Bill Watterson Returns to the Comics Page
I know there are people out there who would gladly give an arm just to get Bill Watterson to return and do another comic strip. If you’re one of those people, please send me a message so we can work out details on how I can receive that arm of yours (I prefer the right, because they’re worth more on eBay), as Bill Watterson has recently made a return to the art form. Temporarily, though, and a secret at first.
Basically, Pearls Before Swine author Stephan Pastis ran a strip that has his comic book version managing to pick up a woman by claiming to be Bill Watterson. He then sent the comic to Bill Watterson, along with a letter thanking the Calvin and Hobbes creator for all his great work and for inspiring him.
Here’s where it gets good. It’s kind of sad and unfair, but Bill’s reclusive nature and determination to keep his personal life private is usually misinterpreted as being toffee-nosed and snobbish, especially in this day and age of people broadcasting every single minute of their lives on social media. Nobody would have been surprised if Stephan received no reply.
Except he did.
Bill Watterson wrote back, had a great sense of humor about the strip, and offered to help Stephan with a few strips, in which Stephan would write a series that makes fun of his own art skills (a premise that he usually uses in Pearls Before Swine), but the character would get hit on the head and suddenly develop better skills. Then Bill would step in and draw the comic strip for a few days. That’s right. Some guy Bill doesn’t know personally creates a strip that uses his name for a joke without permission, sends him an email out of the blue, and Bill took it well and even took time out of his schedule to draw the guy a series of strips for free? What a jerk, amirite?
Anyway, to get the full story (there’s a lot of things to read about during the making of the strip) and to read the strips themselves, you can go directly to Stephan Pastis’ blog.