Updated, The Billy Ireland’s Library’s Caitlin McGurk has confirmed that she and Jenny Robb—who helped organized the Watterson art exhibit at the library—will represent him at Angoulême.

Earlier this year, the selection of Bill Watterson as the Grand Prix winner at the Angoulême comics festival created quite a stir. The winner is traditionally the “grand marshal” of the whole festival, helping plan exhibits and appearing at official events. (Or, as in the case of Willem, last ear’s winner, hanging out at Le Chat Noir until 1 am with everyone else.) It seemed a bit of a stretch for Watterson, but was it impossible?

Although the once reclusive Calvin & Hobbes creator hasn’t exactly turned into Taylor Swift, he makes occasional semi public appearances and is way more accessible in interviews. (If you call once or twice a year accessible.) When the win was announced, Watterson’s editor Lee Salem said he would try to tell him how wonderful Angoulême is, so maybe Watterson would make an exception for this so not a comic-con event?

However, an interview at the French language 20 Minutes website has not only unveiled Watterson’s poster for the festival but confirmed that the poster will be the full extent of his participation. The traditional exhibit of Watterson’s work will be based on the exhibit at OSU. According to the brief but news-packed interview, Watterson found the poster an interesting challenge, but did not use his Calvin and Hobbes characters because he doesn’t believe in using them to promote anything—even comics. But according to Google Translate, Watterson says “In this sense, I hope I have managed to express both my work and comics in general. And to pay tribute to what makes this medium so pleasant to read.”


  1. Yeah, it’s pretty disgusting that he won’t exploit properties he created as marketing tools. And that he won’t give in and just do whatever people tell him too, even a festival as fabulous as this one. And when he could have declined or not made any comment, instead he created this new piece of work in his own style that in no way could possibly represent the thing it was created to represent. Standing by your own principles is a pretty gross concept in this day and age.

  2. I meant by staying home and not attending the fest, chuckles. I really don’t give a crap that he’s a recluse. More power to him. I am, however, getting tired of reading he’s a recluse and that it’s somehow a purer state of being.

  3. I don’t see anything about “a purer state of being” in this article. geez.
    he’s reclusive because he wants to be. if you don’t like reading about it, like chris says, don’t click.
    the poster made me smile! love his style.

  4. Crowds turn me into a twitching sack of nerves. Maybe Watterson has a similar issue. People read all sorts of things into my “reclusiveness”, but it certainly isn’t anything about “purity”. It’s about doing what I need to do, instead of what other people think I should.

    And yeah, it kinda does suck not being able to enjoy something as fabulous as Angoulême (or Bent-Con, or APE, or DragonCon …) Thanks for being so … sympathetic?

  5. I totally see Calvin and Hobbes in this new poster. The facial expressions of the old man are Calvin’s. The flow of the story could have been taken straight from C&H. And Miss Wormwood and the cop actually were in the old strip! Loved his new poster! Very nostalgic! Wish he’d consider another go!

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