Bill Watterson: A cartoonist’s advice.
Great panel by Gavin Aung Than on zenpencils.com detailing a quote from Bill Watterson’s graduation speech that he gave at his alma mater, Kenyon College, in 1990.
“The comic is basically the story of my life, except I’m a stay-at-home-dad to two dogs. My ex-boss even asked me if I wanted to return to my old job.
- My original dream was to become a successful newspaper comic strip artist and create the next Calvin and Hobbes. That job almost doesn’t exist anymore as newspapers continue to disappear and the comics section gets smaller and smaller, often getting squeezed out of newspapers entirely. I spent years sending submissions to syndicates in my early 20s and still have the rejection letters somewhere. I eventually realised it was a fool’s dream (also, my work was nowhere near good enough) and decided webcomics was the place to be. It’s mouth-watering to imagine what Watterson could achieve with webcomics, given the infinite possibilities of the online medium.
- My style is already influenced by Watterson, but this is the first time I’ve intentionally tried to mimic his work. It’s been fun poring through Calvin and Hobbesstrips the past week while working on this comic and it was a humbling reminder that I still have a long way to go.
- The quotes I’ve used in the write-up above are taken from the introduction to The Complete Calvin and Hobbes collection, which sits proudly on my desk.
- Thanks to Marlyn, Emily, Joseph, and Suchismita for submitting this speech.”