Last week at Christianity Today, we published a review of the new documentary Dear Mr. Watterson, about Bill Watterson, the creator and writer of the fabulous comic strip Calvin and Hobbes:
As the title implies, it’s mostly a love letter to Watterson, but not in a stalker-like way. Schroeder maintains his distance, respecting Watterson’s privacy while also trying to learn as much about him as he can. He visits the artist’s hometown in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and talks to some locals. He visits the town library to see some of Watterson’s early work as a cartoonist at the Herald-Sun, the town’s newspaper. And he visits a comics library to view, while wearing white gloves, some of the original Calvin and Hobbes drawings. It’s almost like touching the holy grail; the joy on Schroeder’s face is contagious.
But the film is also a thoughtful exploration of the strip’s lasting influence—despite its short run and lack of merchandising (no Hobbes plush toys, no lunchboxes, nada), it’s still embraced by millions—and its place in the history of comics.