Ever Wished That Calvin and Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson Would Return to the Comics Page? Well, He Just Did.

Bill Watterson is the Bigfoot of cartooning.

He is legendary. He is reclusive. And like Bigfoot, there is really only one photo of him in existence. 

Few in the cartooning world have ever spoken to him. Even fewer have ever met him.

In fact, legend has it that when Steven Spielberg called to see if he wanted to make a movie, Bill wouldn’t even take the call.

So it was with little hope of success that I set out to try and meet him last April.

I was traveling through Cleveland on a book tour, and I knew that he lived somewhere in the area. I also knew that he was working with Washington Post cartoonist Nick Galifianakis on a book about Cul de Sac cartoonist Richard Thompson’s art.

So I took a shot and wrote to Nick. And Nick in turn wrote to Watterson.

And the meeting didn’t happen.

Bill apparently had something to do.  Or more likely, wanted nothing to do with me.

Which is smart.

But Nick encouraged me to send an email to Bill anyways.   I said I didn’t want to bother him.

But a week or so later, this Pearls strip ran in the newspaper:


And I figured this was as good of a time to write to him as any.

So I emailed him the strip and thanked him for all his great work and the influence he’d had on me. And never expected to get a reply.

And what do you know, he wrote back.

Let me tell you. Just getting an email from Bill Watterson is one of the most mind-blowing, surreal experiences I have ever had. Bill Watterson really exists? And he sends email? And he’s communicating with me?

But he was. And he had a great sense of humor about the strip I had done, and was very funny, and oh yeah….

…He had a comic strip idea he wanted to run by me.

Now if you had asked me the odds of Bill Watterson ever saying that line to me, I’d say it had about the same likelihood as Jimi Hendrix telling me he had a new guitar riff. And yes, I’m aware Hendrix is dead.

So I wrote back to Bill.

“Dear Bill,

I will do whatever you want, including setting my hair on fire.”

So he wrote back and explained his idea.

He said he knew that in my strip, I frequently make fun of my own art skills. And that he thought it would be funny to have me get hit on the head or something and suddenly be able to draw. Then he’d step in and draw my comic strip for a few days.

That’s right.

The cartoonist who last drew Calvin and Hobbes riding their sled into history would return to the comics page.

To draw Pearls Before Swine.

What followed was a series of back-and-forth emails where we discussed what the strips would be about, and how we would do them. He was confident. I was frightened.

Frightened because it’s one thing to write a strip read by millions of people. But it’s another thing to propose an idea to Bill Watterson.

The idea I proposed was that instead of having me get hit on the head, I would pretend that Pearls was being drawn by a precocious second grader who thought my art was crap. I named her “Libby,” which I then shorted to “Lib.” (Hint, hint: It’s almost “Bill” backwards.)

(The introduction of Libby can be found HERE and HERE).

At every point in the process, I feared I would say something wrong. And that Bill would disappear back into the ether. And that the whole thing would seem like a wisp of my imagination.

But it wasn’t that way.

Throughout the process, Bill was funny and flexible and easy to work with.

Like at one point when I wanted to change a line of dialogue he wrote, I prefaced it by saying, “I feel like a street urchin telling Michelangelo that David’s hands are too big.” But he liked the change. And that alone was probably the greatest compliment I’ve ever received.

I don’t want to say any more about our exchange because to do so would probably be to compromise the privacy he so zealously guards. But I will offer you this one biographical tidbit:

Technology is not his friend.

I found that out when it came to the logistics of the artwork.   I drew my part first and then shipped him the strips. I wanted him to fill in the panels I left blank, and simply scan and email me back the finished strips.

I asked him to do this because I did not want to be responsible for handling his finished artwork. Partly because I knew it would be worth thousands of dollars. Partly because I knew he wanted to auction it off for charity. And partly because my UPS driver has a tendency to leave my packages in the dirt at the end of our driveway. (I could just imagine the email I’d have to write the next day: “Dear Mr. Watterson – The first comic strip you’ve drawn in 20 years was ravaged by a squirrel.”)

So this left doing it my way. Digitally.

And this is when I found out that Bill Watterson is not comfortable with scanners or Photoshop or large email attachments. In fact, by the end of the process, I was left with the distinct impression that he works in a log cabin lit by whale oil and hands his finished artwork to a man on a pony.

So I proposed working out our technological issues over the phone. But he didn’t want to.

At first I thought it was because he didn’t own one. Or have electricity. But then I remembered we were emailing.

And so I soon came to the sad realization that he probably just didn’t want me to have his phone number. Which was smart. Because I would have called that man once a week for the rest of his life.

And so we worked through the technological problems via email.

And unlike every other technological problem I’ve ever had, it was not frustrating.

It was the highlight of my career.

The only thing Bill ever asked of me was that I not reveal he had worked on Pearls until all three of his strips had run. (And if you haven’t yet seen those three strips, they can be found HERE, HERE, and HERE.)

And so I did not reveal his participation until now.   And it was the hardest secret I’ve ever had to keep.

Because I knew I had seen something rare.

A glimpse of Bigfoot.

1,077 thoughts on “Ever Wished That Calvin and Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson Would Return to the Comics Page? Well, He Just Did.

  1. That’s incredible exciting and I’m glad you were respectful of his privacy while still being able to share with us all a bit of your story. I’ve been wondering for the past few days what exactly was going on, but I never expected him! I just watched Dr. Mr. Watterson a few days ago on Netflix for the first time, so this is all more exciting to see that he’s still got it! Keep up the great work on Pearls’ and congratulations on your awesome experience.

  2. Oh. My. God.

    Mr. Pastis, you have always been very good. You have just become legendary.

  3. This was amazing. Pastis, you magnificent bastard! I can’t believe you pulled this off with a comic strip about lying to a woman to get her into bed. Well done, sir. Well done

  4. Two of my favorite cartoonists collaborating together. And then you’ve got to consider that it’s Bill Freakin’ Watterson back on the comic scene. You are wondrous to get to do something like this. So much love.

  5. Pastis,
    that is one great story – congratulations. You and Jef Mallet are, hands down, the true heirs of Watterson and Berke Breathed. Keep up the great work. RS

  6. OMG. I thought I was nuts when I saw the strips and thought, “That looks just like the Calvin and Hobbes aliens!” It never occurred to me they were HIS drawings, I assumed it was another of your subtle tributes.

    Way to go, Stephan!!

  7. Amazing. Huge fan of Calvin and Hobbes and of Pearls…I had an inkling when I saw the 2nd strip. Thought I had seen those Martian Robots (or something similar)before. Must have been hard keeping that secret, not sure I could have. Keep on making magic with Pearls…maybe you can collaborate with Mr. Watterson again.

  8. That’s so awesome Steven! I’m a big fan of both strips. It’s like chocolate meeting peanut butter! Magic I tells ya, magic.

  9. Wonderfully incredible. Helluva duo. I’m thinking Batman and Robin … the GOOD ones. Wow, thanks for sharing both this story and your wonderful talents. YahooooOOOOOOO!!!

  10. Pingback: Bill Watterson of Calvin and Hobbes Just Returned to the Comic Page (And None of Us Knew). | Team Hellions

  11. Ah!!!!! I so recognized this— I just thought Libby must be a big fan of Calvin and Hobbes. I have quite a few C&H books in my classroom I was looking at today while packing everything away for summer 🙂 Love love love them!!! Too bad I can’t introduce my students to Pearls Before Swine… I’d probably get fired :/

  12. You sir, are now the most luckiest person alive! What an awesome opportunity, super-hero identity-secret you have had! On your gravestone you should have it read “I got an email from Bill Patterson”, god that would be funny!!

  13. Thank you for dating to dream of Bigfoot. I live this week and I live your step… because you can feel the live you put in.

  14. Amazing. Just Amazing. My jaw literally dropped when i read he was libby. Amazing

  15. Wow. Looking at the Martian Robots panel I thought that the style was remarkably familiar. But dismissed the notion that there was any direct connection.

  16. Mr. Pastis, I’ve known for a long time what a talented & funny cartoonist you are. Obviously, Bill Watterson knows this, too. And you know what? Right about now, he’s probably sitting in his log cabin (lit by whale oil) and smiling at how he had the opportunity to work with the uber-talented Stephan Pastis! 🙂 🙂

  17. So awesome that two of my all time favorite strips have crossed paths after many decades. Congrats to Mr. Pastis!

  18. As a fan of both of yours, and someone who cried (yeah, I’ll admit it) on the last day of Calvin and Hobbes, this was like Christmas morning and winning the lottery on the same day. Well done, sirs. Well done.

  19. I think we enjoyed the adventure as much as you did! Obviously I have the same awe of Bill Waterson that you have, but I have the highest regard for your work as well … and apparently so does Waterson!

  20. Only one word: AWESOME! You are the luckiest man on the planet Mr Pastis, and thank you for the eloquent sharing of your experience. PS Your fans feel the same way about you as you/we feel about Bill-Lib.

  21. Pingback: Bill Watterson Returns!!!

  22. Wow. Never saw that coming, but should have linked the space alien attack in hindsight. C&H is one of my all time favorites and PBS is the best strip in the comics page today. What an honor for you Stephan. Keep up the fantastic work and tell Bill it’s great to have him back, even for a short cameo.

  23. Way to go! Watterson is a genius and was my favorite for years … before you became my favorite.

  24. I knew it…I KNEW IT, DAMMIT!!! I told my friends it was him!!! They wouldn’t listen to me, but I KNEW it!!!

    Steph, I LOVE your strip, Brother, but if Mr. Watterson drew only ONE MORE STRIP of Calvin and Hobbes…. Then, and only then, I would die a happy man!

    I live close by to him and would never intrude on his privacy, but to let him know how much joy his strips brought to my life and to my children while they were growing up…we miss you, man! We miss your genius!!!

    That said…you have a LOT to live up to, Stephen…

    Kudos to both of you for bringing your love of the art form back to the funny pages!!!!

  25. The amount of awesome in this whole thing just blows me away. Bonus: I now know I conduct business the same way Bill Watterson does. I feel less weird about it now. Well, a little less…

  26. Holy crap. Bill freaking Watterson came out of retirement and drew a scene of carnage for my favorite current comic strip. Awesome.

  27. I wish he’d draw Calvin & Hobbs again. That was one of my all time favorite strips and I’ve been reading the comics for almost 60 years. And yes, Pearls Before Swine is also a favorite of my daily comic reading ritual.

  28. Well, congratu-frickin’-lations, Stephen. You know, you rock just about as much as Mr. Watterson. Just about, ’cause nobody will ever rock exactly as much as him. That’s just a given.Thanks to both of your for sharing your gift with the world.

  29. This is an incredible experience for anyone.

    Just… So surreal and beautiful, even looking from the outside in. I can’t even begin to imagine how you must feel after all this.

  30. That is, bar none, the coolest thing that has happened in the world of comics in 50 years. What a coup! WTG friend. And the next time you’re sitting around Bill’s hearth partaking of grog in his log cabin, tell him I said thanks for the great entertainment. And you too. Thanks Mr. Pastis.

  31. Brilliant! Now can you move on to Berke Breathed and get him to draw Opus into your script…or Bil the Cat?

  32. How cool is it to be able to collaborate with one of your cartoonist heroes! Thanks for letting the cat, er, the entire menagerie out of the bag.

  33. This makes me both hate you and respect you in equal amounts.
    It almost made me emotional just thinking about the fact that Bill might draw anything again.

  34. What is the appropriate amount of envy for this scenario? I’m thinking something between ohmygodthatissofreakingawesomeicantbeliveit and a high-pitched shriek that falls just south of your calling the cops. I mean seriously, it’s Bigfoot.

  35. This is a warm, kind, insightful…I can’t come up with the right word…but one of the best things you’ve ever written, Stephan. Thank you.

  36. Hey Stephan, Bill Watterson truly is a great cartoonist! Maybe since you finally made contact with him, and if you ask him nicely, he might be willing to give you some drawing lessons! 🙂

    But seriously, it was a blast just to have Bill Watterson “step in” for Stephan and make his contributions to “Pearls!” I do love “Pearls!!!”

  37. I hope you haven’t used up all of the good karma you have coming till the end of your life. These are amazing, but it’s not just bill Watterson, but also the context and your frames. I don’t think he would’ve done it if he hadn’t respected your work. So cool for you, and for us.

  38. SO great – loved Calvin and Hobbes, loved this week’s strips, love that Libby is Bill spelled mostly backwards and love how this whole lesson has probably taught you just how much including a yellow-and-white stuffed dolphin called ‘No_bob’ [because he doesn’t!] in your strip would mean to someone else.. me else. i think it’s called Passing it Forward… or as i like to say, Pearling it Forward…

    Good form and can’t wait to see No_bob as part of your work
    you are my bigfoot
    brett fish

  39. Like nobody noticed it was Mr Watterson’s work, Mr Pastis. There are other artists out here who have eyes, you know. ‘Specially here in art galleries in Cleveland Heights…I worship his work, too.

  40. Hi Stephan. Loved the column and the last few strips – especially the last one. Lookin’ good there. 😉
    Calvin and Hobbes is/was one of my favorite strips. How cool for you. Sheila

  41. Honestly, this whole story paired with seeing the strips caused me(a 31 year old man who grew up reading Calvin and Hobbes in the papers) to tear up just a little. Incredible.

  42. I admire your willpower. I’d have wanted to run up and down the street, screaming to anyone who would listen that I was working with Bill Watterson. Well done, you lucky son of a gun!

  43. That is awesome…I grew up with Calvin and Hobbes and inspired me to be the failed comic strip artist I am. I had a feeling it was him from the first strip…his style just stands out. Grats on working with him 🙂

  44. I came across this article over the twitters and have never heard of you or your comic before then. Growing up in the world of Watterson, a boy, and his stuffed tiger drew me to the article. I’m sure you are still and will forever be ecstatic over your recent experience. Thank you for sharing in such a heartfelt and amazing article. The strips you and Bigfoot collaborated on are great!

  45. SQUEE! Oh my! So amazing, and he’s still so great! I’ve got a Bill Watterson Story, too. Years ago, his daughter was involved with a competition at the Los Angeles County Fair. For the days there were there, he wrote a little blurb about what his family (plus Calvin) were doing in the Fair’s daily report. I was working at my dad’s booth, selling Bicycles and Exercise equipment, and was constantly scouring every family I met, hoping to meet him. …And I still have no idea if I did or not. I wish I’d saved the little newsletters, they were hysterical.

  46. I wondered why the art had gotten so good this week. 😉 BTW, did your wife really leave you? It kind of freaked me out that something that personal has been in your strip. Just have rat hit me with a bat.

  47. Pingback: Lie down | Webcomic Hell

  48. I had a feeling it was him and deep down, no offense, I wanted to see him draw a Sunday strip. I still do.

  49. Pingback: Confirmed: Bill Watterson returns to comics as guest artist for Pearls Before Swine The Daily Cartoonist

  50. Thank you for sharing your story. What a wonderful experience that must have been for you.

  51. This, to the best of my memory, is the most amazing thing that has ever happened in the comics section of the newspaper.

