Bill Watterson created one of the most iconic comic strips of our time, landing himself up there with Charles Schulz in the world of comic art. His beloved characters, Calvin and Hobbes, have become as much a part of our pop culture as they have a fixture in the American landscape of cartoons, and his rare, original pieces are much coveted and sought after by collectors. Earlier this year, a watercolor showing the rambunctious little boy and his tiger friend sleeping beneath a tree fetched over $100,000 at auction; now, an entire original strip is up for grabs, and it is expected to garner quite a bidding war.
The watercolor (Image: Rick Marschall)
The strip (Image: Brian Basset)
Watterson has been famously reclusive for most of his career, denying many interviews and retiring in 1995 at what many considered to be the height of his strip’s popularity. He reportedly never licensed his works for reproduction and rarely gave away artwork, which makes the few original pieces that have popped up extremely valuable.
The latest work to be auctioned comes from Brian Basset, who is also a cartoonist and was given the piece 26 years ago by the artist himself. He says that parting with it will be extremely difficult, but after finding himself in a financial bind, he feels he has no choice.
“I am so thankful of Bill Watterson’s generosity and the opportunity his talent has given me more than a quarter of a century later,” he said. “It is now time for someone else to enjoy owning this piece of Americana.”
The strip measures 13×9 and could fetch more than a quarter of a million dollars if the right buyer is interested.