Immense kudos to filmmakers Dave Kellett and Fred Schroeder, whose new documentary Stripped was apparently so awesome that it coaxed the famously elusive Bill Watterson to come out of retirement and create his first cartoon (that the public has seen, anyway) since concluding his work on Calvin & Hobbes nearly 20 years ago. The piece will serve as the poster for the film, which profiles the endangered art form of newspaper comic strips in the current economic and media climates.
Hosted every year in France, the Angoulême International Comics Festival is the biggest comic con in the world, surprising even San Diego's mighty Comic-Con International by tens of thousands of attendees. But like the San Diego show and its Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, Angoulême comes with its own venerable awards celebrating sequential art from around the world, the most auspicious of which is the Angoulême Grand Prix, given every year to a living comics creator as a kind of lifetime achievement award. This year's went to Calvin & Hobbes creator Bill Watterson, who's certainly deserving of the honor.
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It's been an odd year for Bill Watterson. The iconic Calvin and Hobbes creator -- whose reclusive nature has informed his legacy almost as much as his brilliant comic strip in recent years -- saw the release last month of a documentary about the cartoonist and his legendary comic strip. Shortly before its release, Watterson engaged in a rare interview as well.
After all of that, it seemed as if the increased attention on the cartoonist would begin to wane again. Instead, it's only going to increase, as its been revealed that actor Leonardo DiCrapio will be producing a biopic of Watterson.
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But that doesn't mean it isn't enjoyable to hear a slew of actors, cartoonists and other artistic folks talk about the impact the strip had on their lives. Based on the trailer, that seems to be the thrust of director Joel Allen Schroeder's new documentary Dear Mr. Watterson, which comes to theaters next month. Check out the trailer below.
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While the advent of ComiXology has made several classic comics available to read digitally, the migration of comic strips to the digital world has been comparatively slow. That's now changed, as Universal Uclick's GoComics has launched a free app that enables you to read many classic comic strips on your tablet and phone for free, including Peanuts, Doonesbury, Garfield, The Boondocks and more. But the most notable inclusion may be Calvin and Ho