Whatever happened to the good cartoonists..?

Namely, the brilliant Bill Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes), the glorious Gary Larson (The Far Side), and the bastardly Berke Breathed (Bloom County, but not Outland, which on its best days was merely Bloom County Lite)

I know they retired, but where are they now?

Berke Breathed just recently published a book-- Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big.

I’m here, I’m just not old enough to get syndicated yet.

:wink: :wink: :wink:

I think they just made lots of money and realized they just didn’t care so much anymore. It’s a fact that the best way to kill great art is to buy it off.

From what I’ve heard, the opposite; they cared too much. Even the best comic strips have an optimal life of maybe 6 or 8 years. After that, they usually start to repeat themselves horribly. I think all three artists recognized that and stopped before the strips turned into another Peanuts or Beetle Bailey.

Plus, I understand both Watterson and Breathed didn’t like the small size that most newspapers reduced their strips to.

If Watterson wanted to make lots of money, then why did he refuse to permit the commercialization of his characters?

Gee, Lizard if that was so, why would Watterson give this speech at Ohio State U.? (Ok, so it was in '89)

Oh, the last I’ve heard of Watterson, “His publisher, Andrews and McMeel, says only that he’s pursuing painting somewhere in the Midwest. And he has no plans for future cartoon work.” –Christian Science Monitor 1998

Bill Watterson is living in his old home town in Ohio, painting, and living a reclusive life. He also signs some of his books there, and his mother comes by and takes them to the ocal bookstore - the only plave in the WORLD where you can buy new, signed by the author Calvin and Hobbes.

And exactly which small town in Ohio does he live in?

I read somewhere that where Bill Watterson lives now is something he doesn’t want to be widely known. Can’t blame him, really, if the alternative would mean fans stopping by just to pester him about Calvin and Hobbes.

If lawoot’s right about him living in his old hometown, then finding him should be as easy (or as difficult :p) as figuring out where that is. Watterson was never the freely-giving-out-personal-information type.

Gary Larson released There’s a Hair in My Dirt!: A Worm’s Story in 1998. He’s also got some 2001 calendars out.

I believe I’ve seen comments from both Larson and Watterson that they felt their material was declining and they would rather not keep the strips going lifelessly,as so many TV shows stay on the air long after the freshness is gone.

 In my opinion, they did the right thing. A good storyteller knows when to wrap things up.

    Look up old` comic strips on microfilm and you will see that they not only extended across the width of the page, they were allowed more vertical space as well. About all that can be done today is a one-panel gag or the pared-down simplicity of Dilbert. The days of Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon or the gorgeous full page Sunday Prince Valiant are long gone.

<fullbodied newsreel-announcer voice>

However, all is not lost! The Internet comes to the rescue as aspiring cartoonists self-publish their works on the Internet, avoiding all issues of declining newspaper quality and editorial influence!

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Seriously, a lot of new cartoons are being publicised over the net. Some of these are quite good, and have attracted sufficiently-large followings that the creators can live off merchandise sales! (And when a decent “micropayment” system arrives, and it’s easy to pay, say 1c or 10c each day we view a comic, this market will explode.)

Check out Scott McCloud’s brilliant books of comics theory and exploration:[ul][li]Understanding Comics: the history and structure of comicsRedefining Comics: the future of comics[/ul]Both of these books are, appropriately, done as comics.[/li]
For drawing quality, check out (for example) The Sixth Seal by Teemu Makinen, Supermegatopia, and Sluggy Freelance.
It’s interesting to watch the drawing quality improve as time goes on and the strip’s creator learns. For inspiration, I use the works of Moebuis. There is far too little information about him on the net.

Some good links pages:[ul][li]The Belfry: Furry Comics Online[]Keenspot[]Stu’s Comic Strip Connection[]My own newly-started comics page[/ul][/li]And a couple of how-to resources:[ul][li]The How-to Guide to Comics[]Darryl Cagle’s Professional Cartoonist’s IndexTRhe Cartoonist’s Fountain of Knowledge[/ul][/li]So, in the ultimate extremity, we can always get out there and make our own comics. Which I am now doing. :slight_smile:

For other good comics try http://www.kevinandkell.com
Or check out the link in my sig line.

Enjoy ! :slight_smile:

Berke Breathed writes and illustrates books for children. Check Amazon.com for a list.

Gary Larson presides over his “Far Side” empire. He also writes and produces short animated films.

Bill Watterson, as noted, paints. He has no intention of getting back into the cartoon game.

The quote I remember from Breathed as to why he stopped Bloom County was something along the lines of, “I realized that I could draw it with my feet and have my mom write it and I’d still only lose about 10% of my newspapers,” and that the comic had grown way out of any sense of rational proportion to what he originally intended to do with it.

Here’s a hint: Tim Conway is also from there, and if you ever watched the old ‘McHale’s Navy’ show, Conway’s character mentioned it as his home town. I know it, because I lived there myself as a kid, and my brother was a classmate of Watterson’s.

Now you’re in trouble. My roommate is working at TVLand, cutting voice-overs with Tim Conway. I’ll have to see what he can learn…

is The Daily Static, found on the User Friendly site.


The site also has complete archives from the strip’s beginning in November 1997.

Here’s a site with a few good ones…


‘Close to Home’ is kinda 'Far Side’ish.

Must share these :



Enjoy :slight_smile: