Bill Watterson submits original painting to Team Cul de Sac

Bill Watterson came out of retirement – albeit briefly – to submit a oil painting to Richard Thompson’s Team Cul de Sac effort to raise money for a cure for Parkinson Disease.

As Richard tells it on his blog…

So I was floored when I got a call yesterday from Chris [Sparks] saying that Caty Neis, who’s shepherding the Team book project at Andrews & McMeel, had gotten a painting from Bill. An oil painting of Petey Otterloop of all people. After studying it pretty closely for the last consecutive 12 hours or so I can say that he’s done Petey as much justice as possible. Adding another dimension to a 2D character is a tricky business and Petey’s awkward enough in dealing with the two he’s normally confined to.

Chris Sparks, who is heading up the Team Cul de Sac fundraiser posted a comment on Comics Alliance, “We are blessed to have Bill Watterson wanting to contribute art to us. It says volumes about how much he admires Richard Thompson, not just as an artist, but as a friend.”

Team Cul de Sac is soliciting original cartoon art that will be featured and solid in a book to be published by Andrews & McMeel. The original art will also be auctioned off.

If you’d like to contribute, or see who’s already contributed, check out the team’s blog.

8 thoughts on “Bill Watterson submits original painting to Team Cul de Sac

  1. As someone who has donated time to worthy causes related to cartooning (and not), I applaud Chris Sparks for his herculean efforts in this fundraiser on behalf of Richard Thompson. I know it is his admiration for Richard (who, I agree, deserves it) that inspired this idea, but it is his untiring selfless work that is making Team Cul de Sac a success.

  2. Besides being a wonderful contribution to Team Cul de Sac, Watterson’s portrait of Petey is downright intriguing, which is fitting since I think Petey is one of the more intriguing little kids in comics. He’s different in a wonderful and refreshing way, and he’s got depth and maybe Watterson was trying to get at that depth mainly through the eyes. To be honest, I’m not sure those eyes are right for this little boy, and at times they remind me of a Charles Addams character. They’re a little haunting, even a bit alien looking, and maybe too mature for a child, although maybe they’re supposed to foretell Petey’s future as an adult? Whatever, it sure isn’t Calvin.

    A question: I’ve probably just missed it, but does Petey have buck teeth? I don’t recall ever seeing his teeth.

  3. OK, I understand that he got burned-out drawing Calvin, but surely now that 15 years have passed he must at least occasionally consider creating a new installment. A kid’s book, maybe. Anything!

  4. @ Kevin

    There is much more to producing a syndicated feature than drawing and writing for your characters. There is a public scrutiny and demand for interaction that is very wearing for certain personalities. The internet has taken the demand that existed 25 years ago and exploded it.

    In his OSU presentation, Dave Kellett drew attention, not only to Watterson’s understanding of how the marketing of comics would change but also the fact that Watterson would hate the interaction with fans that webcomics require.

    It strikes me that, if there were any itch at all to resume that kind of creative life, we would have seen it by now. Let’s accept this wonderful piece of artwork for what it is – a fitting tribute to the talent of Richard Thompson.

  5. Hi everyone,
    As the guy who started TCDS I want to say thank you to Alan and everyone who has reported about us.
    John, thank you for such nice words. Wow, I owe you for that!
    Kevin, Like Alan quoted me above,
    We are blessed to have Bill Watterson wanting to contribute art to us. It says volumes about how much he admires Richard Thompson, not just as an artist, but as a friend.

    I think TCDS is very lucky to have such a large family to support this cause.
    We all have different talents. I am not Bill Watterson, but I can work on this project and donate some money and thats pretty darn cool! I am lucky to be a small part of the team.

    So folks,go to or donate money at

Comments are closed.