Bill Watterson

I’d always enjoyed the comics more, and felt that as long as I was unemployed it would be a good chance to pursue that and see what response I could get from asyndicate, as I didn’t have anything to lose at that point. So I drew up a comic strip – this was in 1980 – and sent it off and got rejected. I continued that for five years with different comic strip examples ’til finally Calvin and Hobbes came together. But it’s been a long road.

I think the experience forced me to consider how interested I was in political cartooning. After I was fired, I applied to other papers but political cartooning, like all cartooning, is a very tough field to break into. Newspapers are very reluctant to hire their own cartoonists when they can get Oliphant or MacNelly through syndication for a twentieth of the price.

Cincinnati at that time was also beginning to realize it had major cartooning talent in Jim Borgman, at the city’s other paper, and I didn’t benefit from the comparison.His footsteps seemed like good ones to follow, so I cultivated an interest in politics, and Borgman helped me a lot in learning how to construct an editorial cartoon. Neither of us dreamed I’d end up in the same town on the opposite paper.

I was offered a job at the Cincinnati Post as their editorial cartoonist in a trial six month arrangement. The agreement was that they could fire me or I could quit with no questions asked if things didn’t work out during the first few months. Sure enough, things didn’t work out, and they fired me, no questions asked.

We’re not really taught how to recreate constructively. We need to do more than find diversions; we need to restore and expand ourselves. Our idea of relaxing is all too often to plop down in front of the television set and let its pandering idiocy liquefy our brains. Shutting off the thought process is not rejuvenating; the mind is like a car battery – it recharges by running.

I have enough friends who are gamers. I actually enjoy watching them play because of the visuals and the storytelling of the games. I just love being able to go on an adventure and games are just so sophisticated now that you can just get lost in a world for 20 hours and just be someone else in a very visceral, emotional way. And that’s just fascinating.