Dear Mr. Watterson – Some Thoughts On The Calvin & Hobbes Documentary (Editorial)
Dear Mr. Watterson,
For those of us between the ages of 25 to 55, when you can see a windshield sticker of a young boy peeing on the Ford logo, devious smirk on his face, you know that kid’s name. He’s Calvin. And you know his stuffed tiger is named Hobbes. Between 1985 and 1995, they were a staple of the funny pages and if you had awesome parents (like my mom) there was at least one anthology on your family’s bookshelf.
Named after John Calvin, the 16th century French Theologian and Thomas Hobbs, the 17th century British philosopher, the strip’s title characters were as famous for their adventures in childhood imagination as their simple and honest social critiques. And it was all delivered by the notoriously private Bill Watterson, a man that eschewed all offers of merchandising to avoid the “violating the spirit of the strip” and is rarely heard from even today.
Yet for those of us still thumbing through our dog-eared copy of ‘Weirdos from Another Planet’, it‘s not hard to wax poetic about this wonderfully rendered universe and join others in wanting to express their affection. That is exactly what Joel Schroeder and company do with the November 15th release of their film ‘Dear Mr. Watterson’.
Funded through crowd sourcing site Kickstarter, Dear Mr. Watterson is not an expose or an in-search-of piece, but as the filmmakers wrote:
“It is an exploration to discover why his ‘simple’ comic strip made such an impact on so many readers in the 80s and 90s, and why it still means so much to us today.”
With interviews from comic strip peers Berke Breathed (Bloom County), Bill Amend (Fox Trot), Dan Piraro (Bizarro) as well as those influenced by the strip such as Seth Green (Robot Chicken) and Keith Knight (The K Chronicles), the story examines the ‘why’ as well as the ‘how’ we came to love this little blond boy and his imaginary pet tiger. And why so many of us still do.
To preorder your own copy, visit the website here.
And just so things don’t get too sentimental here, enjoy this Robot Chicken parody.