Archive for February, 2014


Bill Watterson at Angouleme

Good news came Sunday morning with this tweet from The Comics Reporter:
comicsreportertweetI had to wait a little while for an article to confirm, and when it did come, it came in French.

Then, later, in English.

Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes, huge inspiration to this here blogger, first cartoonist to win the Tour de France, received the prestigious Grand Prix at one of the biggest comics festivals in the world.

It seems as less of a surprise than it would have been a few years ago. Lately it seems ol Bill’s work is getting more of the attention it deserves. In 2005 we got The Complete Calvin and Hobbes, a hardbound three volume set that collects the run of the strip in its entirety. Better still, it included a preface by the author. Clocking in at about 20 pages, it was the most autobiography I’d ever seen from Watterson.

In 2009, Looking for Calvin and Hobbes popped up as a sort of meta-article on the elusive cartoonist. Although Nevin Martell interviewed just about everyone associated with Watterson, he was unable to speak with the man himself. On the record, at least.

Last year came Dear Mr. Watterson, a documentary on the lasting legacy of Calvin and Hobbes. This was not another biography of the man but a love letter to his work. I am proud to have been included in such a nice tribute to my favorite work of art.

With all these publications, Bill Watterson has been thrust once again into the spotlight. Let us hope he is not too angry at us for loving him so much. I doubt he is too bothered by it, as he has voluntarily taken part in two projects of late: one, a book called The Art of Richard Thompson, will feature an interview between Watterson and Thompson. In March, an exhibit of both Thompson and Watterson’s art will go up at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at The Ohio State University.

Amid all this renewed interest, it makes sense that the judges at Angouleme to award Watterson their highest honor.
billwatterson-grandprix

Everyone wants to know: will Bill Watterson attend Angouleme next year? According to his editor Lee Salem (a superstar of the comics scene himself), “I’ll try to talk him into it.” I don’t know about you, but if I was in Ohio in late January a trip to France would sound pretty darn good.


discarded couches of portland

This dignified old bear is thawing out on SE 52nd. Why don’t you give it a home?

Discarded couch 2-11-14


new business cards

Business card 2014

My brand new business cards arrived today. When you see me at a convention, I will hand you one. Looking forward to giving them all away!

Business card tiled


discarded couches of portland

Somebody will have a good weekend indeed if they snap up this couch. Today it sits out with the garbage, tomorrow it could host a wine and cheese party. Such are the whims of a chaotic and random universe.
Couch 2-21-14


park notes

These past few weeks I’ve begun work on Falling Rock issue 4. I have three longer stories which are all in various stages of completion. I think I’ll use whichever I finish writing first. Right now the top contender is a story involving a couple new characters, including a very famous cryptid.
yeti-bird-sketch
This part of the process is always exciting. I have a few ideas which may or may not turn out, but everything I’m doing is pure creation.
notebook-ruler-pens
In addition to the longer stories, I have a few single page stories (or “gags”). Maybe I’ll do a future issue comprised exclusively of these.
lamp-desk-panels
It’s fun to think about what a new issue will look like. I haven’t done anything too high-concept yet, but these are still early days. What issue will be my Sgt. Pepper? 100?

In other news, Cryptozoology News reported a sighting of a giant lizard-man in the desert. I couldn’t help but think it was the world’s first Ernesto sighting. Keep your eyes peeled, dear readers! The next time you’re hiking in the desert you may have a close encounter with a very tall lizard wearing a baseball jersey.


Bill Watterson STRIPPED

This is not a cheap ploy to increase my web traffic. Bill Watterson is not involved in anything untoward. Stripped refers to comic strips, as in newspaper funnies, as in the only part of the paper I read as a kid.
Bill Watterson Stripped
Yesterday I received an email from the makers of a film I backed on Kickstarter. Stripped is a documentary about comic strips and the anonymous elves who make them. The two filmmakers, Dave Kellett and Fred Schroeder, interviewed over 70 of those elves (“cartoonists”), Bill Watterson included. Bill must’ve liked talking to Dave and Fred, because he agreed to draw the poster art.

WHAAAAAAAAAT

Should we begin calling Bill Watterson formerly reclusive? In the past few years we’ve heard more and more from him.

Let me begin by saying, I love the poster. It’s nice to see Watterson draw something that isn’t Calvin and Hobbes. There are so few examples of his art before the comic strip (many of them cataloged here), and even fewer post-Calvin. The drawing is obviously his – the style is so familiar. It is full of life, with details that make you want to linger in the theater lobby (or, in my case, the iPad screen). Is it the best poster that I’ve ever seen? Yes, I think so.

Hyperbole aside, this poster is kind of a tease. If Bill is doing these little one-off projects, does this mean there’s more to come? I hate to think after verifying that he’s still very capable of wielding a brush that he’ll re-submerge in Ohio for another twenty years. He clearly cares about comics, and I imagine he has more to say.

I’ll make this plea once more, in case Bill scours the internet late at night in search of himself: Please come back. You don’t have to do Calvin and Hobbes. Write a graphic novel about dueling stamp collectors. Write a sci-fi cookbook. Make a foldy comic! The format and characters don’t matter to me. Reading new material from a master does.

I haven’t seen Stripped yet – it will be released soon on iTunes – so you can expect a lengthy and highly digressive review on this here blog just as soon as I do.