5/23/02
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Cartoonist Thrilled to See His Character Peeing

Reclusive cartoonist Bill Watterson, the creator of the popular comic strip Calvin & Hobbes, is ecstatic to see his beloved character make a resurgence on the dented bumpers and dirty back windows of pickup trucks, muscle cars and "sweet rides" across the country.

"I am flattered, to say the least," gushed the retired Watterson via phone from his Ohio home. " I never thought to have Calvin urinate on things and people, but I love it! Dropping his pants and peeing seems like the logical progression for that little scamp Calvin. He loved throwing water balloons at his nemesis Susie Derkins; why not have him take a wee-wee on her? It's genius!"

Watterson stopped producing his daily strip in 1995 and stopped production of his wildly popular books in 1996. The revered Watterson was one of the few cartoonists who did not merchandise his characters (no dolls, toys, or TV shows) because he feared over-commercialization would ruin the strip's appeal.

"I never wanted to see my characters on lunchboxes or watch a TV show with some woman doing a horrible 'Calvin' voice. But I got to tell you, seeing Calvin draining his pee-pee on Osama Bin Laden's face rekindles my interest in doing the strip. Maybe I'll put out my own line of 'Official Peeing Calvin' products." This might be a wise move. Watterson does not see a single dime from the sales of these unlicensed decorations, which are sold at specialty stores like Spenser Gifts, Stuckey's Roadside Gift Shop, and Eddie Bauer Home Store.

"I've been laying low for a long time now, and well, integrity doesn't pay the bills, my friend. It might be time to cash in," adds Watterson.

Sticker Sightings
The stickers are a favorite with drivers from urban areas, as well as rural byways. It is nearly impossible to motor through the megalopolis of New Jersey or the small Deep South state of Delaware without seeing the sly-faced, penis-grabbing Calvin taking aim at various targets: Saddam Hussein, Arabs, Boy Bands, O.J., Chevy or Dodge logos (popular on Ford F-150s), Charlie Brown, Born Again Christians, Phish, vegans, Japanese motorcycles, Mickey Mouse and Nicole Kidman.

"That little dude rocks. I just put one on my new tricked-out Civic. It's the classic version with the little dude just peeing on the ground. Very subtle. Very classy," said Ricky Staples, a drag racer from Turnersville, NJ. When asked why he likes Calvin, Ricky admitted he was not aware the character's name was actually Calvin, nor was he cognizant of the comic strip's existence. "I just thought he was called 'The Little Piss Dude.'"

"I see bumper stickers as my way of expressing myself and my interests," said Nancy DeWalt, a sales assistant from Turnersville, NJ. All my stickers, 'Peeing Calvin,' 'My Son Beat Up Your Honor Student' and 'My Other Car is a Broom' let other drivers know not to mess with me because I don't take no crap from nobody!" DeWalt also has 59 other colorful bumper stickers displayed on the back of her 1991 Ford Festiva. Most of these weathered stickers also alert other motorists that the driver does not take any crap.

Cartoonist Reflects
Watterson justifies the urination theme with some historical contex: "I believe Walt Kelly showed Pogo lifting his little possum leg and marking his territory in a few panels of the early Pogo strips. And if I'm not mistaken, Charles Schulz portrayed Linus as a chronic bed wetter. So as you can see, urine is definitely a funny and acceptable subject for a cartoonist to tackle."

Asked how he could take the concept to the next level, Watterson added, "I would like to see the feline philosopher Hobbes get involved. Since they are best friends, they could wee-wee on many things together. Maybe even leave a special surprise in that annoying babysitter Rosalyn's soda? The possibilities are endless."

"I'd just like to thank the person who first took the character I held so dear to my heart and had the courage and foresight to put him on a sticker and make him pee… I owe you one."

Theodore Gumbrill
Neighborhood Reporter

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