Before focusing full time on Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watterson drew cartoons for the school newspaper and yearbook. Later he went on to draw political cartoons for a quarterly political journal, Target and for the Cincinnati Post.
Unlike the late Peanuts creator, Charles M. Schulz, there isn’t much known about Bill Watterson. He is the J.D. Salinger of cartoons. Now that there is an online collection of Bill Watterson’s early work, we can analyze a bit what he was aiming for with Calvin and Hobbes or just plain enjoy these rare cartoons. Charles M. Schulz once wrote that he didn’t draw Peanuts for children but for adults.
In a way I think Bill Watterson did the same, when I read Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin expresses exactly how we feel, even as adults. Not wanting to get up early every day, do homework, which equals daily responsibilities. Basically we all just want to be a kid most of the time.
One of Bill’s drawings from his college day’s featuring his friends.
One of his cartoons from the Cincinnati Post.
You can read and see many more drawings of Bill Watterson on Rare Bill Watterson Art. It’s not mentioned who runs the page, but this person is doing a great job collecting scans of drawings that can only be found in library archives in the cities in which they were published.