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The creator of 'Calvin and Hobbes' returns to draw for 'Pearls Before Swine'

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The reclusive creator of landmark comic series "Calvin and Hobbes" has quietly returned to the funnies page he abandoned in 1995.

Bill Watterson, the originator of "Calvin and Hobbes," surreptitiously drew a few panels of Stephan Patsis' subversive "Pearls Before Swine" - three to be precise - this week, after a little cajoling by the strip's creator. As described in a blog entry today by Patsis, Watterson agreed to draw a few panels in the name of charity.

The moment is a rare one, Patsis acknowledged:

"Now if you had asked me the odds of Bill Watterson ever saying that line to me, I’d say it had about the same likelihood as Jimi Hendrix telling me he had a new guitar riff. And yes, I’m aware Hendrix is dead."

Meanwhile, in a rare interview with The Washington Post's "Comics Riffs" blog, Watterson tells Michael Cavna the combination of doing something to benefit others and getting the chance to "ghost" Pearls proved alluring. In any case, Watterson's return to the milieu is a welcome one.

Could similar sessions teaming Gary Larson of "The Far Side" or Berke Breathed of "Bloom County" and "Outland" with today's creators be far behind?