Bill Watterson talks: This is why you must read the new ‘Exploring Calvin and Hobbes’ book

Michael Cavna, for the Washington Post:

The occasion for this interview is linked to the Bill Watterson retrospectivecurated by Robb and exhibited last year at the Billy Ireland galleries (in a dual show with a Richard Thompson retrospective) and this year at Angouleme. Tomorrow, Andrews McMeel, the parent company of Watterson’s syndicate, is publishing “Exploring Calvin and Hobbes,” the ravishing exhibition catalogue from that retrospective — a 152-page beauty that, like the show itself, is organized around such themes as the seasons that rippled through “Calvin and Hobbes” like supporting characters.

And “Exploring Calvin and Hobbes” the Book, arriving 20 years after the adored strip sledded away for the final time, finds Watterson in the late-summer of his content.

Calvin and Hobbes occupied a sweet spot in history, when newspapers were still physical things that gave you colorful fingerprints. But, for me, the comic was also published in a time between adolescence and adulthood, which seems appropriate. As for Watterson, it seems to me that he hasn’t so much settled into his superstardom as he has outlived the most oppressive aspects of it.