  52. Normally your strip is the highlight of my day. I know that makes it sound like I don’t have much of a day, but let me give you a little background Three years a Marine, 20 years a sailor and 15 years a high school history teacher so I’ve had some days. The last few days, with the chance to vicariously meet the elusive Bill Watterson, was the highlight of a whole bunch of years. Thanks! J B Hall

  53. This gives me a glimmer of hope… Think it’s possible we’ll ever see a true-to-the-strip, honest-to-god musical adaptation? I think it could be spectacular, better even than “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” despite Bill’s distaste for commercialization.

  54. If ever you happen to glimpse Bigfoot again, I would ask that you thank him for me. Not only was I an avid fan of Calvin and Hobbes (like just about everybody else in the Western World), but Calvin and Hobbes helped give me my son. My son was born with a form of Autism, and has had to deal with many of the social issues so common to Autistic children. Calvin and Hobbes helped him to gain a window into the world, into humor, and gave him something he could share with his sister. It also allowed him to begin drawing. He has books full of original Calvin and Hobbes material that he wrote (which will obviously NEVER be reproduced or published), and he has since moved on to write his own comic strips. He’s currently working on a graphic novel with his own characters.

    On the off chance that you ever get to deliver my message to Bigfoot, I would like to say thank you Bill Watterson. You made an amazing impact on my son, I will forever be grateful for that.

  55. Just. so. awesome!!! God I love Bill Waterson. I was in some discussion recently and people were naming the greatest American authors of all time. I said “Bill Waterson”. Got blank stares. I explained, and someone said, “wow, why would you know his NAME?” And I said “how could you NOT know it?” Thanks for the bigfoot sighting!

  56. I literally just shed a tear. Glad to see that Bigfoot is alive and well, and I love the collaboration.

  57. Thank for article. After growing up with Calvin and Hobbes, this was like finding out that Santa does exist.

  58. Pingback: Bill Watterson Returns To Comics | NYC Startup News

  59. You lucky bastard. Congratulations – Whether you think so or not you have managed to hit the same chord with people that Bill did with Calvin and Hobbes. At any given time there at least three or four of your strips up on our fridge. Please stick around a little longer than he did.

  60. That’s amazing Stephan! That’s the ultimate flattery! All hail King Stephan – anointed by Emperor Watterson! Now go do some nice comics and stop drooling!

  61. Wow. Congrats Stephan!! I love your strip, and as a cartoonist that experience has to be close if not the highlight of your career. Well done…and keep up the good work!!

  62. I like the subtle dig at the industry regarding space in the second strip.

  63. So cool. As a cartoonist myself, I can’t even imagine that thrill. Awesome. Simply awesome.

  64. You made my night. I had just shown the strips to my wife, and said to her, “This TOTALLY looks like Bill Waterson’s style”…and I am VINDICATED!

  65. This is amazing! You have done the impossible, Mr. Pastis. Wow. As a fellow Watterson fan, I am filled with envy. You must have been walking on air for days.

  66. What I liked about this story was that you both touchingly described your feelings about the situation and described your relationship with him in an informative way that didn’t give away anything that I would guess he wouldn’t like given away. I.e. unlike most internet commentators you weren’t a jerk. And I’m sure it was inherent in communicating with him that you know more about him than you told…but there was no nudge-nudge-wink-wink or anything. Class. I like B.W. very much so I vicariously appreciate the way you interacted with him, and us. Thanks!

  67. Pingback: Bill Watterson returns to comic strips (as a prank) » Laser Time

  68. Especially in the alien attack panel I thought “Wow, C&H!”. And guess what, I guessed right 😮 two of the only three strips I ever read, together, that’s like a dream. Now, just add there a compule of frustrated employees and a tie bent upwards…and I’m done for.

  69. Shame that Bill Watterson isn’t into digital art – Webcomics have none of the space limitations or meddling syndicates that newspaper comics do.

  70. This is fantastic. Did you color his panels? I’d love to hear what went through your mind (aside from panic) when you had to add to the master’s work.

  71. Amazing! Did he happen to mention what he thought of the pastiche strip “Hobbes and Bacon”?

  72. Awesome!! I am a huge Calvin & Hobbes fan and my two kids were easy converts. They are HUGE HUGE fans of yours which is both great and awkward because they are 11 and 8 years old and your material is usually aimed at a more mature audience. Little cringes that my 11 year old spent the year converting the boys in his 5th grade class into Pearls fans. Their heads will pop off their puny necks when they read your blog tomorrow morning. I’m tempted to wake them up now. Thanks for this

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  75. You made my day with this story. Of all the cartoons I’ve read in all of my long years, Calvin and Hobbes is my favorite. Pearls before Swine has been a favorite since I saw the first cartoon published in the Sunday paper, and you can tell me when that was better than I can…because of all of my long years. What a lifechanger for you, and a great story for us. By the way, I have a zeeba neighbor…

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  83. I am so happy for Bill Watterson, he got to work with you. Probably the highlight of his retirement!

  84. I already had nothing but the utmost respect for Mr. Watterson. This just elevated him into godlike status. Awesome story!

  85. Had a feeling that was him. Huge fan. My kids love all my old Calvin and Hobbes books. What a once in a lifetime opportunity! Amazing.

  86. Totally caught me by surprise. I thought you’d just secretly been able to draw, all along.

  87. Pingback: Bill Watterson Strips for Pearls | Bain Books

  88. I have to imagine that if Mr. Pastis were to win the Nobel Prize for literature, the Man Booker Prize, *AND* the Pulizter all at once, it wouldn’t compare to this…

    Reading this week’s strips, I just assumed they were a great tribute to Mr. Watterson. It never even crossed my mind that they might be actual strips of his.

  89. Bill Watterson — the reason I learned the word “defenestration.” Let us all now bask in the reflected glory.

    Seriously, man: fantastic feat. And in case Mr. Watterson sees this: thank you, sir, from the bottom of our hearts. You remain the stealthy master and any of us would gladly be your student any time you chose.

  90. When I saw the spaceships I thought, “That looks like…but it can’t be.” Yet, it was. Thanks for sharing!

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  92. Pearls before Swine is one of the first strips I go to each day (it’s at the top of the page), but I actually look forward to it, so there is that. 😀 This is wonderful. Glad the two of you had a good time and the collaboration was fun.

  93. Gosh, Bill wasn’t always like Bigfoot. Around 1986, he was at a small event at the Comics museum at the University of Ohio. He was even gracious enough to autograph my program book with a quick signature and a C&H drawing. Maybe one day I’ll scan and post it to prove he really did used to socialize.

  94. I too read the article on the internet and was blown away that Bill Waterson “came out” of seclusion to do this… That is until I watched a few of the interviews you have given recently. You are amazing, and frankly I am betting that you become bigger than anyone you admire.

    I am a HUGE fan, and wish you all the very best…

  95. Pingback: Calvin & Hobbes’ creator has been secretly drawing this comic strip! | Blogsfera

  96. Well, I’ll admit I was severely disappointed in the comics the last two decades. Farside, Doonesbury and Calvin and Hobbes…. The heights may never be recreated
    Pearls Before Swine, that was a strip I’d take the time to read after all I loved was gone. Glad Bill noticed too

  97. Awesome! In my wildest dreams I never would have guessed Bill Watterson would contribute to Pearls.

    Really enjoyed the comics, funny and so well drawn ^^

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  100. When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and noow each
    time a comment is added I get several e-mails with the same comment.
    Is there any waay you can remove people from that service?
    Thanks a lot!

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  102. “I could do better if I had more space.” Please tell me that was your line. If so, your co-artist was in great company! (I just wrote about Mr. Watterson this week, so the timing on this couldn’t be better for me. THANKS!)

  103. Wow this is FANTASTIC.
    I think you already know how lucky you were in all this… Thankfully, you have the good sense to appreciate it! Well done, sir. Give Mr. Watterson my best too.

  104. This has made my weekend. I’ve always had a lot of respect for Bill Watterson’s decision to avoid the limelight, and he inspired me to discover other wonderful illustrators like George Herriman (Krazy Kat), whose references pop up throughout Calvin and Hobbes strips. It must have been an incredible experience for you, and a huge confirmation of your own talent. Congratulations.

  105. “…including set my hair on fire.” I laughed, mostly because I’d probably have said something similar. And my new mental image of you is the “surrounded by scantily-clad women of the last strip” version.


  106. The strips were great! Thanks to the both of you for that. The collaboration was beautiful.

  107. This post is a shining light to anyone who’s ever had a dream. You didn’t even need a transmogrifier or anything. Congratulations!!

  108. Holy Spaceman Spiff! Calvin was the touchstone strip for my family when I was growing up. What makes this story even better for me is that Pearls is that strip now. Well played and well deserved. Thank you for sharing.

  109. Forget Bigfoot – this is LIke Jesus appearing on your toast, with the added benefit of it actually happening for real. You lucky bastard.

  110. Subscribing to the local paper (Winston-Salem Journal) mainly so I can turn to Pearls Before Swine first, though technically it’s because I’ve read that people who solve crossword puzzles are 70% less likely to be affected by Alzheimer’s. The “Libby, the second-grader” bit, was great. Comics as an art form, though, is alive and well. It’s newspapers that are in the ICU, not to mention vapid, feckless, harmless, “don’t ask a tough question” newscasters.

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  112. Ahh, Mister Watterson is back at the drawing board.


    Now I just need to find a way to save him while he’s on a one-man whitewater rafting excursion and all his gear gets washed away, and while he’s trying to organize what little supplies he has left on the river bank, he’s attacked by a sleuth of bears and I happen to be walking by on my own one-man hike and I have my trusty freon-horn to scare the bears off, single-handedly saving Mister Watterson,and not injuring a single bear, so I can then guilt him into drawing an illustration or two for my books.

    The plan – it is taking shape…

  113. you know–I thought those strips looked like his drawings, but I just thought you were channeling him….. it’s an awesome strip (both with and without Watterson). love it!!!!!!!!

  114. Wow. Wowowowowow. I was loving the strips with Libby and now I know why. You are awesome. Bill is awesome. Oh, and I want you to know that our “Pearls” books are almost as ragged now as our “Calvin & Hobbes” books. Great job, dude.

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  116. This is beyond incredible – with awesome sauce on top!

    But just so ya know, if your next blog starts, “So then Mort Walker and I were having a cold one…” you will have completely jumped the shark!

  117. Holy cow. Thanks for sharing Stephan. You and BW just made this world a little brighter. Libby is pretty darn funny. I look forward to your next post!

  118. Please let Bill know that not only did Calvin and Hobbes influnce my views on how to humerously view life through the filters of others, but my 10 year old has read all of his collections and can’t believe that they were drawn “so long ago.” His insights remain relevant, connected and meaningful. Please thank him for all of us. It remains a magical world full of possibilities. And I hope that Pearls isn’t planning on sledding any time soon. 🙂

  119. I never caught on that it was Watterson drawing the strip. I just thought Stephan could really draw…he just chose not to. Sorta like how most of us can be really good at our jobs…we just chose not to most days. I should have known better. Thank you Stephan for finally finding Bigfoot. I look forward to the special on Animal Planet.

  120. What I appreciated the most was the modest dig at the plight of this frustrating industry: The ad-centric singularity that is nullifying artist’s field of play. The magnifying glass should stay in the drawer.

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  122. First of all, I love Calvin and Hobbes. Second of all, I’d never seen “Pearls” before because my paper doesn’t run it. But this is one of the most riveting short articles I’ve ever read. Let Libby decide about your artwork. I’ll just say you’re a hell of a writer.

  123. Pingback: Calvin & Hobbes’ creator has been secretly drawing this comic strip! | Online Gadgets Info

  124. I always thought it was a cop out that he quit, blaming it on the constraints of the smaller and smaller comic strips. By then, he strip was big enough that if that was truly the only reason he quit, he could have just continued Calvin and Hobbes as a book series. Every strip had already been released in book form by then anyway. So why not continue it ONLY as a book. That way, he had the freedom to frame the story any way he wanted, and he had no time demands

  125. Waterson drawing for/with you?? Dude……… He’s the Burning Bush!! You know what that makes you, right? This whole thing gives me bumps. Congratulations. I’ve loved your strip for years.

  126. It’s good to see him working again even if it’s just a couple strips. That must have been an amazing experience getting to work with him. Kudos to you for respecting his privacy.

  127. I saw the style and knew either you had suddenly become possessed with Bill Watterson’s ghost or he had a hand in it somehow. Great job!

  128. You are one of the most down-to-earth classy humans on the entire planet, Mr. Pastis. Congrats to you and thank you for just a small glimpse of Bill Watterson.

  129. How very cool! I read both Pearls Before Swine and Calvin and Hobbes everyday on Go Comics. I would have never guessed Bill Watterson drew the Libby panels. Thanks, Bob

  130. Pingback: Calvin & Hobbes’ creator has been secretly drawing this comic strip! | Techno-Junkie

  131. very cool. Tell Mr. Waterson we miss him and we hope to see more of him in the future. I figure more C&H is off the table, and i am not sure i want more. But hey, how about something else?

    And if he wants to avoid the pressure of being Waterson starting a new comic, do it anonymously. Then we will judge whatever it is on the quality of the work itself. but we miss him.

  132. Back in 2007 (30 years ago, if the feeling in my bones is correct), I wrote an email to a cartoonist I admired, telling him just that (how much I admired him and liked his strips) and never expecting a reply. It was just one of those things you do as a fan. Much to my amazement, he did reply. Ok, he wasn’t the JD Salinger of comics and drew a rat, a pig, a zebra and a couple of crocs instead of a kid and his stuffed/real tiger, but it still made my day.

  133. Stephan,
    My family LOVES your strip. I am in awe of your ability to capture Bigfoot and even get him to commit to paper his wonderful artwork. Bravo, sir. What a “scoop.”😊

  134. I’ve always loved that Watterson never sold anything except the story. No movies, no posters. Not those pirate images rednecks put in the back window of their Ford/Chevy with Calvin peeing on Chevy/Ford.
    I think it’s great that he turned down Spielberg.

  135. I… I don’t even… wow.
    I thought something looked strangely familiar with those strips. It all makes sense now! The Martians, the curved horizon, the perspectives, even the comments about lack of space and “dying art form”, all scream Bill Watterson. Congratulations, Stephan.

    Don’t sell yourself short though. Yes, Bill is the “bigfoot” of the comics world, but you and Darby Conley are in a class above the rest.

  136. That. Is. Awesome. I remember seeing the Martian robot strip and thinking, “Man, he nailed Bill Watterson’s style with that one!” Turns out you didn’t. 🙂 I still hope one day that Watterson will revisit Calvin or release a book of artwork, or something! Very cool experience, Stephan!

  137. The fact that you come across like a little boy meeting Batman really speaks to your character. I liked your work because it is well thought out and quite clever. I like it more after seeing the humility displayed in this article.
    I am glad this happened for you. Congratulations.

  138. Bill Waterson is my icon, and your sir are one of the luckiest men alive to even have had him breathe in your general direction! Congrats on the collaboration, it was wonderful!

  139. That was interesting. I thought it funny that in this section :

    “The idea I proposed was that instead of having me get hit on the head, I would pretend that Pearls was being drawn by a precocious second grader who thought my art was crap. I named her “Libby,” which I then shorted to “Lib.” (Hint, hint: It’s almost “Bill” backwards.)”

