My rare Calvin and Hobbes memorabilia

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Novil
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My rare Calvin and Hobbes memorabilia

Post by Novil » 04 Nov 2008, 21:56

You may know that Bill Watterson, the author of “Calvin and Hobbes”, has always opposed the production of any merchandising articles of his characters. Ignatz is displaying most of the existing unique items on his very interesting website Calvin and Hobbes: Magic on Paper. Because of this shortage of material, fans have paid high prices for signed books (sometimes more than $200) and other more or less “official” articles on eBay. But even the amount of such auctions keep decreasing. So I am very happy that I was not only able to get two posters of the German publishing house but also a real personal letter by Bill Watterson to a fan named Tim for chickenfeed some years ago.
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Re: My rare Calvin and Hobbes memorabilia

Post by powree » 05 Nov 2008, 12:05

Woo, it's even framed!

I keep wondering why Bill Watterson has strict view about merchandises. sigh. A pvc figurine would be nice... posters, just a few wouldn't hurt. This strip makes me cry in another way...
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Re: My rare Calvin and Hobbes memorabilia

Post by Novil » 05 Nov 2008, 22:40

powree wrote:Woo, it's even framed!
It was already framed when I had bought it, but of course I would have framed it if it weren’t.
powree wrote:I keep wondering why Bill Watterson has strict view about merchandises. sigh. A pvc figurine would be nice... posters, just a few wouldn't hurt.
I don’t understand it either. I think it’s important to draw the line somewhere. To stick your characters onto all kinds of crappy products may indeed cheapen the value of your original creation, but what the hell is speaking against some posters, greeting cards and t-shirts?
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Re: My rare Calvin and Hobbes memorabilia

Post by Guest » 07 Nov 2008, 14:37

Scott Adams (of Dilbert) suspected it is because Bill takes the view that his work isn't a comic as such but sequential artwork; thus, monetizing his art is something he is dead-set against.
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Re: My rare Calvin and Hobbes memorabilia

Post by Loiosh » 07 Nov 2008, 14:38

Oops, that was me.
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Re: My rare Calvin and Hobbes memorabilia

Post by Novil » 09 Nov 2008, 21:04

A rather sloppy drawing by Bill Watterson of Calvin and Hobbes was sold on eBay for $2,100 five days ago. No, thank you, but that’s neither looking good nor is it meaningful (for this price at least).
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Re: My rare Calvin and Hobbes memorabilia

Post by powree » 11 Nov 2008, 15:55

uh, on close inspection it looks very different than the usual art... man, the 'buy it now' tag is 3,000....

Now I could by a lot of PS3 with that sum... :lol:
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Re: My rare Calvin and Hobbes memorabilia

Post by Novil » 11 Nov 2008, 21:41

powree wrote:uh, on close inspection it looks very different than the usual art...
As far as I know it is legit since Bill Watterson made half a dozen quick drawings like this on envelopes for a fund-raiser.
powree wrote:man, the 'buy it now' tag is 3,000....
Yeah, but the piece was sold for a “best offer” of $2,100.
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Re: My rare Calvin and Hobbes memorabilia

Post by Novil » 20 Jan 2009, 18:41

Oh my, the Calvin and Hobbes drawing sold at eBay for $2,100 is apparently a forgery (info at the bottom of the site).
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Re: My rare Calvin and Hobbes memorabilia

Post by powree » 21 Jan 2009, 06:05

My God! Forgery!? for 2,100!? :?
Somebody shoot the seller!
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Re: My rare Calvin and Hobbes memorabilia

Post by Novil » 22 Jan 2009, 01:21

Forged paintings are sold on eBay for several hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a daily basis. This blog is only covering a tiny number of such frauds: http://www.artfakes.dk/blog/
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Re: My rare Calvin and Hobbes memorabilia

Post by Ninja Skunk » 16 Feb 2009, 00:20

About why Bill Watterson was so adamant against merchandising...well, let's see if I can get it all together and say what I know.

To start at the beginning, Watterson actually wasn't completely "dead-set against" merchandising. However, as Watterson said, anything he considered has violated, he felt, the spirit of the comic. Watterson was a newspaper cartoonist not to become rich or famous (In fact, Watterson was very persistent in avoiding both), but simply because he loved to cartoon. He took his position as author and illustrator very personally, and, as Watterson put it, "Had worked to long to get to get this job, and worked too hard once I got it, to let other people run away with my creation once it became successful. If I could not control what my own work was about and stood for, then cartooning meant very little to me."

