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Calvin and Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson Debuts First Cartoon in 19 Years

Calvin and Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson Debuts First Cartoon in 19 Years
Stripped poster by Bill Watterson

02/27/2014 AT 02:00 PM EST

Are you sitting down, Calvin and Hobbes fans? No, the deliciously anti-establishment comic strip isn't returning, but its creator is – after a 19-year absence.

Bill Watterson, the genius behind the classic comic, has just released his first original cartoon in nearly two decades: a poster for the documentary Stripped, a film that celebrates comic strips while exploring the decline of the newspaper industry.

Watterson also participated in the documentary, which the official site bills as the first-ever audio interview with the very private artist.

"In the right hands, a comic strip attains a beauty and an elegance that really I would put against any other art," Watterson says in the film, according to USA Today.



Watterson's new poster features a cartoonist at work who is literally knocked out of his clothes when he sees a headline that blares 'Bye-Bye Newspapers.'

It's an eagerly-awaited return for devotees of Watterson's classic comic strip, which debuted in 1985 and followed the exploits of precocious, anti-establishment Calvin, a 6-year-old boy in an unidentified suburb, and his equally smart-alecky BFF Hobbes, a stuffed tiger alive only to him.

In 2010, the Cleveland-area native, 55, reiterated that he "never regretted" stopping Calvin and Hobbes when he did – and is reticent to comment on its legacy.

"I just tried to write honestly, and I tried to make this little world fun to look at, so people would take the time to read it," he told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. "That was the full extent of my concern. You mix a bunch of ingredients, and once in a great while, chemistry happens. I can't explain why the strip caught on the way it did, and I don't think I could ever duplicate it. A lot of things have to go right all at once."

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