This article was originally published in 2010 but I only found it recently:
It’s been 15 years since Calvin and his tiger buddy Hobbes pulled up and rather suddenly left the comics pages. At the time, in 1995, the strip was at the height of its popularity, running in a staggering 2,400-plus newspapers and reaching an audience in the hundreds of millions.
Then, with a short note citing shifting interests and "the constraints of daily deadlines and small panels," creator and Clevelander Bill Watterson retired his masterpiece. The artist, whose reclusiveness – and genius – are often compared to the late J.D. Salinger, was still in his 30s.
Fans, who had enjoyed 10 years and more than 3,100 installments, were left without a daily face-to-face with the spiky-haired 6-year-old who had become a part of American culture. They couldn’t even hug a stuffed Hobbes or watch an animated special or put on a Calvin T-shirt (an authorized one, at least) because of Watterson’s stubborn refusal to license away his characters.
It was cold turkey – and many fans continue to feel withdrawal.
I’m definitely one of them. Has it already been 18 years??