    “Lib” is not just almost “Bill” backwards, It is “Bil” backwards, and Bil Keane often used the construct of little Billy (or maybe Jeffy?) drawing the Family Circus.

  140. Pingback: Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson secretly returns to the comic pages | 22 Words

  141. So amazing!!! The 2nd one in particular took me back 20 years.

    Unrelated question: was Bill influenced by Archie in any way? That’s totally Betty, Veronica, and Josie in the 3rd comic.

  142. Thank you for sharing this experience in such a hilarious manner. I am actually so awed that you put yourself out there and worked so hard to bring this about. I can’t wait to share with my aspiring artist who adores and is inspired by both your and Bill’s work. Girl Scouts offers a badge called “comic artist” where they are required to interview several different artists with varying styles and while mine was polite and complimentary of art that was not necessarily to her taste, I can certainly picture a few “libby moments” and as i read these panels I was laughing to the point of tears. Thank you so much again for this marvelous collaboration.

  143. My day usually starts with Calvin & Hobbes, along with Pearls which must say something about my sense of humour (yeah, spelling!). To hear of the two sides morphing … just great, and I love the continuing Bigfoot metaphor. Hail Watterson & Pastis (& Staci?)

  144. Wow. Wow. And more wow. I am so thrilled for you and for us that this happened. Tears and laughter on your behalf. Thank you.

  145. When Calvin and Hobbes ended, it was very sad for me as well as many people. I had been drawn into the magic of that strip every day. I was so sad, I never had any interest in following another comic strip whatsoever. Until I discovered Pearls Before Swine several years ago. Your strips are just as magical as C&H to me, and I look forward to it every day. Thanks for being awesome. I think that’s Bill Watterson was saying to you too.

  146. This is such fabulous news! I am so happy for you, getting to work with such an icon in your field. And I have always loved your strip. Thank you for sharing this story with us!

  147. I would have probably just spent an hour SQEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEing after receiving the first email back, and after an offer to work WITH him? I think I’d actually have fainted, and I’ve never fainted.

    Congratulations to you, and many, many thanks to Bill Watterson for giving us one more sample of his unique and wonderful work.

  148. Pingback: Nerdcore › Bill Watterson is back at Comics!

  149. That was a wonderful trip down memory lane. When our first son was born, we found our own way to remind us of Bigfoot’s amazing contribution to society. Thank you both.

  150. Pingback: Who the heck is guest-drawing this week’s Pearls Before Swine? | Maszman Speaks!

  151. This is the coolest brush with greatness I have ever heard of. I know you’ll never hear from him about how he spends his time now or any other details (Bigfoot has a mysterious aura to maintain) but should you get the chance; share our gratitude for his work with him.

    Dying art form indeed.

  152. I’ve admired Bill’s work since the early days when he was editorial cartoonist for our local weekly “Sun” newspapers in the Cleveland area. You are a worthy successor, Stephan; the baton has been passed!

  153. I specifically remember seeing the Martians strip, and I didn’t even recognize his style. I am a failure as a human being.

    Of course, as Bill himself would no doubt lament, it didn’t help that in my local paper, PBS, like all other strips, is about 3×10 cm and I can barely read the damn words.

  154. I stopped reading the comic strips when C&H ended. I felt like I had lost a good friend (or two). You, Stephan, have been blessed. A glimpse of bigfoot, indeed!

  155. On the night we met, my husband loaned me two of his Calvin and Hobbes books. How could I not fall in love? Twenty years and six children later, after keeping the books away from our kids for fear that they’d mistake them for coloring books, we finally shared our collection. The oldest ones have read them all, and they still get up early in the morning to read them. And even though the books are falling apart, I don’t regret it, because now our conversations are colored with Calvin and Hobbes references. Even more in love today!

  156. WOW! That is the coolest thing ever. Never twigged, but I will say one thing, Bill has clearly still got it and could step back into the scene anytime he wants.

  157. Fabulous. PBS is my favorite current comic, and second only to C&H on my all-time list. When we retired I bought a print of the final C&H (referenced in this strip) to remind us to kick out of our comfort zone and go exploring out there. I saw the second panel here this morning and just said “wow”. I am officially blown away.

  158. Incredible – this made my day! Own the complete set of Calvin & Hobbes… it was required reading (seriously!) for my masters research on Using Humor to Develop Higher – level Thinking Skills. Love Pearls Before Swine. Taught MS. Hmmm, maybe we should collaborate sometime? Thanks again for sharing!

  159. I thought it might have been Bill – the style was perfect. Well done on working together – he’s a legend. I’ve always admired the sardonic style of Pearls and now it has worked with a cartoon star. I hope you can bring Libby back periodically – it’s very special.

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  163. Truly a fantastic tale! Bill is an icon to so many and it is a true tribute to your talents that he wished to come back out into the public and work along with you, no matter how short a duration.

  164. This is wonderful. And if by some chance Mr. Watterson is reading this and gets down this far: Thank you, sir. I loved Calvin and Hobbes. I love the strips in this collaboration that I’ve seen and as a fellow Northeast Ohioan, may I tell you how proud I am that you’re from this area?

    You rock, too, Stephan. 🙂

  165. Stephan, I am so happy for you, I could cry. I loved reading this, you are a very talented writer, something you’ll always have should this art form ever die. 😉

  166. Reblogged this on The Daily 400 and commented:
    This man met Bigfoot. He met better than Bigfoot — he met Bill Watterson, author of Calvin and Hobbes.

  167. I thought it was Watterson-esque the minute I saw the first strip Libby drew. It’s awesome to know it really was. And a dream come true that my two favorite cartoonists in the whole wide world were working together. I will die a happy reader.

  168. Wow… I must admit, all I thought was that you had done a damned groovy pastiche of Bill’s style…. (I think it was the Crocs that threw me!) even down to the lettering! But now to find this was BIll’s own hand, and the little asides now make this all the more touching and melancholy. You’ve touched a lot of people with this collaboration. Thank you for making it happen.

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  171. How is this happening? The times posted here are 5 hours in the future! Has Mr. Watterson come back from the future to enthrall us once again. Amazing!!!

  172. I wonder if the documentary A Letter To Bill in anyway inspired him to come out of his shell and communicate with you. I still remember where I was and what I was doing when the last Calvin and Hobbes strip appeared in the paper and so much of what he wrote had a huge impact on my life.

  173. What a coup! Saturday, a.m., coffee in hand, your blog pops up. I am absolutely ignorant of almost everything. Sure, I remember C&H fondly, but, like a lot of souls, I have drifted from things that once amused me. I must say that you, sir, brought a huge smile to my face.

    You are so right. If I had B.W.’s phone number, I’d be calling every week too. Oh, my! Think of the drunk calls.

  174. Setting your hair on fire ought to bring in more for charity than the strips. I’d pay to see that, buster!

  175. Thank you so much. Very well done. Calvin and Hobbes, and subsequently Bill Watterson, will always hold a special place in my heart.
    My grandmother was a great letter writer, not just to friends and family, but the kind that wrote to her congressman over any injustice she saw. When I went to college, she of course promised to write, but it was becoming difficult for her as she was really beginning to show signs Alzheimer’s. So instead of letters, she clipped the daily Calvin and Hobbes strip from her paper because the paper at school only carried the Sunday strip. Each week she mailed five strips, and my roommate and I wallpapered our dorm room.
    Someday, I want to find a place to send fan mail and in the style of my grandmother, write Bill Watterson a thank you note.

  176. I also realize that I screwed up the title of the Documentary. It was called “Dear Mr. Watterson”.

  177. I knew the artwork style looked familiar, but I thought you’d just been hiding your art skills all these years. My 9-year-old daughter is obsessed with C&H, as were my husband and I back in the day. You, Stephan, bring joy into our daily lives (unlike your friend Darby). I’m so happy you were able to work with your other comic idol before it was too late. You’re a good man, Stephan Pastis!

  178. As someone who religiously read Calvin and Hobbes as I grew up, this makes my day. And week. And possibly more. Thank you for sharing this with us. Congratulations on a once in a lifetime moment. Well done.

  179. Very, very cool! I think, if someone was paying attention, the style is distinct on the Watterson panels that one would have to wonder. . . . even if you hadn’t said anything. 🙂

  180. *sniff* Brings a little tear to the eye. Wonderful! That’s why I read you every day! Congratulations!! And thank you for always starting my day with a smile..or a belly laugh!

  181. Weird, because I just got done watching the documentary on Calvin and Hobbes on netflix on a whim. Feeling nostalgic, i looked up on wiki if there was anything new about him (Bill), and I come across this. I only buy the paper when I have breakfast out (rarely), which I did last Monday and saw the intro to Libby. You’re comic was one of the very few that I like anymore, (Non-sequitor as well). What are the odds? Well done, , thanks.

  182. Dear. God. This actually breaks my heart….You’re right, this is definitely like a glimpse at Bigfoot, who ultimately returns to the woods, never to be seen again. The Watterson panels are beautiful, only further proving that if he ever did a comic again it would be glorious. “The art form is dying” line also breaks my heart. That, I feel, is Bill saying he never coming back….

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  184. And you expect is to believe this ……..??……. well we do !! Congrats Stephan

  185. I love when stuff like this happens! I would love to meet both of you myself, but I am neither a cartoonist, nor write comic strips, though I DO write. I don’t think you realize that your meeting Bill Watterson, is like everyone else meeting YOU- and both of you are humble enough not to notice that you’re both legends. 😉 Love the strip, love you, love Bill- well done!

  186. That.Is.Awesome! I love C&H and was so sad when it ended. Mr. Watterson lives in the general area I grew up, but I have no idea *exactly* where. Maybe when I visit my parents in a few weeks I should go driving and possibly hiking to see if I can spot a log cabin in a wooded area with no power lines and smoke rising gently above the trees.

  187. I got a personal letter from Mr. Watterson once. It was in a Calvin and Hobbes envelope and on Calvin and Hobbes letterhead. Seriously.

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  189. Really awesome story. The “scantily clad women” line is directly out of a Calvin & Hobbes strip with Calvin asking his dad why he doesn’t live in an apartment with a bunch of them. That’s probably the only C&H phrase I can remember verbatim, and it’s great to see it back in a strip.

  190. I was born and raised in the Cleveland suburbs and moved back about a year ago. Been hoping for a Watterson sighting, especially since I’ve heard he lives near me. In the meantime, thanks — to both you and him, but especially you — for this. I can only imagine how much more of a thrill this experience has been for you than you’ve expressed here. Congratulations!

  191. Pingback: ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ creator Bill Watterson secretly come out of retirement for ‘Pearls Before Swine’ | Dallas Morning News

  192. I was there when Pearls ran its first strip in the Washington Post. You put your e-mail in the little margins and I e-mailed you. I was probably in 5th grade. I pitched you the most juvenille idea about finding pooh in the toilet or something. Just the fact that you replied was amazing. I understand the feeling behind this post. (My biggest regret is that I’ve lost the e-mail because it used to be hotmail, which we all know is a crap e-mail)

  193. Reblogged this on Andrew Reker and commented:
    As someone who is afflicted with Bill Waterson withdrawls all these years later. I am so happy to reblog this. Even as an aside to my “regular” blog posts

  194. Was it merely coincidence, or were the sexy girls supposed to be a nod to Betty, Veronica and Josie?

  195. HOLY FREAKING COW. Your life is completely different now. Seriously. You went from funny little comic strip to industry legend. For the record, I would’ve been terrified to breathe as well. You do realize that while your work is very good and sales have gone well, your next treasury edition has ALREADY reached #1 on the New York Times best sellers list, don’t you? I’m not even kidding. I want to pay you for it in advance today and I’m sure everyone on this forum does too. BTW a few of us have already spread the word on twitter and FB. You are now a rock star. Enjoy the ride. I applaud you, sir.

  196. Pingback: Pastis confirms Watterson drew 'Pearls Before Swine' this week | Robot 6 @ Comic Book ResourcesRobot 6 @ Comic Book Resources

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  199. I am amazed and know not what to say !!! I LOVE Calvin and Hobbes. When Bill retired them I was devastated. I even wrote to him and told him how I was at peace in the nature and compassion of Calvin and Hobbes, with them in their woods and by their creek. Well, I’m not Stephan Pastis and he did not write back.

    Stephan, I love your characters and strip. I love that you are part of the strip. I love who you are and how you talk with us.

    To find out that you made contact with Bigfoot, that he talked and laughed and drew with you. MY HEART IS BRIMMING. MY SOUL IS SMILING. THANK YOU STEPH, FOR BRINGING BILL BACK. I KNOW NOT WHAT TO SAY.



  200. Ever since my window to Calvin & Hobb’s world was closed I quietly wished that one day it would open again. God I loved that comic. Pearls came to my paper and a new window opened. But after this week?? The cool cross breeze was sweet, even if it was brief. Thanks for being ballsy (stupid?) enough to stick your neck out there for all of us that love Bill Watterson’s work so much. I hope that Libby will cross the street again in the future.

  201. Reblogged this on Padresteve's World…Musings of a Passionate Moderate and commented:
    Friends of Padre Steve’s World,
    I seldom reblog another person’s post but this is truly newsworthy. Stephan Pastis, the author of Pearls Before Swine has actually encountered the legendary Bigfoot of the cartoon world, the reclusive retired creator of Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watterson. Even better the collaborated on three strips this week. I should have realized it when there was an attack from Mars in one strip, but Pastis tells how this came about in his blog. Congratulations to Stephan on a job well done!
    Padre Steve+

  202. Thank you for making this week extra awesome. I had blogged about it, and was soooo sure, but having to wait until today to find out for sure was unnerving. It’s a measure of his respect for you and your work that he did that, you know.

  203. Great story. I think it is incredible you were able to collaborate with your hero. I wonder what the world would be like if everyone had an opportunity to work with their heroes.

  204. Pingback: Bill Watterson, creator of ‘Calvin and Hobbes,’ draws three new comic strips | Ohio news

  205. Mind= blown! Thanks to both of you for that amazing series of strips! For Mr. Watterson to come out of retirement to draw your strips…epic!! Keep up the amazing work, Stephan! You’re an inspiration to me! 🙂

  206. Are. You. KIDDING ME!? THIS. IS. EPIC! Congratulations, Mr. Pastis! A job so well done I cannot express, in civilized words that is, how much I appreciate what you have done here! C & H are my absolute favorite strip ever. To hear that Mr. Watterson collaborated with you first made my heart stop, and then, I cried. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!! Seeing his hand next to yours… and you giving him everything he needed and deserved… You just gained another fan.

  207. Oh … my … goshh! I’ve been waiting for this for 18 years. So glad to know that Bill has retained his incredible wit and, art ability and integrity. Please come back more, Bill!

  208. What an amazing story – as a die hard Calvin and Hobbes fan, it’s so nice to see some of Watterson’s work again. Thank you (both) for your efforts – you defintely have gained a new Pearls fan 🙂

  209. Watterson is a personal hero of mine as a cartoonist, which makes YOU Mr. Pastis, a hero by association. Congrats on that.

    Meh, okay okay.. You were a hero before this too. Whatdoya want, a cookie?

    Seriously though, this is an incredible moment for you and I hope you’ll always cherish it, even when you’re old & senile & drooling like a bassest hound with a steak attached to it’s tail.

