It's been almost 20 years since Bill Watterson stopped drawing Calvin and Hobbes, and we've hardly heard from him since. But this week, another comic, Pearls Before Swine, took on a new style—and fans speculated that something unusual might be going on. They were right: Much of the strip over the past few days has been drawn by Watterson himself, the Washington Post reports.
Pearls writer Stephan Pastis tells the story on his blog: He didn't expect a reply from the reclusive Watterson when he sent his hero a recent email. But not only did Watterson reply, he suggested a storyline involving a character within Pearls taking over the strip. The work of this character—in the end, a second-grader named Libby—would really be drawn by Watterson himself. The resulting strips, viewable here, will be auctioned off to benefit Parkinson's research. "I think we both got some surprises," Watterson tells the Post. "I didn’t know what (Pastis) was going to write, and he didn’t know how I was going to draw it." Watterson's work made another rare appearance a few months ago.