Hey, Comic Strip Lovers!
Interest in Comic Strips has held the fascination of children and adults alike throughout the decades. Summer camps know how cool comic strips are so most are sure to offer a comics program. When I set my mind to feature a Pioneer or Record Setter from the world of Comic Strips, one name immediately comes to mind: Bill Watterson. For 10 years, from 1985 to 1995, Mr. Watterson captured the essence along with the magic of childhood in his strip ‘Calvin and Hobbes’.
One record he holds is the first cartoonist to use the word ‘booger’ in a newspaper comic strip—a record he expressed that some historian would someday confirm—you’re welcome Mr. Watterson.
We’ll get to more about his record setting in a minute, but first, a personal word about my connection to this strip. As I write this post, I look up at the four panels of ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ wall art I have above my computer and recall fondly all the great adventures I went on with these two lovable characters!
His artwork has an intimate attitude about it, possibly because of where he drew his inspiration. Hobbes, Calvin’s stuffed tiger, was fashioned after Watterson’s cat, Sprite. And he’s said that in the past that he never thought about all the people he was reaching with his comic but his main inspiration for writing ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ was to entertain his wife, Melissa.
Bill Watterson is a hero of mine for his consistent refusal throughout the years to license ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ merchandise (despite nonstop proposals for toys, animated series, and more). He never took the ticket and his strip lives on transcending the generations!
One last interesting point to make before we move on is that Mr. Watterson’s middle name is the same as the town where Everything Summer Camp headquarters is located—Boyd. His full name is William Boyd Watterson II.
And now back to his achievements in the comic strip world! In just his second year of writing ‘Calvin and Hobbes’, Bill won the Reuben Award for ‘Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year’. That year, he became the youngest person to ever win the award! He won the award yet again in 1988.
For a strip that ran in only 35 newspapers to begin with, it grew to over 2400 newspapers at the strip’s peak! Bill’s work reached hundreds of millions of readers by newspaper alone and who knows how many by his book collections! There are plenty of book collections that explore all 3,160 published strips of ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ and the sales of these books are in the tens of millions!
Easily the reigning king of comic strips, Bill Watterson, through his work, has worked his way into plenty of people’s hearts. Be sure to check out ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ if you’ve never given it much attention before and let it inspire you to make your own cartoon creation. As always, thanks for reading! See you in the funny papers.