C&H Rare Art
C&H Fan Art
Hello, and welcome to the Derkins Library!
Having read the articles collected here,
I think it's safe to say that this site would make Bill Watterson rather
uncomfortable. This level of scrutiny and study is exactly what he didn't like
about the celebrity with which he found himself burdened. I can only offer
him a sincere apology he will no doubt never read. Looking
over these time and again, I've decided that a comic strip as rare as Calvin
and Hobbes merits more study, and we can come to a better
understanding of the strip by studying its creator as well.
IN OTHER WORDS: These writings are collected here for research
and just a bit of posterity. If I find out someone is using the
information in them to bother Bill or his family, I will remove
them immediately. Thank you for your understanding. Enjoy!
A short biography I've written
about Bill Watterson. Bonus: This
part of the site also features Bill's autobiography.
A Short Q&A With Lee Salem: When the Complete Calvin
and Hobbes book set was published in 2005, I e-mailed Universal Press editor Lee Salem
with some questions. He worked with Bill Watterson throughout the strip's newspaper run
and was kind enough to write back to me.
The Cheapening Of Comics: A speech by
Bill Watterson delivered at the Festival of Cartoon Art, Ohio State
University, October 27, 1989. This speech was first printed in the
summer-autumn '89 issue of the quarterly comics magazine WittyWorld, then
it was reprinted in The Comics Journal's first "creators rights"
issue (TCJ #137, September 1990).
Commencement Speech: Bill gave the
graduation commencement speech at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH (his alma mater) on
May 20, 1990. It is unknown where this transcript came from but it's believed to
Pieces By Bill Watterson From Various Sources
The Cartoonist's License: Here's an early
piece Bill wrote way back in 1982 for Target, a quarterly
political cartooning journal. In it, he gives his rebuttal to an
article by Bob Gorrell in the previous issue.
Book reviews: Feiffer & Breathed: In issue number 12 (summer
1984) of the political cartooning journal Target, Watterson reviewed two
books, Marriage is an Invasion of Privacy and Other Dangerous Views by Jules
Feiffer, and 'Toons for the Times by Berke Breathed.
Book review: Keefe-Kebab: In issue number 15 (spring
1985) of the political cartooning journal Target, Watterson reviewed the
book Keefe-Kebab by Mike Keefe.
Book review: The Great Communicator: In issue
number 18 (winter 1985/86) of the political cartooning journal Target, Watterson
reviewed the book The Great Communicator by Jim Borgman.
PROfiles essay: In December 1985, issue number 68 of editor Jud Hurd's magazine
"Cartoonist PROfiles" published a nice essay by Bill. In it, he discusses -- with
tongue planted firmly in cheek -- how he got Calvin and Hobbes published and how he
feels about syndicated cartooning in general. I was going to reproduce the essay
here, but as of 2004 Mr. Hurd has published a fine collection of PROfiles articles
entitled, "Cartoon Success Secrets." The Watterson essay is reprinted there and so
I've linked to that in the interest of supporting the comics community.
Fox Trot foreword by Bill: In August
1989, the first book collection of the comic strip Fox Trot
was published. Bill not only wrote this foreword, he helped design
the book's layout as well.
Krazy Kat foreword by Bill: Bill wrote this
essay for a book called The Komplete Kolor Krazy Kat Vol. One,
published in 1990 by Eclipse International Books.
Dear Editor: Here's the official
letter to newspapers announcing Bill's imminent retirement, and
the end of the comic strip. Also included is a picture of the
letter the way it was printed in newspapers.
Borgman introduction by Bill: This is
the 1995 introduction from "Disturbing the Peace", a great
collection of Jim Borgman's cartoons (mainly one-panel political
Your Career In the Comics: In 1995, Lee
Nordling published this book discussing
information for aspiring newspaper cartoonists. The book features commentary from many
of the industry's leading artists and publishing authorities. Here are Bill Watterson's
comments from various parts of the book. It's an interesting chance to see what he
thinks about the early part of getting a comic strip published, and the day-to-day reality
of comics creation.
An Incredible Ride To the End: Bill
Watterson has tended to speak his mind when going on the record publicly. To
wit: Here is his 1997 appreciation of the classic comic strip Little Nemo in
Slumberland. He spends as much time pointing out the strip's flaws as he does
celebrating its merits. And as much as I love McCay's work, I can see Watterson's
Drawn Into a Dark But Gentle World: In
December of 1999 Bill wrote this respectful eulogy for the strip
Peanuts. This item was featured in quite a few newspapers
at the time.
