Here’s The Trailer For DEAR MR. WATTERSON, A Film About The Reclusive CALVIN & HOBBES Creator

The creator of CALVIN & HOBBES has his own documentary on the way.

As far as Me-Circa-1988 was concerned, the Sunday paper had only two real-world applications:  one was as a delivery system for the Toys 'R' Us flier, which was always included somewhere in the the paper's creamy, junk-mail-filled center; the other was, quite obviously, the Sunday edition of Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes.  

The Sunday edition of Calvin and Hobbes was always its own little work of art.  Watterson put everything he had into the strips that ran during the week, of course, but it was on Sundays that he really turned shit loose:  here all of the jet-flying T-Rexes were in bold color, Spaceman Spiff's raygun fired technicolor bolts, and babbling brooks popped off the damn page.  

One panel contained all the warmth, relatability, talent, and scope that Bil Keane's Family Circus never once delivered (note: to this day, Family Circus reads like it's written by an alien life form [possibly special-needs] who's been tasked with writing jokes humans will like, even though said alien has never felt "humor").  Watterson's strip inspired other artists to do better (just not Bil Keane), set a new gold standard for the industry, and was beloved by virtually anyone who ever read it.

I know the Keane Krew will eat me alive for saying this, but it's just science: Watterson was-- and remains-- the best nationally-published cartoonist of my generation,

By all accounts, Watterson is also...eh, kind of a hard man to get a hold of.  After publishing the last Calvin and Hobbes strip back in the mid-90's, Watterson pretty much went off the grid, ignoring untold millions' worth of merchandising offers (Calvin and Hobbes:  The Lunchbox!  Calvin and Hobbes: The Breakfast Cereal!) and turning down interview requests that continued for years after his strip had ended.  

How did Calvin and Hobbes become the phenomenon that it became?  Did the terrifying "Garfieldsploitation" period of the mid-80's contribute to Watterson's admirable decision not to turn his creations into products?  And where is Watterson now, anyway?  Is he still creating art?  Will he ever "come back"?  Has he read Hobbes and Bacon?  

And most intriguingly:  could director Joel Schroeder score an interview with the man himself for Dear Mr. Watterson, an upcoming documentary about the artist and his legendary creation?  Eh, well, no, but so what?  This looks like a great love letter to a man many of us dearly miss, and a great jumping-on point for anyone who's not already joined the Calvin and Hobbes fanbase.  Win-win!

Also worth noting:  the film started life as a Kickstarter project, and now it's been granted a limited theatrical release in advance of a September 15th rollout via VOD.  Stay tuned for any updates on Dear Mr. Watterson as we get closer to the film's theatrical release and let us know what you think about the trailer below.  

 

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