Calvin and Hobbes turns 30


Wednesday marked the 30th anniversary of the launch of Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes

To note the anniversary Lee Salem recalls working with Bill:

You worked closely with Watterson for more than 10 years, remaining a friend after 30 years. Please share a few of your favorite memories of working with him.

From an editorial perspective, Bill was a dream to work with. If we didn?t think something worked, he?d generally accept it. He was terrific on deadlines (though to this day he still thinks he ran late. I never let him think otherwise). In the early days of syndication of a strip, we?d review mailed-in roughs, then call the cartoonist. The goal was to reach a common understanding of what the characters were about and where the strip might be going. It didn?t take long ? less than two years, if my recollection is correct ? to get to the point where all the roughs were fine, so Bill could just send in finished art. For Mike Cavna?s Washington Post blog, Comic Riffs, Bill recalled watching me read a set of his roughs: ?He could have been reading obituaries for all the delight he radiated.? But I was trained by Jim Andrews, the co-founder and first editor of Universal, who one time chastised me for laughing at a cartoonist?s roughs. ?Don?t ever laugh at a cartoonist?s work in front of him. It?s a sign of weakness.?

One thought on “Calvin and Hobbes turns 30

  1. One of the most admirable things about Calvin and Hobbes (aside, of course, the brilliance of the strip and its creator) was and continues to be Bill Watterson’s resistance to commercialize his work. No calendars, no stuffed Hobbeses suck onto car windows, no T-shirts, mugs, greeting cards or other cheap kitch. And while I’m sure fans would have loved to see a movie, TV special or series, part of the charm of the strip is that it existed in two dimensions on paper and the rest of it was in the readers’ heads. That made it more real than Garfield, Marmaduke or Peanuts could ever be.

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