The creator of the beloved “Calvin and Hobbes” comic strip, Bill Watterson, finally made a brief return to comics this week.
Watterson partnered with comic artist Stephan Pastis, and drew panels in three of Pastis’ “Pearls Before Swine” comic strips. Each of the three strips featured one panel drawn by Watterson, as part of a long-running joke about Pastis’ inability to draw.
Pastis wrote in his blog about being shocked when Watterson asked to collaborate.
“He had a comic strip idea he wanted to run by me. Now if you had asked me the odds of Bill Watterson ever saying that line to me, I’d say it had about the same likelihood as Jimi Hendrix telling me he had a new guitar riff,” wrote Pastis. “And yes, I’m aware Hendrix is dead.”
After creating the wildly popular “Calvin and Hobbes” comic in 1985, Watterson decided to end the cartoon just 10 years later. In the nearly two decades since the end of “Calvin and Hobbes,” Watterson has never returned to the comic strip and has not given much indication that he would ever return to the comic book world. Even a documentary about his famous comic, called “Dear Mr. Watterson,” was not enough to draw out the reclusive comic artist.
Watterson hasn’t made any announcement about returning to comics for good, but one clue may have been dropped in the comics themselves.
Watterson was represented in the comic strip by a character named Libby. When another character asks Libby to stay and draw other comics, she just answers, “Nah. The art form’s dying.”
The Associated Press contributed to this article.