Prior to his Calvin & Hobbes days, Bill Watterson had a 6-month trial gig drawing editorial cartoons for The Cincinnati Post, specializing in cartoons inspired by and including quotes by Mark Twain. In an interview with Honk Magazine, Watterson describes the experience:
The agreement was that they could fire me, or I could quit with no questions asked if things didn’t work out during the first few months. Sure enough, things didn’t work out, and they fired me, no questions asked.
My guess is that the editor wanted his own Jeff MacNelly (a Pulitzer winner at 24), and I didn’t live up to his expectations. My Cincinnati days were pretty Kafkaesque. I had lived there all of two weeks, and the editor insisted that most of my work be about local, as opposed to national, issues. Cincinnati has a weird, three-party, city manager government, and by the time I figured it out, I was standing in the unemployment lines. I didn’t hit the ground running. Cincinnati at that time was also beginning to realize it had major cartooning talent in Jim Borgman at the city’s other paper, The Cincinnati Enquirer, and I didn’t benefit from the comparison.
More at The Mary Sue.