The man is an enigma.
And despite being out of the spotlight for almost 20 years, still a controversial topic of conversation. With the release of the Dear Mr. Watterson documentary (which Frank reviewed HERE), which focused a great deal on his refusal to merchandize any aspect of his comic strip “Calvin & Hobbes”, many are still debating if the bold move was fueled by artistic integrity, or stubbornness and insecurities. It’s an important debate in this society of overblown marketing, merchandizing and corporate domination. In a capitalistic society run by mo’ money and less heart, does a character like Watterson feel refreshing or pretentious? And aside from that, did his choice have the comic’s best interest in mind? Would a Hobbes plush or a Calvin backpack ruin the integrity, or diminish the meaning of the comic strip itself? Is C&H only worthwhile in it’s purest form?
Some here side with Watterson in that mass merchandising waters down the original intent of the comic itself… and although Watterson went to extreme extents and wouldn’t even consider minor non-intrusive ways to work with the syndicate, his willingness to put the best interest of his creation above money is commendable. Others, like Byron (as stated in his “Deal with the Devil” opinion-piece), feels Watterson should have known what he was getting himself into and fought an irrelevant battle against commercializing a product that was ALREADY commercial.
What say YOU, Alliance reader? Where do you fall in this discussion?