‘Calvin and Hobbes’ creator secretly returned to comics pages last week

The Washington Post | Pearls Before Swine | Team Cul de Sac

Bill Watterson drew the middle panels of Stephan Pastis’ “Pearls Before Swine” strip for three days last week, Michael Cavna reports. It’s his first newspaper strip since 1995, when he quit drawing “Calvin and Hobbes,” saying “My interests have shifted.”

It was “like getting a call from Bigfoot” to hear from Watterson, Pastis told Cavna. They settled on a conceit that a little girl named Lib (“Hint, hint: It’s almost ‘Bill’ backwards,” Pastis writes on his blog) would draw “rich worlds of imagination beyond the signature style of the strip,” as Cavna writes. For instance, the Mars invasion scene in this strip.

They’ll auction off the artwork to benefit Team Cul de Sac, a charity co-founded by “Cul de Sac” author Richard Thompson that raises money for Parkinson’s disease research.

I had the great privilege of having breakfast with Bill on June 4th and handing him the morning paper,” Team Cul de Sac co-founder Chris Sparks writes. “I watched him read his first newspaper work in 19 years. I don’t think he’d mind me saying he was grinning from ear to ear.”

Related: Watterson did an interview with Mental Floss magazine last year. Mangesh Hattikudur, then Mental Floss’ editor-in-chief, told Poynter last year he had “no idea” why Watterson agreed.

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