Dear Mr. Watterson

This week on the show we’re talking with Dear Mr. Watterson director (and adult Calvin look-a-like) Joel Allen Schroeder about the universal love for Calvin and Hobbes as well as the long, strange trip the Kickstarted movie took to find theaters. Plus, Vanity Fair’s Katey Rich and I debate whether The Hunger Games should be criticized for being a rip-0ff of Battle Royale and Geoff waxes philosophical (and structural) about the right way to approach foreign remakes. You should follow Katey Rich (@kateyrich), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis. And, as always, if you like the show (or hate it with seething fervor), please help us out with a review. Download Episode #41 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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review dear mr watterson

A new daily comic strip appeared in papers across the country on November 18, 1985, and while it ended just over ten years later it remains in the hearts, minds, and memories of fans worldwide. Bill Watterson‘s “Calvin & Hobbes” introduced readers to the world of six year old Calvin and his best friend/stuffed tiger Hobbes, and it never looked back. The imaginative and precocious boy captures Hobbes in a tiger trap baited with a tuna fish sandwich, obviously, and for the next decade the world shared in the duo’s playful adventures and heartfelt interactions. There hasn’t been a new installment in almost twenty years, but many fans continue to extol the virtues of what some consider to be the greatest comic strip ever. Joel Allen Schroeder is one of those fans, and while he beats himself up for having not discovered the strip until 1991, he recognizes it as a beloved companion from his youth that still doles out wonder, laughs, and life lessons even today. His documentary, Dear Mr. Watterson: An Exploration of Calvin & Hobbes, is clearly the work of someone who loves both the strip and Watterson, but while it’s filled with affection and snippets of insight the film ultimately feels a bit slight.

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Dear Mr Watterson

The best news of the summer was that Dear Mr. Watterson would be seeing theaters. Joel Schroeder‘s thorough ode to the best comic strip ever made had been a glint in all of our eyes for years, so it was a massive relief to know that we’d all finally be able to see it. We got a teaser trailer along with that glorious news, and now there’s another full trailer featuring talking heads all gushing about Bill Watterson’s immaculate work. Wrap yourself in the sheer joy of it all, and get ready to pull your omnibus collection down from the shelf:

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Dear Mr Watterson

To get an idea of how long Dear Mr. Watterson has been in the works, consider that its creator Joel Schroeder posted a teaser trailer for it three years ago. And that was years after he’d started working on it. Fortunately, it was the exact kind of thing that Kickstarter was built for, and after 2,083 backers representing over $120,000 chipped in, the film is finished. Now, according to Variety, the “Calvin & Hobbes” documentary will see theaters and VOD on November 15th. As you can imagine, it chronicles Bill Watterson’s monumental creation and its influence — specifically by featuring conversations with the likes of Berkeley Breathed (“Bloom County”), Bill Amend (“Foxtrot”), Seth Green and more. Check out the teaser trailer after the jump:

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