According to Comic Book Resources on Saturday, it was confirmed by cartoonist Stephan Pastis that "Calvin and Hobbes" Bill Watterson had contributed to Pastis' "Pearls Before Swine" for three comic strips. The main character plays himself as he typically delves into some self-deprecating humor as a cartoonist.
This caught the eye of Watterson as Pastis made a reference to "Calvin and Hobbes" in one of his strips and thusly was contacted by Watterson via email and was quite stunned the legendary cartoonist was even using email or humored to imagine if he was even on the grid. Pastis likened him to that of the elusive Bigfoot creature.
Watterson spoke with another source in regards to how he had intended on contributing to "Pearls Before Swine." In fact, he had already planned on doing so when encountering the creation and remarks how he found himself returning to the comic strip industry for the first time since 1995.
“Several years ago, when Stephan did one of his strips that mocked his own drawing ability and mentioned my strip in comparison, I thought it might be funny for me to ghost ‘Pearls’ sometime, just to flip it all on its head,” the goateed Watterson tells me, offering a clear indication that he still follows the funnies. “It was just a silly idea, and I didn’t know Stephan, so I never pursued it, and years went by.”
Watterson's motivation to do this was also coupled by the situation which entailed doing so for a good cause. A few months ago, Watterson mentioned that "Pearls" cartoonist Pastis reached out to him as he was he was partaking in a book signing. This situation evolved a collaborative effort to help raise money for Parkinson's disease as well known artist for The Washington Post, Richard Thompson, suffered the same ailment as he ended his cartoon "Cul de Sac" in 2012. That was when Watterson decided to explain to Pastis the idea and he was willing go for it.
That being said, the character of Libby or Lib which was short for "Bill" spelled backwards, minus the second "l", the introductory character made her appearance in the middle panels of Pastis' strip. She decided she would assist the flailing artists known to use his profession as a line to pick up the ladies. The transformation from his artwork to Watterson's was rather nostalgic to Spaceman Spiff in one of the pieces.
Pastis did have his fears of the elusive Watterson "disappearing into the ether" should he say something wrong, but the "Calvin and Hobbes" cartoonist was rather easy"to work with."
“At every point in the process, I feared I would say something wrong. And that Bill would disappear back into the ether. And that the whole thing would seem like a wisp of my imagination,” Pastis wrote. “But it wasn’t that way. Throughout the process, Bill was funny and flexible and easy to work with.”