Bill Watterson - Media Personalities, Career and Family

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Bill Watterson's Personal Details

Bill Watterson is a renowned cartoonist, most popularly known for his creation ‘Calvin and Hobbes’

InformationDetail
BirthdayJuly 5, 1958
NationalityAmerican
FamousRecluses, Media Personalities, Cartoonists, INFP
SpousesMelissa Richmond
SiblingsTom
Known asWilliam Boyd Watterson II
Universities
  • Kenyon College
Birth PlaceWashington, D.C.
Height188cm
GenderMale
FatherJames G. Watterson
MotherKathryn Watterson
Net Worth$450 Million as of Jan 2017
Sun SignCancer
Born inWashington, D.C.
Famous asCartoonist

// Famous people with INFP

Bill Watterson's photo

Who is Bill Watterson?

Bill Watterson is a renowned cartoonist, most popularly known for his creation ‘Calvin and Hobbes’. He began drawing as a child and continued contributing to school and college magazines and papers with his artwork. Even as a child, Bill Watterson had decided that he would pursue a career as a cartoonist. Post his graduation he immediately began work as one, but he failed to get success as an editorial cartoonist. Bill Watterson rose to fame with his comic strip ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ in 1985. The comic strip was syndicated for ten years from 1985 to 1995 at the end of which he announced his retirement from cartoon work. Post 1995, Bill Watterson has been taking more interest and time in painting. He has collaborated with other artists and supported various humanitarian causes with his paintings. He is known to be an extremely private person and seldom gives interviews. Bill Watterson is known for his strong negative opinions on comic syndication, licensing, and merchandising of his cartoon characters.

// Famous Media Personalities

Childhood & Early Life

Bill Watterson was born on 5 July 1958 in Washington D.C, USA to G. Watterson and Kathryn. His father was an attorney. Bill Watterson has a brother named Thomas. In 1965, he along with his family moved to Ohio.

During his childhood, he spent most of his time drawing, which he had begun at 8. Throughout school he engaged in artistic activities, and was encouraged by his parents to nurture his interests.

He was deeply influenced by cartoonists Charles Schulz, George Herriman, and Walt Kelly. While at high school, he had drawn cartoons for the school yearbook and newspaper.

Bill Watterson enrolled into the Kenyon College in Gambier in 1976. While in college, he drew political cartoons for the college newspaper named ‘The Kenyon Collegian’. In 1980, he graduated with a degree in political science. However, he had aimed to pursue a career as a cartoonist and studied political science in order to prepare himself for editorial cartooning.

Career

Upon graduation, Bill Watterson was immediately hired by newspaper Cincinnati Post on a trial basis as an editorial cartoonist. However, the unfamiliarity of the political situation in Cincinnati made him as well as the newspaper feel that he was a misfit for the job, and he was let go before his contract ended.

Bill Watterson then joined a small- scale advertising agency where he had to design advertisements for groceries and design ads. Simultaneously he began allocating time for his own projects of creating cartoons and sending them to syndicates that could be published in newspapers.

As part of the freelance art work that he did during that time, he had drawn for commodities, clothes, calendars, magazines, books, post cards and posters.

He got his big break when United Features Syndicate signed a deal with him for a development contract based on the comic strip idea titled ‘In the Doghouse’ that he had submitted. However, they were doubtful about being able to sell the comic strip to newspapers.

At this point Universal Press Syndicate bought the strip in 1985 and began publishing the comic strip titled ‘Calvin and Hobbes’. The cartoon was a huge success and people were drawn to Calvin’s wide imagination along with the observations of Hobbes, narrated in a thoughtful manner.

He tried to incorporate many of his thoughts, ideas and experiences from his personal life into his comic strip. A few examples are his father’s talks on character building, his hobby i.e. cycling, his idea regarding enterprise and marketing etc.

The title character of the comic strip ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ were inspired from the names of theologian John Calvin and philosopher Thomas Hobbes. Following the success of this comic strip, the Universal Press Syndicate was eager to create and sell merchandise with the theme of ‘Calvin and Hobbes’. However, Bill Watterson strongly rejected this idea.

