Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"Dear Mr. Watterson"

Calvin & Hobbes dominated the Sunday comics in thousands of newspapers for over 10 years, having a profound effect on millions of readers across the globe. When the strip’s creator, Bill Watterson, retired the strip on New Year’s Eve in 1995, devoted readers everywhere felt the void left by the departure of Calvin, Hobbes, and Watterson’s other cast of characters, and many fans would never find a satisfactory replacement.

It has now been more than a decade since the end of the Calvin & Hobbes era. Bill Watterson has kept an extremely low profile during this time, living a very private life outside of Cleveland, Ohio. Despite his quiet lifestyle, Mr. Watterson is remembered and appreciated daily by fans who still enjoy his amazing collection of work.

Mr. Watterson has inspired and influenced millions of people through Calvin & Hobbes. Newspaper readership and book sales can be tracked and recorded, but the human impact he has had and the value of his art are perhaps impossible to measure.

This film is not a quest to find Bill Watterson, or to invade 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.

The home page of "Dear Mr. Watterson" here.

Q. When is “Dear Mr. Watterson” coming out?

A. On April 9th, 2013, we’ll have our festival premiere at the Cleveland International Film Festival. Additional screenings will happen in Cleveland and at Oberlin College on April 10th and 11th. We’ll then be screening at the Wisconsin Film Festival in Madison on April 14th and 15th. We’re still awaiting word from several additional festivals. Once we’ve had our fun on the festival circuit, we plan to make the film available on DVD and Blu-ray, as well as platforms such as iTunes and Amazon.com. Who knows, the film might even show at a theater near you.

Q. Is this just a love-fest about Bill Watterson?

A. Not at all. Obviously, Calvin & Hobbes was extremely popular, and is well-loved to this day. The question that we keep asking ourselves is “How did a simple comic strip become so meaningful to such a massive and diverse group of people, and in such a short span of time?” Our search for an answer has led us on an exploration into the art of comics, the possibilities of art, and Watterson’s legacy.

Q. Who have you interviewed?

A. We’ve interviewed fans of Calvin & Hobbes, and cartoonists and industry professionals as well. You’ll see a sampling of our subjects in our teaser trailer. This is not a complete list, but we’ve talked to Berke Breathed, Lee Salem, Stephan Pastis, Jef Mallett, Dave Kellett, Charles Solomon, Seth Green, Keith Knight, Jenny Robb, Tony Cochran, Andrew Farago (Cartoon Art Museum), Joe Wos (Toonseum), Jean Schulz, Jan Eliot, Bill Amend, and more.

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