  210. Pingback: Is Bill Watterson Guest-drawing on Pearls Before Swine? » Ben Towle: Cartoonist, Educator, Hobo

  211. What’s kinda cool about this is that I just watched the “Dear Mr. Watterson” documentary 2 days ago. I did a search for Bill’s pictures and found a couple more where he spoke at Bowdoin College.

  212. Impressive your story is. Guidance from the Master, mmmmmmmmm, eh eh eh eh.

    In the mid 80s, I wrote a letter to Bill, and he wrote me in return. At the time I didn’t realized how precious it was.

  213. As a man who grew up with and thoroughly enjoyed Calvin & Hobbes – I have three Calvin & Hobbes tattoos to prove the obsession – I have to thank you for bringing back such fond memories. At the same time, I have to tell you I have never been more jealous of a human being in my life. Going over your archives, I can see why Mr Watterson would enjoy collaborating with you.

    Color me a new fan. Regards from Manila, Philippines. 🙂

  214. Pingback: Calvin before Swine? | Showbiz Geek

  215. The man, the myth, the legend himself? Stephan Pastis, I would light my hair on fire and hula dance to The Wall being played in reverse to have that opportunity. You are awesome. Mr. Watterson is the awesomest!

  216. Pingback: 'Calvin and Hobbes' creator Bill Watterson's secret return to comics | buzzcarl

  217. Thanks for letting this happen and not scaring Bill back into the woods. I’m hoping he will see how much his writing does to lift our ordinary lives and maybe consider doing just a Sunday strip where he’d have more space to let his boundless imagination roam.

  218. Pingback: Original Watterson, Pastis Pearls Before Swine strips to be auctioned off The Daily Cartoonist

  219. In a sense Mr. Watterson was the lady in the original comic strip that swooned by your posing to be Mr. Watterson? Brilliant

  220. There was something so eerily familiar about those Libby strips, but I’d be lying if I said I figured it out. I am thinderstuck. Boggled! And delighted. If Watterson is a God among cartoonists, you are now at least a demi-god. Beautifully done, Steph!

  221. Have you ever noticed you never see Watterson and Gary Larsen in the same room? They both abruptly quit, having reaped riches without having to perform on So You Think You Can Dance (cartoonists’ version) Ain’t nobody wants to see that.

    Anyway, I think Gary Larsen and Bill Watterson are the same person, like Jon Steward and Rachel Maddow.

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  227. Pingback: MY HERO RETURNS. *screams* | tis the wind

  228. Pingback: Pearls Before Swine: Ever Wished That Calvin and Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson Would Return to the Comics Page? Well, He Just Did. | kineticscribe

  229. I could hardly wait to tell my kids about this this morning. They love your strip and of course, they love Calvin & Hobbes. You slashdotted the GoComics site, lol.

  230. Dang.
    Just dang.
    Congrats, Stephan. I’ve loved you stuff for some time now and for you to have collaborated with Bill Watterson makes me smile. Excuse me while I go leaf through my Calvin and Hobbes collectors set. Even though it’s not an ongoing thing, the fact that Bill has drawn strips again, even if they aren’t his own, makes the world somehow seem right again…even if only for a little while.

  231. Pingback: Calvin & Hobbes’ creator has been secretly drawing this comic strip! | Why are we here?

  232. Posting for posterity. Bill, you touched my life in the best way with Calvin and Hobbes. Thank you so much for everything.

    Stephan, I’ve never heard of you until today, but thank you for your part in this. You dreamt like Calvin would’ve, and in doing so you helped create this beautiful little moment for the world.

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  236. My brothers and I are great fans of PBS and were equally great fans of Calvin & Hobbes. It was great to see them relating. My local newspaper no longer carries C&H, but lately the strip shows up on Facebook, and I am enjoying it again. I think you may step a little too close to the line drawn by the Comic Strip Police, but hey, that’s just me. I’m 82 years old and entitled to my opinion.

  237. So awesome – while I’m incredible jealous of you for getting to work with Bill, I’m overwhelmingly grateful that you had some role in bringing his work back to the page. For people of a certain age, specifically me, Watterson and Calvin & Hobbes remains one of the most influential and meaningful authors & published works in our life.

  238. Thank you for giving me just a few more moments. Just a trickle to be sure, but it tasted SO sweet…

  239. Lordy, I knew that artwork looked familiar but I couldn’t place it. How wonderful that Mr. Watterson seems to be a bit more open to getting out the ol’ pen and ink a bit more these last few years.

  240. I enjoy Calvin and his cat-friend Hodges. They provide me with the much-needed chortle which allows me to navigate my way through my dementia-ravaged day. Of course, back in my day I enjoyed opening my daily news-paper tabloid and reveling in the exploits of such classic comic icons as Snuffy Smith, Barney Goggle and even the occasional ribaldry from the likes of Beatle Bailey. Ho ho! Those were fine times for me!

    I also used to enjoy watching the squirrels as they gathered nuts and sang bluegrass songs to the trees and the rabbits and the Japanese yen, of all things. Trying again, I slipped into my hammock, removed my undergarment and yodeled.

    Oh, how I yodeled!

    Lester once chided me for the leaves I would gather and deposit ‘neath his stable door. I suppose his rakish behavior can be forgiven in light of the saplings. Rigamarole? I should say not!!!

    I’ve greebert.

  241. Pingback: Bill Watterson returns to comics page! | Rturpin's Blog

  242. Holy Shit!

    Yeah, I would’ve set my hair on fire too if he asked.

  243. Pingback: Calvin and Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson Returns (Briefly) To The Comics Page « Nerdist

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  245. It’s stupid of me to say this about a strip that stopped running more than 20 years, drawn by a man I’ve never met, but: I have tears in my eyes and the hair on my body is standing up right now.

  246. Yeah… I cried too.

    As if the class you exhibited in the way this whole thing went down wasn’t enough evidence that you are truly an amazing human being… today’s wrap-up proves that you are unequivocally in the same league with Mr. Watterson as an artist. Well, at least as a writer! 😉

    P.S. Since we all seem to have crashed GoComics, try http://www.arcamax.com/thefunnies/pearlsbeforeswine/s-1529918 until that one goes down too!

  247. What an incredible experience. You know, Charles Schulz did the foreword for one of the early Calvin and Hobbes collections. I bet Bill Watterson felt then how you feel now.

  248. I got to the end of the comments and realized I was about to cry. This is utterly and truly amazing, Stephen. Just maybe you have piqued Mr. Watterson’s interest enough to start up again. If not C&G, then something else just as fantastic. Well done.

  249. Pingback: 7 Quick Takes, 27 | Notes from Heidi

  250. Um… did anyone else get a wee bit teary with today’s strip? Happy teary, of course.

  251. I love seeing collaboration in art and that you were able to do it with Bill is fantastic. I always thought his reasoning for ending C&H was sound. He said all his most interesting thoughts and then he stopped before getting to the dredges of his mind. It’s exciting to see contribute again though. I’ve wondered recently if maybe after 20 years Bill might have some new things to say, maybe as part of something new and different from C&H.

    In any event at least I’ll always have my utterly dog-eared C&H books which he had the good grace to finish on a high note.

  252. As a child Calvis and Hobbes was the only Cartoon I would read. Had issues with Calvin all the time LOL!! What a great story and meeting the creator of my favorite comic strip of all time!!:-)

  253. Pingback: ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ Creator Pens First Comics in Nearly 2 Decades

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  255. Good thing I hadn’t thrown away the newspaper in a few days…have the three strips on my kitchen table right now! Wow, and WOW!! Thinking back to the days when my dorm room door was plastered in Calvin and Hobbes strips. Thank you for being brave enough to do this!

  256. The story and the strips – all the sweeter for the brevity. What a wonderful, all around experience!

  257. Years ago I had a dream in which three of my favorite musicians, Paul McCartney, Paul Westerberg, & Paul Weller, secretly formed a supergroup named “A Triumvirate of Pauls.” I relished that dream, as it represented the fantasy of having it all, at least musically. This past week I got a little taste of what the reality of that might actually feel like when I saw the Watterson/Pastis collaboration…somewhere, Schulz and Keane are laughing and wishing they had thought of doing something similar.

    Thanks S & B, that was great!

  258. Freaking awesome. We grew up reading Calvin. Our books were shredded from the hours spent looking at them, and reading them, over and over. We would frequently spend much longer at the dinner table than necessary, because we were discussing and recounting out favorite Calvin and Hobbes adventures… My brother knew them all, every strip, word for word.

  259. Ladies and gentlemen … your attention, please … now pinch-hitting for Jeter … No. 5 … Joe … DiMaggio. DiMaggio … Or, I’ll take “How fucking cool is THAT?!?” for $2,000, Alex” … and happiness ensues. 🙂

  260. What tickles me most is the very FIRST comic Watterson does to break the silence since 1995 features predator-antagonist caimans, which is the basis of my own comic I started in May. It’s delightfully surreal to think we were thinking of the same things!

  261. We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy!

    Saw you in “Stripped!” — excellent, and this is a fitting counterpoint to it.

  262. This is just fantastic!!!! I love Bill’s work… It was because of Calvin and Hobbs that I first started reading the Newspaper (yes they did exist at one time) and when he stopped, so did I. I have almost all of his Calvin and Hobbs books which I still enjoy. I read these to my kids and they absolutely loved it and them. I found it really funny (and even laughed out loud – I know… LOL) that he mentioned the reason he stopped doing his comics in the paper in one of the new strips. Right on Bill and hope you’ll enrich all of our lives with your humor and art….

  263. Pingback: Bill Watterson guests on ‘Pearls Before Swine’ — how’d this happen?! | South Florida Super Fun Team

  264. How super-duper cool – thanks for sharing!

    My kids grew up with Calvin and Hobbes, and all of their C&H books are still at our house (they can fight over ’em when we’re dead….).

  265. What an awesome story! I watched Dear Mr Watterson last week and I could just tell by your comments how much you respect him. Congrats, Stephan, you deserve it!

  266. Pingback: GKP019: The Return of Bill Watterson and WWDC 2014 | SQPN: Geekpriest

  267. I was wondering who was drawing those….and I love the idea of a cabin with whale-oil lamps. To find the master, one must go on a quest deep into the wilderness. You know he has a guard tiger, too….

  268. I cut all the C&H strips for 5 or 6 years, put them in a notebook and read them anytime I needed a laugh. I was disappointed when the strip ended, but envy talented people who retire when on top of their game and on their own terms. Like Johnny Carson, John Elway and a few others. This makes my day. 😊

  269. In 1992, when stationed aboard USS Tarawa (LHA-1), I passed the deployment to the Persian Gulf by writing famous people to see if I could get a reply (Navy ships had free postage after 30 days away from homeport). (I used “The Address Book” by Levine [?].) Among the respondents were cartoonists Dik Browne and Bill Watterson. Watterson sent me a drawing, ala Pogo, of Calvin & Hobbs in a swamp boat which Watterson named “Tarawa” on the stern panel along with a nice note. I’ve kept it, and the other replies (392 out of 500 letters sent). The value will never be worth what it meant to me that someone with fame and wealth took the time to personalize a return to a Sailor. Maya Angelou, who just passed, sent an autographed copy of a book of her poetry tabbed to a poem beginning, “Hello young sailor.” Stephen King sent an autographed copy of “The Tommyknockers” inscribed, “There are bad things out there – try not to look like food.” The responses were great, so much so that when Mail Call was held, many of my shipmates put off opening their mail to see what I had in mine – autographed photos of starlets and models being the most appreciated. It was a great way to pass six months at sea. The best and most personal response was from Ed Asner, for which I thank him and all the notables who took time (many, I am sure, though their assistants) to at least respond. Now, Watterson’s cartoon panel is even more prized.

  270. Pingback: Calvin & Hobbes’ creator has been secretly drawing this comic strip! | Dudelizious.com

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  272. I love your strip and that Bill Watterson dusted off his pens to draw again is awesome. It brought tears to my eyes seeing his work once again. He should fill in for all cartoonists.

  273. I watched my daughter graduate from high school two days ago, and I thought about that last Calvin and Hobbes strip – that she, someone who is about to pursue digital animation as a career, and who also loved Calvin and Hobbes, is about to go explore a magical world. And then today’s strip happened… and it almost brought me to tears. Now, 3 hours after reading that strip, I discover this. My year is now complete. Thank you, sir, for what you have done with this strip, and thank you for bringing Bill back, even if just only for a week.

  274. You should email Patterson back and see if he wants to make Libby into a spinoff strip!! Your characters can do guest spots in each others strip on occasion. Then he’d be back! Please make this happen!! 🙂

  275. I met him Bill briefly in Columbus Ohio in the late 80s (maybe early 90s?) when Walt Kelly widow, Shelby, decided to present Ohio State University with Walt’s archives. He spoke about how Pogo and Mr. Kelly influenced him as a young cartoonist. I always thought he would look like Calvin – he looked like the dad.

  276. This is absolutely amazing, i had to read it twice, including bills strips. so awesome, it brought great joy to my heart. Love watterson, while i missed him from the comics, i did understand why he left, and the fact he incorporated it in your strip was just awesome. I love your comic too Mr Pastis, and thank you for the joy you have just brought me.

  277. The first rule of vaudeville is “always leave them wanting more.” Don’t get any ideas, Pastis! Seriously, thank you both — hugely!

  278. Congratulations, this is epic! I’m reminded of a video on Youtube titled “Johnny Carson’s last TV appearance.” Here’s hoping this isn’t Bill Watterson’s last appearance on the comics pages.

  279. Leg-En-wait for it-Dary!

    Mr. Pastis, I hope you can get Mr. Watterson to read these comments – that many people still care about Calvin and Hobbes and that he created something that still resonates with other writers and fans alike. Congrats to you Mr Pastis for being able to work with your hero, not many in this world can say that. 🙂

  280. Pingback: ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ creator returns with with to pages after nearly 20-year absence | Funny & Odd News

  281. Pingback: The Most Legendary Cartoonist Alive Briefly Came Out Of Retirement And No One Even Noticed | Construction

  282. I have never seen your comic strip but I am a huge fan of Bill Watterson and his comic Genius of Calvin and Hobbs, and would love to meet him as well. I am glad that he is not quite in hiding, and I hope he does come out again. In the mean time, I will have to find out what paper your comic resides in so I may enjoy its merriment. Thank you

  283. Thank you for sharing this. I’m jealous but appreciative. Love the strip and the story.

  284. And the latest drawing of Stephen by the young cartoonist shows him as he really looks. Lovely. I think his wife will come back. Hehehehehe


  285. Stephan, this really has been a highlight for my week (esp after missing you in Washington). I thought the strips were a brilliant homage to Bill when I saw them. We all miss his work; I don’t think he understands how much happiness he has brought to so many people. I respect his decisions and feel guilty for having always wanted more from him. In my mind you are the modern mix of Trudeau and Breathed and I thoroughly enjoy your work as much as I have enjoyed these. I do confess that this recent collaboration should be viewed as your professional coronation. If you ever have self-doubt again, rest assured that you are now forever among the legends of this wonderful form of art and entertainment. Thank you sir.

