Early Bill Watterson rarities

Here's a collection of rare early Bill "Calvin and Hobbes" Watterson's toons from The Kenyon Collegian, his college paper from Kenyon, Ohio. They're a little edgier than the Calvin and Hobbes strips (but not as funny). Link (Thanks, Pat!)

See also:
Real-snow versions of Calvin and Hobbes's gory snowmen
Interview with Bill "Calvin and Hobbes" Watterson's mom
Will there be a Calvin and Hobbes movie?
Calvin and Hobbes slipcased complete collection coming
Bill Watterson reviews the new Charles Schulz bio


  1. Actually, the town is Gambier, OH. An hour from Columbus, two from Cleveland, three from Cincinnati.

    Kenyon ’91

  2. His drawings are impressive at that stage, but his writing is not. It’s almost a relief to see that he didn’t spring forth fully formed…

  3. That site has a lot of other interesting things by Watterson on it, such as introductions to other cartoonist’s collections and editorials about cartooning.

    Very Cool.

  4. Went to Kenyon, was classmate of Bill’s and hung out on the periphery of Bill’s posse. The guy in the photo was another friend of mine, Chin Beg Ho. And yes, knowing that makes it hilarious.

    This cartoon: http://ignatz.brinkster.net/cimages/ckenyon15.jpg
    is a caricature of another classmate of mine, Tom Chesnutt. Bill also did a series of mock posters featuring Tom, including this, which is incredibly prescient given our current saber rattling towards Iran: http://www.greendoch.com/chesnutt/chesnutt.jpg

  5. Indeed, February is so depressing in Gambier, Ohio. Kenyon hosts its second-biggest party of the year, Phling, in February to help everybody, students, faculty, and staff alike, drown their blues and dance the night away.
    Watterson captures the blues quite nicely.

    Rumor has it that Watterson painted some sort of Michaelangean masterpiece on the ceiling of his triple in 222 Hanna. It was supposedly never stripped, but was painted over by maintenance.

    Is recovery (or even proof thereof) hopeless?

    Jake ’01

  6. No Rumor! Fact! I saw it! Bill was allowed to paint and extremely faithful reproduction of Michaelangelo’s “Creation of Adam” on the ceiling of his bedroom provided that, by the end of the school year, he paint it over. It’s probably had a few more coats of paint covering it since then… I believe this was his sophomore year @ Kenyon, and his roommate at the time was Mr. Brett “Fungus Among Us” Cohen. However, it was not in 222 Hanna; Bill lived in Mather (if memory serves me) that year…

  7. Aha! “Creation of Adam” is real! We had heard that it was a triple in Hanna, which would make more sense because of the high ceilings. However, if Bill had a terrible lottery pick for rooms at the end of his freshman year (as I did), he would end up in Mather his sophomore year (as I did).

    I hope somewhere a photograph exists, but if not… a powerful piece of something to be incorporated into that place’s essence.

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