Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Last week I felt a big thud in the house with no apparent cause. This has happened before. Sometimes heavy things fall over. Sometimes Mars the Ample Cat jumps down from a counter. Or the spring on the garage door breaks. Once, it was a small earthquake.

This time, though, it was just the Earth momentarily spinning off its axis. Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes, had submitted to an interview – his first since 1989.

The interview itself is more comforting than satisfying. Those of us who just want to know he’s OK, and maybe anywhere close to as happy as he’s made the rest of us, will get that. Those who had hopes that he’d suddenly turn logorrheic and go on about where he lives, what he’s up to, what deep thoughts he has about much of anything, or whether or not he’s secretly drawing a strip about a janitor and hiding behind a false name three-quarters of people mispronounce, will find it comes up short, but people who hope for such long shots have by now learned to live with disappointment.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years since he quit drawing Calvin and Hobbes, that it’s been gone half again as long as it was here. On a more personal level, more and more these days, it knocks me back to see what he did in just ten years. Especially since Frazz is coming up on nine.

Anyway, thanks, Bill. I’m looking forward to knowing you’re OK in another 15 years.


Viper said...

Thanks for the link. Funny I missed it in my local paper. Cheers!

veloben said...

Bill Watterson said:
"It's always better to leave the party early. If I had rolled along with the strip's popularity and repeated myself for another five, 10 or 20 years, the people now "grieving" for "Calvin and Hobbes" would be wishing me dead and cursing newspapers for running tedious, ancient strips like mine instead of acquiring fresher, livelier talent. And I'd be agreeing with them."

Which is exactly how I feel about the Chicago Trib still running Peanuts and For Better or for Worse. Arrrgh!

Anonymous said...

I echo the thanks, Mr Watterson, for letting us know you're OK, AND for the years of Calvin & Hobbes (which I still love). And Jef, thank you for almost 9 year of Frazz (which I still love)... also, hoping this is not an attempt at foreshadowing.

Mike said...

If it's any comfort, my year-and-a-half in Western Maine was made more difficult in that, despite the overwhelmingly French Canadian demographics in the area, your name is pronounced like the hammer. And a local school bears the name. It took me months to reprogram my tongue.

kovasp said...

"Ah, the life of a newspaper cartoonist -- how I miss the groupies, drugs and trashed hotel rooms!"

Jef, I hope your enjoying your trip as much as he did!

Jeremy Stein said...

Uh-oh, I suspect I'm in the 3/4 category. How do you pronounce your name?

Jamie Smith said...


You kill me.

Liz said...

"Calvin and Hobbes" began the year I was born, and stopped around the time I got old enough to fully appreciate it. Such is life. At least we've got the book collections.

Considering Mr. Salinger's demise last week, I was starting to worry a little about another famously reclusive author. Good to know Watterson is still there.