  286. Pingback: This Week in Jokes: Luigi Grows a Pair, Watterson Returns

  287. If you made this up just to get me to sleep with you…I mean read your comic…I’m going to be upset. 😉

  288. THIS is just spectacular. I normally don’t read the crappy newspapers here in NYC because I hate the way news is “reported” these days, but I needed to grab all three days’ of those strips just because BILL IS BACK (albeit temporarily). Of course, I had a dream he was ghosting other strips, but I won’t say which ones. Let those guys or gals hunt him down and ask themselves!

    Anyway, Sp, I usually catch your work in bulk form and will continue to do so, as Pearls crept up on me over the years and has become my main strip when I need a chuckle. Keep it up!

  289. Awesome opportunity, thanks for sharing. No matter how many times I go back and read them Calvin and Hobbes always make me laugh. Pearls Before Swine is my favorite current strip.

  290. this is unbelievable. Your comic is one of the best remaining in the papers, so a well deserved congrats on this awesome experience.

  291. I never thought a blog post or cartoon could make me tear up. But today I have. Mr Watterson is one of my favorite, no, my all time favorite cartoonists ever. Seeing new work from him make me feel like maybe art isn’t a dying form anymore. Pearls before Swine has always been a strip I’ve loved to read but even more so now. Thank you for bringing back an amazing talent for us all and being able to respect his privacy and still share with us!

  292. Remember back in the late 70s, Lorne Michaels offered something like $5,000 if The Beatles if they’d reunite on his show, “Saturday Night Live”? This is the cartoon equivalent of that actually happening.

  293. Pingback: The Most Legendary Cartoonist Alive Briefly Came Out Of Retirement And No One Even Noticed | Essential Post

  294. Pingback: After 19 years, Bill Watterson, the reclusive creator of Calvin… | Snedo – Its Neato!

  295. Wow, that’s definitely a career highlight. You’ll be telling that one to your grandchildren, and since Calvin & Hobbes books will still be popular, they’ll be hugely impressed. And rightly so.

    You’ve just made cartoon legend. Congrats.

  296. Okay, first you did the Breaking Bad Premium Experience. Now this. I am still jealous. Add in the first real contact with my favorite cartoon author I am going to ask you to wear a go pro cam so I can have some of these experiences too.

  297. I think now that Bill has picked up the virus, we may not have to wait as long for the next apparition of Bigfoot. Thank you so much!

  298. More! More! Hopefully Lib will appear from time to time again. What a compliment to you that Mr. Watterson collaborated on Pearls. Both comic strips are my favorites ever.

  299. Being the comic nerd I am I’d have to say this entire event is pretty amazing. Love your work too!

  300. Fantastic! We have every Calvin and Hobbes and Pearls Before Swine collection. My two oldest boys, now 25 and 27, learned to read with Calvin’s help. My youngest daughter, now 17, learned with Baby Blues and others. We have shelves full of everything from Doonesbury to For Better or Worse. Congratulations to both Bill and Stephan for their contributions to literacy, lunacy and imagination!

  301. p.s. I notice that most posters here are guys. I’m a mom with a master’s degree in education. We love comics, too!

  302. Calvin & Hobbes. My grandpa liked that. That stuff is ancient history, isn’t it? Part of that Baby Boomer stuff that destroyed the American economy and made life miserable for every generation after the Baby Boomers sucked all the wealth out of the system.

  303. This. is. AWESOME!!!! I love Bill Watterson! (and I love your comic strip, too!) But nothing compares to Calvin and Hobbes. I love this article too, you are so funny. Thank you so much for these comic strips!

  304. That was the best secret ever, well done, Sir. Want to see you back at LA festival of books next year.

  305. I haven’t been a fan of very many comic strips except for Calvin and Hobbes and Pearls Before Swine (and maybe one or two more). You have a great talent and if anyone got to “see Bigfoot”, I’m glad it was you.

  306. Pingback: Calvin & Hobbes' creator has been secretly drawing this comic strip! | Battle Games

  307. Pingback: So cool: ‘Calvin’ creator comes back – briefly | keithroysdon

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  309. Thank you Mr. Pastis. You have made one of my dreams come true. I got to see Bill freaking Watterson draw again. Thank you for that. You are now on my short list of heroes. Under Bill Watterson of course.

  310. I am in shock. Thank you, Stephan, for your generosity in creating the opportunity for this wonderful event to happen, and for respecting the deal as you promised. And if Mr. Watterson is reading this – thank you. I hope you realize how much this means to many, many people.

  311. Pingback: ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ creator Bill Watterson made a surprise return to cartooning last week | slothed

  312. Un. Frickin’. BELIEVABLE!! My god Watterson and Pastis together – who woulda thunk it?? And the best part is, the strips are hilarious!! Well done, sir.

  313. Finding out about this collaboration made my day so very very much. Delightful nostalgia!
    Thank you for generously sharing the panels of your brilliant comic with a legend.

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  315. WOW!!! This is unbelievably cool and a moment of time that I still can’t believe happened. You sir are a GOD. You may not feel you can answer as such but to quote Winston Zeddemore: when someone asks you if you’re a god, you say “YES”!

  316. What a great story! 😀 I recognized the style – I actually thought maybe you were taking drawing lessons from him, or something like that (do cartoonists do drawing workshops for each other in their retirement years?), and then it turns out to be the man himself. Terrific!

  317. Pingback: ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ creator returns to comics pages after nearly 20-year absence | Funny & Odd News

  318. There is NO comic strip in the world I love more than Calvin. Thankyou Bill for drawing again. We LOVE your humour and love you. You are just so amazing, talented and awesome. Thankyou for sharing your talent. ❤ ❤ ❤

  319. Mr. Watterson has unknowingly been a part of our family for 20 years or so. He is now a part of my grandchildren’s lives through our very loved and worn out Calvin and Hobbs books. My husband bought our first book thinking it would be cheaper than a therapist for me, as raising a boy was a whole new ball of wax. I could hear Mr. Watterson applauding our 3 year old son as he flooded the upstairs or as a 5 year old spray painting the gas meter, or plugging up the entire sewer system with toys. Mr. Watterson has been a good and faithful friend through the years. And we have missed him. I do so enjoy Pearls Before Swine and have tapped many a newspaper clipping to hang on the family bulletin board. Thank you both for bringing smiles to our faces.

  320. I’ve been a fan for a long time, Stephen, but now that you’ve coaxed Bill Watterson back into the world, I think I want to have your baby. 🙂

  321. You are my new hero. Loved C&H. Miss it to this day. Would stalk you if I thought any of the pixie dust had rubbed off on you. Now let’s ask NSA to get a location from the emails, and beat him with sticks until he un-retires. I seriously miss my C&H!!

  322. Pingback: Reclusive ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ cartoonist Bill Watterson makes surprise return  | New York news

  323. I don’t believe you. For one, what the hell is a “newspaper”? That sounds like something you just make up.

  324. Pingback: Bill Watterson, creator of ‘Calvin and Hobbes,’ draws three new comic strips – The Plain Dealer | Online Kids Depot

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  326. My wife and I are reading through the Calvin and Hobbes book collections for the past week, in chronological order. Some of the absolute most brilliant comic strip artwork and dialog and characters ever created.

    How did you manage to get through working with Watterson in the way you recount without a) having a heart attack, b) hair bursting spontaneously on fire?

    Thanks for sharing. An absolutely marvelous tale.

    Like everyone else, we wish there was more Calvin and Hobbes. I keep the last Sunday strip, cut from our paper, laminated and framed on my main study / office wall at home.

  327. You stole my dream! MY DREAM! Ok I never really had that dream but its ok. A great intro to Pearls before Swine. Tell Bill/Calvin , the camera does not really steal your soul. Wall Street is the only thing that does that.

  328. Love PBS! One of the few comics left in the NY Daily News that I like. Most of them are pretty stupid. I miss the days of Calvin & Hobbes and Peanuts. This week’s strips were totally awesome! I love your story on how you two got together on this. Now if you can just get Charles Schultz to come back from the dead to collaborate on another series that would be totally amazing. 🙂

  329. I thought this week that the strips looked similar to Calvin and Hobbes, and then especially today with the direct reference to Calvin and Hobbes. It’s incredible to look back at them with the knowledge that they are by Watterson.

  330. This thought came to mind as I read your phenomenal account…”Moby Dick seeks thee not. It is thou, thou, that madly seekest him!”.

    Mad respect for making peace and securing favor with the great whale! “Thar he inks!!!”

  331. Pingback: ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ Creator Returns (Briefly) to the Comics Page | WKPT ABC 19

  332. Pingback: Bill Watterson, creator of ‘Calvin and Hobbes,’ draws three new comic strips – The Plain Dealer | Baby kids depot

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  334. So odd. I just watched “Dear Mr. Watterson” on Netflix on June 4th. That made me think about all the Calvin and Hobbes books I had in storage. I promptly ordered used copies of the 3 treasury books rather than trying to dig them up. “Authoritative” arrived yesterday and my 12 year old son promptly read through the whole thing in one sitting. Today I find this amazing story on Twitter about Mr. Watterson’s return. So odd!

  335. Pingback: Calvin and Hobbes Creator Makes Secret Return « Secured Archives Secured Archives

  336. Gaaa! Now I want to cry … again. I wish he’d come back. *Pearls Before Swine* was our top comic for a long time, in other words, our replacement comic after *Calvin and Hobbes*. Having you both would be…wonderful.

  337. Pingback: Bill Watterson Returns | The Critical Utopian

  338. I’m at a loss for appropriate words. I’ve read everything here so far and can’t help but continue to be blown away. Thank you God for giving us both Bill Watterson and Stephen Pastis. I turned my daughter on to Calvin & Hobbes when I bought the first book. She was immediately hooked. I just might have to start getting the daily paper again instead of Sunday only! Pearl Before Swine has just become even more meaningful. Thank you, thank you both for giving such a lovely blast to the past.

  339. I am in shock. Thank you, Stephan, for your generosity in making this happen, and for respecting the terms of the deal and the secret. And Mr. Watterson, if you are reading this, thank you. I hope you know how much this means to many, many people.

  340. Pingback: weapons of massdistraction › An Exaggerated Sense of Responsibility

  341. That is so COOL. I don’t always see your weekday strips (because I don’t always get the weekday paper), but did see these ones. They are great! As was Calvin and Hobbes. And I always enjoy Pearls, too. Congratulations.

  342. Amazing..kudos..very very kudos..thought you may have shown a smidgen of disrespect to the the C&H boys a short while ago and I had sorta turned you to two on the volume scale,so glad to see there were no feelings,or I misperceived.
    But well done,for both…cheers,RE

  343. I have a grandson named Calvin because my son loved Calvin and Hobbes growing up so much. When he was in middle school he sent a letter to Mr. Watterson and received a letter back. I have much respected that man since that day because he took time to respond to a twelve year old.

  344. OMG. This is the comic strip equivalent of getting JD Salinger to write another book. Well played, sir. Well played. And thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to both of you.

  345. I am so happy to find out Bill Watterson did those strips. Pearls is my favourite strip on the comics page of my newspaper. I was wondering who did the art on those strips.

  346. The real Bigfoot is a fake. A hoax. We don’t even have a toe bone from the *real* Bigfoot.

    But some comic panels from the cryptic Sasquatch-esque Mr Watterson provide irrefutable tangible evidence of his existence. He has surfaced. He lives!

    Quite exciting, if I may say so. And historic.

  347. one of the highlights of my otherwise drab existence in the 1990’s was getting to the office and reading the latest C & H strip. one of the lowlights of my otherwise spectacular retirement is reading the latest assault on the genre by P B S. needless to say i was stunned to find out that calvin’s daddy had stooped to anoint this strip with respectability. i am now a dedicated zeeba neighba. i am so ashamed. how can i donate to the richard thompson charity so that i can at least say it is for a good cause? yo pastis, your wife should give you props for collaborating with an immortal. in the words of the best that ever was, “we have met the enemy and he is us”

  348. Pingback: See The First Comics The Creator Of "Calvin And Hobbes" Has Drawn In Nearly 20 Years | Sharing Interesting Stuff, Updates News & Free Tips

  349. When I saw the rendition of the giant Martian killer robot, I had strong suspicions, but I didn’t want to hope too high. Welcome back Bill, stay as long as you want.

  350. BRILLIANTLY DONE, Steven and Bill! Totally wonderful on all levels! Seeing the strips in the Philadelphia Inquirer I thought they were very special just seeing them. Little did I know HOW special.

  351. I love comics and cartoons, everything about them seems right to me somehow, even though I can hardly draw a happy face. I really look forward to seeing your strips, they’re fantastic, drole, and punchy, but I’m old so have a real large soft spot for Walt Kelly and Bill Watterson who’ve always been extra special specialties for me. Kinda like a great camping trip or good barbeque! Anyway having you take this opportunity and making it happen is just wonderful! Thank you so much!! Walt and especially Bill had and have, a grand pervasive gentleness and tolerance that vaults out through their characters and makes you want to wave the magic wand and have those strips and odd souls become our live friends and reality. You can be proud that you’re carrying on something so special!
    PS Jimi would have loved it too!

  352. this is the greatest thing in the history of the world. I had already laughed at today’s strip; now that I know who the artist was, it’s even funnier/more poignant. kudos

  353. I literally think I’m hyperventilating right now! Outside of you saying you had gone to heaven, collaborated with Charles Schultz or Charles Dickens and brought it back for publication, this is the most awesome thing I can possibly imagine happening!

  354. Thanks for sharing this. This article helped me to momentarily forget the embarrassing scandal in which my employer, the University of North Carolina, is currently mired. Reading this article, I am reminded of the comparative insignificance of what I consider to be my paltry “accomplishments” in this life.

  355. This is so freaking cool. And to think I used to be jealous of Wil Wheaton. I had no idea what the word meant.

  356. Pingback: Calvin and Hobbes

  357. My wife sent me the link to your story. I have all the Calvin & Hobbes books and have read them all about a hundred times (or at least close to it) and I sent here the following reply:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    Sigh. If only it could last forever. Or least another ten year run!

  358. Pingback: The All Too Brief Return Of Bill Watterson | Broadsheet.ie

  359. Pingback: See The First Comics The Creator Of “Calvin And Hobbes” Has Drawn In Nearly 20 Years | Essential Post

  360. Pingback: Ever Wished That Calvin and Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson Would Return to the Comics Page? Well, He Just Did. - Brent Logan

  361. This is fantastic! Cannot tell you how much I love Calvin & Hobbes and how happy it makes me that Mr. Watterson is still so amazing. Bravo to you both!

  362. Wow, this is amazing! I read your strip religiously. What fun to discover your blog and hear what happened.

  363. I THOUGHT that drawing style looked familiar. Maybe you could get Garry Trudeau to draw something again.

  364. Very curiously, it turns out there is another Bill Watterson, born in the same year, looks similar, wears the same (ish) glasses, and went to the same college (Kenyon – though not the same year). He’s an English professor at Bowdoin (http://www.bowdoin.edu/faculty/w/wwatters/). Just thought I’d mention, noting weirdness in the universe. A twin? But same name with a different initial?

  365. I’ve been getting women into bed for years by telling them I’m not Stephan Pastis.

  366. Thanks for sharing your story.
    I recently gave all my c and h books to my 15 year old daughter.
    She loves them.
    How fortunate you are to have had this experience with your hero.
    my father had a similar experience many years ago. It left him profoundly changed as a person

  367. AWWWW!!! The story made me smile and got me tickled all over.
    The last strip made me cry, actually.

    How phenomenal, congrats! That’s freaking brilliant.

