No. of Recommendations: 7
I'm not special in being a kid that grew up idolizing Calvin & Hobbes. To me, Watterson's seclusion and lack of merchandizing has been what's made Calvin & Hobbes so special. If I asked everyone on this board to raise your hand if you read C&H, I feel like over half would do so. If I asked everyone to raise your hand if you read it and you would NOT have bought a stuffed Hobbes had they been made, I'm betting no one would.

Watterson turned down hundreds of millions of dollars to keep control of C&H. Not turned down hundreds of thousands. Not turned down millions. And he wasn't - at least, not to my knowledge - a billionaire passing on a way to make a small change in net worth to do this. He passed on massive, life-altering money, because he held his idea as precious to him. You can count examples of that happening throughout the history of capitalism on one finger. He's it.

This documentary appealed to me on a few dimensions. Naturally, as a big C&H fan, I wanted to learn more. Part of me really wishes Watterson would come out and talk to his audience...give us a glimpse into how he has created something so transcendent with absolutely no marketing arm. But the other part of me loves that he hasn't, because it allows it to remain special...the ultimate example of something untouched by the almighty dollar. I wanted instead to see the opinions of his peers and how he impacted the industry.

The movie was solid. It's not going to give you insight into Watterson's life. It's not going to tell you why he made C&H or give you any special insight into it. What it does is give you a greater appreciation for how special it is, and why there has never been, and likely will never be, anything quite like it...either in the sense of the comic and its greatness; or in the sense of something coming along, making a gigantic impact on people, and doing so without a viable marketing arm designed to make the creater and a bunch of other manufacturers millions and millions of dollars. And the movie helped take me back to the feelings of wonder I had when reading these books in my childhood. It made me realize I need to dig out all my old C&H books, reread all of them, and get my kids reading them as well.

(Side-note: I used to read the books to my kids back before they could read, and they enjoyed them, but they didn't understand much about what was truly funny and special about it. Now that they're older, they should be able to do that, so it's time to reintroduce them.)

And for Watterson fans, I'd recommend checking out last week's notice that he returned, oh so briefly, to comics, partnering on a few Pearls Before Swine:

- C -
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