On Monday, cartoonist Stephan Pastis kicked off a new Pearls Before Swine arc by teasing that this week’s strips “will contain a mind-blowing surprise.” That tantalizing tweet, coupled with artwork in a decidedly different style and a couple of potential dialogues, led some readers to speculate that parts of the storyline are drawn by none other than Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson.
At The Daily Cartoonist, Alan Gardner lays out some of the evidence, both for and against, and rounds up some of the Twitter chatter on the subject. He acknowledges, “I’m not fully convinced that it is Bill.”
The famously reclusive Watterson has released just two pieces of new artwork since ending Calvin and Hobbes in 1995: a painting of Richard Thompson’s character Petey Otterloop, created in 2011 for the Team Cul de Sac benefit auction (it sold for $13,000), and the poster for the recent comic strip documentary Stripped.
An exhibit of original strips and specialty pieces by Watterson and Thompson opened in at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.