Dropped some much deserved money on a documentary titled Dear Mr. Watterson this evening...
I read a lukewarm review for it on Slate a few weeks ago and saw that it was available to rent on AmazonPrime - and wanted to quickly share my thoughts on it.
If you're on the fence on Calvin and Hobbes - I wouldn't recommend you go out of your way to see this documentary. In fact... I'm not sure if I would recommend to anyone who wasn't intimately familiar with the material.
The documentary doesn't feature any interviews with Bill Watterson... the director goes out of his way in the opening seconds of the picture to state that this wasn't going to be a journey about the artist, but of the fandom that surrounds the artwork of Calvin and Hobbes.
Like many of the interview subjects... I discovered Calvin and Hobbes in the late 80's when my local paper - Valley Morning Star - syndicated his work. It was one of two strips that I actively sought out throughout my life... the other one was The Lockhorns. But I digress... what drew me (and I think everyone who loves the strip) is the over active imagination of Calvin.
I can't think of too many other things that resonated so quickly within me after experiencing it for the first time. Its up there with Star Wars and KISS tho'.
An interesting thing that the documentary touched on was visiting the home town of Chagrin, Ohio. They took a number of location shots and within seconds you can't help but feel like you've been there before.
The local high-school mascot is a TIGER!
Watterson was heavily involved with his year book club, so his illustrations are seen throughout the 1978 Chagrin year book.
When they weren't visiting the town of Chagrin, they spent a lot of time discussing the integrity of Watterson. He never allowed merchandising of Calvin and Hobbes so it never fell victim of what Snoopy and Garfield fell victim to.
I think the best part of the documentary was getting to learn about what influenced Watterson the most. Comics dating far back as the 1920's that I had never heard of... but a few that I'll go out of my way to check out tho'.
Anyhoo... if you're a huge fan and if you want to spend an evening at home smiling - I recommend that you check it out.