Did Watterson ever do squid?

Here’s a spiffy picture.


It’s almost ruined for me by the artist’s description, though.

Here, raw sexual aggression is symbolized by the sperm whale, while the squid acts as a thinly-disguised metaphor for the multi-armed oligarchies of Rockefeller, Hearst, and Morgan. Their battle plays against the backdrop of the sea, standing in for—what else?—the vastness of the unconscious mind.

He can’t possibly be serious. It reminded me more of this:


Forget the metaphors and monopolies and minds…it’s just cooooool.


  1. Jodie says

    My son (now 16) probably would not have learned to read had it not been for Calvin & Hobbes & The Far Side. We had many sessions of reading those aloud and then listening to him puzzling out what some of the cartoons meant (listening to a 6 year old try to figure out The Far Side was especially hilarious).

    The one you posted is still one of his favorites.

  2. dAVE says

    Having gone to art college – The description is a great parody of the kind of stuff people write about their work. My opinion is that if you need a paragraph next to the piece to get people to understand your intention, you’ve failed as an artist. Of course, the people who put up shows want (sometimes require) a little card with a paragraph about the piece, so I can totally understand why one would have fun with it.

  3. says

    Ahahaha! That reminds me of the time Charles Platt claimed that Garbage World and Planet of the Voles, two of the pulpiest pulps to ever see print, were supposed to be SFnal explorations of Freudian stages of psychosexual development.

  4. Paul Flocken says

    ‘while the squid acts as a thinly-disguised metaphor for the multi-armed oligarchies of Rockefeller, Hearst, and Morgan”

    That’s not even original. The use of multi-tentacled sea creatures to represent unrestrained, grasping, corporatism is as old as…as…well, as unrestrained, grasping, corporatism. Here are six examples from the early days of anti-trust.

    please forgive the long link

  5. trexmaster says

    What does the Tyrannosaurus rex symbolize?

    Go T. rex, munch that ugly squid to extinction!

  6. trexmaster says

    On second thought, forget about my last comment. I don’t like squids (or other cephalopods), but I realize I was a bit insensitive to some of the cephalopod-lovers here. My apologies.

  7. says

    What many people don’t know is that Bill Watterson used to play with They Might Be Giants. The painting above was the original artwork for Apollo 18, before Bill and They went their separate ways.