Bill Watterson, the creator of Calvin & Hobbes, has essentially disappeared from the public spotlight after retiring his beloved comic strip in 1995. He has emerged sporadically in the past few years, having provided an in-depth interview back in 2010 to his hometown newspaper and having provided his first public piece of art since 1995 back in 2011 for a Parkinson’s disease fundraising project.
Now the reclusive artist has emerged once again to provide collaboration on the upcoming documentary Stripped, which takes a look at the newspaper comic strip business. Watterson gave a short audio interview for the documentary (though no video was allowed), but the huge news is that Watterson has also provided the poster artwork for the film, which clearly shows off the style he used in Calvin & Hobbes.
Check out the poster and additional details on the upcoming movie here below!
In an interview the Washington Post, Watterson discusses how the poster artwork originated and his involvement with co-filmmaker Dave Kellett:
Aside from supplying a few sentences to the documentary, I’m not involved with the film, so Dave’s request to draw the poster came completely out of the blue. It sounded like fun, and maybe something people wouldn’t expect, so I decided to give it a try.
Dave sent me a rough cut of the film and I dusted the cobwebs off my ink bottle.
Given the movie’s title and the fact that there are few things funnier than human nudity, the idea popped into my head largely intact. The film is a big valentine to comics, so I tried to do something really cartoon-y. I had thought of having it colored with off-registered printing dots like newspaper comics, but Dave asked if I’d paint it instead, and I think he made the right call.
The art, as you’ll see below, turned out fantastic. One of the highlights of the Calvin & Hobbes individual strips and the collection books were Watterson’s paintings and this poster comically tugs at the heartstrings of nostalgia.
Aside from Watterson, the movie includes interviews with Scott McCloud (Understanding Comics, Zot!), Cathy Guisewite (Cathy), Zach Weiner (SMBC), Bill Amend (Foxtrot), Jim Davis (Garfield), and Kate Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant). More information on the film, which will be released on DVD April 2nd, can be found on its official website.