The Grief That Made 'Peanuts' Good: With little or
no fanfare, Bill came out of self-imposed seclusion in 2007 to write this Wall
Street Journal review of David Michaelis' book "Schulz and Peanuts".
Thompson introduction by Bill: In 2008, Watterson wrote the introduction to a collection of the comic strip Cul de Sac.
An Overnight Success After Five Years: Although
not especially long, this interview/article in the Feb.8, 1986
Editor & Publisher is notable because it catches up with
Bill early on in the strip's run, and it discusses the process by
which C&H achieved newspaper syndication.
An Interview With Bill Watterson: One of
the few times Bill ever granted an interview. This one was conducted
in 1987 by Andrew Christie for Honk Magazine, a comic art
C&H Creator Draws On the Simple Life: A nice piece
from the LA Times' April 01, 1987 edition. Bill, just 28 at
the time, agreed to be interviewed about his thoughts on the
Drawing the (Comic) Line: In this April 26, 1987 interview from the Houston
Chronicle, Bill speaks at a time when his options were just beginning to blow wide
open financially. He even discusses the licensing pressures that were just beginning to
rear their ugly heads.
'Calvin and Hobbes' Puts Funny Back In Papers: Here's an article & interview from the Dallas Morning News on Mothers Day, May 10, 1987. In
this one, Bill touches on many of the usual topics from other pieces (what he did for work previously, etc.) but there are a few surprised as well, such as his strong opinion
on most then-current strips, and his remarkably positive outlook on the possibility of a Calvin and Hobbes TV show. (PPLEASE NOTE: This article is missing some text in the
middle. If anyone in the Dallas area would like to hit the library and track down the rest of the material, I'd be grateful.)
Watterson: Calvin's Other Alter Ago: This
fascinating article comes from the Plain Dealer newspaper in
Cleveland, Ohio, in their August 30, 1987 edition. Though I've seen
this on other sites, most of them were filled with spelling errors
and missing an entire page of text! Here's the full version.
Interview: Bill Watterson: Here's
the last known full-length interview with Bill, printed in the
February 1989 issue of Comics Journal. It's a very interesting
interview conducted by Richard Samuel West, editor of the political
cartoon journal Target, which Watterson worked on in the
early 1980s. Extra special thanks to Francis
et Hobbes Sur Altunis for typing this up!
Around the World Interview Bill Watterson: In May 2005, Calvin and Hobbes
fans were invited to send in their questions for Bill Watterson, as the Complete Calvin and
Hobbes book set would be released that October and Bill had agreed to a promotional Q&A. The
syndicate looked at over 2500 questions and narrowed them down to 35 to send on to
Watterson. Bill then chose the 15 questions he would like to answer. I was lucky enough
to have one among Bill's final choices (my question is the one about his
Bill Watterson, creator of beloved 'Calvin and Hobbes' comic strip looks back with no regrets: This February 2010 interview is a bit short
and, to my mind, something of a wasted opportunity, since it repeatedly asks about how Watterson sees his place in comics history, which he has already addressed and doesn't seem to care about. But hey, any time Bill speaks publicly is exciting.
Articles About Calvin and Hobbes / Their Creator
A Surprising Win For Bill Watterson: An
article from the May 30, 1987 Editor & Publisher which
discusses Watterson's first Reuben award.
Calvin Tops Comics Poll: Pretty self-explanatory. The
Houston Chronicle held a poll about people's favorite comic strips and this article
lists the results. The article date is January 31, 1988.
Watterson Knocks the Shrinking of Comics: This
article about Bill's speech at a Walt Kelly celebration at Ohio
State University is from Editor & Publisher's December 3, 1988
issue. It precedes Watterson's "The Cheapening of Comics" speech (see
The Winner and New Champion: A December 04, 1988 article
from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about Calvin and Hobbes winning their annual
readers' poll. Features comments from Watterson's then-editor, Jake Morrissey.
Oh You Kid - A Strip of Leviathan Quality: Here's an
appreciation of the then-current strip Calvin and Hobbes, written by noted comics
historian Richard Marschall. It was published in issue 127 of Comics Journal
in February 1989.
Errors & Misconceptions: In issue 130 (July 1989) of
the Comics Journal, Watterson friend and former collaborator Richard Samuel West wrote
a letter correcting a few points from the articles in issue 127. It's quite interesting
despite its short length.
C&H Creator Wins Again: A short piece
regarding Bill Watterson's second Reuben win, from the May
27, 1989 issue of Editor & Publisher.
Watterson and Walker Differ on Comics: This
is an excellent article from the November 4, 1989 edition
of Editor & Publisher about Ohio State University's 1989 Festival
of Cartoon Art, during which Watterson delivered his speech, "The
Cheapening Of Comics".
