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Wednesday, August 09, 2006 

Bill Watterson interview

I found a great interview with the creator of Calvin & Hobbes.

Here's an exerpt:

Christie: Do you think you'll ever need a ghost?

Watterson: No, that's against what I believe about comic strips. In fact, I'd go even further and say I don't think a strip should ever be continued after the death or retirement of a cartoonist.

Christie: Well, you know, a lot of the very good ones used assistants.

Watterson: Yeah, Pogo did. Schulz has a good comment on that: "It's like Arnold Palmer having someone to hit his chip shots." I spent five years trying to get this stupid job and now that I have it I'm not going to hire it out to somebody else. The whole pleasure for me is having the opportunity to do a comic strip for a living, and now that I've finally got that I'm not going to give it away. It also gives me complete creative control. Any time somebody else has their hand in the ink it's changing the product, andI enjoy the responsibility for this product. I'm willing to take the blame if the strip goes down the drain, and I want the credit if it succeeds. So long as it has my name on it, I want it to be mine. I don't know, if you don't have that kind of investment in it...I guess that's the difference between looking at it as an art and looking at it as a job. I'm not interested in setting up an assembly line to produce this thing more efficiently. There are certainly people who could letter the strip better than I do; I don't enjoy lettering very much, but that's the way I write and that belongs in the strip because the strip is a reflection of me. If cartoonists would look at this more as an art than as a part time job or a get-rich-quick scheme, I think comics overall would be better. I think there's a tremendous potential to be tapped.