Watterson had a strong connection with the Calvin & Hobbes world and its inhabitants. It carried the message that he wanted to convey to all his readers, and it held a special spirit that Watterson did not want to see mixed and mucked-up by petty toys and cheap trinkets for the sole purpose of raking in bags of cash.

Watterson actually turned down his first chance to be syndicated because of this. Before being accepted by Universal Press Syndicate, Watterson's work was noticed by United Feature Syndicate. United Feature Syndicate's interest inspired what became our beloved Calvin & Hobbes, but before they would accept it, United Feature Syndicate insisted that Watterson work in a propeller-headed robot into the strip. United Feature Syndicate, you see, had just acquired rights to this character and was preparing for a major licensing program. The best way to promote it would be to give the robot his own comic strip. Watterson, though, was offended by both the thought of writing and drawing a character that wasn't his own, and writing a strip just to sell merchandise. Watterson decided to decline.

Also, as I said at the beginning, Watterson was just a cartoonist. He loved writing and drawing Calvin & Hobbes, and wasn't interested in all the fame and money. Famous people always have to make appearances and deal with mobs of fans. Rich people always have to manage money and stocks and stuff like that. Watterson, plain and simple, did not want that. He was happy with what he had. Merchandise could also end up posing some limitations on what Watterson could do with his strip.

I myself deeply respect Watterson for sticking up and standing by his view. It all was a bit weird, but I think he did the right thing. Of course, I personally am the kind of person who would rather make fan toys than buy mass-produced, over-priced spin-off products. It wasn't a big loss for me.

...not for sale, of course. Okay, that's my two cent's worth. Most of this comes from Bill Watterson's introduction for The Complete Calvin & Hobbes. I really hope it helps a bit.
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Re: My rare Calvin and Hobbes memorabilia

Post by Novil » 18 Feb 2009, 16:47

Yeah, I’ve read the intro of “The Complete Calvin and Hobbes” as well. Everybody should get that book. The paper quality is incredible and Calvin and Hobbes is a fantastic piece of art in itself.

I believe that Bill went a bit overboard with his stance against any form of merchandising. But then again, we really don’t know the details. Maybe his syndicate wanted to make some quick money and produce products of inferior quality. I would love to see detailed “Calvin and Hobbes” action figures like this, but not crappy plush toys like this.
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Re: My rare Calvin and Hobbes memorabilia

Post by Ninja Skunk » 18 Feb 2009, 18:40

The funny thing being that even Bill thought he went overboard on his stance against merchandising. Quoting again from The Complete Calvin & Hobbes:

"In hindsight I see that, with so much money at stake, the artistic issues I argued about were irrelevant. In the end, it was simply might makes right. I was an unknown cartoonist when I started, and my contractual disadvantage reflected my nonexistent bargaining power when I got the job. Five years later, I was a big enough gorilla that I could turn the tables. Even though I finally got my way, the whole mess is depressing to recall, even all these years later. The fight was personally traumatic. For several years it poisoned what had been a happy relationship with my syndicate, and in my disillusionment and disgust at being pushed to the wall, I lost the conviction that I wanted to spend my life cartooning. Both sides paid a heavy price for this battle."

Eh, hindsight is always 20/20. Although, if there was merchandise, I would bet my wallet that there would be stuffed Hobbes toys. If they would have been anything like my "Post-Apocalyptic Battle-Hardened Plush Baby Simba," though, They'd have some lasting quality. Little Simba has lost all his whiskers and has had his tail pulled out on three separate occasions, which, actually, is great, considering he's lasted fourteen years in a household of four overly rambunctious teenagers weened on the likes of Jim Varney, Mel Brooks and Monty Python.

Don't ask. It's my father's idea of raising children to understand humor.

No, actually, the really, really, bad merchandise would be the shrink-wrapped fast food and cereal box "Premiums" that would have been made in a desperate hope to drum up sales of chicken nuggets and sugar-laced cereal. You know, the ones that shake, or spin, or make an annoying noise for the five minutes that it takes for you to break them. Whee.
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Re: My rare Calvin and Hobbes memorabilia

Post by Kavukamari » 02 Jan 2011, 03:23

I love calvin and hobbes, I have those 3 giant Complete Collection books and somewhere I have a few misc books... I shoulf look for and read them some time... that complete collection book is massive :S
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