All Hail, Watterson

Letters published Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Plaid Tidings Cleveland Play House, 8500 Euclid Avenue Through December 21, 216-795-7000
All Hail, Watterson
A very good story from bloodsucking vultures: James Renner's cover story on Bill Watterson ["Missing!" November 26] was all about how this guy wants to be left alone. So why don't you bloodsucking media vultures just leave the poor guy alone? He's already left behind a fine body of work. I as a fan am content to enjoy the collected Calvin and Hobbes and wish Mr. Watterson a happy retirement.

By the way, Renner's story failed to mention a very relevant local anecdote. In the early '80s, before Calvin and Hobbes, Watterson created editorial cartoons for the Sun papers. Many are part of my collection.

Actually, Mr. Renner's article was very good, but it's such a shame the way Bill Watterson is still hounded, nearly a decade after the fact. I don't blame him for being a recluse!

Jay Ryan

Watterson fan quivers and warms: To happily quiver at the quixotic Calvin. Words cannot express the wave of euphoric glee I felt when I saw the cover for Scene. I am an art student currently, and James Renner's article serves as an easeful update to the legend. I will probably never know the TRUE scope of inspiration that Watterson has incited in all cartoonists, but I do pay homage to his extraordinary work. Watterson's work and success serve as a template for all aspiring cartoonists to heed.

Renner's trip to Chagrin Falls to find the famous solitudinarian was warming. He did not exactly find Bill Watterson that day, and perhaps it did not matter. Being in the same town where Watterson churned out his marvelous creation would be satisfying alone.

I also cringe every time a Calvin decal is visible on the back of someone's car. I'd say it's high time to get back at all these bastards. Making these decals grounds for police stops would be a nice start.

Kelley Gaines-El II

A true believer in Santa and Bill W.: "Missing" was a great cover! A fantastic article! Terrific illustrations! A job well done to James Renner and Scene!

It only made me miss Calvin and Hobbes that much more. I went back to my many volumes and came across a strip where Calvin doubted the existence of Santa Claus: Calvin said, "Why all the secrecy? Why all the mystery? If the guy does exist, why doesn't he just show himself and prove it?" Sound familiar?

Through all of Calvin's doubt and cynicism came more respect for the mystery and magic of the man. I think the same can be applied to Bill Watterson.

So, here's to Calvin, Hobbes, and Mr. Watterson! Maybe I'll see you in Chagrin Falls sometime -- or better yet, in the funny papers.

Joe Cronauer

Need that T-shirt to pledge allegiance: Thanks, I needed that cover story. I knew there was something special about Bill Watterson. There was something about the spirit of Calvin and Hobbes that I really related to. When publication stopped, I found myself only occasionally reading the funny papers. It wasn't that I was too sophisticated to read the comics anymore. It was a habit that I suddenly realized I didn't necessarily have to do anymore.

I now see that there wasn't any Calvin and Hobbes merchandise for me to officially proclaim to the world that I was a fan. And now this J.D.-Salinger-in-Chagrin-Falls mystique just adds to the charm. I can leave it at that and leave the guy alone . . . unless he wants to talk to me, of course.

Frank Barnett

A strict Calvinist: I enjoyed reading James Renner's article about Calvin and Hobbes. Until six years ago, I lived all my life in Chagrin Falls. Mr. Watterson's parents lived on the same street. I do not remember him as a recluse, just as a kind artist who looked a bit like Calvin's dad.

I admire Mr. Watterson for not licensing his characters; there was so much more to his comic than just the drawings. It had a real soul. His books have become part of my identity as I move around the country. I can tell people that Chagrin Falls appears not just in the movie House Arrest, but also in The Essential Calvin & Hobbes.

Nick Ade
Wheaton, IL

Naked girls or a trip to Chagrin -- you decide: I'd like to tell James Renner that I enjoyed his article about Mr. Watterson. Keep up the wonderful work. I may have to make the pilgrimage now myself. Perhaps it'd make a good spring-break trip -- minus the scantily clad girls, of course. Damn, that's a tough choice.

Kevin Davis
Norman, OK

Free Speech Sucks
Black and white and read all over: In response to "A Modest Proposal," [Letters, November 26]: Perhaps Frederick Dewey failed to grasp this concept, but in order for you to publish his hateful and racist diatribe regarding mixed marriages (and mixed strippers), his written words had to appear as black text against a white background. In this instance, it is a shame you did not print his letter using white letters on a white background. That would have been a true reflection of his views, and it would have spared the rest of us the opportunity to read his drivel.

Alan Inglis

Pick your poison: Let me set you straight, Frederick Dewey of Wickliffe. I found your letter shocking and appalling. You are an intolerable racist and a despicable, unconscionable speck of human waste. By what right do you speak for white people? Despite what you think, most white people like blacks, and many find black women attractive.

You say you wouldn't join the KKK. I don't see why not. You have the same evil views. The Klan is full of inbred heathen scum just like you. I don't believe in abortion, but in your case I'd make an exception. In fact, I think your mother should be decapitated for giving birth to you. Which is why, if I were president, I would toss people like you in an incinerator and use the ashes to help crops grow. That's the only way you could be useful. I take comfort in knowing all your kind will roast in hell.

Davey Houston

Courting the In Crowd
It's not just the judges anymore: Kevin Hoffman's article, "The Verdict Is In" [October 29], is an inspired study on the judges and, more revealing, of the fears of attorneys. Clients come and go, but for a lawyer to survive, he/she must go along to get along. It seems that the courthouse crowd is forever. The underexpression of legal talent behind the bench might also be revealed here in Cincinnati. I would be glad to assist you in the conduct of such an experiment, no charge.

I have never attended a Butler County Juvenile Court hearing in which the assistant prosecutor or social workers did not outright lie, or withhold the whole truth, and get away with it. The agenda to impose the will of Children Services for the acquisitions to the foster care and adoption markets seems to take all precedent over due process and civil rights.

Fudging on the facts has gotten out of control. It is gratifying to know that your publication is interested in bringing this issue to the public.

Dennis Yavorsky

No help at election time: "The Verdict Is In" poorly serves discussion of the qualifications and performance of local judges. Standards borrowed from high school yearbooks and vignettes better suited for People do little to explain the court system or convey information useful in elections. Perhaps most troubling is that the few comments lauding the integrity and fairness of judges are obscured by the caricatures, quotations, and exaggerated critique.

Deborah Coleman

Post it in the voting booth: I've never seen anything more painfully accurate than Kevin Hoffman's story about Cuyahoga County judges, "The Verdict Is In." I've practiced law for 25 years in Cleveland and nearly split my gut laughing when I read his story. Problem is, it's all true, and I'm glad you said it!

Clients don't believe us when we tell them the outrageous stories behind our elected judges, many of whom have never practiced a single day in a private practice. I wish Hoffman's article could be posted in every election booth on voting day, when these dregs come up for reelection. Can Scene do a story on the federal judges next?

I wouldn't dare use my name here, and that's the problem. Nobody judges the judges. Many congratulations for a superb exposé of our judicial wizards!

Name withheld upon request

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