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"Calvin and Hobbes" Creator Bill Watterson Looks Back With No Regrets 327

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the memories-of-better-comics dept.
With fifteen years separating us from the last appearance of "Calvin and Hobbes" on the comic pages, reclusive artist Bill Watterson gave a rare interview reminiscing about his legacy. "The only part I understand is what went into the creation of the strip. What readers take away from it is up to them. Once the strip is published, readers bring their own experiences to it, and the work takes on a life of its own. Everyone responds differently to different parts. I just tried to write honestly, and I tried to make this little world fun to look at, so people would take the time to read it. That was the full extent of my concern. You mix a bunch of ingredients, and once in a great while, chemistry happens. I can't explain why the strip caught on the way it did, and I don't think I could ever duplicate it. A lot of things have to go right all at once."
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"Calvin and Hobbes" Creator Bill Watterson Looks Back With No Regrets

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  • Re:Best comics (Score:4, Informative)

    by alvinrod (889928) on Monday February 01, 2010 @05:22PM (#30988098)
    The only other comic that I enjoyed as much as Calvin and Hobbes was The Far Side. Both were wildly imaginative and highly creative. They transformed what would have otherwise been a boring comic section into something fascinating. I have the complete works of both on my bookshelf and would highly recommend them to anyone. If you want to inspire a sense of wonder, curiosity, and beauty in a child, I can't think of anything better than those two comics.
  • by skyriser2 (179031) on Monday February 01, 2010 @05:30PM (#30988182)

    "I say, if your knees aren't green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life."
    - Calvin, Calvin and Hobbes

    More Calvin and Hobbes quotes on QuoteAddict:
    http://www.quoteaddict.com/quotes?search=calvin [quoteaddict.com]

  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Monday February 01, 2010 @05:45PM (#30988404)
    I don't know about that, I've always kinda liked Dysfunctional Family Circus [furr.org]!
  • by ChrisMaple (607946) on Monday February 01, 2010 @05:48PM (#30988444)

    Actually, Peter Pan did go on past Wendy & Co. going home. Wendy did return for some spring cleanings, but Peter, just being a boy, eventually forgot and Wendy grew old, too old to fly. She had a daughter and when Peter eventually remembered to come again to the Darlings, he confused the girl for Wendy. Wendy graciously allowed the daughter to visit Peter for spring cleaning...

    Presumably there is no global lack of lost boys to populate Neverland...

    Jeez, this is sad. It hurts to type this.

  • by Tynin (634655) on Monday February 01, 2010 @06:02PM (#30988682)

    Are you kidding? Garfield is more brilliantly insightful than ever. You just have to know how to read it.

    http://garfieldminusgarfield.net/ [garfieldmi...rfield.net]

    For some reason that is incredibly funny in a schadenfreude kind of way. I really loved the description the site provides:

    Garfield Minus Garfield is a site dedicated to removing Garfield from the Garfield comic strips in order to reveal the existential angst of a certain young Mr. Jon Arbuckle. It is a journey deep into the mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness and depression in a quiet American suburb.

    By the time I got back to Sept 25th I was sure that Jon had hung himself, and it all made sense. Great laughs, thanks!

  • by SwordsmanLuke (1083699) on Monday February 01, 2010 @06:17PM (#30988918)
    Ummm... what? Mr. Watterson still retains copyright over his characters, which he has sued to protect. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvin_and_Hobbes#Merchandising [wikipedia.org]
  • by barzok (26681) on Monday February 01, 2010 @08:02PM (#30990108)

    Larson used science as the basis for many of his strips.

    And science returned the favor.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thagomizer [wikipedia.org]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strigiphilus_garylarsoni [wikipedia.org]
    http://www.janegoodall.org/product/far-side-t-shirt-front-cartoon [janegoodall.org]

  • by Arthur Grumbine (1086397) on Monday February 01, 2010 @08:40PM (#30990394) Journal
    I don't know about Mad Magazine, but here's the C&H origin [gocomics.com].
  • Re:Best comics (Score:4, Informative)

    by Obfuscant (592200) on Monday February 01, 2010 @08:47PM (#30990464)
    Is a certain panel designated as the throwaway one? It seems hard to imagine that a standard 3 pane panel is designed for anything to be left out.

