What does an artist owe you? Bill Watterson spent ten years drawing the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, and then he abruptly stopped. Do you deserve more from him? What does it mean for someone to sell out? Watterson steadfastly refuses to cash in his creation with anything other than sales of books of the strip itself, despite the fact that he’s sitting on a potential gold mine. No other comics artist has a problem with paraphernalia sales. Do you respect Watterson more now that you know this, or does it really matter?
Ultimately, your opinion doesn’t matter to Bill Watterson. He’s disappeared from sight. Here’s an investigative report from scenic Chagrin Falls, Ohio in which the author tries (unsuccessfully) to track down Bill Watterson: clevescene.com | Missing! Bill Watterson.
It sounds like the father of Calvin and Hobbes has checked out for good and is on the verge of a Salinger-like crackup. His intentions sound noble but… what happens if you start to think that “selling out” means any interaction with other human beings? First you don’t want to be the media’s whore, then you won’t be anyone’s whore, then you stop shaking hands. We’re all selling out all the time. Stop selling out and you stop living. Saints and fascists occasionally impress, but mostly they’re really really boring. [via MetaFilter]