You might not know it, since he ended Calvin & Hobbes 15 years ago and has all but dropped out of sight. I picture him as a Howard Hughes figure, unable to shake his fist at the world anymore because he hasn’t trimmed his nails since the Clinton administration. But he can still use his fingers to type, apparently, because he just gave an e-mail interview to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Here he is answering the #1 question on most fans’ minds: Why’d you quit?
This isn’t as hard to understand as people try to make it. By the end of 10 years, I’d said pretty much everything I had come there to say.
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.
I think some of the reason “Calvin and Hobbes” still finds an audience today is because I chose not to run the wheels off it.
I’ve never regretted stopping when I did.
Gruff, but honest. I might be bitter and reclusive too, if every other car on the road had a sticker depicting my famous cartoon character urinating on stuff.
Watterson also has good answers about his “stardom” and the fate of the newspaper industry. I miss that guy, but if he doesn’t want to be “the dude who does Calvin & Hobbes” anymore, fine by me. It’s really sad when a beloved cartoonist tries to return to his most famous creation and falls flat on his face.
(thx editor & publisher lol)