ZenPencils, “cartoon quotes from inspirational folks”, is a fantastic website for illustrators and visual enthusiasts alike looking for a creative boost. We were elated recently to stumble across their recent feature of famed illustrator, Bill Watterson, author of Calvin and Hobbes, impressive professional and personal journey:
“Watterson sacrificed millions (probably hundreds of millions) of dollars by never licensing and merchandising Calvin and Hobbes. He went through a long and traumatic fight with his syndicate over the licensing rights, and although he eventually prevailed, Watterson was so disillusioned with the industry he almost quit cartooning. “I worked too long to get this job, and worked too hard once I got it, to let other people run away with my creation once it became successful. If I could not control what my own work was about and stood for, then cartooning meant very little to me.”
Luckily Watterson didn’t quit and took a sabbatical instead. “I was ready to pursue different artistic challenges, work at a less frantic pace with fewer business conflicts, and … start restoring some balance to my life.” Since retiring the strip, Watterson has pursued his interest in painting and music.
Reprints of Calvin and Hobbes are still published in over 50 countries and the strips are as fresh and funny as they were 20-25 years ago. It has a timeless quality and will continue to entertain comic fans for generations to come. Great art does that.”
Enjoy Watterson’s delightful, heartfelt, and inspirational visual story and cartooning here! It’s a great reminder of the importance of staying true to yourself and grounded in your craft even where you are on top of a visual empire!