Bill Watterson's comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes, is the chronicle of a six-year-old's psyche. The strip, first syndicated in 1985, was carried in more than 2,400 newspapers when it ceased publication January 1, 1996
I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Watterson. He had created the most popular, well developed, and widely read comic strip in years with Calvin and Hobbes, but he never took the easy way to get there. He alone wrote, drew and even colored all his own strips. He also never marketed his creation to appear on coffee mugs, T-shirts, greeting cards, etc., because he felt it would cheapen the strip. To halt the marketing of Calvin and Hobbes, he needed to fight the corporate syndicates for many years, as the first contract he signed made marketing a real threat. Not only did he win that fight, but he also won the ability to escape the Sunday comic strip templates, and was able to use the space however his saw fit. Unfortunately, the strip ran it's course along the same lines as Bloom County and The Far Side did and went off the paper on January 1, 1996. I miss Calvin and Hobbes, but you can't help but respect Mr. Watterson for all he did, and what he didn't do.
In a letter to newspaper editors announcing his retirement, Watterson stated: "This is not a recent or easy decision, and I leave with some sadness. My interests have shifted, however, and I believe I've done what I can do within the constraints of daily deadlines and small panels. I am eager to work at a more thoughtful pace, with fewer artistic compromises."
Below are some of my favorite comics from Calvin and Hobbes, and click here for a Quicktime movie of Attack of the Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snow Goons.