Dear Mr. Watterson

It's been fifteen years since Calvin and Hobbes ended. Since then, there have been other decent comic strips in newspapers: Mutts, Get Fuzzy, Pearls Before Swine, but none have come close to touching the pinnacle of cartooning excellence that Calvin and Hobbes represented. That's right, Calvin and Hobbes was the best thing that has ever been printed on a comics page. It's better than Windsor McCay's Little Nemo in Slumberland, better than Walt Kelly's Pogo, and better that Georg Heriman's Krazy Kat. Bill Waterson, C&H's author, has remained reclusive, and has several times published papers or given talks on why he ended the strip after only ten years, and why he prefers to remain out of the public eye. Recently, however, he gave a short interview to the Cleavland Plain Dealer, which you can read here.

Also, watch the trailer above for the documentary Dear Mr. Watterson, a project in production on the creation and cultural impact of the work.

A great compilation of Watterson's writings can be found here, including his thoughts on Little Nemo, a review of Berke Breathed, and his now famous manifesto The Cheapening of Comics, where he tears into the current syndicate system, and presents his thesis that currently, cartooning is regressing into a more and more inane and primitive form. What Watterson could not have predicted, of course, was webcomics, which give their creators total control over their creations and unlimited space to do it in. Still, webcomics have a ways to go before they start producing really memorable work. At the moment, really exceptional series are few and far between, such as Buttercup Festival, Copper, and Rad Sechrist's Beneath the Leaves and Wooden Rivers.


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