Bill Watterson Talks Animation, Licensing of Calvin and Hobbes in Rare Interview

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Bill Watterson Talks Animation, Licensing of <i>Calvin and Hobbes</i> in Rare Interview

He might be as prolific as any comic artist, but Bill Watterson prides himself on his privacy. A man of few words—at least when on the record—the notably mum Calvin and Hobbes creator spoke with Jake Rossen of Mental Floss about his aspirations for himself and his legendary comic, now 18 years since he published its final strip. Though he still has no plans to give into the public’s clamoring for more material, Watterson is fully aware of the impact his comic left.

“You can’t really blame people for preferring more of what they already know and like,” he told Mental Floss. “The trade-off, of course, is that predictability is boring. Repetition is the death of magic.” Clearly Watterson’s reasoning thus explains his disinterest in turning Calvin and Hobbes into its own animated film, another possibility that fans have raised on many occasions.

“The visual sophistication of Pixar blows me away, but I have zero interest in animating Calvin and Hobbes,” he said. “If you’ve ever compared a film to a novel it’s based on, you know the novel gets bludgeoned. It’s inevitable, because different media have different strengths and needs, and when you make a movie, the movie’s needs get served. As a comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes works exactly the way I intended it to. There’s no upside for me in adapting it.”

Watterson didn’t mention if he approved of the similarly iconic Calvin car decals, but he added that “long after the strip is forgotten, those decals are my ticket to immortality.”

The full Bill Watterson interview can be found in the December issue of Mental Floss, which you can order here.