Pastis thinks that Watterson did what he did because getting involved in licensing means a loss of control. Other people get to have a say in what happens to the resulting products, be they dolls or lunchboxes or calendars. Even if Watterson had retained final say, he would have had to deal with all of these new people, would have had to oversee everything and assert his vision with others in ways that he previously did not have to do, with people he previously did not have to deal with.
"Rather than go, as he probably did, and walk through the forest that day," says Pastis, imagining that Watterson had decided to license even a selection of products, "he took six phone calls that he didn't want to take. They interrupted his day, they're floating around in his head. That's all bad." In other words, it may have been as much about maintaining control of his time and his peaceful work routine as it was about maintaining the integrity of his art. But still, even if Pastis is on to something, I wish that Watterson had gone in for at least some licensing, even if it had to wait until his retirement from the comic strip world, when the phone calls wouldn't mess with his daily creative schedule in quite the same way.
Watterson gave us over ten years of pure delight with Calvin and Hobbes, so he's done more for the world than most people, frankly. I've personally reread my collection several times, and it's still a rewarding experience. But I can't help but think of all the extra pleasure so many people would have gotten from all those Christmas ornaments and T-shirts. And I can't help but blame Watterson's selective disdain for commerce for keeping them from existing.