Bill Watterson unlike Charles M. Schulz is an enigma to many. The creator is a reclusive cartoonist who wants very little to do with fans and the media. Calvin and Hobbes has not spawned merchandising beyond book format or a few early calenders. Kickstarter campaign Dear Mr. Watterson – A Calvin & Hobbes Documentaryby Joel Schroeder just finished successfully and it hopes to bring out the mystic of Bill Watterson. If he will not come out of his shell, the documtary will focus on those close to him and industry insiders who crossed paths with him. I had my reservations about the film and I hope I will not disappointed as I was with Looking for Calvin and Hobbes: The Unconventional Story of Bill Watterson and his Revolutionary Comic Strip.
Calvin & Hobbes dominated the comics in thousands of newspapers for a decade, but when the strip’s creator, Bill Watterson, retired the strip in 1995, readers everywhere felt the void left by the departure of Calvin & his tiger, and many fans would never find a satisfactory replacement.
Newspaper readership and book sales can be tracked and recorded, but the human impact Bill Watterson has had and the value and significance of his art are perhaps impossible to measure.
This film is not a quest to find Watterson, who prefers his privacy. 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.