Leave Feedback

Documentary shines light on Calvin and Hobbes

Tom Jackson • Jul 14, 2014 at 2:00 PM

About a week ago, I took my own advice and tried one of the movie offerings on Hoopla Digital, the new streaming service for movies, music, TV shows and audiobooks Sandusky Library has just begun offering. In my experience, the new service can be hit or miss on smartphones, but it always works great on computers. Your mileage may vary.

I watched "Dear Mr. Watterson," the documentary about Bill Watterson, the reclusive Cleveland-area cartoonist who created the "Calvin and Hobbes" cartoon strip. The movie debuted last year at the Cleveland International Film Festival.

These days, there's only one comic strip I read every day — Scott Adams' wonderful "Dilbert." In its heyday, "Calvin and Hobbes" was the only comic strip I always had to read (it ran from 1985 to 1995). And that wasn't just my opinion. Bill Watterson dominated the comics page in much the same way LeBron James dominates professional basketball. Watterson had no peer. 

The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Clint O'Connor gave "Dear Mr. Watterson" an A- in his review, and I liked it, too. The movie documents the huge influence that Bill Watterson had on other comic strip creators, and chronicles his stubborn resistance to authorizing "Calvin and Hobbes" merchandise, a stance that cost him millions of dollars.

Watterson recently made the news when he secretly drew a few episodes of the "Pearls Before Swine" comic strip. And here is perhaps the best of his rare interviews, in which he takes questions from fans. 

Recommended for You