Bill Watterson had to face a lot of pressure from the syndicate regarding the merchandising of his work. However, he believed it would bring down the value of his comic and eventually won the fight against merchandising after a long time. The long struggle emotionally drained him and he took a sabbatical for nine months in 1991.

Post his sabbatical, Bill Watterson declared that his comic strip would require half a page space on the Sunday issue of papers so that he could include more content without worrying about space issues. This was not taken well by many contemporaries and newspapers and eventually they were given two options to choose. He took a second sabbatical from work in 1994.

After ten years of successfully running the comic strip, Bill Watterson announced in 1995 that he would be ending the same, as he had created everything that could have been done, with the comic strip. The final piece was published on 31 December 1995.

After the end of the comic strip, Bill Watterson has led a very private life and has declined interviews and media interference. He is known to have taken interest in painting.

In December 1999, he wrote a short note on the event of the forthcoming end of the iconic comic strip ‘Peanuts’.

In 2005, he answered reader’s questions and two years later wrote a review for the biography of cartoonist Charles Schulz titled ‘Schulz and Peanuts’.

He has given only two interviews since his comic strip ended, the first in 2010 for newspaper ‘The Plain Dealer’ and the second in October 2013 for magazine ‘Mental Floss’. In his interviews he stated that he was satisfied with his decision to end the comic strip.

Major Works

Bill Watterson is best known for his comic strip ‘Calvin and Hobbes’. The comic strip ran successfully in newspapers for a decade and earned him much recognition and awards.

Awards & Achievements

Bill Watterson did not enlist himself in the National cartoonists Society but he received multiple prestigious awards from the NCS including several other accolades.

In 1986. Bill Watterson received the Reuben Award for ‘Cartoonist of the Year’ by the NCS. He once again received the same award in 1988.

The National Cartoonists Society awarded him the ‘Newspaper Comic Strips Award’ in 1988.

In 1989, he received the Harvey Award in the ‘Special Award for Humor’ category for his work ‘Calvin and Hobbes’.

He received the Harvey Award for ‘Best Syndicated Comic Strip’ for seven consecutive years, i.e. 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1996.

In 1990, he received the Max & Moritz Prize for the Best Comic Strip, for Calvin & Hobbes.

In 1992, he received the Prize for Best Foreign Comic Book at the Angoulême International Comics Festival.

In 2014, Bill Watterson was awarded the Grand Prix Award at the Angoulême International Comics Festival.

Personal Life & Legacy

Bill Watterson married Melissa Richmond in 1983. The couple lives in Cleveland and keeps a very low public profile.

Humanitarian Work

Bill Watterson collaborated with cartoonist Stephan Pastis on comic strip ‘Pearls before Swine’ in 2014 as a fundraiser to fight against Parkinson’s disease. The duo collaborated to assist the Michael J Foundation and Team Cul de Sac.

He has also contributed his poster art for the documentary titled ‘Stripped’.

// Famous Cartoonists

Bill Watterson awards

YearNameAward

Other

Newspaper Comic Strips Humor Award
1988Sproing Award for Tommy og Tigern
1989Harvey Award
Special Award for Humor
1990Harvey Award for Best Syndicated Comic Strip
1990Max & Moritz Prize for Best Comic Strip
1991Harvey Award for Best Syndicated Comic Strip
1991Adamson Award for Kalle och Hobbe
1992Harvey Award for Best Syndicated Comic Strip
1992Eisner Award for Best Comic Strip Collection
1992Angoulême International Comics Festival
Prize for Best Foreign Comic Book
1992Eisner Award for Best Comic Strip Collection
1993Harvey Award for Best Syndicated Comic Strip
1994Harvey Award for Best Syndicated Comic Strip
1995Harvey Award for Best Syndicated Comic Strip
1996Harvey Award for Best Syndicated Comic Strip
1986 - Reuben Award for Cartoonist of the Year
1988 - Reuben Award for Cartoonist of the Year
1988 - National Cartoonists Society