  368. Pingback: The title says it all. Go read this. Specifically tagging my circle of artists. : Mike Searle Art

  369. Pingback: Bill Watterson Comes Out Of Hiding And Secretly Returns To The Comics Page » The Viral Trend... Funny, Viral Videos, Pictures and Stories

  370. When I read those comics, I was wondering why they looked like they’d popped out of Calvin and Hobbes…

  371. Cartooning Lives Many Lives, a not quite haiku

    Cartoons show and tell
    Human mirth and misery.

    From cave wall bison
    to digital memes,

    Cartooning shares life
    from ancient times on.

    Cool story, cool strips,
    Cartoons stretch the limits of thought,
    Even with limited space.

  372. Wowzers! If that wasn’t at or near the top of your bucket list, I don’t know what could be! Seriously, all you need now is to have Breathed work on a few and your untouchable history forever. LOL!


  373. Wow! I really enjoyed the LIbby strips as they came out in real time…and wondered at the different drawing styles you could do….so this makes so much sense. And having been a C&H fan (also in real time), I am a little blown away.

  374. What a fantastic story! Thanks for sharing this little tidbit and congratulations on a tale you’ll be able to tell folks for decades! 😀

  375. As a person who has a dog named Hobbes and considers the strip the greatest ever, I have to confess I kind of like Pastis’s crocs.

  376. Pingback: Fun Crisis ! Popular Games – Funny Videos – Amazing Pics » Blog Archive Bill Watterson Comes Out Of Hiding And Secretly Returns To The Comics Page » Fun Crisis ! Popular Games - Funny Videos - Amazing Pics

  377. Congrats I hope you got to keep something from the big foot, rough drawings or some such. I liked your strip that started it. Bills’ work I have always loved and I am glad he is still out there, hopefully he will step in again somewhere and put smiles on our faces and have us who love strips so much keep hoping that strips will continue on. Thank you for sharing with us all.

  378. I loved it! On Thursday the panel with the space ships reminded me of something I had seen somewhere else a long time ago. Bravo. And thank you!
    By the way your strip and Peanuts are the first 2 I read everyday, and in that order.

  379. Thanks….this really made my day. I’ve saved my Calvin &Hobbes books for my kids. I think they will love they like I do…I was not familiar with Pearls before this ….I’ll certainly check it out in the future!

  380. This was great to see a behind the scenes like this. Thoroughly enjoyed the story and seeing the results. Thank you soooo much for sharing.

  381. Reblogged this on mjmsprt40, sez me. and commented:
    I’ve been reading Pearls Before Swine” for quite some time now. Also, Calvin and Hobbes is being run on GoComics, so of course I read them. Finding these two artists working together– just, wow.

  382. I have always considered you the best form of twisted artist. Thanks for sharing one of the coolest stories ever shared.

  383. Pingback: The Calvin & Hobbes appreciation thread - Page 12

  384. What a wonderful story. It is only now that I get the final gag. (Also, looking back, that zebra certainly did look rather Hobbs-ish, didn’t he?).

  385. Amazing, Amazing, Amazing. Congratulations! And thank you for sharing with all of us!!

  386. Pingback: Because even Bigfoot shows up if you wait long enough… | Jesse Gordon—the geek, that is

  387. Pingback: Jordan Meyerowitz | The Most Legendary Cartoonist Alive Briefly Came Out Of Retirement And No One Even Noticed

  388. And here I thought I was crazy for thinking that Lib’s artwork had a striking similarity to Calvin & Hobbes. Thanks, Stephan, for taking the chance; thanks Bill for gracing the funny pages for a wonderful encore.

  389. honestly there are no words at all that can convey how i feel about this. there is the widest range of joy, anger, shame, dreaming, mind-blowing, jealous, proud, and all points in between. I am so very very happy and proud of you. After watching your interview on Dear Mr. Watterson, I can see how much this means to you even before this happened. If you never thought you led a blessed life – you should know so now.

  390. omg to get the legendary bill watson to guest strip pearls before swine stephen what a real cue almost as if bill had decided to have calvien and hobbes show up and say hi to rat and pig. now wonder you were going nuts trying to keep the secret that you were working with a comic strip legend. the only thing that could top it would be berkly breathed had gotten into the act too .

  391. Pingback: The Creator Of Calvin and Hobbes Has Been Drawing A Comic In Secret! | News 12

  392. Dear Stephen Pastis,
    I have always loved “Pearls Before Swine,” and before it, “Calvin and Hobbes.” This story is just so great! I really enjoyed reading it. I’ve contacted people I admire many times over the years, and i always have been glad I did. This time too!
    Sam Longoria
    Hollywood CA USA

  393. This was awesome!! Calvin and Hobbes was, and still is, my favorite comic of all time. I’d give anything to see a Calvin and Hobbes movie or at minimum, a TV special!!

  394. I love this!
    And I’ll use a quote from one of your recent strips, which still makes me chuckle: “Have you heard the Gouda news?”

  395. Just when I thought I couldn’t like you any more, you prove to me that I can. My hubby and I were commenting this week that we loved your homage to Bill Watterson, and today’s strip brought tears to my eyes remember how Calvin and Hobbes went off at the end of his strip to explore the magical world. Now we find out that it was the great Mr. Watterson himself actually drawing it. You will always be at the top of my list of favorite cartoonists, and I’m sure you don’t mind if I put you just a place behind Mr. Watterson. Bravo, Mr. Pastis!

  396. Pingback: ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ creator Bill Watterson creates a new comic

  397. Pingback: Calvin and Hobbes Creator Makes Secret Return | News 12

  398. Absolutely blown away by the story, and equally impressed by all the posts it generated!
    Gee, I live near Cleveland…I wonder if I’ve ever seen Bill Watterson without knowing it?

  399. Reblogged this on I'm a Writer, Yes I Am and commented:
    Anyone love Calvin and Hobbes? You have to read this and open the linked pages to see what happened! Awesome, funny and wonderful!

  400. I love it. Anyone that knows his background should have known it was him by the second toon.

    Awesome story. All the best to Mr. Watterson.

  401. What an AMAZING story. Like so many others, C&H had a profound effect on me growing up. I have all the books and have passed them down to my own boys. Including my own blonde haired “Just call me Calvin, Mom” Jack. I love that you were able to bring us his work again and that you were also able to respect his reclusiveness. (Yeah..I know it isn’t a word). Great work. Thanks so much for sharing!

  402. Thanks to my dearly departed grandmother, who was a big fan of Calvin & Hobbes, I now own all of his books with his comics that appeared in the newspapers. She owned every one of his books, and left them to me when she died. My favorite ones are of Calvin & the Snowmen. They make me laugh every Christmas holiday.

  403. Oh wow, you can tell it’s him by the lettering style alone. So amazing you were able to collaborate with him. Did you feel a bit like Sheldon Cooper if he were to meet Leonard Nimoy? I would’ve…

  404. Pingback: Bill Watterson Returned To Comics This Week And The Internet Is Rightfully Shitting Its Pants | Comic Bastards

  405. OMG! I don’t even get your comic strip here in Podunk, Indiana – so I never would have seen this if you hadn’t posted it. I’m so excited for you, and I hope that somehow Calvin (or Hobbs) will appear to us again. Please Bill, please Bill, please Bill, even if you have to color within the lines.

  406. In retrospect, “I could do better if I had more space” was a clear tip-off…


    This story just made my day …

    You know, I have dog-eared copies of all his collections lying around that I pull out from time-to-time whenever I need a lift. I also have his entire collection someone got me as a gift, still in its shrink-wrap. Every time I go to open it, I think “Nooo, I don’t want to ruin them” – which is silly, I know, why have them? Yet they remain safely encased in heavy-duty shrink wrap, thus ensuring I have something to read when the zombie apocalypse comes …

    Thanks for sharing this story, and thank you, Mr. Watterson for the uncountable smiles you’ve brought me over the years.

  407. Excellent!
    You left out a critical piece of info, though – when/where is the charity auction? We’re gonna raise some good cash for that cause…

  408. Pingback: Bill Watterson draws three Pearls

  409. Pingback: Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson makes secret return to comics page | WorWire

  410. Ugh, stupid me, I made the *biggest* typo on my first comment. Shouldn’t type while tired. I said Bill Patterson instead of Bill Watterson. Just for that major goof, I should go ride a cardboard sled over a thistle patch & broken glass…

  411. I’m astounded at BW’s style! Economy, momentum, joy… all in a frame or two… Wow!

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  414. Wow! That’s just mind-blowing.

    That’s more than any award-giving body could ever give you. More than the recognition from your peers, it’s the off chance of getting to work WITH your ultimate hero. Congrats, Stephan!

  415. I loved those Lib strips. But then you know, I love the pre and post strips, too!

  416. Mr. Pastis, earlier today, in tears, I read your blog post and then read the three strips on which you and Mr. Watterson collaborated and all I can say is: it’s like getting to spend a few minutes with your Dad again (mine’s been gone since 1985). All I can say is thank you for risking rejection and reaching out… even if it seemed hopeless!

  417. Stephen, this is absolutely incredible. You have no idea how special of a moment this is for me. I am one of the largest fans of Bill Watterson and growing up as a kid into my early teens, Calvin and Hobbes was a strip that I NEVER failed to read. December 31st, 1995 (I was 14 years old) was the last day of my childhood. I understood why he stopped working on Calvin and Hobbes, but never agreed with it. For many years after, all I ever wanted was for Bill Watterson to provide a glimpse of his creativity for future generations. I didn’t care if it had anything to do with Calvin and Hobbes, but I just wanted his creativity and his art to be expressed.

    Later on in my 20’s (and now 30’s) I occasionally read the comic strips. Pearls before Swine was definitely one of the few that I would read, but never with the same vigor or desire as Calvin and Hobbes. If somebody asked me, I would have no clue as to who the cartoonist was.

    As I got older so did my mind set. Before I knew it, I had turned into a full blown adult with a home, wife, son, and a career. Things like comic strips became an afterthought and simply faded away from my daily routines, which now include coffee, 2+ hours of traffic a day, and a truant, yet adorable, 3 year old son.

    However, your blog…your blog, brought me back to my childhood. Even for just the day, your blog brought me hope. How I would love to see Bill Watterson create a new strip for a new generation. How I hope that Bill Watterson becomes addicted again to creating brilliance for many more years for new generations. How I will be forever grateful to you if your strip was his gateway.

    There is nothing I would love more than my son to become engulfed with a comic strip during his childhood, as I did in mine. My drug of choice was created by Bill Watterson. I will gladly encourage his to be created by Stephan Pastis.

    Thank You

  418. Oh. My. God.

    That’s an awesome story! 😮 If only I knew to draw a stick without making it look wobbly, I’d do the same even if he gave me advance notice that he would never write back to me.

    I’m a great C&H fan, and I have read them many times. My single go-to place for solutions to ALL my problems, always!

    Wow. Loved this post!

  419. Pingback: Bill Watterson Sneaks Back Into Comics Pages – IamYellowBox.Com

  420. For a creative person to get the validation of having one of their “heroes” reach out and give them an “attaboy”, it’s something you never ever forget. It’s also incredibly empowering to one’s one work going forward, to know we are indeed “good enough.” I had it happen to me once. It really does do that. Congratulations to you for getting the Big Prize.

  421. This is making me tear up a little because it made me feel just a tiny bit better about something I’d felt a little (alot) ashamed about.
    Like many people, I grew up reading calvin and hobbes. In fact, my sister and I learned to READ on calvin and hobbes (my sister has a story about her first grade class teacher asking students for words that start with ‘Dis-‘, and her word was ‘disembowel’ – you can guess where she learned that one, and the teacher reacted much as any calvin and hobbes teacher would’). Being a little girl myself (who liked tigers quite a bit after the Waterson influence) I couldn’t help but want Darcy to have her own adventures, which led to me sending a letter full of designs for a ‘girl hobbes’ and suggestions for their adventures.
    I received a very nice letter from Bill Waterson in return, and I kept that letter for a long time. Its probably still stuffed in some box in some corner.
    Of course as I grew up, I was incredibly embarrassed with that childish desire to share a character based on his original, but it also is a little heartening that though he probably received hundreds of letters and pieces of art with that same idea, that he also wanted to send those kids a little something back.

  422. Thank you! for 1) your comic strip; 2) getting Bill to publish in the comics again! 3) taking the time to flesh out an exceptional exchange and getting the best drawings from Bill for your efforts! 4) setting the hook that hopefully Bill will take – and Bill can have fun drawing comics again – and the world will be a happier place because of it. This is an excellent place to appeal to humans everywhere and get newspapers to make an offer that not even Bill Watterson can refuse – he can have as much page space as he wants. I will personally guarantee it will put the newspapers back in the running as a viable business.

  423. Pingback: ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ Creator Returns (Briefly) to the Comics Page | CovertSocialPress

  424. I fell so obtuse ,the dig at how much better it could be if there was more space should have been a clue
    That said This post totally made my day , It was a double win . I love Calvin and Hobbs , I grew up reading it in the actual news paper. At 15, I once snuck out at night just to call my mom from the pay phone down the street and whispered :”Its 2 am do you know where your children are?” Needless to say her reaction was very much like Calvin’s mom . The grounding was totally worth it!
    I have often said Pearls was the best post Watterson comic. and I am glad Watterson thought enough of it to hide some new work in it . Thank you both so much!

  425. Pingback: Calvin & Hobbes' creator has been secretly drawing this comic strip!

  426. Stephan: Way cool.. Over the years I had dinner with Schulz twice, drew Dale Messick at dinner and then had her draw me – and she signed both drawings. Drew Phil Frank, Eldon Dedini, Sergio Aragones, Mel Lazarus, Morrie Turner, Gahan Wilson, Gus Arriola and others, usually at some cartoonists function. But man, I’ve mourned Calvin and Hobbes – not having the strip anymore was like a small death.. ‘Sparky’ sent me a nice letter on some Snoopy stationery after I missed seeing him in Santa Rosa. But having The Bill collaborate… can’t help but be maximally impressed. Keep those Crocs comin’ – I’m laughing at myself now cause I really had no clue when “Lib” drew that first panel. A “better than O’Henry” ending!

  427. Until I read this link through the magic of Facebook, I had never heard of you nor your comic strip. This is one of the most hilarious pieces of writing I have read in a very long time. You have earned another reader, my friend. Congratulations on being able to collaborate with the great Bill Watterson. I cannot wait to read it.

  428. Pingback: The Creator Of Calvin and Hobbes Has Been Drawing A Comic In Secret! « Secured Archives Secured Archives

  429. Just really laughing because, for me, the zebra rang a bell in my memory And I Didn’t Know Why! A terrific story for us afficianados of the comics. I still miss the little jelly bean feet and the oh-so-wonderful tiger.
    Congratulations to both of you, Stephan Pastis and Bill Watterson. Thanks so much, Stephan, for sharing this story.

