Bill Watterson Returns to the Comics Page in ‘Pearls Before Swine’ by Stephan Pastis
In his personal blog, Stephan Pastis, creator of the comic strip ‘Pearls Before Swine,’ describes how he got in contact with the reclusive Watterson after a ‘Pearls’ strip ran in the newspaper in which the cartoon version of Pastis himself hooks up with a girl by claiming he drew ‘Calvin and Hobbes.’
Pastis sent that strip to Watterson in an email, thanking him for his great work and for having influenced him, expecting nothing in return. What he got instead was a reply from Watterson, followed by a proposal for a comic strip. Pastis simply replied, as most of us would, with the following:
I will do whatever you want, including setting my hair on fire.”
From there, a plan was made to have Watterson secretly draw ‘Pearls Before Swine’ strips through a character named Libby, a second grader who thought Pastis’ art “was crap.”
In an article on the Washington Post, Watterson said, “Several years ago, when Stephan did one of his strips that mocked his own drawing ability and mentioned my strip in comparison, I thought it might be funny for me to ghost ‘Pearls’ sometime, just to flip it all on its head.”
Today, after three ‘Pearls Before Swine’ strips drawn by Watterson have been printed, Pastis has revealed that the legendary cartoonist has been gracing the Comics Page again for the first time since ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ ended in Dec. 1995.