[Jake Rossen:] Where do you think the comic strip fits in today’s culture?
[↑Bill Watterson:] Personally, I like paper and ink better than glowing pixels, but to each his own. Obviously the role of comics is changing very fast. On the one hand, I don’t think comics have ever been more widely accepted or taken as seriously as they are now. On the other hand, the mass media is disintegrating, and audiences are atomizing. I suspect comics will have less widespread cultural impact and make a lot less money. I’m old enough to find all this unsettling, but the world moves on. All the new media will inevitably change the look, function, and maybe even the purpose of comics, but comics are vibrant and versatile, so I think they’ll continue to find relevance one way or another. But they definitely won’t be the same as what I grew up with.
[Jake Rossen:] I’m assuming you’ve gotten wind of people animating your strip for YouTube? Did you ever mimic cartoonists you admired before finding your own style?
[Bill Watterson:] Every artist learns through imitation, but I rather doubt the aim of these things is artistic development. I assume they’re either homages or satiric riffs, and are not intended to be taken too seriously as works in their own right. Otherwise I should be talking to a copyright lawyer.
[Jake Rossen:] Is it possible some new form of sequential art is waiting to be discovered? Could the four-panel template die out as newspapers dwindle?
[Bill Watterson:] Form follows function, as the architects say. With words and pictures, you can do just about anything.
ROSSEN, JAKE AND BILL WATTERSON. 2013. ↑Mental Floss exclusive: Our interview with Bill Watterson! Mental Floss 17 October 2013. Electronic Document. Available online.