Bill Watterson ended “Calvin & Hobbes” at the end of 1995, the year that the Internet revolution began, thanks in great part to Windows 95 with its built-in support for TCP/IP. It was the beginning of the end for newspapers — which had been predicted as far back as 1972 — so Watterson got out when the getting was good.
There’s a documentary about the future, or the lack of it, for syndicated newspaper comic strips. It’s called, naturally enough, “Stripped.” Bill Watterson drew the poster for it, his first published cartoon in almost twenty years.
Wait! No! Sorry. That’s Violante Placido. Here’s the Watterson drawing.
And here’s the trailer for the documentary. The video is available only on iTunes, which means I won’t see it until it’s on Amazon or Netflix.
Peanuts, February 21, 1990
Happiness is a warm puppy...
Charles M. Schulz
California now offers Snoopy license plates. The drawing isn’t one that I would have picked, but it’s okay.
Morris — This is Philip Seymour Hoffman, circa 1987, in his New York University dorm, Weinstein Hall, room 729. Contents of the room include a Playbill, Spin Magazine (from Tower Records), a copy of Vanity Fair, and two Amazing Spider-Man comic books.
Silver Age comic book fans are familiar with Superman’s visits with JFK at the White House, but when LBJ was President, and needed some super help, he picked up the Bat Phone.
I had lots of fun calibrating the video projector. Assuming my consumer-grade colorimeter is reasonably accurate, the test numbers indicate that the picture is now just about perfect. Fifteen years ago, when I bought the Sony 32XBR100 TV, which is still working fine by the way, after first adjusting it I watched the then newly-restored “Vertigo” on LaserDisc. I watched it again today, but streaming from Amazon.
“Vertigo” is now at the top of some lists as the greatest movie of all time, beating out longtime champ “Citizen Kane,” and I have to agree with that assessment, on the basis of the premise that a man’s obsession with a woman is inherently more interesting than a man who is obsessed with himself. At the more trivial end of what makes “Vertigo” interesting is a magazine in Jimmy Stewart’s apartment. There’s a copy of Swank, which was one of the many periodicals published by Martin Goodman, Stan Lee’s boss at Marvel (then Atlas) Comics.
By coincidence I happen to be reading an excellent book, “The Secret History of Marvel Comics: Jack Kirby and the Moonlighting Artists at Martin Goodman’s Empire” by Blake Bell and Dr. Michael J. Vassallo, which goes into detail about the creation of Swank to compete with Esquire, only to fail in competition with Playboy.
Follow-up: The authors of “Secret History of Marvel Comics” tell me that the magazine does not appear to be a legitimate issue of Swank — “The cover doesn’t match up to either any of the Martin Goodman issues, nor any of the earlier incarnations. So it seems it was a mock-up for the movie.”