Bill's First Sabbatical: A little
announcement from the Washington Post from March 28, 1991 about Bill's first
sabbatical, a 9-month stint beginning in May of that year.
Nine-month Vacation for Bill Watterson: From
Editor & Publisher's March 30, 1991 issue. Newspaper editors
and cartoonists discuss their thoughts on Bill's first sabbatical.
They Oppose Full Price For Comic Repeats: This
article from Editor & Publisher's October 12, 1991 issue
is about editors' thoughts on cartoonists taking vacations and
sabbaticals. Not coincidentally, this was right in the midst
of Bill's first sabbatical.
Size Requirement for C&H: This article is
from Editor & Publisher's Dec.21, 1991 issue. With Bill's
return from his first sabbatical, came the news that his strip
would have to be printed at half-page size in newspapers. This
piece features Bill's comments about the new situation.
More Reponse To Half-Page 'Calvin Strip':
From the January 11, 1992 edition of the trade magazine Editor
& Publisher, here's an article about the American Association
of Sunday and Feature Editors (AASFE) and their response to the
post-sabbatical half-page size requirement for C&H on Sundays.
The Latest on Calvin and Hobbes: An
article from Editor & Publisher's February 1, 1992 edition,
with more discussion of the new size requirement for the Sunday
Watterson Returns, Demands His Space: Even more discussion
on the new Sunday size requirement in this Comics Journal piece from issue 148
in February 1992. Most notable for me were the comments from syndicate president John
McMeel, which I hadn't seen elsewhere.
Cartoonists Discuss 'Calvin' Requirement: In
this interesting article from the March 7, 1992 issue
of Editor & Publisher, cartoonists give their opinions of
Watterson's new requirement. I'm known for my tolerance of other
people's viewpoints, but I must admit that Bil Keane's comments
in this one really boiled my blood. See for yourself.
Commodious circulation: Commodity and dream in Joyce's `Ulysses'
: This is an excerpt from a very dense, much longer article in
the summer/fall 1993 issue of the very scholarly journal James
The Annotated Calvin and Hobbes: On
January 9, 1994, this humorous piece appeared in the
Sunday NY Times magazine. It's a "scholarly" look at
Calvin's classroom learning style.
Calvin and Hobbes and John Paul: This is
an introduction to a longer, unrelated article in the February 1994
issue of Current, which "selects responsible articles
published in recent months on topics of longstanding concern to the
Bill's Second Sabbatical:
In early 1994 it was announced that Bill would be taking the rest
of the year off. Here's the announcement in the March 19, 1994
edition of the trade publication Editor & Publisher.
'Calvin' Plays Hooky: For those
completists among you, here's the announcement for the 2nd break,
the way most people (non-industry folks) saw it, reprinted here
from the March 21, 1994 edition of the Washington Post.
Mixed Response To Second Sabbatical: In this
article from the March 26, 1994 issue of Editor & Publisher, we get some
interesting quotes from industry insiders about their views of Watterson's second
"C'mon, It's Just Snow": In the April
1995 issue of ARTNews magazine, this little article
appeared, pointing out Calvin's recent discussion of art and snowmen.
Bill's Retirement Announcement: A November
9, 1995 piece from the AP (Associated Press), announcing
that Bill was ending the strip. 'Twas a sad day indeed.
Saying Goodbye: The next day, November
10, 1995, this article appeared in the Baltimore Sun.
It features some funny and touching words from community members.
No Calvin and Hobbes?: Yet another announcement about
the strip ending, this time from the college newspaper Yale Daily News.
Strong Reaction To End of Comic Strip:
From Editor & Publisher's Nov.18, 1995 edition, here's an
industry look at the retirement announcement, with Bil "Family
Circus" Keane offering some of the most inane, narrow-minded
comments I've ever had the displeasure of reading.
So Long, Kid: An Obituary...: A very
nice, melancholy look back at C&H, written just before the
strip ended. From The Washington Post, dated November
Calvin and Hobbes To End: This article about
the demise of Waterson's famous strip comes from the December 30, 1995 edition of
the San Francisco Chronicle and it features some good quotes while offering up
a staggering dollar amount that Bill gave up by not licensing his characters.
Sober Conclusions: This piece from the
January 8, 1996 U.S. News & World Report is extremely
short, but I just had to include it here, because it's so odd.
Calvin withdrawals shake Chico State: On September 04, 1996, this
humorously vehement essay appeared in California State University's The Orion. The bit
towards the end about Watterson becoming more like J.D. Salinger seems sadly prescient now.
