatness... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47188959)

> I miss it.

You miss seeing cartoons of Calvin pissing on things? I'm sorry, but that cartoon was not original. Yes, children find humor in seeing Calvin constantly piss on things, but us adults do not.

Re:Wow. Glimpses of greatness... (1)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about 3 months ago | (#47188979)

The pissing decals are all bootlegs, Watterson never licensed the characters. Go read up on Watterson's views on comics and business and the like before you accuse him of that shit, totally backwards from his philosophy.

Re:Wow. Glimpses of greatness... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47189001)

It is good there is nothing quite like it. I was done with him after seeing his Calvin pissing on Jesus stickers.

Re:Wow. Glimpses of greatness... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47189093)

Calvin pissing on Jesus

That one didn't bother me as much as his Calvin pissing on the American flag one. A coworker has that T-shirt and wears it each year the day before Memorial Day and July 4th. I've worked with him for seven years, and it still bothers me. He doesn't have any technical books on his desk like the rest of the engineers. He only has that Waterson trash on his desk.

Re:Wow. Glimpses of greatness... (1)

braindrainbahrain (874202) | about 3 months ago | (#47189687)

The saddest Calvin & Hobbes comic [joeydevilla.com] ever (a fake I know, but still clever).

Re:Wow. Glimpses of greatness... (1)

braindrainbahrain (874202) | about 3 months ago | (#47189691)

...and the follow up [joeydevilla.com]

Re:Wow. Glimpses of greatness... (1)

crywalt (2426042) | about 3 months ago | (#47188209)

Congratulations on being the first commenter to spell his darn name right.

Re:Wow. Glimpses of greatness... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47188235)

Perry started cartooning after Journey broke up??? I didn't know that.

hmmm (5, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | about 3 months ago | (#47188153)

Are you sure he's a recluse? You can be out of the public eye and not be a recluse.

Re:hmmm (5, Insightful)

binarstu (720435) | about 3 months ago | (#47188399)

I wish I had mod points to give you. From what I've read, Watterson simply values his privacy and his family's privacy, and he has virtually no interest in publicity for its own sake. Apparently, any former celebrity who doesn't so desperately long for attention that they appear on Dancing With the Stars or jump at every chance for an interview or public appearance is so incomprehensible to most people that the only way to make sense of it is to label them a "recluse".

Re:hmmm (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about 3 months ago | (#47188541)

Apparently, any former celebrity who doesn't so desperately long for attention that they appear on Dancing With the Stars or jump at every chance for an interview or public appearance is so incomprehensible to most people that the only way to make sense of it is to label them a "recluse".

I don't think being a celebrity has anything to do with it. In today's over-marketed society anyone who likes to live a quiet life where they keep to themselves, and doesn't constantly spill out the details of their business via social networking (read as: anyone introverted) gets labeled as "strange" by the rest of town and feared as potential serial killer or terrorist-making-plans-in-their-basement.

Re:hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47188637)

...gets labeled as "strange" by the rest of town and feared as potential serial killer or terrorist-making-plans-in-their-basement.

Not to mention being labled as a possible child molester with a large collection of skin-tight latex jump suits and a collection of soiled boys underwear who's into "fisting" while wearing a furry bunny head.

Re:hmmm (1)

nmb3000 (741169) | about 3 months ago | (#47188863)

From what I've read, Watterson simply values his privacy and his family's privacy, and he has virtually no interest in publicity for its own sake. Apparently, any former celebrity who doesn't so desperately long for attention that they appear on Dancing With the Stars or jump at every chance for an interview or public appearance is so incomprehensible to most people that the only way to make sense of it is to label them a "recluse".

I agree with you 100%, with two small exceptions.

First, it does appear that Watterson is a bit more removed from society [time.com] than even your average author.

Second, I think there's a kernel of reason in the idea that someone of renown -- someone who has made a lot of money and become a familiar name in the process -- is expected to give a little bit back to their "fans" in return for benefiting them so much financially. In no way to do mean that Watterson should be on Celebrity Jeopardy (he'd probably never beat Sean Connery anyway), but it might be nice if he did small things like book signings at local bookstores. I have that nice set of hardcover Calvin and Hobbes books [amazon.com] , and I would absolutely love to have an opportunity to get it signed by Watterson. Sadly, autographs is one of the things that Watterson appears to refuse to do.

