clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

New 'Calvin & Hobbes' documentary is a love letter from fans and cartoonists to its creator

New, 59 comments
Dear Mr. Watterson
Dear Mr. Watterson

Bill Watterson, the creator of the beloved comic strip Calvin & Hobbes is notoriously private — in the nearly 20 years since he retired from writing and drawing his strip on December 31st, 1995, he's made precious few public statements about his work. That hasn't stopped both fans and journalists from trying to track down the reclusive artist, but the team behind an upcoming Calvin & Hobbes documentary is trying something different. Dear Mr. Watterson, which will be released in some theaters as well as iTunes on November 15th, traces Watterson's influence through interviews with fans as well as the many cartoonists who owe a debt to his work — but there's no attempt to pull the cover back on Watterson's privacy.

As director Joel Allen Schroeder told Salon earlier this year, his film has nothing to do with trying to track down Watterson — the crew behind the movie never even asked for an interview. "Our choice not to pursue Watterson for an interview was the right fit for our film," Schroeder said. "When we went to [Watterson's hometown] Chagrin Falls, for example, we did not pursue interviews with his parents; we did not drive past his parent's house. It was a hands-off approach." Instead, the film is meant to delve into how and why a comic strip made such an impact on readers back in the '80s and '90s and why, in a lot of cases, those feelings have continued to grow and stay intact. The film itself went through two rounds of funding on Kickstarter which allowed the movie to get to where it is today. If you're one of those Calvin & Hobbes fans from back when the strip was in the paper — or if you fell in love with it years later — you'll likely appreciate the sentiments shared in Dear Mr. Watterson.