    The throwaway wasn't one of the 3 out of the 3-panel dailies, it was the first panel of the Sunday strip. The usually larger panel that was usually mostly just art, because some papers ran that panel and some did not.

  • Re:Best comics (Score:5, Informative)

    by lawpoop (604919) on Monday February 01, 2010 @09:05PM (#30990634) Homepage Journal
    This "The pills must be working" strip has got to be phony. First, in this example of it [dosenation.com], the copyright date is 1986. Back then, ADD was on nobody's radar screen, and certainly not pills for it, and anybody hearing about a child being on pills for any mental disease would have been horrified, and had no idea what this strip was about. Putting children on speed for ADD was a meme that blew up in the 90s.

    Secondly, there are a few clues that this isn't a real strip. First, the four-panel daily comics were never in color, even to this day. So the loss of color in the last panel that seems integral to this comic's story is a tip-off. Second, when Waterson doesn't put dialogue in bubbles, there is a single line emanating from the character speaking, like this [wordpress.com]. Notice also that Hobbes never moves in the purported authentic strip. That's a no-no among serious comics -- they always move things around from panel to panel, to keep visual attention. Notice how Hobbes moves in the second, real comic. First he looks at Calvin, then us, then the paper. Motion in each panel.

    Also it seems to me that the lettering isn't as space-consuming as it is in authentic Waterson strips. Too much white space. I don't recall any white-space back-and-forth like in the first panel -- certainly not with that much white space. When two people are dialoguing in the same panel, he puts words in bubbles.

    Notice too that there are *no* word bubbles in this cartoon. In the examples I just found in a google image search, bubbles were the norm. This strip is the opposite. Finally, I've read all the Calvin and Hobbes anthologies several times and don't recall this strip ever. This is the first I've seen of it :)

    Oh, I was doing some more googling, and here's another obvious forgery [joeydevilla.com]. Notice how in this one also, Calvin and Hobbes never move in the strip. Of course, the fonts of the lettering give it away, but I think this one was intended to be an obvious phony. And here's another bad copy. [snarkmarket.com]

    Don't get me wrong; I like the message of the strip! It's just not Waterson :)
  • Re:Best comics (Score:5, Informative)

    by lawpoop (604919) on Monday February 01, 2010 @11:24PM (#30991530) Homepage Journal
    Man, why is this getting modded "Troll"? Waxy.org [waxy.org] says in December of '04 ( with another crappy version of it )

    Image: Calvin (The ADD Remix) [waxy.org] (originally created by Jordan Fish for the Wesleyan Argus)

    Sheesh. Sorry you guys really want it to be from Watterson, but it's not. Just have a flippin' look at it!

  • I came here... (Score:2, Informative)

    by McD (209994) on Monday February 01, 2010 @11:34PM (#30991590)

    ...just to get my sig into the thread. :-)

  • Re:Best comics (Score:3, Informative)

    by ciderVisor (1318765) on Tuesday February 02, 2010 @05:00AM (#30992882)

    Artists who have a long, strong career, and never jump the shark, often live in a bit of a bubble

    Michael Jackson was known to put a bit of himself into Bubbles.

  • Re:Best comics (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 02, 2010 @10:04AM (#30995342)

    The Complete Calvin and Hobbes (Calvin & Hobbes) (v. 1, 2, 3) [Box set] (Hardcover) http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Calvin-Hobbes-v/dp/0740748475/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1265122654&sr=8-1


    The Complete Far Side 1980-1994 (2 vol set) (Hardcover)http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Far-Side-1980-1994-vol/dp/0740721135/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_b


    Dilbert 2.0: 20 Years of Dilbert (Hardcover)

    I've got all three. The Dilbert one has a CD with EVERY Dilbert catoon until 12/31/2008.
    They are extremly high quality paper and print, really HEAVY literature.
    The next one will be the Complete Don Martin. The Complete Peanuts one is still a tad bit to expensive (14 books @ 25 €) IIRC.

According to all the latest reports, there was no truth in any of the earlier reports.