The magazine Mental Floss has a rare interview with Bill Watterson. Though Calvin and Hobbes long ago disappeared from the newspapers I felt compelled to read the whole article.
His answer to this question made me sad:
According to your collection introductions, you took up painting after the strip ended. Why don’t you exhibit the work?
My first problem is that I don’t paint ambitiously. It’s all catch and release—just tiny fish that aren’t really worth the trouble to clean and cook. But yes, my second problem is that Calvin and Hobbes created a level of attention and expectation that I don’t know how to process.
Bill Watterson’s earned the right to do whatever the hell he wants to do. He’s a fantastic artist and he’s worried about attention and expectation?
Dude, just do your thing. Please just do your thing. You don’t have to outdo Calvin and Hobbes, just let your new work take you wherever it may. I know I would love to see your new work and I know many others would, too. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone anymore, and yet the artist who held such high standards for his craft is probably a prisoner to those high standards.
I’m sad that the world will miss out on Watterson’s continuing creativity.