We all know Bill Watterson as the writer and artist of our beloved Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. I remember watching the news at my grandparent’s house in 1995, when it was announced that Bill Watterson had drawn the last strip and wouldn’t be drawing Calvin and Hobbes anymore. I remember rushing to my copies of Revenge of the Babysat and Something Under the Bed is Drooling and reading as much as I could, in an attempt to keep the boy and tiger alive in my own small way.

Recently I came across this painting by Bill Watterson for a fundraiser, and it looks like it’s even up for bid.

Anyway, the picture got me thinking about how great and unforgettable Bill’s work is and I pulled up this speech he gave back in 1990 to a graduating class at Kenyon College.

In his speech, Bill talks about creativity: what it is and how to nourish and develop it. He talks about being playful and about work and I couldn’t agree more with his message. At one point he says, “If I’ve learned one thing from being a cartoonist, it’s how important playing is to creativity and happiness.” Just like his Calvin and Hobbes strips, his statement isn’t just about drawing, it’s about life.

  1. Alice says:

    excellent quote. When we interview you for our podcast, we need to talk about creativity.

  2. Jimmy says:

    I remember when I heard that the last comic had come out. I wrote to Andrews and McMeel (his publisher) to ask if this was true.

    I absolutely love the last comic he drew… full of inspiration and hope. Calvin and Hobbes was just what I needed when it came out when I was ten years old, it was just what I needed when it ended and I was 20, and it’s often just what I need now that I’m 35 and have a son. It’s timeless and lemony.

    • Jess Smart Smiley says:

      Hey, Jimmy! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. That’s really impressive that you thought to write his publisher about the last comic. I didn’t even think of that!

      I love how I can open one of his books and be surprised every time. Whether it’s the punchline, or the way he drew a pattern on the lamp, or how Spaceman Spiff is going to get out of trouble this time, or simply because it’s a little boy being a little boy, there’s so much heart and truth in his work. Can you imagine what your life would be like, after creating and completing Calvin and Hobbes? I think we all wish Bill the best, wherever he is.

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