Calvin and Hobbes, the terrible tyke and his sidekick tiger, will be retired from the funny pages on Dec. 31.
In a letter to newspaper editors Thursday, cartoonist Bill Watterson said the decision to end the strip was not a recent or easy one.
"I believe I've done what I can do within the constraints of daily deadlines and small panels," Watterson, 38, said in the letter. "I am eager to work at a more thoughtful pace, with fewer artistic compromises."
"Calvin and Hobbes" hit the comic pages in 1986 and entertained millions with the antics of a 6-year-old boy who has an overactive imagination and a not-so-stuffed tiger.
"Calvin and Hobbes" is distributed internationally to nearly 2,400 newspapers. More than 23 million copies of books based on the cartoon are in print. All 13 collections were million-dollar sellers in their first year.
In his letter, Watterson said he had not decided on what he will do next. The letter featured a drawing of the two cartoon characters getting kicked out a door. The two buddies are shown clutching each other as they fly through the air, leaving a trail of stars.