  430. Pingback: Weekly Web Wanderings - 6/7/14(ish) - Honestly Kate

  431. Pingback: Being a Calvin And Hobbes Fan Got Very Exciting This Weekend | If These Books Could Talk

  432. Congrats to you for this epic event in your life! I am totally and completely jealous! I love this article! I as most all of the other commenters here, grew up with Calvin and Hobbes….in fact we used a few of the strips in the photo collage at my dad’s funeral. A month later on my wedding anniversary my husband bought me the beautiful hard bound set (even though I have all the books in paper back) it was the perfect gift and still brings a tear to my eye. Bill Watterson will always hold a special dear place in my heart and you sir have earned a place there as well.

  433. when i read this article I thought he was talking about a comic strip that had happened a few years ago, then I started reading the comic strips themselves, only to find that I had read one of them at my job (head manager buys the daily newspaper).

  434. Pingback: We missed you, Bill Watterson – Off the Kuff

  435. Every bit of this is excellent! Thanks so much for telling this wonderful story. Thanks to Mr. Watterson for stepping back in for all our fun.

  436. Pingback: The Week in Review: June 8th, 2014 | The Literary Omnivore

  437. and they were thoroughly enjoyable, read them all during my exhaustive commute between Greenbelt, MD and Alexandria, VA

    and thanks for all the giggles you’ve provided on your own

  438. Excellent post. In the ultimate irony, you should win a Reuben award for those strips.

  439. Pingback: Sunday links: reputations at risk | Abnormal Returns

  440. “Frightened because it’s one thing to write a strip read by millions of people. But it’s another thing to propose an idea to Bill Watterson.”

    Two of today’s remaining real “Gentlemen”.
    I thoroughly enjoy the both of you, and the two of you together could only be “Transmorgifying”.

  441. Wow….have you woken up from the dream yet????! You pulled off the holy grail of comic stripping, kudos to you…your talents enabled all of it, and Mr.Watterson recognizes…bully for you!!!!

  442. Well your strip is no Calvin and Hobbs, but you’ve earned your stripes just the same. I love your work. Read it daily. And thanks for sharing the story.

  443. Pingback: Insects In Comics | Living With Insects Blog

  444. I love your patience in sharing this..how exciting it must have been to hear back from him! I adore my Calvin and Hobbes collection, I plan on sharing with my niece and nephew when I visit them this summer!

  445. I love your patience in sharing this..how exciting it must have been to hear back from him! I adore my Calvin and Hobbes collection, I plan on sharing with my niece and nephew when I visit them this summer!

  446. I did actually read (?) the 1st one w/ the alligator & didn’t understand it – now I do. I miss Calvin & Hobbs – alot! There is alot politically & culturally he could say to us today. I wish he would. thanks!

  447. Too awesome for words! Bill Watterson is a legend. You, Mr. Pastis, have been touched by God. Time to open one of my old Calvin & Hobbes collections and enjoy the moment!

  448. What an incredible experience! I have missed Calvin and Hobbes so much…I live with a Calvin. 🙂 I have often wondered what happened to Mr. Watterson. When I saw those strips, I had no doubt who was involved in creating them. Wow. That is about all I can say. Wow.

  449. Confirmed my suspicions: real artists don’t use photoshop. As others have suggested, see if you can look up Gary Larson and Berkley Breathed!

  450. While reading the strips this week, one of the first things that popped into my head was a scene from Star Wars (Episode 4). Darth Vadar outside the freshly captured Millennium Falcon; “…a presence I haven’t felt since…”

    Truly awesome. I’m gonna lay back in my chair and let it soak in.

  451. Pingback: Doctor Magnifico by Steve Ogden » Calvin and Pearls

  452. Dear Bill Watterson. “We have met the enemy and it is us”. The struggle continues. Welcome back.

  453. Pingback: Calvin and Pearls

  454. Exchanging emails with your cartooning heroes sounds like fun. I wish I’d thought of that… ;D

  455. As a comics fan for many many many moons… I always felt Mr. Watterson’s contribution was to add the ‘3rd’ dimension to comics.. Hobbes never in the panel (unless-stuffed) when anyone except Calvin present.. The day-dreaming in class panels.. and of course the SNO-men!! This read made my whole day and then some..(Pearls before Swine is another great art-work) Best blessing’s Mr. Pastis and Mr. Watterson! and Thank-you Thank-you Thank-YOU!!

  456. omg I loved it!!!! he picked up right where he left off! god I wish he’d come back…

  457. Does anyone else see Hobbes ears in the 06/05 strip in the spaceship just to the left of the Martian?

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  459. What a sweet story! Thank you for sharing it with us! (Oh, and I am a long time fan of your work also-so thanks for being awesome.)

  460. After looking back at the Martian invasion thing, it is clear who did it. Just replace the two characters with a little boy and his friend and it would have been very familiar,

  461. Pingback: TANcast 290 – We’re Exactly As Clever As The Economist | TANcast

  462. This is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever heard. Calvin and Hobbes have brought me many smiles, laughs, and outright Guffaws over the years. Happiness is a furry tiger!

  463. Pingback: Bill Watterson Sneaks Back Into Comics Pages – 15 Min News.Com

  464. This was an amazing and completely unexpected thing to see. After the first strip, I just thought, “Huh, Stephan Pastis must be experimenting with different drawing styles.” Then, of course, I read the Washington Post article.

    Congrats to both of you on being able to delight so many people!

  465. Wow, my two favorites in one strip!!! We own the whole Calvin and Hobbes collection, and our youngest son is named Calvin. Mr. Watterson would be proud to know that our Calvin lives up to his namesake! My hubby and I both love your strip, Mr. Pastis, and now we need to clear out room on our bookshelves to start our Pearls Before Swine collection right next to dear old Calvin and Hobbes! This is awesome!

  466. Pingback: Best. Unintentional birthday present. Ever! | Skhoot Studio

  467. Pingback: Bill Watterson Returns to Comics in 'Pearls Before Swine'

  468. And the send-off with toboggan was brilliant, even though you drew it 🙂

  469. Thank you so much Stephen (and Bill). Really enjoyed seeing/listening to you at the Washington Post last Monday! Love your stuff. I love cartoons!

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  471. It’s nice to see Mr. Watterson making baby steps back into the public eye. Several months ago there was a wonderful article about him (with his cooperation & input) in Mental Floss magazine, and now this collaboration…it is truly wonderful for we fans of his marvelous work to see that he is ‘still out there.’ C&H will always have a very special place in my heart (and the collections a prominent place on my bookshelf). I respect his desire for privacy, but I still quite selfishly wish he was enriching our lives on a daily basis. Thank you both!

  472. Pingback: ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ Creator Pens First Comics in Nearly 2 Decades - The Morning News

  473. I thought the second panel of the June 5 strip looked like one of Calvin’s world-destruction flights of fancy, right down to Bill Watterson’s lettering style. Then thought “nah, you’re reading too much into this.” Guess not. 😀 (Also, what a fantastic, wonderful story! We the readers almost got as much out of reading the strips and seeing the backstory as you must have when you actually put this together.)

  474. Keeping a secret like this is more like finding the holy grail and being forced to keep it in the cupboard behind the wine glasses.

  475. Bigfoot, indeed. Reading about this was like finding irrefutable proof of Bigfoot. I was really a joy to see Bill Watterson’s work again. Thank you for sharing your amazing experience!

  476. Pingback: Ever Wished That Calvin and Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson Would Return to the Comics Page? Well, He Just Did. | clever nicknames

  477. Thank you for sharing this truly epic moment in comic strip history! (Yes, I’m aware “epic” is no longer a cool word to use, but there simply isn’t any other accurate way to describe this post.)

  478. You are incredibly fortunate, good sir! Many a fan would give everything to meet the man behind the strip!

    Mr.Watterson and his comic are both like gold: extremely hard to find and incredibly valuable. Us fans dearly miss his work…but also the unique “Calvinism” that brought it to life; something between a philosophy and childish enthusiasm.

    With no more than paper, ink, and his imagination Bill opened windows into a world most of us forget or leave behind when we grow up. And while he left them open when he departed the scene – with the fitting farewell of “Let’s go exploring!”

  479. Reblogged this on The Teenage Life and commented:
    I don’t know how many of you already saw this, but I know that I’m just now hearing about it… wow. I am in love with Calvin and Hobbes, I’ve read every single one. So this is possibly the coolest thing ever.

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  481. Pingback: Bill Watterson draws for Pearls Before Swine | BrainFuel

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  483. So do you know why Mr. Watterson stopped doing Calvin and Hobbes? He did Calvin and Hobbes for the love of it. People around him wanted to commercialize and capitalize on his artistry and he didn’t want any part of it. So he walked away from Calvin and Hobbes and left us wanting so much more! It is so unfortunate. I don’t know if he has anymore Calvin and Hobbes stories in his heart, but it would be great if he could and would come back on his own terms…

  484. Honestly I suspected as much when I first saw the crocs, but I just imagined “Aww, those cartoon syndicate guys have connections. That’s how he got Watterson to do it” .. not really knowing anything about the process. That’s cool. Now go find Gary Larson! 😀

  485. Mr Pastis, You have big shoes to fill. I still have the last Calvin and Hobbes strip and its laminated!

  486. A large portion of my childhood was spent reading Calvin & Hobbes! I have such fond memories of that strip! Glad he is back

  487. Reblogged this on VisualFling and commented:
    I was out exploring when I ran into a second grader who could draw better than me, and whose watercolor technique teaches me to simplify my life.

  488. i thought it was an homage to Watterson when I saw it, what’s even funnier is a guy I work with said … “That’s not even close to his work.”

  489. Stephan, thanks for pursuing this project. Calvin is my all-time, all-time favorite, and I am an old guy.

  490. Si vuelves a conversar con el en un futuro cercano envíale saludos y que de vez en cuando le diga al mundo: Hola (en forma escrita o de historieta)…

  491. Wow and wow and wow. Thank you so much for sharing and in such a respectful but real way.

    I am jealous enough to set MY hair on fire.

    I too just watched the movie “Dear Mr. Watterson” on Netflix a couple days ago (as another poster mentioned.)

    I think there are a few times in life when we can observe true mastery–and Calvin and Hobbes is just that. When we experience mastery, the world opens up. It feels like a piece of the divine reveals itself to us. Certainly Bill Watterson is not God, but I think he gave us a whole lot of glimpses of whatever God is made of. (Your square-jawed-portrait notwithstanding.)

    Also, you have a picture of yourself (sort of) that BILL WATTERSON drew.

    Mind. Blown.

    Seriously, thank you for your humor, your awe and experiencing this exchange the way most of the rest of us would hope to. You did it with some class and some grace and a sense of reverence. And most likely multiple pairs of underwear.

  492. Stephan –
    Seems to be something going on at gocomics.com that you might not know about already. The strip for 03Jun14 has been blocked by an “update” page. Not sure if this is censorship or what, but your second Lib strip can not be seen.
    Regards –
    John Fairbairn
    Senior Technical Communications Specialist
    Rush Creek Research Company
    PS: What a coup! Thanks for being willing to work with Bill Watterson.

  493. I hope that Bill can see the wide open spaces available on the web. I have the fondest memories of Bloom County and Calvin & Hobbes, steeped in civil impropriety and doused with creative fun. I keep some of PBS’s best pun strips to remind me of a wonderful artist, as well. Thank you Stephen and Bill!

  494. Recall seeing a gist about copyright violations and thought it was odd and waited and waited to read more in the strip of a copyright war which didn’t take place.. I’m the copyright campus guy and hope to see more, even if poking fun, at the copyright issues.

  495. Thanks for sharing the giddiness and the brilliance when two minds and talents a agree to create something bigger than them both. Bravo! Encore. What’s that Far Side guy doing? (kinda like a Beatles reunion where you just want more)

  496. Pingback: Whatever Thread! - Page 250

  497. Could you find out something for me? Decades ago, when I was a child my family took two week vacations “seeing the USA in our Chevrolet” and I will never forget the day I spotted the face of a ornery little boy on a rock wall on the side of a four lane highway out in the middle of no where! I was so impressed with the naturally occurring image my dad turned around and went back to find the image – this was a lot of extra mileage and I was amazed that my dad was willing to do this! But we did find it and Dad got out of the car to take a picture of it. In retrospect, now I realize that Dad must of seen the image, too, (though my mother, sister & brother could not) because he wouldn’t let me get out of the car to point it out to him. Years later when I first saw a Calvin & Hobbes strip I knew that it was Calvin I saw in the rock face and I have always wondered if that is where Bill Watterson got his inspiration for the strip. Could you ask Mr. Watterson if this is what happened? Don’t ask me where this rock face is, because I have no clue, my only guess would be Arizona. Sometime after Dad’s death my brother in-law converted Dad’s slides to digital media and not knowing the purpose of the picture of the rock, destroyed the slide without converting the image to digital. Sigh.

  498. fantastic! this is the stuff legends are made of. I can only imagine what a great few months you’ve had, harboring the secret of a lifetime with a personal link with a ghost.

  499. Great post. The comics are awesome. While I’m not a particular fan of Calvin and Hobbes I do read and love Pearls. I’ve never even paid attention to the artwork, because I enjoy the words- even, perhaps especially, the strained puns. Wattersons legacy in my mind is always a stolen doodle of a bratty kid urinating on the logo of (insert the name of your most hated car company here) motor corporation

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  501. You know, since we’re wishing…. C&H + Farside + Opus/Bloom County. Oh well. I suppose it’s best that doesn’t happen. My mind would probably explode with joy.

  502. Pingback: Reaching Out: Extending a Hand to the Next Generation | The Official Bryan W. Alaspa Website

  503. Awesome post of an even more awesome, surreal experience! I can feel your giddyness, and that about-to-burst-excitement of not being able to tell anyone yet….You were such a hero, too, for being able to wait that long to respect his privacy. Thank you for sharing him with us through your strips. And for the record, I would have set my hair on fire, too! =)

  504. Reblogged this on Exercise the Positive and commented:
    Sometimes, life becomes so surreal, it feels like you yourself are in a comic strip. Read Stephan Pastis’ surreal experience with THE Bill Watterson of Calvin and Hobbes fame. And believe. It it’s meant to happen, it will happen.

  505. Pingback: Have You Seen This? | Claire M. Banschbach- Thoughts and Rants

  506. Pingback: Bill Watterson (of Calvin & Hobbes) temporarily exits retirement! | Geeks Unleashed

  507. Pingback: Bill Watterson retornó brevemente a los cómics | SALONDELMAL

  508. Every once in a while, something amazing in life happens and you have to stop, breath, take it all in and just say “Wow!”

    Pearls Before Swine hands down is my favorite comic strip currently running and when I found out about the secret collaboration between Stephan Pastis and the reclusively retired Bill Watterson, both artists that I highly admire, I was blown away.

    When I was young, I fell in love with comics. I collected them. I used them to teach myself to draw. This led to my eventual career as an artist and designer (that still dabbles in wacky comics for fun because they make me smile). And the first thing my wife and I do every Sunday is to grab the Sunday Comics, read them together, and laugh.

    To both Stephan and Bill, thank you! There is something special about comics and it is great to see how many people out there have been moved by this like I have.

  509. Pingback: Bill Watterson, creator of ‘Calvin and Hobbes,’ returned to comic strips this week — IMAGES | Vogue Entertainment News

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  511. Wow! During the week, I thought what a nice job channelling Calvin and Hobbes style in some of these strips,but it never occurred to me that BIll Watterson was directly involved. Nicely done!

