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.?