Think about a project you're really proud of. Now, think about how you would feel if that was all that anyone associated you with, regardless of your other accomplishments. It's your choice of emotion. I put it to you that he's made a very sane choice in how to react - he's let go of it and any baggage that could be associated to it.
In a world that lauds "reunion tours" and the like, he's a breath of fresh air.
"It never occurred to me that a comic strip I created would
be at the mercy of a bloodsucking corporate parasite called a syndicate, and that I'd be faced with countless ethical decisions masquerading as simple business decisions.
To make a business decision, you don't need much philosophy; all you need is greed, and maybe a little knowledge of how the game works."
If he was a HN user, he'd probably get downvoted a lot for his anti-money-as-the-bottom-line view. And oddly enough, I argue that part of that attitude and values contributed to the long lasting value of his comic strips, as we're still talking about him and reading C&H today.
A: For starters, I clearly miscalculated how popular it would be to show Calvin urinating on a Ford logo. . . . Actually, I wasn't against all merchandising when I started the strip, but each product I considered seemed to violate the spirit of the strip, contradict its message, and take me away from the work I loved. If my syndicate had let it go at that, the decision would have taken maybe 30 seconds of my life."
From another interview posted elsewhere in the comments. http://www.andrewsmcmeel.com/calvinandhobbes/interview.html
And as to killing the magic, I'd think it's safe to presume that anyone with the agency and means to obtain a Hobbes doll could also can handle the fact that Calvin lives inside a comic strip with his Hobbes, but the one you've got is different
A good, good lesson.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fawlty_Towers#Episode_guide (see the last para in that section)
The characters are more complex and richly realized; the boss is as much an object of pity and even compassion as of scorn (er, Scarn); and Dwight is almost unbearably awesome.
There may be a shark-jumping in the show's future (heck, it may be happening as I write this - I won't get to see the current season until it comes out on DVD this coming September), but I haven't seen it yet.
the interviewer starts with the obvious bias that he thinks it's bad that calvin and hobbes is not around anymore. watterson says "yeah i'm pretty much over that" and the interviewer just won't take no for an answer: why not do some other strip, give the fans something they want, they all feel a connection to you, etc.
it would have been a lot better if the interviewer was willing to accept what the guy was saying and go forward from there. "okay, so you're not doing the strip anymore ... so what's in your life these days?"
Watterson is so modest that he gives his only interview to a local journalist with no particular interest in comics who mainly asks questions about celebrity. This is like Einstein being interviewed by a sports journalist.
That said, I'd pay to read HST/Einstein as well.
My guess is the interviewer just sent off a list of questions and Watterson answered the lot of them at his leisure. They just happened to all center around how desperately we all want more C&H.
I was deeply disappointed that the interview did not center around this question. We know he's not writing C&H, so is he doing something else that he finds meaningful? Does he spend all his time gardening? Does he still draw, doodle, or write? Does he ever feel an urge to do something creative that has nothing to do with comics or Calvin and Hobbes?
Seems a huge missed opportunity, to me.
It's still neat to have another though...
*It's 5 or 6 now, but the later ones refer to this recent interview.
None of the interviews touch on that- it makes me sad.
(And while we're on a roll, can we also get an interview with Gary Larson?)
"When it seemed I would be writing about 'Midnite Madness Sale-abrations' for the rest of my life, a friend used to console me that cream always rises to the top. I used to think, so do people who throw themselves into the sea."
- So, what's it like in the real world? Well, the food is better, but beyond that, I don't recommend it.
- Selling out is usually more a matter of buying in.
> What readers take away from it is up to them. Once the strip is published, readers bring their own experiences to it, and the work takes on a life of its own. Everyone responds differently to different parts.
I believe the thing that spoke to me most out of anything I've ever read was this: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2003/01/01/the-child-on-the-train...
To most this is a sad and unfortunate story, which is how I originally took it. However, when I picked up his book covering the past of Whatever it took on a completely different meaning. My life and perceptions changed quite radically in the intervening years, and years later it's still a difficult subject to deal with publicly. It's a catch 22, you feel bad for bringing it up because it's not only difficult for people to deal with, but it's also an awkward subject to breach. However, it's an issue that truly requires to be discussed as 1/4 of couples experience it, but discussing it hits the first snag. The emotions are seriously conflicting as you're exceptionally happy, and then it goes away. You're upset and depressed, however there is an awkwardness to the emotions as nothing feels like it was ever lost. It's almost like having a false-positive test, but much more profound.
Calvin and Hobbes provided ways for its readership to relate, and apparently managed it profoundly with a vast assortment of people. It's one thing to cater yourself to the general public en masse, but it's something worlds apart when you relate to the general public en masse.
I started reading C&H when I was 11-12 and my son has been interested since before he could even read on his own. This strip touches on something that I haven't found with _any_ other strip. Peanuts was great in it's time (I guess, I never really liked it.) But I can read C&H a zillion times and never get bored.
I just wish Mr. Watterson wasn't so off-putting, it would be nice to get more insight into his creativity as opposed to the shoulder-shrug and giant "meh" that's he's provided so far.
I may be wrong, but I don't see pity or lack of respect for his fans in his (few) interviews, but rather fear at the intensity of the fans. This isn't so unusual. Some (many?) creative people love and desire the attention that fame brings, but others simply freak out (Salinger, Pynchon, Glenn Gould, Watterson - if I'm right).
Quick follow-up: it's linked on this thread, but a different interview (Watterson responding to fan questions) gives a much more laid-back vibe: http://www.andrewsmcmeel.com/calvinandhobbes/interview.html So maybe part of the problem is how poor the new interview's questions are.
I've said it before: One of the hardest things to learn about fame is that it is a cost of doing business. It can kill you. Maybe it will kill you with stress. Or maybe it will kill you by withdrawal: People who are addicted to the charge of being famous become clinically depressed when that charge ebbs, or when they acclimate to it. Just look at what fame has done to so many movie stars and musicians.
One of the great things about geeky hobbies is that most of them allow you to become modestly famous, but no more.
Or maybe it'll be a psycho stalker fan who shoots you in the back four times after following you around for months.
"Readers will always decide if the work is meaningful and relevant to them, and I can live with whatever conclusion they come to...I'm proud of the strip, enormously grateful for its success, and truly flattered that people still read it."
Although we all hope for some kind of tremendous story of revelation and inspiration and toil behind meaningful art, I don't think you can really fault him just because he doesn't have one ready to offer.
I don't understand this perspective, at all. I've never gotten that impression from any interview I've ever read, including this one. He seems humble, genuine, and sincere in his desire to live a quiet life. I like him all the more for not being defined by fame and success, and not partaking to excess of the adulation of his fans, as many celebrities do. He lets the work speak for itself; and the work is good enough to speak very loudly.
Mainly, he values being mentally curious. In the link I put above, he basically let his mind wander. He daydreams, and managed to cultivate that into a skill.
When I was doing a strip, you just kinda get into a habit of noticing things in our world that don't fit quite right. And then you just kinda amuse yourself by letting your mind wander. At the end, you might end up with something.
By comparison, it like how entrepreneurs notice business opportunities all around them by habit.
On the other hand, the interviewer here only asks "pushy fan" questions, so it's not surprising that the only thing we get from Watterson is his usual "humble bordering on misanthropic" schtick. A pity, really, could have been a much better interview. I guess we'll never get to the bottom of the real causes of that spaghetti incident...
P.S. in my corner of Europe, there was a newspaper reprinting C&H until a couple of years ago ...
It seems they haven't secured an interview with the man himself, but they have interviews with a mix of other people.
(An interface to search C & H quotes and download them)