  512. All I could think of was the Sistine Chapel ceiling. You’ve been touched, Stephan.

    Along with Watterson, we also mourn the absence of Breathed & Larson, Thank God we still have Pastis, Mallet (Frazz) and Scott/Borgman (Zits).

  513. Pingback: Bill Watterson Returns To Comic Strips | Miles To Go

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  515. Wow. I am blown away. This is amazing. I have great respect for you Mr. Pastis and Mr. Watterson. I believe the two of you, not in just this series, have really made this world a better place. You have touched me personally, I know. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  516. Pingback: ‘Calvin & Hobbes’ creator back, briefly | ReadNewsFast.com

  517. Wow. Great experience for you – I must say. thanks for sharing. It was wonderful to read. I do read ‘Pearls’, and it was amazing to know the small history behind it.

  518. Calvin and Hobbes is one of the best strips ever drawn, and I feel the same way about Pearls! I am glad you two came together for this awesome project.

  519. Mr Bill Watterson, sir, thank you for C&H. So much joy and happiness it generated on this earth. Can you feel the love? We miss your great work. Thank you for coming back even briefly. I hope you enjoyed it too…wanna do more? 😉 take care and thank you again.

    Thank you Stephan for sharing and congrats on your much success!

  520. Mr. Pastis, No disrespect intended as I love your talent and the resulting work. But without being the conspiracy theorist, how do you know you were collaborating with the real and illusive Bill Watterson of Calvin and Hobbes fame? Perhaps, just for giggles, you reached, say, a very tech savvy and artistically inclined kindergartener who perpetrated an elaborate hoax and was able to convince you he/she was the real Bill Watterson? You indicated that your collaboration with Mr. Watterson was conducted via email and there was no face to face meeting or even any direct voice interaction. Just as many people have professed to have seen the real Bigfoot and even perhaps captured photographic images, to this date, no one has irrefutable proof that such a creature exists. However, I think I did receive a couple of emails from Bigfoot once, I responded, and asked if he/she could forward a selfie…never heard back…

  521. Pingback: Ever Wished That Calvin and Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson Would Return to the Comics Page? Well, He Just Did. | "DESTROY ALL FANBOYS!"

  522. Coming face to face, technologically. The cartoonists dream. Sometime I’ll tell you about my back and forth with Dave Barry!

  523. Reblogged this on Mexicology and commented:
    Seems more likely as an April Fools joke…
    Reclusive artists are awesome.

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  525. Pingback: ‘Calvin & Hobbes’ creator returns to comics, for a cameo | Fresh News Today

  526. Man… Stephan… I just got word up here on the mountain. I can’t even come up with the right words. Congratulations, old friend. I am really happy for you. Let’s chat again one of these days.

  527. Pingback: ‘Calvin & Hobbes’ creator back, briefly | New is News

  528. Great stuff! Had a sneaky suspicion it was Bill Watterson when I saw those panels, especially the alien one. that was trademark Calvin and Hobbes. Now threaten him with setting your hair on fire if he doesn’t bring back his legendary strip…

  529. Pingback: Ever Wished That Calvin and Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson Would Return to the Comics Page? Well, He Just Did. | Mike Belgrave's Outsider, Strange Music, Doctor Who and general thoughts blog

  530. I notice you are good at keeping secrets, writing and discovering things, but can you tell me one? Did you actually set your hair on fire?

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  532. I am so happy for you.. Also proves that you need to ask for what you need.. You never know, when you might get lucky..

    Rock on!

  533. Pingback: Analog Senses » Bill Watterson Briefly Returns to the Comics Page

  534. I’ve been re-reading my Calvin and Hobbes comic books every single year and hoping at the same time that Bill would resurface from his invisible, mysterious lair, and here you are bringing one of THE best news I’ve heard! Lucky, lucky, lucky you!

  535. Pingback: ‘Calvin & Hobbes’ creator back, briefly - X-Post

  536. Pingback: Sharing the Excitement of Fellow Fans of Bill Watterson | The Resurgent Bookworm

  537. Uh … does waterman s#&% (did I spell that right?) in the woods? (I am not clicking Notify me anything. It’s a rhetorical question. Duh.)

  538. Pingback: Calvin & Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson Returns With Three Guest Comic Strips - Gdubz Designs - Hawaii Website Design and Development

  539. Pingback: Calvin & Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson Returns With Three Guest Comic Strips | 11ElevenDC

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  542. Wow. Just wow. I’ve been re-reading C&H for years, loving it, missing it. “Pearls” is now on my comic list. Forever. Thanks, Steve, and thank you, Bill…

  543. When I was the Sports Editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, I often did Lifestyle stories for our Sunday Magazine. One of the profiles I wrote for the magazine was on Bill Watterson. I, like just about everyone else, loved Calvin and Hobbes and I very much wanted to meet the genius behind the strip. I actually went to his house to interview him. It was a wonderful experience. He was humble and shy, but very open about his disdain for the commercialization of the medium. He drew an original Calvin and Hobbes cartoon for the piece. The drawing still sits on my bookshelf, where I can look at it every day. This was many years ago, but it remains one of my most fond memories of my career.

  544. Pingback: Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson returns to cartooning | TV Flix

  545. This is great! I can’t imagine how awesome, nerve-racking and downright scary it must’ve been going through all of it thinking things might fall through and then everything worked out! Thanks for sharing.

  546. Yo Stephan! This is the first time I’ve commented on your blog, but I have to say… You are the LUCKIEST cartoonist I’ve ever seen! You actually talked to Bill Watterson!!! Wow! He is my favorite cartoonist and the one who inspired me to learn how to draw well.
    The comics were fantastic! Especially the finale, I never saw it coming! Remember this though: There’s a respectable reason why Bill Watterson retired so early, to keep his comic fresh while it was still ahead. I tend to view its run in the newspaper the way I view “Avatar: the Last Airbender.” It’s good that that show only had three seasons, otherwise the story may have dragged on and the writing may have gotten dry…

  547. Pingback: Ever Wished That Calvin and Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson Would Return to the Comics Page? Well, He Just Did. | Harsh Sodi

  548. Pingback: Off topic: Bob Mould, furries, Vines in space and Bill Watterson returns | SiliconBeat

  549. Pingback: Bill Watterson drew some new comic strips and you can see them at HeroesCon — The Beat

  550. Pingback: ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ Creator Bill Watterson Returns to the Comics Page as Guest Artist in ‘Pearls Before Swine’ Strips | Museperk

  551. Pingback: Bill Watterson Drew Something New For You To Look At! | Homeless Monsters

  552. Pingback: Bill Watterson and the Dying Art Forms of Respect and Lightness

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  555. My acquaintenship with Mr. Watterson’s work harks back to the nightly bedtime stories I read to my grandson. He insisted that I read the ‘next story’ in the C & H reader. By now, he has reread that book hundreds of times. Problem? He hates to read anything else!
    Press on regardless, Mr. Watterson! Thank you for your work & for sharing, Mr. Pastis.

  556. Pingback: Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson returns to comics after 20 year absence | Information Society

  557. This made my week. Also, I’ve been reading Watterson, well, pretty much since I could read, and I love that I recognized his style and writing!

  558. Pingback: Bill Watterson, criador de Calvin e Haroldo, volta às atividades

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  561. Now he has returned, the pale rider of the apocalypse. The world will soon end. I will cherish these to the fire filled death of our planet. Thank you Mr. Pastis, you are now one of the horsemen, along with Watterson. Who will you bring back next? Can you find Jimmy Hoffa? Can you discover the truth to why we’re here? Obviously if you could get Watterson, it should be no problem for you to find missing treasures, rare relics, and otherwise impossible tasks.

    You are now the Indiana Jones of Comics. Your mission is clear. Find our missing comic creators! THEN MAKE THEM DRAW FOR YOU!

    You are the chosen one.

  562. Pingback: Bill Watterson returned to the funny pages to guest-write “Pearls Before Swine” last week | The Comic's Comic

  563. Pingback: 'Calvin And Hobbes' Cartoonist Bill Watterson Returns, Briefly, To Illustrate 'Pearls Before Swine' - ONews.US - Latest Breaking News | ONews.US - Latest Breaking News

  564. Pingback: ‘Calvin And Hobbes’ Cartoonist Bill Watterson Returns, Briefly, To Illustrate ‘Pearls Before Swine’ | Essential Post

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  566. Pingback: ‘Calvin And Hobbes’ Cartoonist Bill Watterson Returns, Briefly, To Illustrate ‘Pearls Before Swine’ - Buzzweep

  567. What a fabulous collaboration! Such a treat! (Great bigfoot analogy, by the way.) Mr. Watterson made such an impact on so many people! Here you come, poised to do the same! Thanks for brightening our days and sharing a laugh.

  568. Pingback: ‘Calvin & Hobbes’ creator back, briefly | World News

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  570. Pingback: Bill Watterson briefly comes out of retirement to draw 'Pearls Before Swine' | TechnologyTell

  571. Reblogged this on Flutterlings and commented:
    Two of my favourite cartoon artists collaborating. I feel like a kid in a candy store.

  572. Thank you so much for sharing such a awesome time in your life with us, the rest of the world! You wrote it so well, that it was like standing beside you with all the butterflies in the stomach and holding of the breath.

  573. That’s peculiar! In the second Libby strip, last panel, she says: I could do better if I had more space. When I read that, the thought crossed my mind: That sounds like something Bill Watterson would have said. As a matter of fact….

  574. Thanks for sharing, loved all the details, and looking at the strips there were so many clues….

  575. As a long time reader, this is great news. Not that I am in the business but would find it hilarious to see Calvin and Hobbes dealing with present day problems 🙂

  576. This feels just like Searching for Bobby Fisher, except that we FIND him again. Please tell Bill Watterson that it is still the right time for his work. That has always been so.

  577. Pingback: The Fast Show – Episode 3 – Foster’s Funny | Lets Funny

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  579. Pingback: CALVIN & HOBBES' Bill Watterson Returns To Comics, Briefly - This Is Infamous

  580. Pingback: 「カルバンとホッブス」漫画家ビル・ワターソンは、20年ぶりの彼のコミックを引っ張ります | 珍しい生き物特集(๑≧౪≦)

  581. Reblogged this on hairscapades and commented:
    Wow. Just wow.

    For those of you who don’t know, I have been a Calvin & Hobbes fan since I was a kid. I own every collection of C&H and, at one point, probably had every strip in the first book memorized verbatim (because I read it, like, 50 times).

    So, I literally felt myself becoming choked with emotion reading this … Bill, oh Bill. Why won’t you come back to us??? It’s been far too long and there has been a void in our lives ever since you left. Re-reading the old strips helps, but it just can’t fill the hole left by your absence. But for this one shining moment, it was like we got a glimpse of you ourselves.

  582. Maybe now Rat and Pig will give you the respect you deserve. Kudos to two great cartoonists.

  583. Pingback: Calvin and Hobbes creator secretly returns to the comic pages - Nerd Reactor

  584. Pingback: Criador de “Calvin & Haroldo” retorna ao mundo das tirinhas após quase 20 anos | Livros só mudam pessoas

  585. Pingback: Vinte anos com (o autor do) Calvin | Os Moscosos

  586. Found out about this via CNN. Amazing. Big fan of C & H, and I’ve seen a few Pearls before (not in my local papers unfortunately). 2nd and 3rd strips are my faves, you can see Watterson’s hand at work (fonts, martian attacks and the dying art form comment). It’s like having a big-time rock god sing in your garage band! Congrats and thanks for sharing.

  587. The best part of collaborating with a recluse is that people have to come to you to express their admiration for a glory which (let’s face it) was 95% Mr Wattersons. Well done!

  588. “you know I right comics?” lol, why didn’t I ever use that pick up line? Just my two cents, but put Calvin and Hobbes in present time situations and let’s see how they react…ie. new technology, smart phones, social media, corrupt politicians, etc, etc. Can’t wait to read this and I might actually buy a paper again.

  589. Pingback: Calvin and Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson Secretly Published New Comic Strips | CAPELESSCRUSADER.ORG

  590. Pingback: "Calvin and Hobbes" Creator Bill Waterson is Making His First Strips in Years for an Unlikely Comic | Snedo – Its Neato!

  591. Holy Calvin and Hobbs that’s awesome! I adore Calvin and Hobbs, it used to he part of my dating screen process. “You know Calvin and Hobbs? You more like Calvin or Hobbs?” Congrats congrats congrats!!! And now, I’ve found Pearls. 🙂

  592. Pingback: Over the Weekend (June 9 Edition) | Rust Is Just Right

  593. This is absolutely awesome! Thanks you so much for telling us this wonderful story!

  594. Dear God, I’ve missed that man. I could do a whole “Everything I needed to know in life I learned from Calvin & Hobbes” thing easily. When you fall ass over teakettle, get up and yell “Ta Da!” If someone asks if there’s a God? Well, somebody’s out to get me. And on and on and on…

  595. The fact that there is a small chance that the creator of Calvin and Hobbes might be reading my text is blowing my mind. If only I had something to say. 😦

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  600. Nobody’s commenting that Libby looks a lot like Little Orphan Annie. I liked that touch!

  601. Pingback: [ET] 5 Tidbits That Should Have Clued Us In That Bill Watterson Was Drawing Comics Again

  602. Pingback: Pearls Before Swine and Hobbes: So #Good! - GLOBAL GOOD GROUP - GLOBAL GOOD GROUP

  603. Having grown up reading Calvin and Hobbes, then loving Pearls Before Swine when I got older, this seems too good to be true. Thanks for sharing the story behind a really awesome collaboration.

  604. Pingback: Day 8 (v.4) | Five Small Changes

  605. Pingback: Bill Watterson ha vuelto a dibujar tiras cómicas | Fantífica

  606. Reblogged this on Diary of a SAHD Man and commented:
    This is just… the best thing ever. I was and remain a HUGE Calvin & Hobbes fan – this story and the new strips are simply awesome.

  607. Pingback: Rarer Than Bigfoot | Shot in the Dark

  608. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your persistence. I’m such an ol’ cartooning sap I literally have tears in my eyes. Bigfoot lives on! ❤

  609. I grew up with my dad or oldest sister reading Pogo to me and my other siblings as we lay about our bunk beds on Saturday or Sunday afternoons. I fell in love with his beautiful line work and his lettering to say nothing of his wacky, political humor and use of words. When Calvin and Hobbs came along, Bill Watterson not only brought to bear some of the best aspects of Walt Kelly’s work, but also his magnificent, imaginative water colors, his wonderful dark outlines and of course all of the frustrations, joys and fantasies we all experienced as kids…well, those of us who were in conscious pain at the absurdities of life. I cartoon, work in pen and ink and am a writer and water colorist, but there is a time of life when your desire to actually be Walt Kelly or Bill Watterson with their insight and talent gives way to a form of grace and acceptance and you just feel sooooo very lucky to have experienced their gifts and the results of their work. Sally Parsons

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  622. Merci! What a wonderful story. I read about it in a French newspaper and discovered your work, which I like a lot!!

  623. Thanks for sharing that story! Great experience, great experiment and even the telling of it was great. I do have to say, though, I love pig and rat just the way they are.