Calvin and Hobbes creator gives rare interview to Mental Floss

BY newsdesk  October 17, 2013 at 6:20 PM EDT

Photo by Flickr user marcusjroberts

Bill Watterson, the creator of the Calvin & Hobbes comic strip, agreed to a rare interview for Mental Floss’ December issue. The editor-in-chief of the magazine told Poynter that he has “no idea” why the reclusive cartoonist responded to their interview request. Mental Floss posted a preview of the email exchange online.

When asked about his past fight for greater control over licensing deals and for more real estate on the comics page, Watterson elaborates on the risk involved:

“I had signed most of my rights away in order to get syndicated, so I had no control over what happened to my own work, and I had no legal position to argue anything. I could not take the strip with me if I quit, or even prevent the syndicate from replacing me, so I was truly scared I was going to lose everything I cared about either way. I made a lot of impassioned arguments for why a work of art should reflect the ideas and beliefs of its creator, but the simple fact was that my contract made that issue irrelevant. It was a grim, sad time.”

– Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin & Hobbes