The man who created one of the most beloved comic strips in the world is also one of the most reclusive “famous” persons you can imagine. In fact, the image above, is the the only known official photo of Watterson.

The last “Calvin and Hobbes” strip ran almost 20 years ago on December 31, 1995.

final-calvin-hobbes-strip

That was it. Calvin and Hobbes went off on their sled to go explore everything beautiful the world has to offer.

Since then Watterson has secluded himself away preferring to live his life as anonymously as possible. Until last week.

Stephen Pastis is a cartoonist and the creator of the Pearls Before Swine comic strip. He’s also the man responsible for giving us all a brief glimpse of a cartooning legend.

Pastis tells a story on his blog of traveling through Cleveland on his book tour and trying, to no avail, meet Watterson.

I was traveling through Cleveland on a book tour, and I knew that he lived somewhere in the area. I also knew that he was working with Washington Post cartoonist Nick Galifianakis on a book about Cul de Sac cartoonist Richard Thompson’s art.

So I took a shot and wrote to Nick. And Nick in turn wrote to Watterson.

And the meeting didn’t happen.

Bill apparently had something to do. Or more likely, wanted nothing to do with me.

Which is smart.

But Nick encouraged me to send an email to Bill anyways. I said I didn’t want to bother him.

Not long after this took place the following comic ran in the newspapers that Pearls is syndicated in.

pb140411

Pastis figured it was as good a time as any to reach out and email Watterson who actually responded and, according to Pastis, really liked the comic and had a sense of humor about it. Not only that, Watterson had an idea for a comic that he wanted to discuss with Pastis.

Pastis introduced a new character into his comic named Libby or Lib for short (almost Bill backwards, get it?). Libby would be the alter-ego of Watterson as he took over three strips for “Pearls before Swine”

And then came the three strips that Watterson contributed to.

Pastis recounts the entire story on his blog which you can check out here.

Posted by James Poling

A socialist, tinkerer, thinker, question asker and all around curiosity seeker. If you'd like to reach me you can use the contact link above or email me at jamespoling [at] gmail [dot] com.

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