The Man Who Shaped Your Childhood Comes Out of Hiding to Draw Butts
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The Man Who Shaped Your Childhood Comes Out of Hiding to Draw Butts

By Vivian Kane | Trade News | February 27, 2014 | Comments ()


Bill Watterson, the man who invented snowman grotesquery, taught me where the Yukon was, and introduced the term “bat barf” into my personal lexicon, has (at least temporarily) dropped his reclusive ways and put out his first public drawing since 1995.


That glorious bum there is the poster is for the documentary Stripped, a “love letter to comic strips.” According to Watterson,

Given the movie’s title and the fact that there are few things funnier than human nudity, the idea popped into my head largely intact. The film is a big valentine to comics, so I tried to do something really cartoon-y.

Watterson’s history with the comics industry was… complicated. By which I mean he didn’t even try to hide his animosity. While most of us know him for comics like this:


By the end of his public career, he was producing works like this:

syndicate1.jpg syndicate3.jpg

Subtle, no? He also famously refused to license his characters for merchandising. And while I respect the hell out of the man, I’m positive my childhood would have been at least 30% happier if I’d been able to own a Spaceman Spiff lunchbox (with matching thermos!).


Stripped is already available for preorder on iTunes and Watterson says we’ll soon be able to see his second public drawing since ‘95. It will be “a silly picture that sums up my reaction to the current publishing upheaval.”

Can’t. Wait.

Via NPR.

Vivian Kane would rather have a Transmogrifier than a time machine. No — Duplicator. No— Transmogrifier!

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • There are 2 comic strips that I would consider crucial to my sense of humor: Bloom County and Calvin & Hobbes. Years ago a friend give me an autographed copy of "Something Under the Bed is Drooling" because he got it as a gift from his Aunt and didn't care about it. No, I'm not selling it. If I could get a copy of Billy & the Boingers autographed by Berkley Breathed I'd be all set.

  • Three_nineteen

    I Kickstarted this movie! I get to watch a digital copy in the privacy of my home instead of not seeing it because it's not playing anywhere near me.

  • Andrew Cardinale

    This is not his first public drawing since 1995. "The Complete Calvin and Hobbes," released in 2005, featured several new drawings (all of the drawings on the covers of the books and the sleeve were original to that collection) as well as one of his paintings, reproduced in the collection's introduction. Then, in 2012, he donated a painting he did of a character from the comic "Cul de Sac" to an auction to benefit Parkinson's disease. That being said, it's always great to see anything new by him.

  • Three_nineteen

    The promotion for the movie says it's Watterson's first public cartoon in 19 years, not drawing.

  • Andrew Cardinale

    That's a semantical argument. The fact of the matter is, this is not his first public work since 1995.

  • Aaron Schulz

    Tracer Bullit introduced me to detective noir when i was 8. Calvin made me feel like i had a friend during that time too. Seeing any of his work will always make me smile regardless of what its theme is. I wish C&H was still around but getting 10 years of his best material is good enough for me.

  • VohaulsRevenge

    Ditto. The "I keep two magnums in my desk..." line never fails to make me chuckle when it runs through my head.

  • Ben

    Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez did a fantastic issue of Locke and Key that was all in Watterson's style and it was amazing.

  • Stephen Nein

    I read the headline on Twitter, and thought, "Well, so what else is new, Berke?" Some of us had slightly earlier child-shaping than others.

  • loo shag brolley

    I want whatever has the ability to smash any car that has a fake Calvin pissing on anything on it. Er... yeah.

  • The ones where Calvin is fervently praying really irks me. It's like seeing Tyler Durden hawk CK1 on the Home Shopping Network. Just goes against the entire philosophy of the strip and character.

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