As someone who would probably be called a "recluse" by more than a couple of people, I can truly understand to desire to be removed from the limelight, but still, it's sad for those who adore his work that they don't have the opportunity to try and express that just a tiny bit.

Re:hmmm (1)

binarstu (720435) | about 3 months ago | (#47188997)

...I think there's a kernel of reason in the idea that someone of renown -- someone who has made a lot of money and become a familiar name in the process -- is expected to give a little bit back to their "fans" in return for benefiting them so much financially.

That's a good point, for sure. I can certainly understand why Calvin and Hobbes fans might wish that he were more accessible.

Re:hmmm (1)

oji-sama (1151023) | about 3 months ago | (#47189307)

I don't agree with this. I don't think he is personally all that famous, rather his work is famous.. And while I am not a huge fan, I am a fan nevertheless, and personally got rather good value (enjoyment, joy) for my money... Good enough that I consider the idea that Watterson should give a little back kind of offensive towards the man himself.

Re:hmmm (3, Interesting)

zippthorne (748122) | about 3 months ago | (#47190455)

He doesn't owe us anything. He already gave us the art, and it was great. And it's still around.

Contrast this with other artists who have altered their work so that you can only get bootleg copies of the original anymore, and who we pray will not alter it further.

Personally, I think there ought to be a copyright exemption for a work that an author refuses to publish. Copyright is supposed to encourage publishing.

Re:hmmm (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47188899)

TIL accepting fat stacks of cash == "desperately long[ing] for attention"

As of 2010: They get paid $125,000 just for three weeks of rehearsals and the first two episodes. If they don't get cut, they make an extra $10k on the 3rd episode, $10k, $20k, $20k, $30k, $30k, $50k and $50k for the 10th episode.

If someone offered you a guaranteed paycheck of $125,000 for 5 weeks of your time, and a possibility of $345,000 for 13 weeks if you make it to the finals, what would you do? Hint: Audience votes decide who goes home, so you either have to be the best dancer or be the best at marketing yourself to win the competition. Most of them know they're not the best dancer. And one more episode = another stack of cash. Do the math. You'd whore for the camera too.

Re:hmmm (1)

binarstu (720435) | about 3 months ago | (#47189139)

If someone offered you a guaranteed paycheck of $125,000 for 5 weeks of your time, and a possibility of $345,000 for 13 weeks if you make it to the finals, what would you do? ... Do the math. You'd whore for the camera too.

Watterson could have made a lot more money than that, doing a lot less. All he'd have needed to do was agree to commercial licensing deals for his Calvin and Hobbes characters, but he always refused because he felt doing so would cheapen his creations. Even now, such deals would probably still be lucrative. And he could no doubt make plenty of money off of speaking engagements. For some people (who, I admit, are very rare), accumulating large amounts of money really is less important than their pride in their work or their privacy.

Re:hmmm (2)

swb (14022) | about 3 months ago | (#47189663)

You mean all those stickers on (mostly) trucks that show Calvin pissing on something aren't licensed?

Re:hmmm (4, Informative)

binarstu (720435) | about 3 months ago | (#47190625)

You mean all those stickers on (mostly) trucks that show Calvin pissing on something aren't licensed?

Nope. Watterson never allowed his characters to be licensed for any merchandise beyond his books and a few calenders. Those stickers you see on trucks are all unlicensed ripoffs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... [wikipedia.org] .

hmmm (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47188419)

He shuns all media attention for interviews, for somebody as well known as he is, that qualifies as reclusive. For most people not being in the public eye would just be normal, but for somebody as well known as he is, that's being reclusive. It's really the shunning of the interest that makes him a recluse.

Re:hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47188461)

I think I agree with nomadic that that's stretching the definition of 'recluse' beyond the breaking point. Not to mention disrespectful.

Re:hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47188833)

I think it's more a commentary on the state of affairs where people expect that famous people will invite the soft news journalists in for tea all the time.

Re:hmmm (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 3 months ago | (#47188531)

Hmmm ... I'm not in the public eye, I hope that doesn't make me a recluse.

