I just watched "Dear Mr. Watterson" on Netflix.
You know how in the German language they have a variety of words to describe complex emotional states? Schadenfreude, for instance, means "deriving pleasure out of someone else's pain" (Thanks Avenue Q for that useful little piece of trivia.) Most likely there's a single word to describe the emotions I felt watching that short documentary: "Mixed feelings of happy reminiscing about something that is locked in a specific time that you know that future generations will never get to experience."
I remember anxiously awaiting the daily newspaper. We got the local city paper as well as the big city paper that ran syndicated comic strips. I skipped gladly through the boring news headlines and sports pages to the entertainment section, where black and white illustrations bounded by boxes promised smirks, smiles, or in the case of Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes, outright laughter. Each day, I would read Calvin's adventures, maybe skim one or two other strips, then carefully cut the strip out of the paper to be kept in envelopes labeled by the month and year.
The forward-thinking, nature loving half of me is glad that the wasteful newspaper industry is on it's way out, being replaced by greener web publishing. But sadly, my experience with Calvin and Hobbes will never be experienced by anyone outside of my generation. As with all changes in time, some new art form will inevitably replace the comic strip.
I did this piece in celebration of Calvin and Hobbes' 31st year anniversary. This is the final panel of the first strip that Watterson illustrated, and represents the beginning of Calvin's relationship with his toy stuffed tiger.
I was playing around with different line weights in this quick ink sketch. These micron pigma ink pens I'm using are great for filling in solid blacks, but require a really steady hand when making thin lines. I wish I had used the thin 01 markers for the fuzzy fur around his head. The proportions are pretty accurate, but I lost a lot of detail for his paws. I didn't quite know what I could've done better there though.