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Bill Watterson, the creator of the iconic Calvin & Hobbes comic strip, gave a rare interview that was published this week. In it, he talks about his chosen art form and why we will never see Calvin and his tiger animated.
He was asked if he liked Pixar’s films and if he would ever like to see his comic strip come to life. Pixar does impress him, but the work being done in the animation world is not enough to get him to relent.
“The visual sophistication of Pixar blows me away, but I have zero interest in animating Calvin and Hobbes,” he said, noting that when anything gets adapted into another medium, something is lost. “It’s inevitable, because different media have different strengths and needs, and when you make a movie, the movie’s needs get served,” he continued. “As a comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes works exactly the way I intended it to. There’s no upside for me in adapting it.”
While he’s opposed to anyone officially turning his strip into a movie, he isn’t going to push YouTube users to stop animating the cartoons themselves.
“Every artist learns through imitation, but I rather doubt the aim of these things is artistic development,” he told Mental_floss. “I assume they’re either homages or satiric riffs, and are not intended to be taken too seriously as works in their own right. Otherwise I should be talking to a copyright lawyer.”
Watterson was surprisingly open during the interview and even commented on the annoying bumper stickers with Calvin peeing. He was asked if he ever felt like peeling one off. “I figure that, long after the strip is forgotten, those decals are my ticket to immortality,” he replied.
Calvin & Hobbes is the subject of the documentary Dear Mr. Watterson, which opens on Nov. 15.