Early Bill Watterson – Always a Genius

I came across this collection of rare and early Bill Watterson work, and it's too fascinating not to pass on.  Here's the whole thing. Spend a lot of time there.

Here are a couple samples from his early college work.


Here's some of his political work.

Finally, here's someone you might recognize.


  1. Love the stuff about the state of the comic strip industry.

  2. Josh, have I told you lately how much I love this site and all of you? Because I do. This made my day

  3. I’m getting a little choked up here. I really, really, miss Watterson’s work.  Thanks so much for posting these Josh!

  4. Man, his brushwork was there from day one.  This guy is a master, no debate.

  5. The college stuff is my favorite. still relevant to the college experience today

  6. These are awesome.
    I’m going to show the “unemployable” one to my students (many of whom are making themselves unemployable as we speak). 

  7. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone draw more expressive figures and facial expressions than Bill Watterson.  Time to get out the Calvin and Hobbes books again…

  8. Notice the map in the first strip, two of the countries are “Darkest Africa” and “Crocodile Country”

  9. This is wonderful! I had no idea these works existed. Seriously, thanks so much, Josh!

  10. If you’re a Watterson/C. & H. fan and you haven’t read Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom #1 you are truly missing out!

  11. Story: 5 – Excellent Art: 5 – Excellent
    Watterson’s awesome.

  12. (I have no idea why there’s so much space in that post.  Sorry.)

  13. At Berkley Breathed’s panel this past summer at Comic Con, he showed some illustrations he and Watterson would mail back and forth to one another, and they were hysterical! Too bad they’ll never be collected.

  14. I really need to buy those Calvin & Hobbes HCs.  One of the all time great comic strips.

  15. This made me want to pull out the Calvin and Hobbes hardcovers. 

  16. @Neb  They’re absurdly heavy.

  17. Calvin and Hobbes FTW!

  18. I grew up idolizing this man. He will always be one of my top five writers, but while I’m reading his stuff he always jumps up to number one. Even if only while I’m reading it.

  19. You guys should do a video show on the comic strip. That would be so good!!!!

  20. Talk about Back to the Future.  The “Unemployable” comic is relevant today.

  21. @Neb  I’ve got them, but I’m always more tempted to pick up my smaller collected editions just for readability.

    Absolutely stunning collection though.