Film-maker Fred Schroeder and webcomic creator Dave Kellett (Sheldon, Drive) of Big Fish Studios have completed more than 230 (and counting) hours of interviews with prominent cartoonists spanning several generations and two mediums for their planned documentary, Stripped. All the duo needs now is money to push the project through its post-production phase and onto DVD for fans interested in the evolution of cartooning and the comic strip. Taking to Kickstarter to raise $58,000 by September 22, Stripped looks at the history of the comic strip and digs into its climactic transition from a once solely print to now increasingly digital medium.In its Kickstarter pitch, Stripped is billed thusly:

This film is our love-letter to the art form: Bringing together 60 of the world's best cartoonists into one extraordinary, feature-length documentary. The film sits down with creators to talk about how cartooning works, why it's so loved, and how as artists they're navigating this dicey period between print and digital options...when neither path works perfectly. We want this film to capture the extraordinary people behind the comics you love, to show how they work...and ask the question: "Where does the art form go from here?"

Among the 60 interviewed cartoonists are Jim Davis (Garfield), Scott McCloud (Understanding Comics), Kate Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant), Jeff Keane (Family Circus), Stephan Pastis (Pearls Before Swine), Ryan North (Dinosaur Comics), Dan Piraro (Bizarro), Scott Kurtz (PvP), Jeff Smith (Bone), David Malki (Wondermark), Chris Hastings (Dr. McNinja), Anthony Clark (Nedroid), Meredith Gran (Octopus Pie), KC Green (Gunshow) and dozens of other creators, editors and publishers.

It's heartening to see the filmmakers seem to genuinely grasp the current landscape of digital cartooning when they could just as easily latch onto the dynasties of the Sunday funnies page. A documentary as ambitious as this one helps to further legitimize webcomics that so many already love by essentially showcasing them side-by-side with the same comic strips their parents and even grandparents read.

It's no easy undertaking to distill several decades of cartooning history into a feature length documentary, but from what Stripped communicates in its Kickstarter video, it could serve as an equally educational and entertaining guided tour through a prominently evolving corner of sequential art.

You can catch Stripped's Kickstarter video below:

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