Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson makes surprise return
The legendary cartoonist guest-drew a syndicated strip alongside Pearls Before Swine creator Stephan Pastis
Reclusive cartoonist Bill Watterson has emerged from nearly two decades in retirement to guest-draw a syndicated comic strip that runs in 750 newspapers globally.
The Calvin and Hobbes creator collaborated with fellow cartoonist Stephan Pastis, creator of Pearls Before Swine, on three strips that were published throughout last week.
But it was not until Friday that Mr Pastis revealed the man behind the drawings.
Writing on his blog, Mr Pastis explained that he had written to Mr Watterson to express his admiration. Not expecting a response, he was shocked when the cartoon titan not only replied, but also said that he had an idea that he wanted to run past Mr Pastis.
Together the pair conceived a series of comic strips in which Mr Watterson would appear under the guise of a 12-year-old girl called Libby, who would mock Mr Pastis' drawings - in reference to the self-deprecation that characterises his work - before going on to produce her own cartoons.
This week's Pearls strips will contain a mind-blowing surprise. I promise. pic.twitter.com/bzLS9zkBdF; Stephan Pastis (@stephanpastis) June 2, 2014
The second strip in this week's series. pic.twitter.com/YFHCih07tp; Stephan Pastis (@stephanpastis) June 3, 2014
Day 3 in this week's series. The little girl can draw. pic.twitter.com/bfsXMLjbvq; Stephan Pastis (@stephanpastis) June 4, 2014
Day 4 in this week's series: Libby just gets better and better. pic.twitter.com/lCc7kPlWvs; Stephan Pastis (@stephanpastis) June 5, 2014
Day 5 in the series. So who is really drawing my comic strip? Me? A second grader? Someone else? pic.twitter.com/Klx2YT5Cso; Stephan Pastis (@stephanpastis) June 6, 2014
Mr Pastis described working with Mr Watterson as "the highlight of my career".
Calvin and Hobbes was a daily comic strip that was syndicated from November 1985 until December 1995. It featured a six-year-old boy and his sardonic stuffed tiger and appeared in over 2,400 newspapers worldwide. But the strip came to an end after Mr Watterson announced that he had done as much as he could in the medium.
And the JD Salinger of cartoons retained his air of mystery while working with Mr Pastis: the whole project was conducted by email and the pair never even swapped phone numbers.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 If I were Prime Minister: I'd give tax cuts to the rich, keep Trident, and get my football team wrong
- 2 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
- 3 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 4 University student in court for allegedly covering housemates' food in window cleaner and spit
- 5 Garland shooting: Isis claims attack on Prophet Mohamed cartoon contest in Texas as its first action on US soil
In defence of liberal democracy
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
Andy McSmith's Sketch: Feisty audience is the real star of an enlightening show