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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Dear Bill Watterson

I don't know you. I don't presume to understand your reasons for leaving, or vigilantly avoiding, the public eye. I don't judge your choices, because I am quite sure that you have good reasons that are none of my business. I know that you'll never read this blog post and that you do not want my fan mail. And that's okay.

I'm still writing it. For me.

Mr. Watterson, your Calvin and Hobbes strips remain as appealing and relatable and timeless as when they were first inked. You continue to reach all sorts of readers and make them laugh and think. You continue to gain fans.

Your two newest fans are my eldest and middle children. In a very short span following their discovery of their first Calvin and Hobbes treasury, we have quickly acquired and devoured the entire collection.

The love of these comics has turned my reluctant reader into an engaged reader, and my "meh" reader into a voracious one.

The challenging vocabulary of these comics has pushed both of them to improve their decoding and comprehension skills and learn new words at a rate that random and context-free assignments never could have.

The delight of these comics has served as a springboard for a number of self-motivated projects, many of which have two brothers working joyfully together toward a common goal.

Right now, my kids are creating a tribute comic. For you. They are chattering excitedly, speculating about how you will react. "I bet he'll love this!" "Maybe he'll write back!!"

Right now, it's bittersweet and kind of breaking my heart, because all of my Googling has indicated that you wish to remain private and not receive fan mail. Which I will respect. But still, a part of me aches for them.

But I'm going to let them hang on to that joy for a little while longer. At least until their current project is done. Because they are inspired, and that is no small thing.

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