Monday, December 17, 2007

Bill Watterson Documentary

Above: a screen capture from the Dear Mr. Watterson site.

A film is in the works dedicated to Calving & Hobbes cartoonist Bill Watterson. While Mr. Watterson is not scheduled to participate in this documentary, the movie will be dedicated to him and his influence.

From what I was able to understand, the director will talk with other people (primarily cartoonists?) about C&H. Worth keeping an eye on, but anything could happen at this early stage.

H/t to The Weekly Geek and Editor & Publisher.


Brian Fies said...

I don't know... Without Watterson's participation and cooperation, seems like it'll have a pretty narrow scope. Particularly since he doesn't seem to have a lot of personal friends among cartoonists, either (wasn't involved with NCS, etc.). After everyone lines up to say, "Yep, he sure is good," whataya got? I'm a lot less interested in how cartoonists (and heaven forbid, fans) see Watterson than in how Watterson sees cartooning and the world.

But who knows, maybe the filmmakers will come up with a good angle. Still, it seems to me that if they really respected the man and his talent, they'd leave him alone. Even their use of his font in their poster feels like a violation to me.

Mark Anderson said...

I dunno, I sorta go both ways on this. I certainly grant him whatever privacy he desires, but I really do want someone to get to him and get him to talk.

Mike Lynch said...

At this point, the production is in its larval stage. Anything can happen, including -- no disrespect -- absolutely nothing. The idea of a LOOKING FOR BILL movie is not going to be satisfying without finding and talking to the guy, right? I mean, it's like THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK without frickin' findin' the Vulcan!

Maybe the filmmakers find it hopeful that Watterson has come out publicly twice in the past couple of months (to praise the Michaelis SCHULZ AND PEANUTS books in an article for WSJ, and, just last month, to endorse Richard Thompson's great comic strip Cul de Sac).

I agree with Brian that I'm not interested in fans and cartoonists talking about how cool C&H was. It was. We can all agree on that. Unless Watterson participates -- and really offers up some interesting points -- I can't see the value of the project. Leave this great man alone if that's what he wants. Don't be trying to get your documentary-making career off the ground by bullying one of the greatest cartoonists.

richardcthompson said...

Maybe it'll end up being something like "I'm Not There", that new dramocumentary-whatchacallit about Bob Dylan. Philip Seymour Hoffman would be an excellent Watterson.

But yeah, if it's just a string of people offering superlatives it could get old pretty fast.