Bill Watterson, creator of the classic comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, has been notoriously reclusive throughout his public life, not only of future creative endeavors since the end of series over 20 years ago, but in general (there is only one picture of him in existence that has been released to the public which was taken in 1986). Though fan demand has not waned, Watterson hasn’t published a comic since the last strip of Calvin and Hobbes was printed on December 31, 1995…or at least that’s what we thought. According to cartoonist Stephan Pastis, not only was Watterson collaborating on new comic strips with him in secret, but they have already been printed RIGHT UNDER OUR NOSES, and we didn’t even realize it.
According to an entry on Pastis’s blog, the collaboration started innocently enough. After his comic strip Pearls Before Swine ran a strip involving a joke about Pastis pretending to be Watterson in order to impress a lady, Pastis e-mailed a copy of the strip to Watterson himself, along with a note thanking him for being a major inspiration and influence on Pastis’s life and art. Surprisingly, not only did Watterson write back, but he suggested to Pastis they collaborate on a series of strips of Pearls Before Swine in which Watterson would secretly draw the comic. After much e-mailing back and forth, Watterson and Pastis ultimately decided to introduce a young girl named Libby into the strip that would challenge Pastis and claim she could draw the comic better herself. Libby’s art would be Watterson’s, but this would not be mentioned in the comic at all before or during publication. The collaboration ran for three strips. Pastis was sworn to secrecy by Watterson who told him he was only allowed to mention the collaboration after all three strips had been published. Now with all three strips having been exposed to an unwitting public, Pastis is spilling all the details of the entire process on his blog which you can read here.
HOW COOL IS THIS??? Just when you think you can’t love Bill Watterson any more. Check out he three strips below!