I'll have to ask the guys I play golf with.

Re:hmmm (2)

iroll (717924) | about 3 months ago | (#47188697)

Being reclusive doesn't make you a recluse. A recluse withdraws from society; Watterson is just largely withdrawn from participating in the popular media. For someone as famous as he is, who is actively sought by writers and interviewers, that's reclusive behavior.

Re:hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47188951)

"Recluse" is not a pejorative.

Re:hmmm (1)

eagee (1308589) | about 3 months ago | (#47190383)

He lives about two blocks away from us and actually donates to a local arts organizations I volunteer with. I've seen his email and address in the members database; I wouldn't even dream of taking advantage of that information though. I'd heard he lived here for years; and it was just cool to see it there and know he was a real tangible person donating to the arts.

Even though he lives so close I've never seen him once. That's ok though; I feel lucky just knowing that he's around (and it gives our much maligned rust belt city a little bit of cred for being the wonderful place that it is - Watterson *wants* to live here - I don't think you can get much more awesome than that).

First return? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47188229)

Not that I don't love Bill, but this isn't his first "return" to drawing. I can't call drawing the 2nd panel of some comic strip a "return". He recently did this movie poster....

http://geekologie.com/2014/02/bill-wattersons-first-comic-since-retiri.php

Behind on the news... three panels. Finished. (4, Informative)

zephvark (1812804) | about 3 months ago | (#47188333)

Re:Behind on the news... three panels. Finished. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47189185)

English. Learn it.

Watterson came out of exile to draw the 2nd panel of three of Stephan Pastis' "Pearls Before Swine" strips

he's drawn the second panel of three strips == there are three strips and he's drawn the second panel of each of these three strips (each of these strip is composed of three panels).

Not enough cows in his comic (4, Funny)

aekafan (1690920) | about 3 months ago | (#47188807)

In the 80s, I preferred Gary Larson anyways.

This made my day. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47188909)

What magicaI nostalgia! Watterson's work has aged really well. I respect his choice to walk away and know he would never read this, but he could save the newspaper industry with the return of new C&H dailys.

I looked at it and I miss C&H (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47189021)

I looked at the alligators and the zebra and they looked suspicious (there is a lot of joy in how the right gator is holding his hands). In the next days panel, the way the mouse holds his hand (sure looks like Calvin!), and the surprised look of the mouse in the next panel with both feet in the air --that's a Hobbes jump! And Calvin's "spaceman spiff" spaceships! The last panel with the waaayyy too happy, wayyy too giggly girls... its all too much fun. These are too visually appealing! I haven't been a big pearls fan (the art *is* sometimes kludgy), but these panes are GOLD! That Stephan wrote the dialogue and Bill had to make the panels fit it is so much like improv. (I remember an improv. comedy group trying to be funny with 3 words from the audience: and people shouted "Bugs Bunny, Nuclear Bombs, and Sex".... and they pulled it off). Bill seems to have been as disheartened by shrinking board space just like Berkeley. And I miss both of those strips like long lost old friends (and I know I'm not alone). Looking at these strips brings both smiles and melancholy, like remembering favorite relatives who have passed. Their memory brings joy, and their absence sadness.

Watterson stripping for pearls (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47189469)

That's what I read in one of the blogs (and it was funny enough to reprint).. I looked at the strips and smiled. I looked at old C&H strips, and (especially some of the snowmen) I laughed my face off. I looked at the panel "Watterson believes cartoon artwork should be taken seriously." and I busted a gut. I laughed out loud for 5 minutes. I miss the old strip. Its awful that some idiot did a knockoff of Calvin peeing, and then sold it to some guy driving a truck. Its nice to see that Bill has returned --if ever so briefly-- from the witness protection program.

What, no link to the actual panels? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47190095)

What, no link to the actual panels?

Re:What, no link to the actual panels? (1)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | about 3 months ago | (#47191295)

The WaPo story includes the strips over the course of the article.

I *so* miss Watterson (2)

TigerPlish (174064) | about 3 months ago | (#47190335)

I miss Brethead as well.

If there was ever a decade that needed Watterson's whim and Brethead's grit, it is this one.

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