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Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 08/25/2009

O, How Do We Miss 'Calvin & Hobbes'? Let Us Count the (Lazy) Days

By The Reliable Source

Teaser from DMW on Vimeo.

Upon announcing the end of "Opus" last year, Berkeley Breathed reflected on the health and welfare of the funnypages: "The last newspaper cartoon character invented, destined to be a true, ubiquitous American household word, was done so 23 years ago," Breathed said to Comic Riffs. " 'Calvin & Hobbes.' There have, and will be, no more. This speaks to technology and culture, not talent."

Those words made us wistful. Nearly 15 years after Bill Watterson drew Calvin and Hobbes's final sledded adventure, his fade-to-white is bestirring a new wave of creative appreciation. This fall, author Nevin Martell will release his latest, "Looking for Calvin and Hobbes," a tribute not only to the "revolutionary comic" but also to the ever-reclusive Watterson, who would not directly participate in the making of the book.

And now, there's also this teaser trailer for "Dear Mr. Watterson," a movie project by a collaborative of USC filmmakers who have a hoped-for 2011 release.

The site for the "Dear Mr. Watterson" movie lists ways to contribute to the project. If nothing else, this teaser trailer reminds just how beloved the strip still is.

AND SPEAKING OF BERKELEY BREATHED: This image, with all its ripped-straight-from-the-tabloids whimsy, reminds of something that might have appeared in "Bloom County" back in the day.


'PEANUTS' (UFS)Enlarge Image

PEANUTS: Speaking of classic comics that still speak to us, this strip reminds just how singularly poignant "Peanuts" could be. Every time I threaten to stop reading the reruns on a daily basis, along comes one of these. Snoopy, I just can't quit 'cha.

'BABY BLUES' (SOURCE)Enlarge Image

"BABY BLUES" Speaking of yet more classic strips, this funny "target" gag summons a loose reminder of that classic "Far Side," in which one deer says to the target-marked pal: "Bummer of a birthmark, Hal."

'FAST TRACK' (SOURCE)Enlarge Image

"ON THE FASTTRACK": Had I time, I'd pop into Animal Planet to count just how many employees clipped this strip. One of its better visual gags lately.


"CLOSE TO HOME": Freelance work around the warden, eh? Wasn't this a turning point in "Shawshank Redemption"? And, in a twisted way, the climax, as well?

'SPEED BUMP' (Creators)

"SPEED BUMP": In the immortal words of Homer Simpson: "It's funny 'cause it's true."

By The Reliable Source  | August 25, 2009; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
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Next: Should 'Peanuts' Get Shelled? Time to Defend That 'Toon


I have to disagree with Berkeley Breathed here - the absence on a new "Calvin and Hobbes" is not due entirely to technology and culture; rather, it **is** due in no small part to talent. Bill Watterson may not be a once-in-a-generation cartoonist, but he certainly comes mighty close.

Posted by: seismic-2 | August 25, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Watterson wasn't a great cartoonist, he was a great storyteller. Cartoon was his medium.

Posted by: jimbo1949 | August 25, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who is a fan of "Calvin & Hobbes" should be aware of the struggle that Bill Watterson went through to prevent outside licensing of his creation. It doesn't matter what the good intentions of film's producers might be, reusing Watterson's artwork without his explicit permission is simply piracy.

Posted by: kilby | August 26, 2009 3:40 AM | Report abuse

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