Bill Watterson drew the beloved comic strip Calvin and Hobbes from 1985 to 1995. During that time, Watterson fought tirelessly to elevate the art of the comic strip, and resisted lucrative merchandising deals. Then he retired the comic and withdrew from public life at the end of 1995. He refused to allow old Calvin and Hobbes strips to be syndicated, and forbids all licensed merchandising of the characters.
That’s why the only sign you see of Calvin for sale today is the common sticker you see of the 6-year-old peeing. It is a sign of disdain, and varies according to what the sticker shows he’s peeing on– a brand, a sports team mascot, a political figure, you name it. Why anyone would want to use a bootleg image of a beloved character to call attention to what one hates is a question for another day, but manufacturers have made money off Watterson’s art this way since around 1995. Those under 30 are more familiar with the peeing Calvin and his evil smile than they are with the child who talked to his tiger. Read about the rise of the peeing Calvin and its continuing profitability at Mel magazine. -via Digg
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