Do you know what this is?
This is a poster for Stripped, a documentary about comic strips and cartooning, by Dave Kellet, of the web comics Sheldon and Drive, and Frederick Schroeder.
This poster was illustrated by Bill Watterson.
Yes. BILL WATTERSON, The one and only BILL WATTERSON. They actually got Watterson to illustrate the poster, and he agreed to participate in the documentary. That news….just blew my mind right over the moon. And in the trailer, you can HEAR his voice. I…don’t know if he appears on camera, as other cartoonists do, such as Jim Davis, Bill Amend, Cathy Guisewite Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins (okay, Krahulik is the cartoonist in that duo, but both appear in the movie), but he does participate in the movie to some degree.
Just…wow. That is quite a feat. It’s just unbelievable.
Okay, in case you somehow don’t know, Bill Watterson is the creator of Calvin and Hobbes. The comic ended in 1995, and ever since, Watterson has been almost completely reclusive. Once in a very rare while, he has agreed to surface for a brief interview, but those are few and far between. Attempts by others have been made to interview him in-depth about his life and work, such as Nevin Martell, told in his book Looking For Calvin and Hobbes, and another documentary was recently released, Dear Mr. Watterson, which was a fan look at the comic.
However, again, Watterson generally just let himself drop off the Earth and into a completely private life. There’s been word and rumors that he does still work on art, but he doesn’t publicly release any of it. The first artwork he released since he ended Calvin and Hobbes was a piece he did for charity for Parkinson’s disease research, in 2012, after Cul de sac creator Richard Thompson was diagnosed. Watterson expressed his love for Thompson’s comic, and painted one of the comic’s characters.
Getting Watterson to actually do this is an amazing feat, it can’t be understated. I can’t wait to hear what he has to say! The documentary is due to come out on iTunes on April 1, but from what I understand, there will be a video release later.