Friday, July 11, 2008

Calvin and Hobbes

Picture of Bill Watterson

The funnies just aren't the same after Bill Watterson took his ball and went home. The reclusive artist's strip Calvin and Hobbes, along with Bill Amend's FoxTrot and Gary Larson's The Far Side (who have also ceased their comics, except for FoxTrot's Sundays), formed a trio of comics page kings that no other strip could rival. Not a day went by that I didn't get my Calvin fix.

At the end of 1995, Bill Watterson decided he was done. Who could blame him? Given his history of contention with newspaper editors regarding the Sunday format, I'd imagine he would have found it liberating to no longer have the deadlines and restrictions that come with drawing a daily comic strip. While he wasn't nearly as wealthy as he might have been if he was not vehemently opposed to the marketing of his characters, the wide distribution of his strip probably ensured that he would have little worry about money. He'd been drawing the comic for 10 years at that point, so why not end on a high note?

Had Watterson started his strip 20 years later, it might have been a webcomic. His dislike for working under the rules of the syndicate and the restrictions of the comics page format would make web publication a natural fit for him. The only problem would have been his unwillingness to license the characters. It's hard enough for a webcomic to make it even with an online store selling related merchandise. Perhaps it would still have been popular enough online that sales of books alone would have sustained it, but it'd still have been pretty dicey.

It would be nice if Bill Watterson would consider creating a webcomic. He could bring back Calvin and Hobbes, or not. He could do full color every day, use whatever layout suited his purpose, and generally do things that would make a newspaper editor blow a gasket. Having already secured his financial situation, he wouldn't even have to worry about whether he was making money, either.

I don't think it's going to happen though. In fact, I doubt Watterson even has a computer. But if he does and on the off chance that he happens to read this (or someone prints it out and gives it to him), I'd just want him to know that I loved Calvin and Hobbes, and I'd love to see what he could do with an infinitely large, 32-bit color canvas.


Anonymous said...

This comment ended being so long I've decided to blog about.- Cutey

Robert said...

Could you post a link so others can read it?

Robert said...

Never mind; I figured out who you are. Link

Anonymous said...

That was probably a smart move. It took me over an hour to make my links.

Lia said...

My daughters are friends with his nieces. I'll have to ask them sometime if he uses the Net. Will let you know when I do.