Bill Watterson biography timelines

  • // 5th Jul 1958 To 1965
    Bill Watterson was born on 5 July 1958 in Washington D.C, USA to G. Watterson and Kathryn. His father was an attorney. Bill Watterson has a brother named Thomas. In 1965, he along with his family moved to Ohio.
  • // 1976 To 1980
    Bill Watterson enrolled into the Kenyon College in Gambier in 1976. While in college, he drew political cartoons for the college newspaper named ‘The Kenyon Collegian’. In 1980, he graduated with a degree in political science. However, he had aimed to pursue a career as a cartoonist and studied political science in order to prepare himself for editorial cartooning.
  • // 1983
    Bill Watterson married Melissa Richmond in 1983. The couple lives in Cleveland and keeps a very low public profile.
  • // 1985
    At this point Universal Press Syndicate bought the strip in 1985 and began publishing the comic strip titled ‘Calvin and Hobbes’. The cartoon was a huge success and people were drawn to Calvin’s wide imagination along with the observations of Hobbes, narrated in a thoughtful manner.
  • // 1986 To 1988
    In 1986. Bill Watterson received the Reuben Award for ‘Cartoonist of the Year’ by the NCS. He once again received the same award in 1988.
  • // 1988
    The National Cartoonists Society awarded him the ‘Newspaper Comic Strips Award’ in 1988.
  • // 1989
    In 1989, he received the Harvey Award in the ‘Special Award for Humor’ category for his work ‘Calvin and Hobbes’.
  • // 1990
    In 1990, he received the Max & Moritz Prize for the Best Comic Strip, for Calvin & Hobbes.
  • // 1991
    Bill Watterson had to face a lot of pressure from the syndicate regarding the merchandising of his work. However, he believed it would bring down the value of his comic and eventually won the fight against merchandising after a long time. The long struggle emotionally drained him and he took a sabbatical for nine months in 1991.
  • // 1992
    In 1992, he received the Prize for Best Foreign Comic Book at the Angoulême International Comics Festival.
  • // 1994
    Post his sabbatical, Bill Watterson declared that his comic strip would require half a page space on the Sunday issue of papers so that he could include more content without worrying about space issues. This was not taken well by many contemporaries and newspapers and eventually they were given two options to choose. He took a second sabbatical from work in 1994.
  • // 31st Dec 1995
    After ten years of successfully running the comic strip, Bill Watterson announced in 1995 that he would be ending the same, as he had created everything that could have been done, with the comic strip. The final piece was published on 31 December 1995.
  • // Dec 1999
    In December 1999, he wrote a short note on the event of the forthcoming end of the iconic comic strip ‘Peanuts’.
  • // 2005
    In 2005, he answered reader’s questions and two years later wrote a review for the biography of cartoonist Charles Schulz titled ‘Schulz and Peanuts’.
  • // 2010 To Oct 2013
    He has given only two interviews since his comic strip ended, the first in 2010 for newspaper ‘The Plain Dealer’ and the second in October 2013 for magazine ‘Mental Floss’. In his interviews he stated that he was satisfied with his decision to end the comic strip.
  • // 2014
    In 2014, Bill Watterson was awarded the Grand Prix Award at the Angoulême International Comics Festival.
  • // 2014
    Bill Watterson collaborated with cartoonist Stephan Pastis on comic strip ‘Pearls before Swine’ in 2014 as a fundraiser to fight against Parkinson’s disease. The duo collaborated to assist the Michael J Foundation and Team Cul de Sac.

// Famous Recluses

Bill Watterson's FAQ

  • What is Bill Watterson birthday?

    Bill Watterson was born at 1958-07-05

  • Where is Bill Watterson's birth place?

    Bill Watterson was born in Washington, D.C.

  • What is Bill Watterson nationalities?

    Bill Watterson's nationalities is American

  • Who is Bill Watterson spouses?

    Bill Watterson's spouses is Melissa Richmond

  • Who is Bill Watterson siblings?

    Bill Watterson's siblings is Tom

  • What was Bill Watterson universities?

    Bill Watterson studied at Kenyon College

  • How tall is Bill Watterson?

    Bill Watterson's height is 188

  • Who is Bill Watterson's father?

    Bill Watterson's father is James G. Watterson

  • Who is Bill Watterson's mother?

    Bill Watterson's mother is Kathryn Watterson

  • What is Bill Watterson's sun sign?

    Bill Watterson is Cancer

  • How famous is Bill Watterson?

    Bill Watterson is famouse as Cartoonist