Wow. Bill Watterson, THE Bill Watterson, returned to the comics page for the first time in 19 years to ghost-write a few panels of Pearls Before Swine:
Let me tell you. Just getting an email from Bill Watterson is one of the most mind-blowing, surreal experiences I have ever had. Bill Watterson really exists? And he sends email? And he’s communicating with me? But he was. And he had a great sense of humor about the strip I had done, and was very funny, and oh yeah…. …He had a comic strip idea he wanted to run by me. Now if you had asked me the odds of Bill Watterson ever saying that line to me, I’d say it had about the same likelihood as Jimi Hendrix telling me he had a new guitar riff. And yes, I’m aware Hendrix is dead.
Bill Watterson is famous for being fiercely protective of his own privacy. He almost never, ever comes out of hiding. He doesn’t do interviews or talks, unless it’s an extremely special occasion. It just doesn’t happen. He’s a legendary character and yet very few people have actually met him.
The fact that he voluntarily stepped out of anonymity to do something like this is incredibly amazing. If I was Stephan Pastis I’d also feel like I’d just met Santa Claus.
But why reappear now, if only for a brief moment? Could it be that he actually misses the comics page? Could it be the first step towards a more extended return?