February 4, 2010

We've lived in bars
And danced on tables
Hotels trains and ships that sail
We swim with sharks
And fly with aeroplanes in the air



Stacie Albano

* Calvin & Hobbes creator Bill Watterson is interviewed for the first time in 15 years. excerpt:

Q: Readers became friends with your characters, so understandably, they grieved -- and are still grieving -- when the strip ended. What would you like to tell them?

BW: 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.

Q: Because your work touched so many people, fans feel a connection to you, like they know you. They want more of your work, more Calvin, another strip, anything. It really is a sort of rock star/fan relationship. Because of your aversion to attention, how do you deal with that even today? And how do you deal with knowing that it's going to follow you for the rest of your days?

BW: Ah, the life of a newspaper cartoonist -- how I miss the groupies, drugs and trashed hotel rooms!

But since my "rock star" days, the public attention has faded a lot. In Pop Culture Time, the 1990s were eons ago. There are occasional flare-ups of weirdness, but mostly I just go about my quiet life and do my best to ignore the rest. I'm proud of the strip, enormously grateful for its success, and truly flattered that people still read it, but I wrote "Calvin and Hobbes" in my 30s, and I'm many miles from there.

An artwork can stay frozen in time, but I stumble through the years like everyone else. I think the deeper fans understand that, and are willing to give me some room to go on with my life.

* Karin Jurick's paintings of people looking at art.

* Dust Congress contributor, poet Dennis Mahagin, has a new blog. Check out his latest poems.

* "Do you remember what Darwin says about music? He claims that the power of producing and appreciating it existed among the human race long before the power of speech was arrived at. Perhaps that is why we are so subtly influenced by it. There are vague memories in our souls of those misty centuries when the world was in its infancy." --Sherlock Holmes, addressing Dr. Watson

1 Comments:

Blogger Dr. The Bird Man said...

I would love to see a graphic novel of Calvin at 30 years old or something like that. Would he be a paleontologist, or a wall street banker, or a computer programmer, perhaps a comic strip author/artist?

9:33 AM  

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