Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin & Hobbes, recently gave his first interview in over twenty years. He didn’t say much, unfortunately, but he did talk about his reasons for ending the strip:
“By the end of 10 years, I’d said pretty much everything I had come there to say,” Watterson says. “If I had rolled along… 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.”
When asked if he will buy Calvin & Hobbes stamps when they are released, Mr. Watterson answers, “Immediately. I’m going to get in my horse and buggy and snail-mail a check for my newspaper subscription.” I detect Calvin’s father’s sentiments in that answer. His hatred of television, cars, and other aspects of modern busy life was one of the themes of the strip.
It’s interesting that Watterson gave this interview so soon after the death of another reclusive genius, J.D. Salinger. I wonder if Salinger’s death helped change his mind about his silence.