NAMES IN THE NEWS : ‘Calvin’ Creator Won’t Sell Out

From Times Staff and Wire Service Reports

The creator of the syndicated comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes” is resisting the riches that would come his way from marketing his characters. William Watterson II, speaking at Sunday’s commencement at his alma mater, Kenyon College, says he doesn’t want to commercialize them, despite the wishes of Universal Press Syndicate to turn them into “TV hucksters.” “We’ve been fighting for over three years now,” said Watterson, a 1980 graduate of Kenyon.

Watterson would stand to make a mint if his Calvin, the sage 6-year-old, and his stuffed tiger, Hobbes, were turned into toys, but he says artistic principle comes before commercialization. “Sooner or later, we are all asked to compromise ourselves and the things we care about,” he told the graduates. “There are no good ways to sell yourself out.”