The Truth About C&H and Daily Republican
Editors: I think it's safe to say that I don't "get" this piece
from internet 'zine The Daily Republican, dated December 10,
1996. Awkwardly worded, this essay never quite decides if it wants
to be humorous or not. I had to correct about a thousand spelling
errors and grammatical mistakes too...but hey, enjoy!
Calvin, Hobbes and Schrödinger�s
Cat: Here's a 1997 article from a Spanish periodical
called Ciencia Hoy. It discusses the possibilities of whether
Hobbes actually exists or not. Some of the original Spanish was a
bit rough, but I think the translation's very close thanks to the
hard work of Carol Proust and my friend Robin. The original article
is located right here.
The Gospel According To 'Calvin &
Hobbes': From the March 15, 1997 edition of The Washington
Post, this is an article about a minister preaching the New
Testament using examples from C&H strips.
Calvin's Unauthorized Leak: From July
17, 1997, here's an interesting Washington Post article
I found that discusses the origins of the repulsive "Peeing
Calvin" stickers seen on cars.
Talent Rejects Often Caused Major Regrets: Though this March
05, 2000 article is short and only mentions Watterson once, that mention does provide us
with an interesting bit of trivia to add to his biography.
'Peeing Calvin' Decals Now Recognized As Vital Channel of
National Discourse: This humorous article comes from the April 5, 2000 edition
of the satirical newspaper The Onion.
Whatever Happened To...?: An article
from the Christian Science Monitor dated December 28, 2000.
It's an update on Bill's life at that time, with some interesting
quotes from people acquainted with him.
The Calvin / 'Fight Club' Connection: Around 2001 this
article started popping up in various places around the internet. It's an essay by
Galvin P. Chow arguing that the characters in the film / book 'Fight Club' are really
grownup versions of the Calvin characters. Read it and come to your own conclusions.
Mystery Man: This May 2002 article comes to us from the
publication Comic Book Marketplace. In it, the author explores
Mr. Watterson's choice of living privately, having a bit of fun with the idea, and
describes a trip to the syndicate's offices.
the Cleveland Scene, this is a nice long article printed in late 2003 hypothesizing
about Bill Watterson's current artistic state of mind and
the possibility of a comeback. Although filled mainly with sketchy
theory, it's a nice reminder that the world is still filled with
Calvin fans who love and revere the classic strip. (special thanks
to "Calvinator" who found the article!)
( Article images: 1 2 3 )
Jail Bill Watterson: This humorous essay comes from the
April 9, 2004 edition of MIT's school newspaper The Tech.
'Calvin and Hobbes' Returning to Newspapers -- Sort Of: In
this May 2005 article from Editor & Publisher, some details of the Complete
Calvin and Hobbes book set are discussed as well as the contest to send in questions
for Watterson to answer in the fall of 2005.
Watterson Loans 3,000 Original Calvin & Hobbes to Ohio State
University: In June 2005, Universal Press issued this press release. I guess it
speaks for itself!
'Calvin and Hobbes' Creator Finally 'Speaks' -- in Book
Intro: This piece from Editor & Publisher delves into Bill Watterson's lengthy
intro to the 'Complete Calvin and Hobbes' book set in late 2005.
The Tiger Strikes Again: This nostalgic article from
the October 4, 2005 edition of the Washington Post is partly about the 'Complete
Calvin and Hobbes' book set, and partly a look back at the strip itself. I found the
Spielberg bit quite interesting.
Calvin and Hobbes Creator Keeps Privacy: Bill's parents speak
about their son in this interesting Associated Press article from October 22, 2005.
Calvin and Hobbes: The last great newspaper comic strip: This
nicely written essay on Watterson's famous strip is from the November 7th, 2005 edition of
the online journal Slate. (images omitted, see the original
article for those)
A Boy His Tiger and Their World: This November 18, 2005
article comes from Toronto's National Post and mentions me and this site. I'd like
to thank Vanessa Farquharson for calling me for the article.
Dartmouth College Winter Carnival: In February 2006, the
annual Winter Carnival was held at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, USA. It was
decided that the theme for their snow sculpture would be Calvin and Hobbes combined with
the winter Olympics. Here are the pertinent articles from the school newspaper The Dartmouth.
radio show: This show, exclusive to the C&H Jumpstation site, features various fans' thoughts about
the comic strip. (Approx. 12 mins., 2005)
radio show: On the eve of the release of the 'Complete Calvin and Hobbes' book set, one
internet audio host journeyed to Watterson's hometown in Ohio to file this report. He ended
up interviewing Bill's mom. (Approx. 16 mins., 2005)
review: This is a short piece about the 'Complete C&H' book set. (Approx. 4 mins., 2005)