Wednesday, Jun. 03, 2009

Bill Watterson

As author of Calvin and Hobbes, the beloved comic strip about a mischievous 6-year-old and his stuffed tiger, Bill Watterson's work appeared in more than 2,400 newspapers worldwide. He was the youngest person to receive the National Cartoonists Society's highest honor, the Reuben Award — a prize he would win a total of three times. Throughout his career, Watterson consistently resisted pressure from publishers to merchandise his comic, believing that it would devalue the characters.

Despite a large and passionate fan following, Watterson retired the strip in 1995, citing frustration with the constraints of daily deadlines and small panels. He has since retreated from the public eye, declining interviews and public appearances and refusing to sign autographs or license his characters. For a time, Watterson stashed autographed copies of his books on the shelves of a local family-owned bookstore — until fans started selling them for higher prices. It remains to be seen if the world will hear from Watterson again.