Despite the fact that it's been 15 years since the last new Calvin and Hobbes strip, the work of cartoonist Bill Watterson seems to constantly at the forefront of the comics blogosphere these days. ComicsAlliance has published numerous Watterson-related stories in the last several months, and we add to them now with this post on some of the Calvin and Hobbes creator's early editorial cartoons. Specifically, cartoons about Mark Twain.

Courtesy of a former college classmate of Wattersons', ComicsAlliance published last December a collection of the Calvin and Hobbes creator's early cartoons created for the Kenyon Collegian. Later, Watterson's work was at the center of a plagiarism scandal involving comics grifter Rob Granito. Watterson apparently remerged in April with a new painting for a book produced by Cul de Sac creator Richard Thompson to benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Disease research. The cartoonist collective of Comic Twart paid homage to Calvin and Hobbes last month, and Let's Be Friends Again creators Curt Franklin and Chris Haley launched our new CATV feature with a Calvin and Hobbes parody.

According to The Pictorial Arts blog, Watterson lasted only six months as an editorial cartoonist for The Cincinnati Post, where he illustrated a number of pieces based on the writings of Mark Twain. The material was spotlighted by The Daily Cartoonist and followed up with additional pieces provided by Nevin Martel, author of Looking for Calvin and Hobbes: The Unconventional Story of Bill Watterson and His Revolutionary Comic Strip.

The first of the strips below features an early version of Calvin before his mop-top was replaced with the iconic spiky 'do.