Richest CelebritiesAuthors
Net Worth:
$100 Million
Jul 5, 1958 (65 years old)
Washington, D.C.
United States of America
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What is Bill Watterson's Net Worth?

Bill Watterson is an American artist and author who has a net worth of $100 million. Bill Watterson is best known as the author of the comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes." Syndicated from 1985 to 1995, the comic, about a boy and his stuffed tiger, is often considered the last great newspaper comic. After he stopped drawing "Calvin and Hobbes," Watterson withdrew into private life, rarely making media appearances but occasionally publishing writing.

Early Life and College

Bill Watterson II was born on July 5, 1958 in Washington, DC to James and Kathryn. He has a younger brother named Thomas. When he was six, Watterson moved with his family to the Cleveland, Ohio suburb of Chagrin Falls. Growing up there, he spent his time drawing and reading comic strips such as "Pogo" and "Peanuts." In high school, Watterson created superhero comics with his friends and contributed drawings to the school newspaper and yearbook. For his higher education, he went to Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where he majored in political science. Watterson continued developing his drawing skills there, and contributed art to the college newspaper. He graduated in 1980.

Career Beginnings

After graduating from Kenyon, Watterson was hired on a trial basis by the Cincinnati Post. He struggled there, and was fired before the end of his contract. Subsequently, Watterson joined a small advertising agency, where he worked for four years as a designer. Meanwhile, he worked on many of his own projects and did freelancing.

Calvin and Hobbes

Watterson rose to fame with his comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes," about the adventures of a mischievous six-year-old boy and his sarcastic, anthropomorphic stuffed tiger. In the comic, Watterson incorporated elements from his life, and often explored such themes as environmentalism, academia, and philosophical concepts around identity. "Calvin and Hobbes" was first published in November of 1985 in 35 newspapers. The strip was a big hit, and after just a year in syndication was being published in around 250 newspapers. At the peak of its popularity, "Calvin and Hobbes" was featured in more than 2,400 papers around the world. The comics that appeared in the newspapers were later published in a series of collections.

Watterson believed that comics constituted an art form of their own, and that they were cheapened by commercialization and merchandising. Because of this stance, he clashed with his publisher Universal Syndicate, which urged him to merchandise his characters. Watterson held his ground despite the immense pressure, but got so exhausted by the fight that he took a nine-month sabbatical in 1991. When he returned, he got into another conflict over the changed format of the Sunday strip. Ultimately, Watterson stopped drawing "Calvin and Hobbes" in late 1995, with the final strip being published on New Year's Eve.

Life After Calvin and Hobbes

After ending "Calvin and Hobbes," Watterson withdrew into a deeply private life. Several attempts were made by newspapers to contact him, but to no avail. Watterson spent much of his time painting, and stayed away from the public eye. He continued to fight against the merchandising machine and refused to sign autographs or license his characters. In 2005, Watterson made a rare media contribution when he answered 15 questions submitted by readers; two years later, he wrote a review of the biography "Schulz and Peanuts" for the Wall Street Journal.

Watterson has made some other notable media contributions. In 2008, he wrote a foreword for the first book collection of the "Cul de Sac" comic strip. He later gave interviews for the Plain Dealer and Mental Floss. In early 2014, Watterson released a poster for the documentary film "Stripped"; it was his first cartoon work since the end of "Calvin and Hobbes." Later that year, he served as a guest illustrator on the comic strip "Pearls Before Swine." Watterson has also released some books, including "The Art of Richard Thompson," cowritten by Nick Galifianakis and David Apatoff, and "The Mysteries," co-authored by John Kascht.

Honors and Awards

Watterson has received numerous accolades over the years for his work on "Calvin and Hobbes." In both 1986 and 1988, he won the National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award. Watterson later won multiple Harvey Awards throughout the 90s. In 2014, he was awarded with the Grand Prix at the Angoulême International Comics Festival, making him only the fourth non-European cartoonist to claim that prize since 1974. Watterson was inducted into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 2020.

Personal Life

Watterson is married to his wife Melissa, with whom he lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

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