Even those of you who don't keep up with daily newspaper comic strips probably heard about Bill Watterson's secret return to comics earlier this year. In a storyline in Stephan Pastis's Pearls Before Swine, Pastis was briefly replaced by a second-grader named Libby, who claimed she could draw the strip far better than Pastis had been. While the strip was running, Pastis hinted at a "mind-blowing surprise" for readers, and he definitely delivered when he revealed that "Libby" was actually the legendary creator of Calvin & Hobbes, brought back to comics for the first time since 1995.

As you might expect, this was a pretty big deal, but became even bigger this week when Watterson's three strips were sold at auction, raising $62,000 to benefit Parkinson's Disease research.

Including the premium paid to Heritage Auctions, who ended up donating about half of their take as well, collectors paid over $74,000 for the strips, including a single bid of $30,000 for the June 3 "Martian Robot Attacks" strip above. Also of note: The three strips were purchased by three separate collectors.

The proceeds from the auction will be donated to Team Cul De Sac, a charity set up by cartoonist Richard Thompson to benefit Parkinson's disease research, affiliated with the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

[via the Washington Post]