Bill did all the things that authors/artists should do with their creations. Let's make a short checklist.
- He fought against turning Calvin and Hobbes into a brand or having any merchandising at all for his characters. His reasoning was that he felt it would cheapen them and the comic's impact. All those stickers you see of Calvin peeing on logos? Totally unauthorized.
- He stopped Calvin and Hobbes when he wanted to. Often times authors will continue their works as long as possible, riding out their fame and success. Bill stopped when he felt he could do nothing more without hurting his creation.
- He changed the format of the Sunday Comic. Before Calvin and Hobbes, newspapers had the freedom to cut up, rearrange, and completely change the layout of any comic they were sent. Bill asked for a specific amount of space to work with, and refused to draw unless they left what he gave them intact. This is why you see so much creativity and experimentation with his strips.
- He disappeared from the public eye. Nothing says 'humble' like quitting one of the most famous Sunday strips with nothing to the fans but a promise for more 'eventually'. There's even a book dedicated to finding out what he's been up to all these years.
- "It's surprising how hard we'll work when the work is done just for ourselves." Calvin and Hobbes wasn't an attempt to please the masses, or to make money. Bill created it to please itself, and only works like these can truly connect with anyone else.